Wedding on Lake Como: Stately elegance

“That branch of the Lake Como…” Every Italian knows these words, this being the incipit of the famous novel “The Betrothed” by Alessandro Manzoni, considered a masterpiece of modern Italian literature. The novel is centered around a tormented love story. This quote is always mentioned by counselors of the villages and towns situated around the lake. Como’s city counseler usually bestows a token to the bride and the groom, symbolic of the tiny boat used by the main characters of the novel.  If you choose Lake Como for your wedding, you will see for yourself just how much it is predisposed to romanticism, from the soft outlines of the mountains to the elegant swans and goslings skirting upon the surface of the water; from the aristocratic villas to the magnificent gardens and pittoresque villages. Your wedding in Como Lake will be legendary and sophisticated, celebrated in one of the villas of your choice, where the counsels of each village will organize the wedding ceremony according to tradition. It will be difficult to choose because each of them offer unparalleled charm and appeal. 

Wedding in Lenno, at Villa del Balbianello.
Villa Balbianello is located on the most charming side of Lake Como, its view of the lake is a beauty beyond compare. It was built in the beginning of the eighteenth century by order of Cardinal Durini and constructed on a promontory which rises from the lake. The real marvel of Villa Balbianello is the extraordinary park which, sloping toward the lake, is full of trees of awe-inspiring height; flowers, sculptures and antique statues. In the uppermost part of the villa is the exquisite loggia whose balcony is crowned by three stupendous arches, also the highest viewpoint. Since the 1940’s the villa has been used as a setting for countless movies, for example Star Wars and Casino Royale of the James Bond series. Your wedding ceremony in Villa Balbianello,  reachable by boat, may be organized either during the work week, or when the villa is closed to the public therefore allowing the most enchanting and exclusive setting for the aperitif and wedding banquet.  

 

 

Wedding in Tremezzo, at Villa Carlotta.
Villa Carlotta is the second most exclusive Villa in Lake Como, its botanic garden is well known in the entire region for its superb variety of tropical and luxuriant plants. This magnificent villa and its exotic park cover an area of 70,000 square meters; it was built at the end of the eighteenth century as the residence of Clerici Marquise, afterwhich it became property of an important art collector who decorated the villa with several masterpieces, paintings and sculptures, works of art from Canova, Thor-Valsen and Hayez, transforming the villa’s garden in a truly romantic botanical oasis.  At the end of nineteenth century Princess Marianne of Orange-Nassau, Albert of Prussia’s wife, gave la villa as a present to her daughter Carlotta in occasion of her wedding with Duke George II who, thanks to his strong botanical interest and capacity, made the garden and villa as extraordinary as we find them today.

 

 

 

Wedding in Tremezzo, at Teresio Olivelli Park .
The beautiful park Teresio Olivelli in Tremezzo is the ideal location for a couple which desires to hold a small, intimate wedding in one of the most beautiful locations in Italy. Civil wedding ceremonies are held on a round, stone terrace above the lake, offering a stunning panorama as a backdrop for the ceremony. The park itself is small but beautiful, with an imposing staircase on which the couple walks down together, with a long path along the lake leading to the stone terrace for the ceremony. It is a public park, so on a sunny summer day here you can find people enjoying the beautiful surroundings, and they would be all too happy to applaud the newlywed couple as they make their way down toward the lake, shouting in Italian, “Evviva gli sposi!” – “Long live the newlyweds!”

 

 

 

 

Wedding in Varenna, at Villa Cipressi
Villa Cipressi is located right on the lake, in a  historical complex built between 1400 and 1800 and owned by several different noble families during the centuries. The villa was restored in 1980 when it was acquired by the municipality, at which time it was transformed into a cozy hotel, with an exceptional park with secular trees. Celebrating your wedding in Villa Cipressi is very convenient because it is possible to organize the ceremony as well as the aperitif and the wedding banquet, either during the day or in the evening. Your guests, here for your wedding on Lake Como, may all stay in the hotel or, if you prefer you may choose to take just the bridal suite for the bride and groom.

 

 

 

 

Wedding in Como, at Villa Olmo
Villa Olmo is one of the most famous villas in Como, built between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century in neoclassical style. It became one of the centres of Italian illuminism, bringing fame to the architect who designed. It is an elegant but modern building, the direct expression of Marquis Odescalchi who commissioned the construction, and is still to this day an important cultural centre for the city, in addition of being a relevant tourist attraction for the area. In fact, in 1925 the villa was bought by Como municipality and has, since then, become a relevant exhibition and art centre. During the summer months civil weddings take place in the park’s little neoclassical temple, reminiscent of the round temples of the Roman Empire. The villa and its park are always open to the pubblic.

 
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Wedding on Lake Maggiore: an Aristocratic atmosphere

Lake Maggiore is a Swiss niche in northern Italy.  On sunny days this magnificent lake mirrors the nearby mountains and, like shiny pearls in a seashell, you can see the Borromeo Islands, whose beauty is a mere part of this sensational view. The lake was the cradle of the princes of Borromeo who resided on this private island on Lake Maggiore at the pinnacle of their dynasty, whose exclusiveness distinguishes it as one of the most prestigous localities in Italy whose heritage remains today in the full splendor of its watch towers, exquisite parks and fabulously manicured Italian gardens..
You and your guests will be enchanted by its unmistakable belle-epoque atmosphere and its glorious landscape: the crystal clear waters of the lake crowned by the majestic beauty of the Alps, which attract tourists from everywhere in the world. Two of three islands being privately owned by the noble Borromeo family, it is, in fact, precisely this feature which makes your wedding here a unique opportunity:  the outdoor gardens and grounds of these privately-owned islands may be visited during certain hours, in the springtime to autumn seasons.  After exchanging your vows, you may hop on a boat and may enter into the private gardens of these private islands where you may hold your wedding photo session in a romantic setting whose scenery abounds with the lush green and features a vast array of vegetation and even white peacocks.

