In the Valdelsa, in the heart of Tuscany, lies the beautiful town of Certaldo, one of the most interesting the province of Florence, known for having given birth to the great poet and writer Giovanni Boccaccio and home to important buildings of considerable historical, cultural and artistic value. The oldest part of the town, with its medieval structure still intact and completely surrounded by fortified walls, is called Certaldo Alto or Alta to distinguish it from the lower part, which is the modern part; Certaldo Alto is one of the most famous and appreciated places in Italy for celebrating both civil and religious marriages.
Certaldo Alto offers couples who would like to marry there its most famous palace, one of its most eminent symbols, the Palazzo Pretorio or Palazzo dei Vicari. Headquarters of the Council, this medieval palace constitutes a unique museum structure with the adjacent Chiesa dei Santi Tommaso e Prospero (Church of Saints Thomas and Prospero); the simple brick facade is surmounted by merlons resulting from a nineteenth-century restoration and a lateral tower, under which stands an ancient clock dating back to 1484. The celebration of the wedding, which follows the same legal procedure of every Italian town, takes place in the Sala Giunta.
One can also marry civilly in the Church of Saints Tommaso and Prospero, as it was deconsecrated in the 16th century due to the damage caused by continual landslides; built in the 13th century, it is characterized by a meagre look, in tune with the tastes of the time, and for the brightly-lit interior and decidedly romantic air.
The main place of Catholic worship in Certaldo is the Chiesa di San Tommaso (Church of St. Thomas), overlooking the central Piazza Boccaccio. The Latin cross is in Neo-Romanesque style and is characterized by its accentuated sobriety. Inside there is a crucifix dating from the 14th century. However, to find the most ancient and suggestive churches you have to move to the upper part of the medieval nucleus of Certaldo, to Certaldo Alto, where we find, amongst other things, the beautiful Chiesa dei Santi Jacopo e Filippo (Church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo), where you can immerse yourself in its typical austere atmosphere and absolute sacredness, characteristic of the Middle Ages; the interior of the building preserves numerous works of art and houses the remains of two of the town’s most illustrious personalities, the poet Giovanni Boccaccio and the blessed Giulia Della Rena, the co-patron saint of the Certaldo. The other patron being Saint Tommaso Apostolo.
Also to be found here is the famous wooden Crucifix of Petrognano or San Donnino, dating back to the eleventh century, although its creator is unknown. It goes without saying how exciting it is to be able to exchange the promises of love in a place like this, so loaded with history and art, and in the timeless atmosphere of walls made of simple exposed brick, extremely bare and yet exceptionally intense, fascinating and beautiful.
Another small and delightful medieval church is located not far from Certaldo, in the village of Lucardo, home to the Chiesa di San Donato; yellow and grey sandstone rocks arranged irregularly both on the exterior and interior contribute to rendering the building original, which otherwise would be sober and linear, as were most of those belonging to the same era.
WEDDING VENUE (RECEPTION)
For couple in love who have decided to live the day of “I d0” in Certaldo, the locations to choose for the reception of fun and fine food are many, located both in the historic center of Certaldo Alto and in the beautiful surrounding area.
Immagine being able to taste the best local delicacies, or trying creative cuisine in a cosy inn overlooking the green Tuscan hills and in front of the towers of San Gimignano, in reality a dream location, but possible, if you choose the Osteria del Vicario, a guest-house and restaurant built inside a 13th century monastery; could you imagine a more spectacular and evocative setting for sealing your marriage? The interiors are not only intimate and well-kept, but the structure, totally immersed in natural greenery, also has a garden and panoramic terrace. You can choose where to set up the banquet according to the tastes and needs of the moment. Wide choice of customizable menus and staff that will also arrange tables and spaces for impeccable photo opportunities: what more could you wish for?
A romantic medieval setting to celebrate your wedding?
You can find it at Il Castello, a beautiful hotel and restaurant located in the heart of Certaldo, in the oldest and most attractive part of the town. The stone and the vaulted ceilings recall other times, whilst the panoramic garden allows you to merge completely with the beautiful surrounding nature. After more than 50 years of honoured activity, Il Castello’s staff know how to satisfy their guests, and do so thanks to the highest level of cuisine, which focused above all on the Tuscan food and the best gastronomical dishes of the area, and through the detailed care of the layout of the reception that will remain forever in the memory of your guests. The fairy-tale setting of where Il Castello stands will conquer you, especially the panoramic tower overlooking Certaldo, perfect for a wedding proposal or a romantic dinner.
In the surrounding area of Certaldo there are places that offer unforgettable wedding venues: let’s look at some of the most popular ones.
