Italy is high on the list of countries for European destination weddings – and with good reason. Its timeless elegance, natural beauty and vast array of majestic historic properties provide the perfect location for your special day. We’ve chosen these exquisite villas and castles from the Veneto to Lazio and from the edges of Lake Como to the hilltops of Tuscany where you’re guaranteed to have a happily-ever-after event.

borgo weddings

Photos on right by Simply Captivating

 Borgo Finocchieto, Tuscany

Celebrate your big day by taking over a whole Tuscan Hamlet at the Borgo Finocchieto. Surrounded by the rolling vineyards of Montalcino wine country, this small hilltop village features a cluster of recently restored medieval houses and graceful grounds, creating a perfectly private and enchanting wedding venue. The Borgo has already hosted a number of marvelous weddings:

“Thanks for an amazing experience! You helped make our wedding everything we had dreamed of. The Borgo is indeed a special place because of your hard work. We will have nothing but special memories of our time here. Hopefully it will be the first of many trips to Borgo Finocchieto.”  – Kristin and Tony Garcia, Miami, Florida

Special gathers were kept in mind during the Borgo’s restoration and thus its event facilities can manage weddings from small groups to up to 180 guests. Its team works with one of Italy’s top wedding planner, who is himself a star and television personality or guests can also hire their own wedding planners.

The ceremony can take place in its shady arcaded inner courtyard or on its expansive lawn giving way to the breathtaking views. The reception can be a more casual affair or on the outdoor dining terrace to the backdrop of the sunset or an elegant meal served in the formal dining room or ballroom, regardless, guests’ palates will be tantalized with Chef Daniele Ciofi’s special-occasion menus of classic Tuscan dishes and seasonal favorites paired with the perfect combination of local vintages.

The interior design was just as important as the structural restoration and the decor remains faithful to its heritage with a collection of beautiful furniture and artwork. Spread amongst the buildings are 22 suites which sleeps 44 people, additional guests can be accommodated nearby. The complex includes a high tech gym, a steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool, hot tub and pool.

Forge your own special memories at the Borgo Finocchieto at this link.

Isola Santa Cristina, Venetian Lagoon

Venice is the City of Love, and countless are those who travel there to celebrate their nuptials in style. Wedding destinations in Venice typically focus on luxury hotels on the Grand Canal – a place to see and be seen. But for those looking for privacy – for the kind of exclusive luxury that only space and a natural setting away from the tourist crowds can provide – a private island not twenty minutes from the city is the perfect choice.

Isola Santa Cristina is a 75-acre property with views over the famed Burano and Torcello Islands available through Siglinde Fischer / Charming Places. Set among organic fish farms, orchards, and a private lake, a nine-room villa brings contemporary comfort to an authentically Venetian environment.

“Walk down cypress-lined paths to an ancient brick chapel, or utter vows on the island’s charming peninsula as sea birds land on the distant marshlands and wild peacocks attend the ceremony,” suggests Allison Zurfluh of Isola Santa Cristina. “A pool area with teak decking sets the backdrop for a romantic outdoor reception, and two patios provide intimate nooks to mix and mingle.

“As the sun sets over the island and some of the guests catch private boats back to Venice or adjoining islands for the night, the villa’s rooftop altana with a panoramic view on the lagoon is an idyllic setting for newlyweds to wave them on their way.”

Make your wedding intimate and unique at Isola Santa Cristina by contacting the Siglinde Fischer / Charming Places team here.

Villa Passalaqua weddings

Photos by KEDA.Z Photography

Villa Passalacqua, Lake Como

A national monument and once the residence of composer Vincenzo Bellini, the lavish waterfront Villa Passalacqua is the perfect venue for a storybook on coveted and picturesque Lake Como.

Available through Villas and Apartments Abroad, its director Sylvia Delvaille Jones can work closely with couples to design a dream wedding in Italy. In fact, she’s already organized two weddings at this sublime villa.

“For the first I handled everything from caterer, music, sourcing the best wines from all over Italy using my wine expert with nose like a truffle pig sniffing out the best vintages throughout Italy and collectors in France,” explains Sylvia. “He has done this for me on a couple of occasions. This client was a true aficionado who knew what he wanted and we delivered as he asked.

