BEAUTIFUL TUSCAN WEDDING IDEAS
Luxury destination weddings are coveted by couples around the world these days and what could be a more perfect romantic dreamscape venue than the breathtaking Tuscany region of Italy. There are countless ways to celebrate a beautiful Tuscan wedding today depending on your personal taste, your budget and the size of your wedding party.
Do you fancy taking you vows embraced by a large group of friends and loved ones in the palatial gardens of a medieval castle? Or how about renting out your home away from home on a hilltop overlooking the lush landscape of Chianti for a smaller, more intimate group experience of up to 12 people? Spoil yourselves in a luxurious 5 star hotel with spa and recreational facilities that promises delectable cuisine and fine locally made wine. For a less formal but no less luxurious option, there are gorgeous upscale B&B’s with panoramic views of the Tuscany countryside for your pleasure and relaxation.
After the wedding day it’s time to plan your extended visit for you and your guests. There are so many options for different personalities and interests including famous churches, Renaissance art galleries, quaint storybook villages and fine dining with rooftop views to die for.
" Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life."
Love is always in the air in Florence, Tuscany’s largest and most romantic city. Sunset is the ideal time for a stroll along the river Arno or to sit on the steps and soak in the stunning view of the Piazzale Michelangelo. Many locals have the tradition of experiencing their first kiss on these steps. Visit the famous Boboli Gardens with its wonderfully winding pathways or the best kept secret greener gardens south of the river in the Oltrarno side of the city.
Make reservations for two at the romantic Signorvino restaurant for delectable wine and delicious culinary treats with a view of the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence over the glittering Arno river. Top off dinner with a stroll along the bridge that promises to enchant and please your senses and if you feel the night is young, check out one of Florence’s famous rooftop bars for a sip and indulge in a panoramic gaze at the fantastic scenery below.
Charming storybook like small towns generously dot the Tuscan landscape. Add a few of these to your itinerary for a taste of old world goodness and slow paced relaxation. Vinci, birthplace of the renowned artist Leonardo, is located 42 km west of Florence and hosts a museum in his honor. You can also visit his home and take a wine tasting tour in one of the many wine making farms nearby.
Another charming choice for a day trip is the walled city of Certaldo Alto located 47 km south of Florence. A walk down the main street via Boccaccio is a treat as you gaze at the surrounding palaces and flowered window sills and visit the PALAZZO PRETORIO (or “dei Vicari”) considered a symbol of Certaldo with its brick facade and terracotta glazed coats of arms representing the vicars of old who lived and governed there. A lovely clock tower flanks the edifice on its right side and the prisons, meeting rooms, archive, chapel and private lodgings of the vicars can still be seen today.
MONTECATINI OR MONSUMMANO TERME
Depending on the kind of activities you enjoy, the beautiful Tuscan wedding ideas are plentiful and varied. Book a 2 hour mountainous motorcycle ride that loops through the two major spa towns in Tuscany, the Montecatini or Monsummano Terme. Cap it off with an indulgent and luxurious spa treatment or take a dip in the hot waters of the thermal open-air pool in Monsummano Terme, while relishing the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
FRESH FOOD LOVERS
Lucca, Montecarlo and Versilia Wine and Olive Oil Trail is a treat for those who appreciate fine fresh food and home grown products. Soak up the feast for the eyes with Lucca’s wide variety of landscapes: coastal plains, mountains, valleys and ancient cities. And take advantage of its distinctive local food products sold in several of the local farms such as DOC wine, DOP extra virgin olive oil, Tuscan bread, special butchery, mountain cheeses and delectable fresh fish dishes that are are some examples of the area’s excellence in taste, tradition and ancient agricultural methods.
Want some exercise to work off the effects of the culinary adventure you have been experiencing so far? Take a CYCLING TOUR from Pitigliano to Grosseto along the Via Clodia. This ancient Roman consular communication road built to keep in contact with all the conquered Etruscan cities. The road was 4 meters wide, with wharves, bridges, and hydraulic works for defensive purposes, with intermittent rest areas located every 20 kilometres and a floor made with slabs of paving. This is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are worth the hard work with views of gorgeous skies, hills, streams and archeological sites.
Visit the Versilia, famed for bicycle paths overlooking beautiful beaches where you and your guests can stop by and take a swim or just luxuriate in the warm sand. If you follow the bike trail from Viareggio, along the avenues through the Migliarino Park, you will eventually get to Torre del Lago. The town was home to famous composer, Giacomo Puccini and the house that he built and where he composed some of his most famous operas including Manon Lescaut, La Boheme, Madame Butterfly and La Fanciulla del West. The house is opened to tourists and has a museum dedicated to the composer. Versilia is also known for its fashionable nightclubs perfect for a memorable post wedding party extravaganza.
Another bicycle tour is the one down the Maremma coast characterized by quiet and wild beaches, rocky ravines, elegant bathing resorts, parks, protected natural areas, hills, mountains, great artistic cities, small medieval towns, caves and archaeological sites. Visit the stunning town of Massa Carrara with the sea on one side and beautiful, rolling countryside on the other. Gaze down from atop the craggy peaks of the Apuan Alps, and treat yourself to a panoramic view of the entire coastline, from the Versilia to the Gulf of La Spezia. Hundreds of years of water erosion resulted in splendid marble caves and stunning white cliffs throughout the area.
Interested in diving? There are seven islands in the Tuscan Archipelago and Elba is the largest of these. There are bike trails, footpaths that let you explore this beautiful island. But if you are passionate about diving, try Capraia, an island known for its rich marine life and many wild, uncontaminated areas for exploration.
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Rosa Tritto is a premium wedding planner based in Manhattan, New York. She specializes in Italian Destination Weddings in Tuscany.