A new blog feature: Original Weddings
When thinking about where to get married in Italy, the initial options often revolve around the usual suspects: Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Capri, Positano, Taormina, Venice, Florence or Rome… But an increasing number of couples are looking for alternative, original wedding locations where to tie the knot, with the desire to explore an off-the-beaten-track destination and to offer authentic activities for their guests to enjoy.
That’s why we have decided to launch a new feature in our blog, called “Original Weddings”: if you are looking for inspiration for your authentic destination wedding in Italy, check the blog regularly for tips and ideas that go beyond the usual and the obvious (or sign up to receive updates by email).
Even though we – the team at Italian Special Occasions DMC – have organized and are still planning a number of wonderful weddings in the most famous locations, we love promoting the idea of Seasonality and of exploring hidden gems across Italy: albeit unknown as wedding venues, they offer mesmerizing landscapes, a rich cultural heritage and a ton of entertaining activities!
Our first original wedding destination is the city of Vicenza.
Vicenza, an open-air museum of majestic buildings
Vicenza is in the heart of Veneto, northern Italy, located right between Verona and Venice. Even though it is not as renowned as its neighbors are, this town is itself a true cultural and artistic treasure trove. This thriving and cosmopolitan city hosts many museums, art galleries, churches and several elegant buildings (palazzi), some of which frescoed by master Giambattista Tiepolo.
Spending some time in Vicenza will take you back to the splendor of the Renaissance thanks to the masterpieces by architect Andrea Palladio. It’s no wonder that UNESCO has recognized the town of Vicenza and the Palladian villas as a World Heritage Site. You may have not heard of Andrea Palladio before, but many buildings around the world are inspired by his distinctive architectural style – based on a detailed study of classical Roman architecture. One famous example? The White House!
The surroundings of Vicenza offer unforgettable landscapes and a ton of activities, whether it is skiing or trekking on the Little Dolomites and the Asiago Plateau, witnessing a live chess game in the medieval village of Marostica, visiting Treviso and the sparkling Conegliano Valdobbiadene wine region, or reaching Verona, Padua and Venice in less than a one-hour drive.
Out-of-the-box ideas for your weddings guests
Your guests will fall in love with Vicenza, whether they already know the town or they have never been there! How are we so certain? Because, apart from the natural and man-made beauty of the city that bewitches anyone, you and your guests can approach Vicenza in a unique and authentic way, creating strong vivid memories about the destination wedding experience.
Let’s start with the venue where your guests will be accommodated, a venue that tells the history of the local territory through its frescoed walls, its genuine cuisine, the landscaped gardens…it could be an elegant stately palace, or a villa with a charming rustic feel.
In their guestroom, your guests will find a personalized thank you note, welcoming them to Vicenza. They will also find a customized guide – created just for your special occasion – with all the attractions to be seen and activities to be done off the beaten track.
But why not go one step further and make the visit some sort of interactive adventure for your guests? Organize a sensorial treasure hunt for your visitors to explore Vicenza and uncover its hidden gems through their Five Senses.
The activities of the scavenger hunt can be planned according to the seasons. For example: in late spring or early fall it is great to visit the Teatro Olimpico with its musical weeks and classic plays (sight and sound); in winter and summer, the majestic mountain ranges are ideal for sports and nature (touch and sound); fall is also the perfect season for botanic tourism and foliage tours among the idyllic gardens and pristine woods (smell and touch); during winter it is great to keep warm by visiting local distilleries and wineries (taste and smell).
Some activities are evergreen and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Vicenza is famous for its excellence in gold and jewelry, so stopping at a goldbeater’s workshop is a must. Here, your guests can admire the dexterity of the artisan at work, and interact with him or her, learning about the heritage and history of the activity. For the fans of luxury shopping, this is also one of Italy’s most important cities of fashion, as it is home to luxury manufacturers such as Bottega Veneta, Diesel and Armani. Entertaining cooking lessons can be organized at any time of the year, and the participants will get to know local seasonal products, such as Bassano asparagus, the black truffle of the Berici Hills and the Fiolaro broccoli.
Finding an original wedding venue
There is no shortage of idyllic venues in Vicenza, and we have selected some locations that are strictly characterized by a long history, solid traditions and unique styles.
The Basilica Palladiana is a Renaissance building in the central Piazza dei Signori. Its name is linked to Andrea Palladio, who redesigned it, adding the famous loggias with serliana openings (or Palladian windows) in white marble to the existing Gothic building.
Other beautiful wedding venues by Andrea Palladio – which are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Basilica – are Palazzo Chiericati and Villa Godi Malinverni (the latter is portrayed in the image below).
Architect Vincenzo Scamozzi built Palazzo Trissino in the late 1500s by for the ancient noble Trissino family. Among its majestic rooms and halls, it hosts the prestigious “Sala degli Stucchi” with magnificent frescoes and paintings… a magical location for a magical wedding!
The most famous “frescoed” wedding venue is Villa Valmarana, a marvellous architectural and artistic site surrounded by a large 18th-century park. Its grand halls feature frescoes by Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, hired in 1757 by Giustino of the noble Valmarana family, whose descendants still live in the villa.
If you dream of an outdoor wedding immersed in the greenery, the eighteenth-century Villa Guiccioli (now seat of the Museum of the Risorgimento and of the Resistance) offers a romantic, suggestive park rich in decorative plants. It is also possible to tie the knot in the landscaped gardens of the Teatro Olimpico.
Just outside town, in the village of Montecchio Maggiore in the province of Vicenza, you can get married in the ultimate romantic location… the Castles of Romeo and Juliette! The medieval buildings of Castello di Bellaguardia (Juliette’s Castle) and the Castello della Villa (Romeo’s Castle), inspired Luigi da Porto to set his novel here (1552) although the two lovers were eventually made famous by Shakespeare. The views of the castles and of the surrounding landscape is simply mesmerizing… watch the video to see for yourself!
Do you need help in planning and organizing your Italian destination wedding? Are you looking for the best region-season combination and for authentic activities for your guests? Contact us now: we would love to help you design your original wedding in Italy!
Wedding photos by Consorzio Vicenza è
Photos of Vicenza from Pixabay