“The second wedding was for Jay and Kendall Patry wedding in September 2016 (pictured above). It as a “Millennial” wedding with a stunning and sophisticated young couple with their quiet affluence.”

The well-manicured grounds feature fruit trees, roses, jasmine, and oleander as well as other lush vegetation and there’s even a 200-year old greenhouse found in the lake house. The stylish interior is decorated in Venetian chandeliers, historic paintings and period furniture. There are nice bedrooms and nine bathrooms, sleeping a total of 25. Guests can the billiards room, cinema room, workout room, music room, and grand-size swimming pool overlooking majestic Lake Como.

Make the most of Sylvia Delvaille Jones’s vast knowledge and attention to detail to plan the ideal wedding to represent your love by reaching out to her here.

Marchesa weddings

The Palazzo Marchesa, Tuscany

With its historic charm, aristocratic elegance and gorgeous grounds this 17th century palazzo, located in Ancaiano district near Siena and available through In Villas Veritas, provides a dramatic setting for a magical wedding.

Designed by Carlo Fontana, the Baroque villa was built in 1680 by Cardinal Flavio Chigi for Pope Alexander VII – Fabio Chigi. Its gardens are often considered to be some of the most beautiful in the whole country, dazzling any visitor with climbing roses, fragrant lilies, vibrant irises, and vine-covered pergolas. In the spring months the wisteria turns the villa walls and walkways into a sea of purple. The surrounding fields of poppies and wildflowers juxtapose the cypresses, olive trees and vineyards whereas geometrically shaped flowerbeds and groomed hedges frame the citrus garden. Indeed, the lawned allée leading to the citrus garden would be ideal for a wedding.

The villa sleeps 27 and can be rented along with a seven-bedroom Casale and another three-bedroom villa on the same estate for a total of 23 bedrooms. The refined interior features marble tables, antiques, statues, wooden beams and a toasty fireplace. Of the 13 bedrooms many have king or queen four-poster beds and en-suites with marble tubs. There is also a fully-equipped kitchen, cinema room, games room, pool and tennis court. The area offers a vast array of cultural, active and gastronomic activities to keep guests busy before or after the big day.

Step into the shoes of prince and princess for your big day at the Palazzo Marchesa by contacting In Villas Veritas at this link.

Villa Pietro, Lazio

Combine both your dreams of a medieval castle and a refined historic villa at the spectacular Villa Pietro. Situated near Cisterna and Cori and only a 50-minute drive southeast from Rome, the incredibly romantic 500-hectare estate features a late 17th-century aristocratic villa, a world-famous English Garden as well as the ruins of Roman structures, a medieval castle and a chapel – the ideal romantic setting for the perfect fairytale wedding.

The unique estate, available through Carpe Diem Luxury Travel, was restored by architect Gae Aulenti, the genius behind the conversion of Paris’ Musée d’Orsay from a train station into a museum. She succeeded at maintaining the property’s elegance and refinement while incorporating some architectural avant-garden. It is divided into the Villa (1,520 sq m) and the Castle/Dependence, home to four and three spacious bedrooms respectively.

Highlights of the Villa include a large vaulted entrance, a custom spiral staircase, designed by Gae Aulenti herself, and a beautifully decorated drawing room. There’s also a large kitchen, a breakfast-room and a dining room seating up to 14 which all open onto the garden. The Castle/Dependence also has its own kitchen and dining room, plus a living room and a vast library/media room with projector, which could be of use doing a wedding reception.

There are many lovely areas which could serve as the location of the ceremony, especially in the gardens, which were designed by landscape architects Dan Pearson and Stuart Barfoot and are famous throughout Italy. Both relaxed and refined, they feature colorful flower beds, rose gardens, wisteria and jasmine trellises, pergolas and private romantic nooks. The swimming pool shaded by a medieval tower and wall and a lake inhabited by swans are of particular note. There’s also an olive grove and a working farm which provides the villa with fresh fruit and vegetables and can be included in the excellent local dishes served during the wedding reception.

