Wedding in Italy, where for reception?
My fiance and I are planning a wedding in Italy for May 2009. Since neither of us have been to Italy before, we are having a hard time choosing the location. And the reason why I am posting this on a chowhound board is that, the quality of food we can get is one of our top 3 priorities.
So my question to everyone is, where should I have my wedding reception given the following requirements:
1. Great food!!
2. About 20-30 people
3. less than 100 Euros per head
4. warm atmosphere or outdoors reception
Any suggestion would be appreciated.
Congratulations! And good luck with your search, it's not going to be easy to choose because there are so many options: Italy is full of beautiful places.
I got married in Erice, in Sicily, 20 years ago. It's a charming, non-touristy place, the weather is always perfect because it's warm but not unbearably so during the day, and freshens up in the evening. There's nearly always a light mist in the evenings which creates a magical atmosphere. The restaurant where we had our wedding lunch was called Il Cortile di Venere, and has unfortunately gone out of business ( well, it *has* been 20 years) but I'm sure there are lots of other good ones. Seafood is usually great, and a speciality of Erice which I haven't yet been able to find anywhere else in Italy is the marzipan, which is light and delicate and literally melts in your mouth.
We will be in Italy in Oct. for our daughter's wedding in Portovenere. I just saw your post while I was doing some food related research for our travels in Tuscany, Emilia Romagna & Liguria during that time. She had originally investigated the Amalfi Coast and the Portofino/Santa Margherita Ligure areas, but decided on PV at the suggestion of family friends who live in SML. They previously lived in Naples, so are familiar with both locations. PV, is at the southern end of the Cinque Terre and at the northern point of entrance to the Golfo di Poeti, http://www.portovenere.com . Our friends became familiar with PV when they docked their boat in La Spezia, at the back of the gulf, for the winter. PV is as picturesque as Portofino, with a bit more rustic charm and is a lot less expensive than either Portofino or the Amalfi. Your requirement for great food is also #1 on my daughter's list of expectations for her wedding, so our friends did some culinary research for us.
My daughter is having an afternoon wedding ceremony at the Castello Doria overlooking the town and an evening dinner reception at the Grand Hotel Portovenere. She originally reserved her reception at a harborside restaurant called Le Bocche, http://www.lebocche.it/ . The location had to change when the number of guests exceeded their limit of 50 diners. Our friends found the food to be excellent at both venues, as well as at other area restaurants. They said you can hardly go wrong anywhere in PV. Fish is found exclusively on many menus, so that was another reason to reevaluate and choose the Grand....it offers a wider variety of food choices, http://www.portovenerehotel.it/eng/banchetti_nozze.htm , and it also meets your under 100 e per person criteria, which Le Bocche does not. The Grand was formerly a convent along the waterfront and has a charming atmosphere, as well as an outdoor terrace with view of the gulf.
Catered dining receptions are available at the castle, but I don't know the price on that. We will be having cocktails there immediatly following the ceremony, but haven't gotten a quote yet. Another restaurant she considered for her welcome party is Locanda Lorena, http://www.locandalorena.com/index_en... , on Palmaria Island, which is only a 2 minute water taxi ride across from PV. Again, I don't know the prices because we also exceeded their dining limit. But, it is very rustic and internationally known for it's great seafood. We still haven't nailed down a welcome party site because we had reserved the Locanda and were just informed of their diner limit last week. The agent through which we leased an apartment and our wedding coordinator are working on this right now. The agent suggested another spot on Palmaria, Le Fortezza, which is an old fort that now houses a museum, art center and conference center. It has great atmosphere, but was a little more "receptionish" than we wanted for the party. Events are catered.
Hope this has been some help to you. You can contact me by email if you would like more information or photos of some of the places I have mention, firstname.lastname@example.org . Good luck in your planning.
There is more to Italy than Capri, Amalfi, Positano or Florence. Especially if you are budget-minded, I would recommend areas outside the main tourist centers.
Both are elegant Villas, outside Udine and Venice, and offer complete packages for weddings...
Food will be classic Italian cuisine, with a Venetian touch (lots of fresh fish) in Mira and a Friulian touch in Udine (excellent meat and the best prosciutto crudo !!).
The big difference between places in southern Italy (Naples, Sicily ect.) and northern Italy is that you will find that there is a completely different attitude:
In northern Italy people will treat you like an Italian, everything and everybody will be on time and provide perfect and professional service.
In southern Italy I would strongly suggest to use some experienced local contact, otherwise they will treat you like, well, an American tourist ...
I went to my cousins wedding in Cetara on the Amalfi coast a couple of years ago. The reception was at the Hotel Cetus , aperitivi on the veranda and lovely views of the coast.They have a small restaurant serving modern Italian food which was fantastic which would be perfect for a small party, there were 150 guests in the large dining room for the wedding breakfast which was light and airy but big! Our rooms had romantic views of the coast and some of the walls along the corridors are the rock face of the cliff it was built on- cool!
Cetara is not the most touristy of places on the coast but it is a charming little village with 3 great restaurants, all in the Michelin Guide all a few steps away from the small sandy beach (except the hotel which is on the main road above the village). google the hotel for info.
Pro's -typical and traditional Italian atmoshphere and food with great restaurants very close by.Stunning coastline and you can make your Grand Entrance by boat.Also you can all stay in the hotel!
Con's - I don't know how they are at organising a wedding for non Italian speakers as this wedding was very traditional Italian style for traditional Italians!
I got married on the Amalfi coast at the Grand Hotel Excelsior overlooking Amalfi. The food and views of the coastline were stunning and the terraces and cave bar was just perfect however it was 20 years ago and I am not sure how the place is now- I know it was in need of a revamp 5 years ago . The little chapel was in the grounds of the hotel and the priest from the village of Pogerola up the road did the honours.
Weddings in Italy are big business and can be quite expensive. I was at a wedding in Fiesole, overlooking Florence last October which was perfect in every detail. location, food, flowers, drinks, music, bilingual service etc but, I suspect, very expensive! It was all organised by an American wedding planner living in Florence who also conducted the open air ceremony in the grounds of Villa Maiano (where they filmed Tea with Mussloini and Room with a view) overlooking Florence. I can find and forward his details if you like - he was very charming and knowledgable on all things weddingy and Italian.
Hope this has been some use, good luck hunting!
If I hadn't already gotten married in the nicest cathedral in North America several years ago, I would get married in Positano or Capri on the patio of one of those hotels with the beautiful views. When I was in Positano in March (off season prices) we stayed at Le Sirenuse Hotel and the view from the terrace was absolutely the most beautiful view I have seen in my whole life. I don't think the restaurant prices would be cheap, but you should check. Also, we tried to stay in the hotel next door, but it was closed until April, and that hotel has the same basic world-class view, but the room prices were much more reasonable -- IL Marincanto. I love ocean views, as you can see, you need to search the websites and decide for yourself, but we had a memorable time!