For most couples, the walk down or wait at the aisle is an elemental part of their wedding day. Perhaps you imagine it happening in a ceremony at church or the sleek setting of a cosmopolitan town hall. But imagine a different backdrop for a moment – rows upon rows of vines, the sweet scent of sun-ripened grapes, and the whistle of olive trees in the wind.
In his 17 AD work “The Art of Love”, the Roman poet Ovid writes that wine “warms the blood, adds luster to the eyes”, and that “wine and love have ever been allies”. Where better to declare your love, then, than amid the tender landscape of an Italian vineyard?
Chiesa Del Carmine, Umbria
A lovingly restored farmhouse surrounded by peaceful meadows, Chiesa Del Carmin, is all rustic Italian charm – but with the modern comforts one might need for a wedding. The eight-bedroom farmhouse has ample space to host a bridal party. Rooms have been considerately renovated and feature original, exposed wooden beams, iron-framed beds with plush Italian linens, and classical Italian furniture. Almost all come with their sundrenched terraces, but perhaps the most romantic is Assisi, with its free-standing bath and sweeping views over Chiesa Del Carmine’s olive groves and vineyards.
Wedding guests can wander through the stunning landscaped gardens, past stone fountains, shaded aperitivo tables and the glittering turquoise pool (framed by an exquisite vine-draped pergola inspired by the woodland setting of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
To add to the fairytale, Chiesa Del Carmine has a beautiful private chapel that dates back to the 11th century. After a symbolic ceremony (accompanied by grand piano or string quartet should you wish), each couple receives a Chiesa del Carmine wedding certificate before settling into dinner under the stars. Chiesa del Carmine will create a wedding menu entirely bespoke for you. Favourites include fried zucchini and sage leaves, sheep’s milk ricotta ravioli with braised ox cheek, and free-range chicken with violet aubergine, garden herbs and 36-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano; all enjoyed with wine made from the surrounding Chiesa del Carmine vineyards. Celebrations can easily be stretched to the next day with wine tasting, truffle hunting and vineyard touring all on offer, or perhaps a poolside barbeque featuring Umbrian pork sausages, Pancetta and Capolocollo from the grill. The expert team at Chiesa del Carmine can do as little or as much as couples desire, from arranging flowers, musicians, and make-up artists to award-winning local photographers, wedding coordinators, and even bi-lingual babysitters.
Wedding party size: 70 max
Querceto Di Castellina, Tuscany
A charming agriturismo in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Querceto Di Castellina hosts just five to eight weddings a year. This sought-after property prides itself on its highly personalised, in-house wedding planning service, with many of their married couples choosing to return, seeing it as a home away from home. Very much a family-run business, there is a unique warmth to every step of the wedding planning process at Querceto Di Castellina, from the initial consultation to assisting with pre- and post-travel arrangements. The recent renovation of the ancient cottages has been heavily inspired by the beating heart of Querceto Di Castellina – its wine. Staves from the oak barrels have been artfully transformed into lamp bases and an exceptional headboard in the primary suite.
Symbolic ceremonies usually occur amid the olive trees, where the ribbons of Querceto Di Castellinas vines are framed by flower arches made of white roses, eucalyptus and leaves from the surrounding trees. Dinner is enjoyed in Querceto Di Castellinas Livia white wine vineyard, where on warm evenings, the sweet smell of neighbouring grapes brings a honeyed perfume to the air. The elegant stretch of table veiled in pearly white linen is assembled just feet away from the vines that bore the fruit of the evening's wine. The setting is quite magical, lit by just the warm glow of hurricane lamps, a sprinkling of overhead festoon lights, and the light of the Tuscan moon if the night sky is clear. Despite this secluded setting, Querceto Di Castellina miraculously produces each element of a classic Italian feast. The primi (or starter) might be handmade pecorino ravioli with mint pesto; secondi, a tagliata of beef cooked over firewood, whilst dolce is a celebration of Italian delights. Think gloriously jammy fig crostata with fresh vanilla custard, traditional picciarelli (almond cookies), and featherlight bigné (Italian choux pastry) stuffed with chocolate and cream. Later in the evening, Querceto Di Castellina wheels out the gelato cart, rejuvenating guests with scoops of homemade stracciatella and lemon-mint gelato so that they can dance the night away.
Wedding party size: 75 max
Masseria Amastoula, Apulia
Perched on a hilltop in the historical territory of Crispiano, known as “the city of a hundred farms”, Masseria Amastuola is surrounded by endless vineyards and ancient olive trees. A restored farm, the rooms have been cleverly furnished, combining original materials with the finest modern luxuries, with great care not to alter the original architecture. At the heart of the estate is a dramatic stone-walled courtyard. Come wedding season, this celestial space becomes a stage for the most enchanting weddings.