This part of Lazio has many interesting natural and cultural attractions to keep your guests occupied before or after the wedding including beautiful beaches, the Roman and Medieval town of Cori, the gorgeous Gardens of Ninfa and the wilder Circeo National Park.

Make your special day a truly exceptional event at Villa Pietro by reaching out to Carpe Diem Luxury Travel here.


Limonaia di Celsa, Tuscany

As soon as you drive through the tall iron gate and down the treelined lane, you’ll be swept up in the entrancing ambiance of the Limonaia di Celsia. Arriving at the castle, you’ll be completely bewitched. With a history of over seven hundred years and a stunning setting overlooking mature woodlands, the bucolic Tuscan hills, Monte Amiata and even Siena’s famous bell tower and cathedral, the charms of this beautiful property will ensure you have a happily-ever-after wedding.

Owned by the descendants of the original castle built on the estate in the thirteenth century, the building was reconfigured in the 17th and again in the nineteenth centuries and is available through Homebase Abroad. The exterior, with its stoic tower and imposing stone walls, are proof of its impressive history. Its interiors are welcoming with high ceilings, large glass doors and windows casting plenty of natural light into its spacious rooms. The five bedrooms are decorated in light colors to maintain a bright feel and feature beautiful linens and luxurious baths. Guests enjoy getting their day off to a great start with a hearty breakfast in its country kitchen with seating for 10 and direct access to the garden.

The large private grounds include an Italianate boxwood garden, formal ‘alles’ leading to Baroque pools, a maze of pathways through woodland, lawns, a rose-covered pergola for outdoor dining, a pool, a tennis court, a fruit orchard and a vegetable garden which yields fresh produce for the guests.

Besides its elegance and natural splendor, the estate makes for the perfect venue for weddings thanks to its sixteenth century chapel, designed by Architect Baldassarre Peruzzi, who was born in the area. The lawn in front of the chapel is another excellent location for exchanging vows. The ceremony can be followed by a reception in the garden, the castle’s courtyard or in the barn that stores the lemon trees in winter, which can hold up to 180 guests.

At only 30 minutes from Siena, the estate is an fabulous base for exploring all the pleasures of Tuscany. Guests can enjoy the region’s many cultural and culinary pleasures or the bride and groom may want to commemorate their union on an early morning hot air balloon ride to take in the stunning views.

Prepare the Italian weddings of your dreams at the Limonaia di Celsia with the help of Homebase Abroad at this link.

Staying in wine country is the ultimate holiday for wine aficionados. Your days can be spent immersing yourself in this gastronomical art touring surrounding vineyards or merely relaxing poolside with a glass of wine produced right at your holiday villa. We’ve hand-picked the best villas and cruises in Italy, France and New Zealand to blend together your perfect wine lovers vacation.


Villa San GiustoTuscany, Italy


With its hundreds of acres of rolling vineyards, Tuscany is a prime destination for oenophiles. Our experts at Trust&Travel and take us south of Florence to the Villa San Guisto, a highend villa nestled on an award-winning biodynamic wine estate.

This is a precious oasis has more than a thousand years of history. It acts as a conduit for Tuscany’s traditions and craftsmanship, while at the same time offering state of the art wellness, cuisine and active pursuits like golf and horseback riding. The fully staffed property features two pools, one outdoor and one indoor, a gym, a Finnish sauna and it accommodates up to 19 people.

Guests can enjoy detailed wine tasting experiences as well as visit the beautiful cellars. This can also include a viewing of the owner’s private collection of prints and artworks dedicated to the pleasure of wine with works from Hogarth to Warhol.

Start uncorking the fine biodynamic wines of Tuscany by staying with Trust&Travel and here.


Villa Ventoux – Provence, France


The region of Provence in southern France is best known for its cascading fields of lavender, however, these are also lined with an abundance of grape vines. Surround yourself by these at the gorgeous Villa Ventoux, represented by Carpe Diem Luxury Travel.

