Monday, May 21, 2012

A Countryside Castle resort for your Wedding Celebrations close to the City of Rome

As promised, after our many tours around the region in the last month or so, here is another great wedding venue near Rome made available for Country Weddings Italy. Daniela dug this one out of her hat just a few weeks ago. The funny thing is that it is so close to our respective homes, it is almost as if it were hiding from us, right under our noses. Anyway, now that Daniela has been clever enough to find it, we are eager to show it to you.

The venue is a luxury hotel resort located in a real castle in the countryside immediately outside the city of Rome. The “Castello was built between the 10th and 13th centuries by the noble Cancellieri family, descendants of the extremely important Orsini family, on the ruins of an ancient Roman villa. Through the centuries it has seen the rise and fall of the many noble families that owned it before it was converted into luxury holiday accommodation in 2002.

The castle is set in luxuriant parkland, and exudes a relaxing atmosphere, while being just a stone’s throw from the lively city. You would never think that you are just 20 minutes from sightseeing and shopping galore!

 In keeping with this ambience, the castle also offers a large outdoor swimming pool where clients can relax, swim and sunbathe and a wellness centre offering personalised beauty treatments for regenerating the body and the mind.

The Hotel has 23 double rooms, making it rather intimate, but at the same time large enough to hold a medium-sized wedding party. Each of the rooms is individually furnished in true keeping with the castle’s style. There are suites, luxury rooms and standard rooms to choose from, for all needs, and varying budgets.

The hotel’s “Locanda” (restaurant) has been splendidly restored in true medieval style. It features a fine stone fireplace dominating one end of the room. The restaurant can be hired for exclusive use for weddings and events and there are also another two functions rooms for bigger or smaller wedding parties. The decor is charming and can be embellished to give a more formal look or a more romantic, country chic look.

Food at the castle is magnificent. The cuisine ranges from regional dishes to others with a strong central Italian influence, but always and only using top quality ingredients and fresh seasonal produce. We can vouch for this. It’s a job perk, you know!

One amazing feature of the hotel is that it also has a private chapel where Catholic weddings can be held.  The chapel is intimate and rich in decor, making it extremely simple to decorate for ceremonies. Weddings can also be held outside in the Cloisters, giving a magical touch to a religious ceremony.
On a more ludical note, the hotel is also close to several golf courses for any golf enthusiasts out there and only about 25 minutes away from a car race track where it is possible to try out your hand racing a Ferrari or a Lamborghini around the track. We can organise these activities for you and many more too.
The resort is 25 miles from the airport, and only 8 miles from Rome city centre, although one would never know that the Eternal City is so close. The castle stands in green parkland and noise is a forgotten problem when staying here. Relaxing by the swimming pool, walking in the grounds, relaxed meals on the terrace, all away from the hustle and bustle, truly makes for a great place to spend a few days with your partner and guests, with the added bonus of being able to organise sightseeing in the city.
All this is available for weddings, and other events that we can organise, and the whole estate and hotel just oozes class. We find many hotel and resort prices to be very reasonable in this part of Italy (apart from the city centre) and again, this location is not overly  expensive if compared to some British and French hotels of the same standard. Last but not least, the staff at the castle are extremely friendly and efficient. Combined with Country Weddings Italy, a great team!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Relais de Charme - A Hillside Wedding Venue with a Sea View

Hi All!
I’m in love, and that’s official. I’m sure you will be too after you’ve read this post!
Where have I been? Away scouring the corners of Lazio (and a little corner of Umbria too, I confess) for some GORGEOUS wedding venues to offer here at Country Weddings Italy. Take a seat. Here is the first…..

