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Photo ©Villa Lilliano
Villa Lilliano in Bagno a Ripoli
Top wedding venues in and around Florence
Striking spots for a wedding to remember

Tying the knot in Florence or its surrounding countryside is a dream scenario for many brides and their betrothed, and there’s certainly no shortage of venue choices. Whether you’re looking for a backdrop that screams “destination wedding” or want something more modest and rustic, the Tuscan capital delivers.

Museums and Monuments

From Palazzo Vecchio to Rose garden.

Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio- Credit:  UT70619

Regardless of where you end up getting married, if you’re planning to wed anywhere within the municipality of Florence, you’ll inevitably visit Palazzo Vecchio for necessary bureaucratic procedures. But you can also have the ceremony here—and what better place for a Tuscan wedding, really, than one of Florence’s most iconic monuments? In the heart of the city in piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio has been Florence’s seat of civic power since 1290.

A wedding here, however, is no humdrum town hall ordeal. Three rooms are open to couples and their guests: the vibrant Sala Rossa, the frescoed Sala di Lorenzo, and the refined Salone dei Cinquecento.

The richly red Sala Rossa was once 19th century statesman Bettino Ricasoli’s bedroom, and is the only part of the Palazzo still holding the original wall coverings and neo-Baroque furnishings of the era.

The Sala di Lorenzo il Magnifico is less commonly used for ceremonies, but its sumptuous ceiling and frescoed walls, painted by Giorgio Vasari and Marco da Faenza, will nonetheless lend a uniquely Florentine feel to your special day.

Finally, for larger ceremonies, couples can reserve the Salone dei Cinquecento, one of Florence’s most spellbinding spaces—with a backstory to match. A room of cinematic-level grandeur, the Salone dei Cinquecento originated in the 15th century when the smaller Sala dei Duecento no longer sufficed as a meeting space for the Florentine Council. The only risk you take with choosing this room is that your guests might not witness your vows, they’ll be so transfixed by the coffered ceilings and their 42 paintings on the life of Cosimo I de’ Medici. More info here: Comune di Firenze

 

Bardini Museum
Bardini museum- Credit:  Bardini museum

Nel blu dipinto di blu, indeed! Italian crooner Domenico Modugno would have been right at home in this civic museum, where the bold blue walls make an instant visual impact. This neo-Renaissance building is home to an eclectic collection of antiques put together by Stefano Bardini, sure to add luster to your ceremony.

 

Rose Garden
Quite the view from the Rose garden!- Credit:  gioiaburgello

Renaissance city residents will know it as a prime springtime picnicking spot—but the rose garden is also a lush location to make a lifelong commitment! Optimal bloom time is in May, but the stunning view over Florence has no seasonal requirements.

Renaissance city residents will know it as a prime springtime picnicking spot—but the rose garden is also a lush location to make a lifelong commitment! Optimal bloom time is in May, but the stunning view over Florence has no seasonal requirements.*
Roman theatre of Fiesole

What a truly dramatic and significant setting for a civil ceremony! From April to September, the Roman Theatre of Fiesole is available for weddings with nature and history all around you. Whether you choose the terrace in front of the Archaeological Museum or the Roman Theater, stunning views of the Tuscan landscape and centuries of history make this a unique and memorable location. Aptly, Roman tradition is said to be the origin of our ring wearing custom, as in ancient times the left ring-finger was considered a symbol of love given that it connects to the heart.

Villas

Seeking a homey setting with a green backdrop for your big day? Civil ceremonies can also be celebrated in romantic Tuscan villas. Check out this list:

Villa Vogel

Villa Vogel could be your park-perfect match. A sprawling green space in the Isolotto-Legnaia area (Quartiere 4), the villa was donated to the City of Florence in 1980 by its last owners, a Swiss family. Unlike its more centrally located counterparts, the Villa Vogel is outside Florence’s limited traffic area (ZTL), making it easier for your guests to arrive by car—a major plus if many are local.

 

Villa di Maiano
Villa di Maiano- Credit:  Sailko

Just above Florence in the picturesque Fiesole hills, Villa di Maiano holds several potential “stages” for your nuptials and related events. With its rustic charm, the Olivaia Hall, a former olive storage room (seriously, what’s more Tuscan than that?) would be a winning setting for a rehearsal dinner. A cloister and farmyard clustered right next to said room would both make charming, intimate settings to start a crucial new life chapter. 

