The best country wedding venues
Tie the knot in a chic and laidback country setting
by Silvia Bortolotto
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There’s nothing more romantic and elegant than a country Wedding in Tuscany. Home to some of Italy’s best-loved countryside, Tuscany is the perfect choice at any time of the year, offering fabulous food, magnificent art and architecture, and stunning landscapes where you can experience the colors and aromas of the Mediterranean. Home to charming medieval towns and rolling hills coated with vineyards and lined with rows of towering cypress trees, it’s a magical place to host an unforgettable wedding far from the crowds – perfect for couples looking for a chic and laidback country setting.
With its aristocratic palazzi and villas with manicured Italian gardens, ancient hamlets and ruins converted into 5-star resorts, Tuscany is home to a number of exceptional country venues where you can host religious or civil services and sophisticated wedding receptions offering splendid views of the Tuscan countryside. There are scores of impressive castles too, perfect to host fairytale weddings (read also “Wedding in Italy: the country’s most exclusive venues“). All you need to do now is choose the venue that is best suited to you – the one that truly makes your heart race.
Villa Cetinale | Siena Strada di Cetinale, 9
Designed in the 17th century by architect Carlo Fontana to celebrate the election of Pope Alexander VII, Villa Cetinale is an architectural gem in the province of Siena. The villa is one of Tuscany’s most impressive former private residences, a utopian marvel in Roman Baroque style. With its solemn works of art, trompe l’oeil frescoes, classic symmetry, fabulous gardens and refined atmosphere, Villa Cetinale is the perfect setting to host a sophisticated lavish wedding in Tuscany. Suited to wedding receptions of all sizes, it’s home to twelve exquisite bedrooms where newlyweds can spend a fairytale wedding night. To make the most of the spectacular gardens, plan a wedding in the summer months, when flowers are in full bloom.
Argentaia | Magliano in Toscana Strada Colle di Lupo, località Banditaccia
Neither a hotel nor a private residence, Argentaia has redefined the concept of luxury hospitality. Built on the ruins of a monastery atop Banditaccia Hill, Argentaia has the appearance of a medieval hamlet, and is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities for ultimate comfort. Offering panoramic 360° views stretching all the way to the Capalbio Sea, the venue was built with a sustainable approach, using recycled natural materials. It’s perfect for couples seeking a luxurious venue offering utmost privacy and rural, rustic charm. The magnificent suites can sleep up to 60 wedding guests.
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco | Montalcino Località Castiglion del Bosco
Nestled in the wine-producing region of Brunello di Montalcino in the UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco occupies a gorgeous country estate spread out over 5000 acres. Dominated by the ruins of a medieval castle that gives the estate its name, it’s an elegant and sublimely peaceful venue with a wonderful natural setting – a great choice for a country chic destination wedding in Tuscany. Within the grounds is the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, where religious services can be held, while the estate’s restored cobbled hamlet is perfect to host receptions. As well as accommodation in comfortable and opulent suites and villas, the hotel has a private 18-hole golf course and a Spa where guests can unwind and be pampered. All manner of day trips and culinary tours can be organized too.
Belmond Villa San Michele | Fiesole Via Doccia, 4
This former monastery, whose façade is attributed to Michelangelo, is conveniently located just a few minutes from splendid Florence (you could zip into town on an Ape Calessino). Belmond Villa San Michele enjoys a wonderful position on the hills of Fiesole – the views of Florence from the terraced gardens are divine. Offering contemporary luxury, the hotel has a refined Renaissance-style setting and is ideal to host both large and small celebrations. It has a range of versatile spaces, including the Cenacolo Room, pretty rose gardens, La Loggia Restaurant and a panoramic swimming pool. During the day, your guests can enjoy a range of sophisticated activities such as Tuscan cooking classes and fresco painting workshops.
La Foce | Chianciano Terme Strada della Vittoria, 61
La Foce is set in the rolling hills of the UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia. Formerly a post office and an inn, then incorporated into the property of the Hospital of Siena, it was later abandoned, and subsequently purchased by Antonio and Iris Onigo in 1924, who transformed the building into the magnificent property it is today. Designed by Iris and English architect Cecil Pinset, the tiered Italian gardens hug the hillside, and are home to a travertine fountain, a cave, lemons, cypresses, pergolas ablaze with wisteria, and boxwood beds composed in the shape of an octagon. There are a number of cottages and guestrooms for wedding guests both within and adjacent to the property.
Il Borro Relais & Chateaux | San Giustino Valdarno Località Borro, 1
Occupying over 1700 acres, the Borro Relais & Chateaux estate near Arezzo has a rich history. It was for many years the residence of several noble families; more recently, it was acquired by fashion magnate Ferragamo, who transformed it into a fairytale property. The estate comprises a number of buildings, including a historic Renaissance-style villa with Italian gardens, and an authentic medieval village with charming cobbled streets that transports guests back in time. Among the many activities on offer are Vespa tours, heli trips, and hot air balloon rides to soak up the region’s wonderful landscapes.