Tables draped in flowing white linen are decorated with heady jasmine and olive leaves before wedding guests sit down to a banquet of executive chef Luigi Chirico’s exceptional cooking. The menus celebrate typical Apulian dishes with canapés replaced with refined Aperitivo. Think bubbly focaccia stuffed with onion, capers and local olives, swordfish fritters with aubergine and mint, and traditional mozzarella-filled, fried panzerotti. As well as the most elegant puddings, such as apricot and basil parfait with salted butter caramel, and chocolate mousse with rosemary oil, Masseria Amastuolas pastry chef can create a wedding cake in the form of a tiered sponge or a classic Italian millefoglie. Beneath the ancient walls of Masseria Amastuola lies its traditional wine cellar, home to all of its own-produced organic wines. Tastings are encouraged, and, should couples wish to host their guests or close friends and family for day before-or-after celebrations, the team can organise a walking tour through the Amastuola organic vineyard followed by lunch on the terrace. Intimate symbolic ceremonies can be held in the onsite chapel (which has room for 30), whilst larger wedding parties can be hosted outside against the stunning backdrop of leafy vines and one-hundred-year-old olive trees. Weddings at Masseria Amastuola reach beyond the spectacular, with gelato carts, raw seafood bars, cigar corners, and even live mozzarella demonstrations easily arranged by the highly attentive creative team.
Wedding party size: 160+
Locanda La Raia By Casas Latinas, Gavi
A stunning mansion and biodynamic winery set within the green Gavi hills of Northern Italy, Locanda La Raia is unquestionably one of the most elegant estates to host a wedding. Part of the glamorous Casas Latinas collection founded by Massimo Ianni (whose past successes include Hotel Cafe Royal in London and the Armani Hotel in Dubai), Locanda La Raia are experts when it comes to elevated luxury. Couples unwind in the mansion’s private spa before their wedding day, with a sauna, steam room, fully equipped gym, and indoor and outdoor pools. Knots are melted away by the skilful on-site massage therapists on hand to soothe away any pre-wedding nerves.
The overriding feel of Locanda La Raia is that of utmost serenity. Rooms come with hypnotic landscape views and are furnished in a distinctive, sophisticated Italian style. The refined colour palette is inspired heavily by the beautifully painted mansions of the Novi Ligure region, with soft furnishings upholstered in calming tones of fior di latte and oyster white paired with flashes of forest green and velvet-rich red. Halls and corridors feel equal parts majestic and contemporary, with Locanda La Raia also being home to several noteworthy contemporary artworks from the collection of the Viasaterna gallery in Milan.
Weddings can take place by the sparkling blue lake or within the leafy vineyards that surround the mansion, with guests able to wander, champagne in hand, through Locanda La Raia’s very own sculpture trail featuring works by Remo Salvadori and Korean artist Koo Jeong A. The dedicated wedding team will work with couples first to determine the style and vision of the wedding before arranging the entirety of the day, taking care of everything from the flowers to the music. Wedding menus at Locanda La Raia are centred around the surrounding countryside’s bounty, echoing the seasons’ rhythm. Bread is baked on-site each morning, fruit and vegetables are picked from the garden, and meat is reared from free-range Fassona cows. To pair with dinner, Locanda La Raia offers its organic-certified biodynamic wines, including its Gavi Riserva Vigna della Madonnina and Gavi Pisé, which are both multiple award-winning. Attention to detail is paramount when providing you and your guests with the most exclusively indulgent experience. As well as wine tours and tastings, the team at Locanda La Raia can arrange cookery classes, guided bike rides and lakeside picnics in this enchanting and incomparable setting.
Wedding party size: 40
Il Borgo di Vignamaggio, Chianti
Set within over 400 hectares of uninterrupted vineyards, forests and gardens, this XIVth century villa is a jewel of the Chianti countryside. Recently renovated to its original splendour, Il Borgo di Vignamaggio has only been open to guests since August 2022. This Renaissance villa has unparalleled majesty, boasting its own banquet room, theatre, dazzling ballroom, and separate dancing room (complete with a glossy bar). During the cooler months, weddings can be held in La Galleria, the villa’s spectacular glass greenhouse, which is scented with zesty citrus trees and Italian herbs. Come spring, guests glide from the sun-dappled ceremony under the rose-entwined pergola to the magnificent stone piazza. Glasses are filled with chilled sparkling Italian wine as the sky becomes a stage for glittering fireworks. For smaller weddings, Il Borgo di Vignamaggio is also home to its own charming chapel, which features exquisite original Renaissance frescos and is perfect for intimate ceremonies. Couples can indulge in the sweet life as they prepare for the day ahead, making use of the on-site barber and solarium and turquoise pool surrounded by mesmerising rows of vines, olive groves and cypress trees.