Villa Medicea di Lilliano
Medici Villa Lilliano in Bagno a Ripoli- Credit:  Villa Lilliano

This wine estate is a fairytale setting with 11th century roots; later it became home to Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’ Medici and saw such illustrious visitors as King Frederick IV of Denmark pass through. Whether or not your guest list includes royalty, Villa Lilliano is one of the few event venues of its kind that can host official and not just symbolic ceremonies. Through the town hall of Bagno a Ripoli, they are authorized to perform civil marriage rites, meaning you can say “I do,” then sip prosecco and dance under the stars (or in the light-filled limonaia) at your reception—all in one spectacular setting. 

Churches

Note that for many of Florence’s famous, monumental Catholic churches, waiting lists can be extremely long, and even more so if you are not a member of the parish. Start planning early!

Basilica San Miniato al Monte
San Miniato al Monte- Credit:  Giuseppe Moscato

Exchanging vows in this hilltop church a stone’s throw from piazzale Michelangelo is a Florentine fantasy come true for many couples. Noted as a key example of Florentine Romanesque architecture, the church is equally, if not more, famous for its panoramic views over the city, which will add a giant splash of Renaissance city romance to your nuptials. More info here: www.sanminiatoalmonte.it 

Chiesa di Ognissanti
Ognissanti church in Florence- Credit:  Ben Rimmer

It gained new attention in 2015 when an Indian oil magnate’s son had his multimillion-euro destination wedding in its piazza of the same name, which faces the Arno River. But you can also have a less extravagant—but no less meaningful—ceremony inside the church, which is in the Baroque style. The striking nave is home to works by Sandro Botticelli, whose tomb you’ll find in an unassuming corner of the church. More info: www.chiesaognissanti.it 

St. James Episcopal Church
St James church in Florence- Credit:  St James church

Although it may appear understated compared to some other spots on the list, this American Episcopal church hosted a certain “White Duke”’s wedding—the late music legend David Bowie and Somalian model-actress Iman said “I do” here in 1992. Aesthetically and architecturally, it belongs to the Gothic Revival movement, and it stands next to the scenic Giardino Corsini and Orti Oricellari. Note that if you get married here, Italian law requires that you have had a civil marriage prior to the religious ceremony; this can be done via the town hall  or in your home country before departing. More info here: www.stjames.it 

St. Mark’s English Church

Hosting an active congregation since 1881, St. Mark’s is housed in a fifteenth century palazzo. Much of its moody and intricately decorated interior is the work of local and English artists influenced by the pre-Raphaelite movement. As at St. James, marrying here requires a registration certificate obtained via Palazzo Vecchio or the necessary channels in your home country. More info here: www.stmarksitaly.com 

Santissima Annunziata
Santissima Annunziata church in Florence- Credit:  Juan Carlos Peaguda

Get married among artistic masters in this magnificent but often overlooked church, designed by Michelozzo. Santissima Annunziata is home to frescoes by Andrea del Castagno, Jacopo Pontormo, Perugino and Rosso Fiorentino.

You’ll be joining a long tradition of love and devotion if you marry in this area of town. A lovers’ legend with hazy origins lives on at Palazzo Budini Gattai, just across the square from the basilica. Centuries ago, a young couple took up residence there; when the groom was summoned to war, the brokenhearted bride waved goodbye from that window as he rode off valiantly. For years she kept watch over the square, hoping to see her love saunter up, but he never did. Upon her death, servants attempted to close the shutters, but legend has it that lights flickered incessantly and furniture shook, which they took to be an angry message from the woman’s ghost. Still today, the shutters on the upper right of the building are always at least partially open to appease this woman, who is thought to still be waiting for her lost love. Contact mail: annunziata@parrocchie.diocesifirenze.it

Church of San Martino a Mensola

Just on the outskirts of Florence sits the idyllic parish church of San Martino. The modest size of the Renaissance style church makes it a wonderfully intimate and atmospheric for all your loved ones to gather. A number of notable altarpieces make it intriguing for art lovers and its incredible history appeases those who seek centuries-old sites. The first church on the grounds dates back to the Roman era, undergoing many facelifts before reaching its current state. The hilltop position is also a great setting for photographs! See www.sanmartinoamensola.it for more.  

San Martino a Maiano - Fiesole

Located in picturesque Maiano in Fiesole, the church dates back to the 11th century and bears traces of its restorations in the 15th, 19th and 20th centuries. It was transformed into a farm in 1885 by John Temple Leader who acquired the nearby Benedictine monastery in 1873. Above the door, you can see a relief in Della Robbia terracotta depicting San Martino giving his cloak to a poor man while works by Giovan Battista Naldini and Giovanni Bastianini grace the interior. The soft tones of the stone walls create a remarkable ambiance and you’ll be treated to stunning surroundings once you leave the church, perfect for starting your new life together. Contact 055 59253 for more info.

Useful links

www.conventionbureau.it

www.tuscanyforweddings.com

www.destinationflorence.com

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