Located in northern Provence, the villa offers stunning views of Mont Ventoux and endless hills covered in vines, olive groves, apricot orchards and lavender fields. It is set on 30 hectares of private vineyards and a state-of-the-art premium boutique wine estate found within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

At the heart of the estate lie a magnificent 9th-century priory and an 18th-century bastide, both of which have been lovingly restored in rustic luxury style. The main villa includes four luxurious bedrooms suites, a grand vaulted hall and other reception rooms. The bastide has three additional bedrooms. Each room is decorated to a different Provençal theme, blending contemporary furnishings, local antiques and family heirlooms. The house is fully staffed with a fabulous chef, heated pool, tennis-court and petanque court and a fabulous grand piano.

In addition to visiting the cellars, winemaking facilities and the vines of the villa, wine and cheese tastings can be organized with cheese coming from an award-winning local fromagerie. Wine fans can also tour the vineyards of nearby Vosne La Romaine, Orange and Carpentras.

Plan your perfect Provence wine-lovers vacation with Carpe Diem Travel at this link.


Mahana Villa – Nelson, New Zealand

New Zealand is an excellent destination for wine and nature lovers, but in the case of the fabulous Mahana Villa by Touch of Spice, you can also be enveloped in cutting edge art and architecture.

The villa sits at the apex of the 25-hectare Mahana vineyard, which produces dynamic Mahana wines in multiple varietals and styles. The Villa is a spectacular sight of glass, steel, and wood with views over the Mahana Vineyard, Tasman Bay and the Southern Alps.

Inside the Villa, guests will view one of New Zealand’s most extensive art collections in private hands and get the experience of sleeping overnight in an art gallery. A literary philanthropist, Schaeffer has filled the villa with books on the artworks, as well as economics, history, culture and architecture.

An all-inclusive concept, guests will be pampered with menus throughout the day designed to enhance the wines Mahana produces. With the arrival of new Executive Chef, Alistair Forster, guests will enjoy his approach to cuisine sourcing fresh, local and seasonal produce to deliver unique culinary experiences. Alistair trained at the highly disciplined AA rosette and Michelin-starred kitchens.

“Our Mahana Vineyard has become a destination, fusing the cultural themes of wine, cuisine, art, and architecture,” said owner Glenn Schaeffer. “We want to share the beauty of Mahana with culture lovers the world over. Staying overnight at Mahana Villa is an immersive vineyard experience.”

Combine wine and art to create your ideal New Zealand holiday with Touch of Spice here.


Capriolo Villa – Tuscany, Italy


Nestled in the heart of Tuscany’s wine country, the Capriolo villa, by Haven in Paris, grants wine aficionados easy access to some of the region’s best appellations. The renovated stone farmhouse, close to the village of Pievescola, brings together all the luxuries of modern living with the charm of old world Italy.

The spacious 17th-century five-bedroom villa exudes Tuscan character showcased in details like the carefully restored stone exterior, the traditional wooden-beam ceiling adorning the vast living room and the hand-carved fireplace with a chocolate travertine mantle. Light streams through large double-glazed Tuscan windows, offering panoramic views and vistas at every turn.

All of its tastefully decorated bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms (3 with showers, 2 with tub and hand held shower) and are spread out over three floors. Guests can dine in the formal dining room or on the covered outdoor patio. The large pool (5 x 14.5 meters) is beautifully set against the backdrop of forest and distant hills among lavender, rosemary and rose bushes.

The charming and accommodating bilingual owners are American expats, who have been living full time in Italy for the past 20 years. They are wonderful hosts and will happily help you organize many luxury services available at an extra fee including catering, market shopping, cooking lessons, bike rentals, hot air ballooning, olive picking and of course wine tasting and tours of nearby wineries.

Capriolo is in the Chianti DOCG region, and also very close to the Chianti Classico DOCG appellation. The owners have a relationship with a local vineyard and are can provide tastings, tours and wines to interested groups.

Discover more about this charming Tuscan holiday villa by reaching out to Haven in Paris here.

