I love your beautiful seas and your sublime Alps, I love your solemn monuments and your immortal memories, I love your glory and your beauty
Edmondo De Amicis, ‘Cuore’
Italy, a complex place for its inhabitants, but full of marvellous things for those looking in from outside. Home of famous poets, sailors and saints, it brings you countless works of artistic beauty and unique landscapes. It’s no surprise, then, that it’a the world’s fifth most visited destination, according to an annual ranking by the United National World Tourism Organisation. More than 46 million tourists per year visit its art works, exceptional historical past and natural beauty coupled with amazing food and drink. And Italy’s not just for holidays – it’s also one of the leading destinations for an international ‘I Do’.
As you will have seen on the pages of gossip magazines over the years, the weddings of the international jetset are often held in Italy. So if you’re thinking about planning a destination wedding in Italy, how about checking out the Zankyou Magazine guide we’ve drawn up for Venere readers, so you can find the hottest spots for your glamourous big day.
Rome and its surrounding areas
The Eternal City was the location for the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who got married in 2006 at the Castello Odescalchi on Lake Bracciano, just a few kilometres from the Italian capital. A $3 million wedding, which Cruise defined as “the most beautiful film of my life”, it doesn’t matter if your budget’s a little tighter, as there are plenty of castles for weddings in Rome for filmstars and mere mortals alike.
Our dearest George Clooney bought Villa Oleandra and Villa Margherita on Lake Como as an oasis of tranquility. But he’s not the only star in the area. Emily Blunt (star of The Devil Wears Prada) and John Krasinki (The Office) chose George’s summer retreat for their wedding. The location, a favourite haunt for paparazzi, was perfect, as are the many other villas suitable for weddings on Lake Como, where couples will be able to experience an elegant ceremony and reception in an amazing setting.
The heel of Italy is a true paradise, with plenty of wild and romantic scenery. This is where Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake decided to get married, in the exclusive Borgo Egnazia resort in Fasano, Puglia. And a beautiful party it was, by the sea with fireworks, live music and plenty of cheese, olives and local wine to eat and drink. So if you want an amazing experience, why not check out the different reception locations in Puglia, which includes Lecce province, Brindisi and Taranto, all offering breathtaking views, trapped between the magic of the Ionian and Adriatic seas.
The Tuscan countryside
Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder is the latest celebrity to choose the sweet hills of Tuscany for his wedding. Medieval castles, romantic Sienna and Florence, there are so many perfect settings for a wedding in Tuscany. And what about the marvellous farmhouses for weddings dotted around Tuscany, along the coast and hinterlands, with the typical scenery of olive fields and vineyards.
It’s no surprise too that homegrown stars tend to stay in Italy for their weddings. And couples where one member is from another country are inevitibly convinced to stay in Italy too. As an example, the infamous wedding of Argentine model Belen and her Italian model boyfriend Stefano took place in small town in Novara province.
So the next time you open a magazine and spot a celebrity wedding in Italy, remember to look at the destination, because who knows, the next one getting snapped in a wedding dress or suit there might be you!
Simona Spinola, Country Manager, Zankyou Wedding Lists