Know all over the world as the cradle of the Renaissance and appreciated for the uniqueness of its art as well as for its centuries-old history, Florence is the ideal setting for a dream wedding. Recognized as one of the most beautiful cities on the earth, there is no
corner on the Tuscan capital, which is not suited to the salient phases of a wedding ceremony: churches, places, streets and lanes, monuments and locales are scattered everywhere perfect for making the most important day in the life of a couple unforgettable.
Here are some useful tips for future wedding couples:
The Sala Rossa inside Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most illustrious locations that Florence offers those who want a civil wedding. The actual appearance of the room, characterized by its name, curtains, velvets and carpets in the warm and bright colours of red and purple, dates back to the 19th century when it was used as a private bedroom by the Prime Minister of the Tuscan Government Bettino Ricasoli. For those who would like a civil wedding the Palazzo Vecchio also offers the Sala di Lorenzo il Magnifico, dedicated to the Magnifico, and the Salone del Cinquecento, relied in 1495 by Pollaiolo, one of the greatest and well-known artist of the time. Rich furnishings and beautiful frescoes make these environments masterpieces of the beauty and refinement.
But the locations for civil weddings in Florence do not finish here.
Villa Vogel, surrounded by a large tree-lined park, is a fantastic Renaissance structure whose original core dates back to the Middle Ages, or rather to the 13th century; for the wedding ceremony, there is the Council room, available once a month, excluding August.
And what do you say to marrying in a museum?
An unusual choice, but perfectly in keeping with what Florence represents in Italy and around the world.
The Bardini Museum, which houses hundreds of thousands of works of various origins and nature, including the famous “Porcellino” by Pietro Tacca, offers the Sala della Carità, which draws its name from the statue of Tino di Camaino.
Marring in a garden in bloom, immerse in the lush greenery among centuries-old-plants trees and colourful flowers, is a temptation for many people; the Tuscan capital can help you fulfil this desire at the Giardino delle rose (Rose Garden), a fabulous terrace garden built in the second half of the 19th century by the architect Giuseppe Poggi. It is located at one of breath-taking panorama. This location is a perfectly successful mix of art and nature, history and botany, embellished as it is by hundreds of roses, some of which date back to the 17th century, and the sculptures by Jean-Michel Folon, which contribute to making it a charming and romantic place.
The Rose Garden is available for civil weddings during the summer months from May to September, except for August, twice a week.
Anyone interested in arranging a wedding in Florence can call these numbers for more information: 055 2768518, 055 2768299 and 055 2768575. The 0 in the area code needs to be dialed when calling from overseas.
Florence has so many churches and places of worship of such rare beauty and importance that choosing one becomes almost an enterprise in itself.
Listing them all is impossible, so we only point out the main ones and those that, historically and traditionally, are more frequently chosen for religious wedding ceremonies.
Starting with Duomo seems appropriates: Santa Maria del Fiore is in fact the main place of worship in the city. From an artistic point of view, the complex is of inestimable value, just think that the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and the Bell Tower of Giotto form part of it. Located in the heart of Florence, it provides a unique and unforgettable setting.
The Chiesa francescana di Borgo Ognissanti (Franciscan Church of Borgo Ognissanti) is also very much loved for weddings, overlooking the small piazza of the same name, whose Baroque faced conceals the much older original core. Many works inside the church have been moved to museums, but it still preserves all the charme of the past, thanks in particular to the presence of the wooden crucifix of Giotto and the excellent tombs that are found there, such as those of Sandro Botticelli, Carolina Bonaparte, Luigi del Buono and Amerigo Vespucci (ancestor of the famous navigator).
Santa Croce, renowned for its burial grounds, as well as for the beauty of the structure, whose colourful Carrara marble facade illuminates all that surrounds it. Here rest artists and scientists like Michelangelo, Vittorio Alfieri, Galileo Galilei, Ugo Foscolo and Niccolò Machiavelli; a place that is certainly fascinating and far from macabre for a wedding ceremony that is undoubtedly special and out of the ordinary.
You are welcomed, just outside of the church, by a statue with the features of Dante Alighieri; the great poet, for political reasons exiled from Florence. He is known to have died in Ravenna, the city that has always refused to return the body to Florence, who could only devote this monument and the cenotaph that is located inside the basilica in the second nave to the right, to one of its most famous figures.
Right in front of Santa Maria del Fiore lies the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John), an absolute masterpiece of which the bronze doors leave you breathless, in particular those of “the paradise” by Leon Battista Alberti; 055 2302885 is the number to call for further information and reservations.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo is the oldest church in the city, although the present appearance and layout are fully Renaissance, it was consecrated by Sant’Ambrogio and boasts Romanesque origins.
The rough facade and the Medici tombs enhance the charm of this sacred place with its enchanting and vaguely melancholic atmosphere.
In the center of Florence there is also a beautiful Anglican church, the St. James Episcopal church.
Those who prefer smaller towns to the city or more intimate and reserved places, can go out to the areas surrounding Florence, where its possible to get lost in the enchantments that Tuscany is able to offer, and reveal to, its visitors.
In the hamlet of Maiano, a district of Fiesole, is the Chiesa di San Martino a Maiano Church of San Martino in Maiano), which is part of a larger religious complex with a Benedictine monastery dating back to the 1000 AD, but reshaped over and over again in the following centuries. The classic Romanesque system, however, has remained unchanged over time, keeping the dark and sometimes mysterious atmosphere of the period in which it was built.
All the churches mentioned so far are Catholic, but for a Jewish wedding?