Barge Lady Cruises

Prosperite Wine Cruise – Burgundy, France


Soak up all the delights of Burgundy, one of France most beautiful and coveted wine regions, by taking a private wine-focused cruise with Barge Lady Cruises. Their Barge Specialist Stephanie Sack tempts us onboard the Prosperite:

“When you think of barging in Burgundy cultural treasures, expansive vineyards, historic towns, divinely beautiful countryside will come to mind, but not before… wine, wine, wine. If you are drawn to history, culture and sophistication, this is your perfect canal cruising region. Everything seems perfect here – from the most gorgeous and typical rural scenery in all of France to the elegant cities with wonderfully preserved Medieval streets and buildings and to architectural attractions reflecting the power and prosperity of the Ducs of Burgundy.

“Found within the geographic heart of France, Southern Burgundy’s cruise routes offers unparalleled access to the wineries and vineyards of the iconic Cote d’Or. This is the unofficial home of France’s great tradition of cuisine and culture: the famed wine villages of Nuits St. Georges, Pommard, Puligny Montrachet, Volany – a roll call of world-famous wine towns, with local discoveries just waiting to be tasted.  Beaune, with its immaculately maintained Medieval hospice and charming cobblestoned streets. Shop for the finest produce and cheese in Dijon’s vast and colorful covered market.

“Plying the canals of this extraordinary region is the 8-passenger Prosperite, an Ultra-Deluxe vessel akin to a 6-star hotel. Luxurious accommodations, top service oriented crew, and culturally-rich activities are the hallmarks of the Prosperite’s concept. Modern lifestyles inform the public areas, which reflect gracious living through fine dining, indulgent drinking, and festive entertaining. Onboard amenities such as the open kitchen encourage interaction with the Chef for informal cooking demonstrations;  when not socializing on the large deck or lazing in the hot tub, guests can walk or cycle along the miles and miles of refurbished towpath!

“With an in-depth wine appreciation program that is vivid, relaxed, and memorable, the Prosperite offers its guests a guided immersion into Southern Burgundy’s many charms, among them vineyard visits, wine tastings, and curated pairings. An entire afternoon is devoted to the Cote d’Or wine region, with a drive among the vineyards and villages of the “Route des Grand Crus” on the way to Clos de Vougeot, a 12th-century chateau where Cistercian monks practiced the art of winemaking. Yet another guided excursion offers a tour and tasting deep within the cellars of Domaine Prieur-Brunet in Santenay, furthering the exploration into the wine making lifestyle, while the wines served aboard the Prosperite at lunch and dinner are chosen especially for their rich Burgundian flavors. An open bar and on board cellar completes the selection of wine-based pleasures perfect for both the casual sipper and the most sophisticated of oenophiles.”

The Prosperite is accepting bookings for cruises from April to October, 2017 and 2018. Don’t miss the boat – book before they fill up by contacting The Barge Lady at this link.


Isola Santa Cristina Private Island – Venetian Lagoon, Italy


The various islands of Venetian Lagoon were once thriving with horticulture, especially vineyards. This tradition lives on at Isola Santa Cristina, one of the best-preserved garden islands of the whole Venetian lagoon.

This private island, managed by Siglinde Fischer / Charming Places, is a haven of tranquility located only short 20-minute boat ride from busy Venice. With no other residence on the island, guests have the utmost privacy. The refined, historic Italian house was recently renovated to meet the standards of modern luxury all the while retaining its authenticity. Enjoy relaxed days lounging by the pool, wandering the orchid or discovering its small vineyard from which an exquisite, small batch Veneto wine is produced.

“We have been growing two varieties of grapes on the island for more than thirty years – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot,” explains René Deutsch, owner of Isola Santa Cristina. “We produce our wine in the lagoon, which until recently was mainly for private use and guests of the island. Today, a very limited number of bottles are sold locally to a few leading restaurants within the lagoon. Our vineyard produces between 5,000 and 10,000 bottles annually.”

René also shared his favorite secret places in the Venetian Lagoon in this article.

You can learn more about Isola Santa Cristina and taste this fine wine by contacting Siglinde Fischer / Charming Places here.


Cairanne Villa – Provence, France 


Sample some of the best wines of the South of France while staying at Haven in’s charming Cairanne villa, a typical “Provencal Mas” located on a working vineyard in the heart of world renowned Côtes-du-Rhône on the famous “Route des Vins.”