Wedding in Prestigious Private Residences
Despite the natural beauty and elegance of the villas and gardens of Lake Maggiore, the local municipalities have unfortunately not chosen to authorize their use for civil weddings; therefore, most private villas and historic hotels can only propose symbolic ceremonies. However, there are a handful of locations where civil weddings are allowed, and in our opinion there are two venues which deserve special attention, if you are seeking a more elegant and exclusive venue for your civil wedding ceremony.

The first option for those desiring a fairy-tale wedding, is a historic 16th century castle located on a hilltop overlooking Lake Maggiore. This castle is considered one of northern Italy’s most exclusive settings; the architecture of the castle itself recognized by experts as one of the purest interpretations of Gothic Tudor in Italy and is the only such existing exemplary remaining in Italy. The hilltop position of the castle offering magnificent panoramas and stunning views of the lake as well as of its park with perfectly manicured hedges trimmed in the form of the coat of arms of the noble Italian Marquis dynasty, for generations owners of the castle who, still today, reside in a portion of it. In this castle we can arrange a civil or a symbolic wedding, or a religious ceremony in the private chapel of the Marquises. The ceremonies are held in the castle’s inner courtyard overlooking the park, while for larger weddings the large, green lawn in front of the castle is the perfect place to host numerous guests. In the event of bad weather, the wedding can be held in the castle’s historic library, whose old books and antique furniture will transport you back in time. The wedding banquet usually consists of an appetizer served on the panoramic terrace, and dinner is held in the historical halls of the castle, which is available for exclusive use. And for accommodation, in addition to the rooms in the castle itself, the rooms of the Marquise’s own five-star palace are also available.

A second alternative is an elegant lakeside villa where you and your guests may arrive by car or, for an unforgettably dramatic entrance, you and your bridegroom may arrive by boat to the Villa’s private embarcadero. Upon entering the property you will be stunned by the peace and tranquility of the location, and taken by its perfectly manicured grounds whose park, garden and lawns are the ideal area for a most refined daytime or evening outdoor ceremony, aperitif, and banquet. You may hold either your formal civil wedding or your symbolic ceremony here;  you may even celebrate a religious Catholic wedding in the nearby church just steps away.  For those who wish to celebrate their wedding in absolute utmost privacy, the villa hosts only one event per day and in exclusive, thus ensuring your privacy in this spectacular setting. To complete your wedding celebration in perfect comfort and tranquility, the suites of Villa are the perfect choice for your honeymoon:  all suites have an impressive view of the lake, and offer privacy and serenity sure to make yours a truly romantic stay.

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Wedding on Lake Garda: Among Castles and Mountains

Lake Garda was one of the essential stopping points on the itinerary of the eighteenth/nineteenth century Grand Tour, undertaken by royal scions, upper middle-class intellectuals and poets. The great Goethe defined Lake Garda as “a wonder of nature, an enchanting spectacle“.  From Catullus, the celebrated poet of ancient Rome, to Maria Callas, the famous opera singer, many noteworthy persons throughout the centuries have been fascinated by the beautiful natural landscape of Lake Garda, the southernmost of the northern lakes and the largest lake in Italy. The highest part is surrounded by the mountain range of the Alps, while the hot springs on the lower part are an important natural resource enjoyed by guests and residents.  The Alps protect Lake Garda from the cold, making its climate surprisingly mild. The Mediterranean vegetation covers its banks which are dotted by surrounding castles and medieval towers, framed by the deep blue water.  Imagine your wedding, in the midst of such natural beauty on Lake Garda.

Wedding in the Scaliger Castle in Malcesine
Upon arriving in the picturesque village of Malcesine on Lake Garda, the first thing you see and will be taken aback by is the monumental castle, imposing yet romantic,  with its tower reaching 31m into the sky. It defines the colors of the backdrop created by Lake Garda’s mirror-blue and Mount Baldo’s deep green penumbra. The castle was built in the 1200’s by the influential Scaligeri family, originally from Verona, in order to protect the city by overseeing the routes to reach it. The castle still stands like a mighty sentinel, a timeless witness to centuries of legends and romantic stories.  A charming and romantic stone path leads up to the castle, whose ancient rooms have their own stories to tell, and from the terrace you will have a breathtaking view of beautiful Lake Garda. Wedding ceremonies in Malcesine are celebrated either in the castle in an elegant dining room, or under a gazebo on a panoramic terrace which will be the ideal setting for your wedding in Malcesine on Lake Garda. After the ceremony, you can organize a cocktail reception, right in the castle, on the lower terrace.  You may also organize a journey on the lake on a beautiful sailing ship where you may also the aperitif  served.  The stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, which appear to be softly melting into the water, will be the beautiful backdrop for your wedding photo shoot on Lake Garda. The perfectly preserved castle will make you feel like a king and queen on your magnificent wedding day in Malcesine on beautiful Lake Garda.

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