Festivities easily stretch over three days Il Borgo di Vignamaggio. A delightful option for a day-after celebration is to enjoy a picnic or feasting-style lunch in the orchard, perhaps alongside a tasting of the estate’s wines. Be sure to taste the Albaluce rosé, a stunningly pale blushing wine made from the surrounding Merlot and Sirah grapes. Anything is possible at Il Borgo di Vignamaggio, where the team can take care of every detail of your wedding day. From canapés and flowers to private concerts and late-night stone-baked pizzas by the pool, the highly-accomplished events team will work with you to turn any want or wishful daydream into a reality. Enjoy wine tasting, cycling and vineyard tours as you step into the first few days of married life or slide onto a sun lounger by the pool as you breathe in the aroma of the neighbouring jasmine and flowering lime trees and wait for a Campari spritz from the Ridolfi pool bar.
Wedding party size: 100+
Villa Cozzano, Tuscany
This striking and quintessentially Tuscan villa is set midway between the scenic wine regions of Montepulciano and Castiglione del Lago (known as the Pearl of Trasimeno). The history of Villa Cozzano dates back to the early 16th century, with the estate originally home to six peasant families who worked the surrounding land. Later, Villa Cozzano was inherited by the Lazzerini family, who transformed it into a cultural honeypot for noble Tuscan families to meet, dance and enjoy local wines. Vineyards, olive groves, and endless fields of sunflowers and wheat stretch as far as the eye can see. In the syrupy evening light, one would easily be forgiven for thinking it was Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck whooshing down the olive tree-lined path on their rickety vespa.
There is something innately romantic about the land surrounding Villa Cozzano. It is nearly impossible to pick a place anywhere on the property that wouldn’t be spectacular for a wedding. Part of the charm of weddings at Villa Cozzano is their intimacy of them. Wedding parties are usually limited to sixty guests, while the villa can sleep up to 25 in its six charming apartments. The most romantic is La Terrazina, which features painted stone walls, arched ceilings and a terrace that is perhaps the best spot for newlyweds to catch the setting sun. Wedding wine is sourced from the surrounding vineyards (many family-run), while the food celebrates the best of Tuscan cuisine. Guests can enjoy wine tasting at some of the region’s most celebrated wineries just minutes from the villa. As well as wine tastings, the team at Villa Cozzano can arrange pasta-making classes, horseback riding and even Vespa rentals. Should couples seek something more robust, a brochure of polished classic cars is available. Slide into a vintage Maggliolone Cabriolet or iconic Fiat 500 before zooming off into the sunset.
Wedding party size: 60
Castello di Vicarello, Tuscany
Acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapevines border the sun-bleached stone walls of Castello di Vicarello. Walking around the grounds, settling on a single most romantic spot to host a wedding is hard. Elegant gardens are filled with the perfume of lavender and climbing roses. Ancient olive groves offer the perfect afternoon shade. High on the roof terrace, guests can enjoy panoramic views over the surrounding hills while a refreshing gentle breeze blows down by the glassy blue pools. The gardens best suit large weddings, with supper enjoyed under a canopy of vine leaves and golden lanterns. As well as growing the grapes for its award-winning wines, Castello di Vicarello also tend an abundance of vegetables and herbs in its organic garden. Chefs at Castello di Vicarello harvest ingredients at the prime of their season, working with couples to create an entirely bespoke wedding menu, from fine Italian dining to traditional Tuscan recipes.
Built by the Republic of Sienna over 900 years ago, Castello di Vicarello has been sensitively refurbished with rooms featuring original stone and brick walls, smooth antiques and hushed neutrals. At the highest point lies the Torre suite. This fairy-tale-like room has the privacy of an entire floor to itself, including a stunning living area with arched windows, a traditional fireplace, and its own roof terrace. Couples can enjoy their first sip of married life overlooking the painterly fields and forests before sinking into their marble bathtub.
The expert events team at Castello di Vicarello are on hand to arrange even the most specific wedding requests. As well as managing table settings, flowers, hair and make-up and music, they can organise in-room massages and beauty treatments to ensure couples feel their absolute best on their wedding day.
Wedding party size: 100+
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