The lovely five-bedroom villa (which can also be rented as separate 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom units) is found just outside of the village of Cairanne. This picturesque 125 acre (50 hectare) property has been family-owned for over 150 years. Converted stables dating back to the mid-19th century make up the main house, which is surrounded by the working winery and ancillary buildings, all lying in the midst of luscious vineyards, fruit orchards and olive-groves.

The owners have carefully and sustainably restored the historic property striving to keep a balance of authenticity, comfort and simplicity. Traditional touches meet contemporary architecture to provide a fresh take on chateau living. Large bay windows throughout the villa contribute to the luminous atmosphere and generous sense of perspective. The configuration of the bedrooms, three in the main house and two in another section (three of which have king-sized beds which can be split into twins) offers potential guests a great deal of flexibility depending on the size of your party.

This is the perfect base for serious wine connoisseurs as it’s just a short drive to the world-renowned regions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaumes de Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Wine tasting tours can be arranged, though guests can do a tasting of the villa’s own wines at their leisure during their stay, annotated by the villa’s English speaking owners.

Enjoy the best of Provence by staying with Haven In at this link.


The Landing Residence, The Vineyard Villa – Bay of Islands, New Zealand


Wine fans traveling to New Zealand can have a fabulous oenological experience staying at the Vineyard Villa by Touch of Spice. Located in the beautiful Bay of Islands, this gorgeous contemporary villa is set amongst The Landing’s established vines, home to award-winning Chardonnay, Syrah and Rosé wines.

An entertainer’s haven or a romantic’s escape, the house features three bedrooms and three separate entertaining areas. Designed by award-winning architect, Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects, the Vineyard Villa is a sanctuary you can make your own. Designed with a flowing openness to the stunning surroundings, the Vineyard Villa offers magnificent views across The Landing Residences, the vineyard and out to sea.

Understated modern furnishings have been carefully selected to match the villa’s calm aesthetic and work alongside the dark wood and stone materials that run throughout the house.

The villa also offers personalized food and wine experiences, tailored to your preferences and mood by your personal chef. There are no set menus, fixed meal times or designated dining areas. A highlight of your stay will be taking a guided visit to their wine cellar during which you can taste wines from the The Landing’s vineyard, meet their winemaker and tour the winery where the wines are made. Tours to other wineries in the region can also be arranged.

Delve into the Bay of Island’s wine heritage by holidaying with Touch of Spice here


Podere Jessica – Tuscany, Italy

We can’t get enough of Tuscany and Podere Jessica, by Papavero Villa Rentals is what most people think of when dreaming of a country farmhouse in Chianti. Beautifully restored it has all the characteristics of a Tuscan farmhouse but with the modern conveniences we come to expect.

Podere Jessica consists of the main house on three floors and a cottage apartment in a converted barn. It sleeps 10 in five bedrooms with five full bathrooms. The main house has a country style kitchen that leads into the spacious living/dining room. Several of the bedrooms have lovely wooden-beamed ceilings and sweeping views of the beautiful countryside. The home is surrounded with lovely outdoor living spaces, including two covered loggias, one with wood burning oven and barbecue, is perfect for dining alfresco or just sitting with a good book and a glass of wine after a morning of shopping at the local markets. The fenced-in swimming pool is set in the garden and surrounded by flower-filled terracotta urns.

“It is situated on 30 acres which features a vineyard of Sangiovese grapes and the owners produce the wine right on the farm, from harvesting to bottling,” says Patrice Salezze, director of Papavero. “The wine is available for purchase while staying at Podere Jessica. Not only do you have your own vineyard to walk about, there is also an olive grove and paths through your own private woods. So peaceful and tranquil you are in the heart of Chianti and have access to main roads for day tours.

“Nearby, a 7-minute drive or 40-minute walk south and you arrive at a boutique winery that you can see from the farmhouse, another 6-minute drive north and can enjoy a tasting from a second small winery, then the famous Cantina Antiniori is just a 13-minute drive. Here you can experience a large producer of wine and have a five course wine flight lunch after your tour.”

Taste your way around Tuscany by staying with Papavero Villa Rentals, learn more about vacationing at the Podere Jessica at this link.