Villa Grabau | San Pancrazio Via di Matraia, 269
Located a few kilometers from the center of Lucca, Villa Grabau is immersed in a lush private park occupying 22 acres. This sumptuous historic residence is utterly charming, striking the perfect balance between Renaissance and Neoclassical styles. Civil services can be celebrated in the “Hall of Fake Curtains”, which is adorned with beautiful frescoes depicting dancing nymphs and geometric motifs, or outside at the Teatro di Verzura (Green Theatre), which is carved into pruned boxwoods. As well as in the villa’s beautifully embellished ground floor halls, receptions can take place in the romantic Lemon House, where creeping figs artfully cascade from ceiling beams. Couples wishing to accommodate their guests on the grounds can do so in the park’s three outer buildings and in the charming B&B.
Borgo Pignano | Volterra Località Pignano, 6
Set in the heart of the tranquil Tuscan countryside, Borgo Pignano is an elegant 750-acre estate home to an organic farm with a sustainable ethos. The estate includes an 18th century villa, a wonderfully restored hamlet dating back to Etruscan times, a splendid salt-water infinity pool, vegetable gardens and orchards, lakes and waterfalls, meadows and woods, and a riding school. Offering a magical setting with dreamy views, it’s the perfect venue for a fairytale country chic wedding in Tuscany. There are plenty of event spaces, including a panoramic terrace, courtyard, art gallery, ballroom, library and the Church of San Bartolomeo.
Villa Gamberaia | Settignano Via del Rossellino, 72
Built in the early 1600s, this charming former residence offers spectacular views of the verdant Arno Valley and Florence’s Cathedral dome by Brunelleschi. Renowned for its gardens, which have been studied, emulated and depicted by numerous artists and enthusiasts over the course of the years, the villa offers the perfect setting for outdoor candle-lit receptions. Its interior spaces are equally attractive, with two elegant ground floor halls and an internal courtyard. A short drive from the Tuscan capital, the villa is ideally situated for exploring the city’s cultural and artistic attractions, fashion scene, arts and crafts, and exceptional restaurants.
Villa Mangiacane | San Casciano Via Faltignano, 4
Located a few kilometers south of Florence in the wine-producing Chianti Classico region, Villa Mangiacane takes its name from the Neapolitan mastiffs that once guarded the property. Offering wonderful views of Florence, this splendid 15th century villa was built by the Machiavelli family and designed by Renaissance master Michelangelo. The villa comprises two buildings: the magnificent classically designed Palazzo Machiavelli, adorned with centuries-old frescoes and eclectic works of art; and Villa Mazzei, a warm and welcoming country resort. This is a great location to host a spectacular wedding in Tuscany, complete with fireworks and hot air balloon rides. There’s a helipad for guests wishing to travel by helicopter.
Borgo Santo Pietro | Chiusdino Località Palazzetto
This 5-star luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the Siena countryside was lovingly restored by Danish couple Jeanette & Claus Thottrup. Featuring exquisite antique interior design, Borgo Santo Pietro combines nature, comfort and wellness. It’s a veritable paradise for the senses: the Michelin-starred restaurant Meo Modo and the hotel’s cooking classes tantalize the palate; the holistic Spa offers massage treatments that use the power of touch to heal the body; the garden’s medicinal herbs stimulate the olfactory senses; the quiet atmosphere and gentle sounds of nature calm the mind and body; while the sublime view is a feast for the eyes. For wedding parties with over 20 attendees, the hotel must be hired on an exclusive use basis. Civil and religious services can be celebrated within the walls of the nearby Abbazia di San Galgano, a spectacular open-air church.
Villa le Rose | Tavarnuzze Via Brancolano, 2
Nestled among vineyards and olive groves at the end of an avenue of cypress trees, this exclusive Renaissance residence is a short drive from the center of Florence. Commissioned in the 15th century by Marquis Antinori, Villa Le Rose is today owned by the Ferragamo family, who carried out extensive renovation works to enhance the character of the property. The villa is the ideal venue to host a lavish weddings in Tuscany year-round, with large spaces including a ballroom with pretty pastel colored walls and wonderfully high ceilings adorned with majestic chandeliers. Equipped with modern amenities, the villa’s romantic rooms overlook the gardens; they’re perfect not only for the bride and groom, but also for close friends and relatives.
La Pescaia Resort | Sticciano Scalo Località Pescaia
Nestled among centuries-old olive trees and fragrant jasmine flowers on the ancient road that connects Siena to Rome, the enchanting family-run La Pescaia Resort in the heart of Tuscany’s Maremma is one of the few remaining 19th century villa-farms in the area. The result of painstaking conversation work, the resort exudes an intimate and authentic atmosphere where every detail has been thought about. It’s a haven for nature lovers, with horseback riding activities and delectable local cuisine, making this the perfect place to indulge in some ‘dolce far niente’ (‘the sweetness of doing nothing’), that is, celebrating the beauty of life and savoring every moment. It’s a great choice for young couples seeking a romantic outdoor summer wedding in Tuscany, with heaps of flowers and candles, and dancing by the pool.