This place is  truly a little corner of Paradise. Set on a hillside facing west down on to the magnificent northern Lazio coastline, the colours of the natural surroundings are truly a sight not to be missed. The sunsets are also apparently magical. A photographer's dream!
The resort has been created from a group of old agricultural buildings, which the owner, Signor Gianfranco, bought some years ago and lovingly renovated and recreated to his own personal tastes. Signor Gianfranco has a background in the architectural and theatrical scenery creation sectors, and his expert touch is reflected in the extremely original interior d├ęcor. He's known to be a wonderful cook too, and he has even offered to spend time with our guests teaching them the basics of Italian pasta-making.

The resort has an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, spa, Jacuzzi and Hammam area. This really is a place for a super holiday, with friends, rejuvenating mind and soul, and tastebuds (!), as the food is amazing.

Outdoors, the resort’s grounds are filled as far as the eye can see with Mediterranean vegetation, olive groves, woodland and vegetable gardens, the produce from which is used in the resort’s daily cuisine.

The resort has  private indoor function rooms for receptions, or when the weather permits (a large part of the year here!) it is possible to host wedding receptions and parties outside on the terrace. If you prefer a more natural touch, tables can be placed in the olive grove, reserved for your exclusive use, by the pool, all lit by candles and lanterns once the sun goes down.
The hotel has a total of 20 rooms, making the atmosphere discreet and refined. It is off the beaten tourist track and the owner strives to maintain the exclusivity of both the place and its style. Civil wedding ceremonies are possible just a few miles away, in a castle museum (officially a municipality wedding hall) right by the sea. Great for photos!
The word here is originality. Original architecture and design, original wines, original and genuine local foods. Combined with a breathtaking view, this very private, secluded resort is the perfect location for a group to relax, have fun. The perfect Italian wedding venue. For celebrating with Country Weddings Italy, of course!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Castles and Country Weddings....Italy

Well, what a month March has been! We've gone from the freak snow of February to the amazing sunny days of March. Just perfect for wanting to laze around in the garden and not do any work, but no rest for the wicked, and my feet literally haven't touched the ground, so what does that say about me??

 I know I haven’t been around a lot on the blog, but we are currently visiting some “wow factor” venues that we could possibly suggest to our Country Weddings Italy couples. More of those in the near future (and then I’m off to bed as we have another visit arranged for tomorrow morning!) but in the meantime, and I know I’ve told you about this before, Latium (or Lazio as it is known here in Italy), the Italian Region home to Rome, to name its most famous city, is full of the most amazing architecture from all periods. Most of the castles, however, date back to the Medieval Age.

I thought I might tempt you with a few photographs of some of these magnificent buildings. Some of the castles are still lived in by their aristocratic owners, but many are now also open to the public, to visit or, here it comes, to hire as wedding venues! Can you imagine feeling like a true-blood Italian aristocrat or princess in your own castle for a day??

Some of the castles have been transformed into hotels, at several levels from B&B to 5-star hotel. Some of them are museums on a day-to-day basis, but can be hired for weddings anyway (they close the museum for the day, don't worry, no uninvited guests!) At least two are now  municipal wedding halls, which means you can use them as your legal civil wedding venue there, maybe with the mayor marrying you in the castle museum or up on the terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside.  One castle is famous for both its beautiful rose gardens and the wonderful waterfalls nearby. Perfect as a backdrop for photos….

There are castles big and small, some hotels to stay in for a week, or locations just for your special day, some municipal wedding halls or museums. Some are by the sea, some by a lake and others in the countryside surrounded by exquisite medieval villages or green fields. Just perfect, in any of these cases for a Country Wedding in Italy! 
If you’d like to know more about using a Latium castle as your wedding venue, or also as your holiday location for you and your wedding guests, please let us know and we can send you more information. In the meanwhile, take a look at the pictures to see the plethora of castles on offer!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mimosa Yellow Wedding Inspirations

Image credit: 

This time of year, things tend to get a little “yellow” here in Italy. Spring is already in the air,  the sunshine is already a regular feature each morning and the first trees to flower at this time of year are the Mimosa trees, or the Silver Wattle trees as they are known in some parts of the world. This tall tree blossoms with its feathery yellow, ball-shaped flowers, which give off a strong perfume and are beautiful to look at against the clear blue skies of early morning. I don’t think I had ever seen a Mimosa tree before coming to Italy, so they still strike me as being extremely beautiful. The fact that I can’t actually hold a flowering twig or branch of the tree without sneezing is beside the point! (the blossoms give off a powdery residue at times, which plays hell with my allergies!)