Florence is home to one of the most important Jewish Synagogues in Europe; in Moorish style, and the building dates back to the end of the 19th century. The interior, enriched by polychrome mosaics and precious geometric decorations on the walls, can be the ideal backdrop for a wedding ceremony.
WEDDING VENUE (RECEPTION)
Listing all the wedding venue available in Florence would be impossible, so here we are limiting ourselves to pointing out some of the most significant and beautiful present in the area, including the surrounding countryside.
Palazzo Capponi Ferragamo is a sumptuous Renaissance residence situated in the heart of the city, on the Lungarno Guicciardini, near the Ponte di Santa Trinità (Holy Trinity Bridge). The Sala Poccetti, which is used for wedding ceremonies, is an elegant and refined environment ideal for intimate and exclusive receptions.
The Four Seasons is a characteristic urban resort between two different and ancient structures, the Palazzo della Gherardesca and La Villa, former convent of the 16th century. A sumptuous and sophisticated location, it is suitable for luxury weddings. Guests have the opportunity to admire the artwork amongst which the hundreds of rooms that make up the wonderland, which constitutes the largest private “green lung” of the whole city. The resort is in the centre.
Castello di Vincigliata is located a short distance from Florence, immerse in the bright green of the Tuscan hills. Romantic and suggestive, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the city from the castle.
Fattoria degli Usignoli, amidst the Florentine countryside. The stone farm, dating from the 16th century, is immerse in a park with centuries-old plants. There are two swimming pools, a restaurant and a stone theatre.
Palazzo Borghese, right in the center. Historic residence with exquisite and richly decorated rooms.
Antico Spedale Bigallo, at the gates of Florence, was an ancient hospital that in the Middle Ages welcomed pilgrims from all over the world. Renovated and equipped with every modern comfort, the property is today a very beautiful and economic hostel, totally immersed in the greenery, where it is also possible to stage wedding receptions. The main feature of this hostel lies in the fact that, despite all the modern conveniences, it is possible to relive and immerse yourself completely in a typical medieval atmosphere. In this venue there is a beautiful room for the civil weddings.
Villa di Maiano in the small hamlet of Maiano, Fiesole. Beautiful historic residence surrounded by a wonderful garden and a panoramic terrace with breath-taking views. Reserved parking.
Villa Le Piazzole, historic sixteenth century villa totally immersed in green. High standards. Just 3 km from the center of Florence.
Villa di Montefiano in Fiesole. A typical Tuscan Villa surrounded by greenery and only a few minutes from Florence. Terrace with city views.
Villa Il Mocale at San Casciano. In the Chianti hills, it enjoys a beautiful view. The wedding reception can be held indoors or outdoors.
Villa Le Fontanelle, an ancient farmhouse remodelled over the centuries until it became the sophisticated dwelling that is today. The building has been refurbished and offers every comfort, but retain the charm of the past, combined with the beauty of the surrounding nature making it an amazing location for ceremonies. Beautiful view of Florence too.
Art Hotel Villa Agape, from a simple medieval house to an elegant and noble villa. Close to Piazzale Michelangelo, it has private parking. Perfect for sophisticated wedding ceremonies, in keeping with the nature and true essence of Florence’s charm.
There are a lot of beautiful wedding venues in Florence not mentioned such as: Villa Le Maschere, La Loggia, Villa Cora, Villa La Vedetta, Grand Hotel Baglioni, The Westin Excelsior, The St. Regis Florence, Hotel Lungarno Collection, Il Salviatino, Villa Olmi, Villa Gamberaia, Villa San Michele, Villa Corsini, Villa di Lilliano, Villa Le Corti and Villa Castelletti.
What are the best views that Florence can offer a couple on their wedding day?
We could say: All of them!
The city is so beautiful and overwhelmed by historically and artistically significant sites that every corner becomes the perfect background for a photo to be framed or displayed with pride.
For reasons of space we will just look at a few.
Piazza della Signoria is the true beating heart of Florence; here stands Palazzo Vecchio and from which you can access the Uffizi Gallery. Part of the square is occupied by the Loggia of the Signoria (also called the Orcagna or Lanzi), under which are celebrated sculptures, among them the Perseus of Benvenuto Cellini. Also fascinating is the complex that makes up the imposing fountain of the Ammannati, with its famous Neptune, popular know as “the Biancone” because of its excessive size.
Piazzale Michelangelo is the belvedere of the Tuscan capital: from the balcony you can admire, in the blink of an eye, the entire city. Can you imagine a better location for the photos?
The same goes for the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore and the nearby Baptistery of St. John and Santa Maria Novella, one of the most beautiful churches here.
Wedding photos taken at Ponte Vecchio are particulate romantic, whose buildings and beautiful jewellery shops make it probably the most enchanting bridge over the river.
In fact, the entire Florentine tack of the river Arno deserves to be seen; strolling along the river gives you unique sensations and you feel completely wrapped in the timeless charm of the city.
Then there is the brick facade of San Lorenzo, the marble of Santa Croce, the Holy Trinity Bridge, Palazzo Pitti and the spectacular Boboli Gardens, all unbeatable backdrops for photographs that you will never tire of looking at.
The list of famous people who chose to join in matrimony in Florence is long: here are some of the best know.
In 1992, the English singer David Bowie and model Man where married in St. James’s Episcopal Church, while more recently, precisely on May 24, 2014, and again in Florence, the high security wedding of Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West.
Pricess of Borbone Parma (Beatrice of Holland’s sister) and Albert Brenninkmeijer, said “I do”, and were celebrated by over 500 guests.