With over 600 years of history, the Castello di Oliveto, is a manor dating to the 15th century, owned by the noble Pucci family; today this building, gently nestled among the Tuscan hills, is an ideal location for a fabulous wedding, where you can enjoy delicious gourmet delicacies and good Chianti wine within centuries old scenery, rich in history and charm.
The years of history increase to 900 for the Antica Fattoria di Paterno, a location totally immersed in Mediterranean vegetation that from the outset leaves the guest breathless; this beautiful historic home with interiors furnished in typical Tuscan style, and it’s totally natural spaces outdoors, is perfect for a wedding reception of style and class.
If you wish, you can also celebrate your civil marriage ceremony here.
At the highest point between Florence and Siena stands the Castello di Santa Maria Novella, a decidedly spectacular location for a wedding reception that will remain imprinted in the memory of all those present. In addition to the architectural beauty of the building there is the park and the inner courtyard, where besides the banquet, after dinner parties and entertainment can be organized, such as dances and shows with medieval flag wavers and fire-eaters. You could also stay in one of the beautiful suites in the castle for the first night.
Wedding in a farmhouse?
It is an increasingly trendy choice, which in Tuscany buys you magical connotations. In fact, referring to the I Massini estate as a simple farmhouse is certainly an understatement, given the elegance that permeates the whole structure, but the location in the heart of the Tuscan countryside makes this spot a charm from a natural and landscaped point of views. Here everything is taken care of in the smallest detail and you will enjoy having photos taken hand in hand or exchanging a tender kiss in front of the lake in the garden, a real explosion of colours and scents that only the Tuscan countryside knows how to gift the visitors.
In the Certaldo countryside there is a beautiful venue, Villa Il Pozzo, overlooking the Chianti hills and the medieval town of San Gimignano. Here you can taste a delicious Chianti and an award-winning Super Tuscan wine. It’s a magical place, perfect for a wedding.
In Montespertoli, near Certaldo, in the Chianti region, stands the Villa Corbinaia, a perfect and original mix of architectural beauty, taste for art and functionality, a truly perfect combination of modernity and antiquity. If you wish, you can also celebrate your civil marriage ceremony here.
The characteristic medieval village of Stomennano, Borgo Stomennano, between Siena and Florence, overlooking the towers of Monteriggioni, is home to the stunning historical residence of Stomennano, in turn immersed in a fascinating ” corner of Paradise” comprising centuries-old plants, old houses and granaries; opt for this property if you would like a wedding in perfect Tuscan style, where you can fully enjoy the best that this region can offer from the natural, and gastronomic, point of view. The interiors are richly furnished and the staff will be quick to accompany you step by step at each stage of the reception.
Hotel Resort Castelfalfi is a unique new 5 stars hotel and SPA in Tuscany, able to express the typical Italian lifestyle, having taste, elegance, refinement and a love for details. A bright and welcoming setting, be it in finely furnished interiors or the exterior areas with an unforgettable view overlooking the valley, a perfect place for the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
It’s also famous all over the world for the Golf Club Castelfalfi that can be a fabulous background for your wedding immersed in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Tuscany.
Which of Certaldo’s views are best suited for surprisingly original and different photographs?
You could answer “all of them!” since we are talking about one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe. However, there are places for the wedding album that cannot be missed.
The first is the home of Giovanni Boccaccio, the great poet and writer of the 14th century, the author of the Decameron; after a secular and troubled history of collapse and restoration, the building is now quite faithful to what it was originally, keeping the charm of a typical private home of the Middle Ages intact. Do not miss some great photo opportunities that should include, amongst other things, some shots from the panoramic tower.
Moreover, as it is natural and inevitable, the figure of Boccaccio continues to pervade Certaldo itself, which dedicates great resonance and events to it, such as Boccaccesca, a wine and food show where the narrow streets of the town fill with chefs and food producers who prepare and sell the best local products, including the famous Certaldo DOP onion and Chianti DOCG. And then there is Mercantia street medieval festival featuring entertainers from all over the world; if you are lucky enough to get married just as these events are held, do not miss the opportunity to immortalise them in some of the photos that will fill your wedding album.
Here you can also find figured in medieval costumes that walk to the ancient village.
Another unmissable location, though of another nature, is the Parco di Canonica, which with its hills, furrows and cypress avenues represents a full immersion in what the Tuscan countryside can show the visitors.
Certaldo Alto is one of the most popular wedding locations in Tuscany and Italy.
Couples from all over the world decide to marry in this medieval hamlet. Here there are a lot of different cultures and religions wedding: Scottish weddings, Persian weddings, Japanese weddings, Chinese weddings, Indian weddings, Irish weddings, English and American weddings.
A perfect wedding venue for your dream wedding.