Mimosa yellow shoes by Brian Atwook, Mimosa table centre arrangement by Liane McCombs Weddings & Events, Mimosa garland on, nail polish "Mimosa" by Chanel, bracelet by IsitForMe on Etsy, Mimosa invitation by Delphine Press,
 Yellow candy by Esla Events

So why tell you about these trees today? Because March 8th is International Women’s Day, and here in Italy, and the Mimosa is the symbol of this special day. In Italy, many matters, mediatic and non are concentrated on celebrating the event each year, for all the right and wrong reasons, in my humble opinion. I think it is an excellent opportunity for the media and campaigning groups to talk about the oppression of women, equality, domestic violence against women and female poverty etc, but do  not think that we actually need a special day to believe that we have a right to a night out with our female friends! Isn’t that something we can do every day of the year if we so wish, and have the time ?

Ok, I’m off my soapbox. The trees that have coloured my daily drive down the country lanes to school and back in the last few days have given me the idea for this wedding inspiration board. Bright yellow looks so wonderful with crisp white as colours for your wedding styling, and is mellowed if matched with ivory. Take a look for yourselves, and Happy International Women’s Day to one and all from Country Weddings Italy!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vintage Lace Wedding Inspirations

Phunkey Photography

I went to a craft fair last week and found myself gazing at all the beautiful laces at one of the haberdashery stands and even more amazingly, a group of ladies sitting at a table, spinning their magic with their lace-making bobbins. A truly magical craft that I wonder at each time I see it. I was actually looking for something different to use on my new collection of cards (another hobby), but the sheer beauty and wealth of choice and the talent of the lace-makers got me thinking about weddings...So what's new?!
Lace says it all for me. It's elegant, it's vintage, it's rustic chic, it's stylish. The epitome of a Country Weddings Italy type of wedding.

Dresses by: Peter Langner, Melamela, The English Department, Monsoon

Italy is actually one of the birthplaces of lace-making, along with the Flanders, so perhaps the lace-making ladies shouldn't have surprised me so much. It is still possible to see women making lace in Italy, sometimes sitting out on the street in remote villages, maybe catching a cool evening breeze but not wanting to lose a chance to work their magic and spin their lace "webs" with their "fuselli" or bobbins.
Lace can be incorporated into any part of your wedding. If your dress is fairly simple, why not try an elaborate lace veil, lace-covered shoes or headpiece, or even a lace bridal bouquet? No bride must forget her garter on her wedding day, so why not a special lace one?

Clockwise from top left: Garter  and birdcage veil by Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, lace headdress
 on, lace bridal bouquet by Emma Line Bride, Lace gloves found on a

Lace used at your wedding reception can grace the dining table, your table plan or even be a decoration on your wedding cake. If you prefer not to use real lace, your wedding cake creators can weave their sugar-art magic and create edible lace decorations. There are some amazing ones around. 
Finally, if lace is really your thing, use it in your wedding stationery and wedding favours too. Never has there been a better moment to use lace as a theme throughout your wedding, with the general trend favouring lace, vintage and traditional crafts after years of minimalism. Here are just a few examples that I have found on the internet and from some of my favourite wedding suppliers. 

Clockwise from top left: vintage lace and sparkle-trimmed invitation by Vintage Bespoke stationery,
 Chair back by Lacey Events Services, "Merletto" dinner service by Arte Italica, .com, lace place name,
table plan and tea party recipe cards by Vintage Twee, cake by Sugar and Spice Creations.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Getting Married in Italy...the Perfect Choice

Hi everyone. Today I thought I would provide you with some personal thoughts about why couples decide to get married in Italy. I'm very happy that they do, of course (!!) but making that choice can be so tricky, with the plethora of beautiful destinations worldwide to choose from. In spite of that number of alternatives, Italy has become a very popular choice with couples opting for a “Destination Wedding”, especially with British, Irish, American, Australian and Canadian brides and grooms.
So what is it that makes Italy so attractive, the choice as the perfect place to take your vows and hold the celebrations for your new life together? The first thing that comes to mind is that Italy is such a romantic place. Italian lifestyle itself, the Dolce Vita, is the perfect atmosphere for any type of celebration, and the scenery that you find almost anywhere can be the perfect setting. Just think of all that money saved on styling!! I often spend hours just gazing out of my living window, thinking about how beautiful this place is, and that’s after living here for 22 years, so the novelty has kind of worn off by now! Anyway, let’s say that the canvas is already there, all it needs is painting a little bit more with your favourite colours and style. 

The sun and light in Italy is also so special, and you get a chance to add a little colour to your skin before the big day, if you want to. Wonderful food, fantastic wines, friendly-natured people……I could go on and on, but I think Italy’s magic ingredient is just that…magic. Something that has no name, something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know it is all around you. One phrase that always immediately pops out of somebody’s mouth when I say that I live in Italy is “Oh! You lucky thing!!” And my answer is always “Yes, aren’t I”. And I mean it.

In spite of some negative aspects of living here all the time (is any country perfect?), Italy is a wonderful place, even more so if you plan to spend only a temporary period here.  The Latium countryside is rolling hills, lush vegetation and filled with archaeological and architectural wonders. To watch the video I put on the blog a little while ago, about this superb area of Italy, Latium, where Country Weddings Italy is based, click here.   We can also add the excellent food and wine, amazing locations, beautiful churches and town halls, unique venues with breathtaking views. Italians are certainly creative and stylish too. In fact, we dedicate a lot of time to our supplier searches,  so that the presentation of the food for your wedding breakfast, your table decorations, your wedding flowers and your photographs will be out of this world, even when planning a wedding on a smaller budget. Your wedding will be an event that stays on all your guests’ lips for weeks afterwards. You will have lifetime memories of your wedding in Italy to cherish forever.

Couples choosing to marry in Italy and invite their family and friends often turn the experience into a celebration that lasts for more than one day. The special occasion becomes an opportunity to meet relatives and friends that you may not have seen for some time, and spend some quality time with them, all staying in the same location. At Country Weddings Italy we organise pre and post-wedding events too, which can also be incorporated into your official wedding programme, and be included on your wedding invitations. We can sit down together and organise a whole progamme of events for you and your guests. For example, how about a pre-wedding barbecue by the pool of your hotel the night before the wedding? How about inviting all your guests to have a late brunch with you the day after your wedding, to look at some of the photos (the magic of digital photography is that it is immediately visible on screen) and talk about some of the most enjoyable moments of the day?  How about spending a day before your wedding in the kitchen with your friends, learning authentic Italian cooking while sipping a glass of full-bodied red wine (or two…).

 Or, to make the men (or the women, of course!) in the wedding party happy, how about learning to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini around an Italian racetrack for the day?

Daniela and I always make sure that we have excellent accommodation to offer you, if it is not already available at your wedding venue, and if we don’t have immediate thoughts on the matter, we will do the searching for you, until we find a place where you will be happy staying for your wedding holiday.  Some of the excellent hotels and country villas that we have visited and chosen to offer to our couples have offered to organise cookery classes, wine-tasting evenings, and even sightseeing tours around Rome.

Add your wedding ceremony in a frescoed wedding hall, a beautiful church or in a country garden, spectacular food and wine at your wedding reception and a mild climate almost all year round, and……well, maybe we’ve got the answer as to why Italy is a very popular choice for couples planning their wedding.