Admit it, you are considering a destination wedding in Italy! You have, at least for a minute, thought about getting married in one of the Big Ones, i.e. the classic destinations such as Venice, Rome, Sorrento, Tuscany, Lake Como etc. And I totally get it, after all, who would not like to have wedding photographs taken near the Coliseum or the leaning tower or on a gondola? Who wouldn’t want to feel like a Hollywood star on the shores of Lake Como? Err, I actually wouldn’t. Yes, you got it, I wouldn’t. And recent trends suggest that I am not the only one.
International couples wishing to tie the knot in Italy have now started to look a bit further off the main stream, wishing to be a bit more adventurous and step into the unknown with lesser known destinations. The reasons seem to be associated with a search for a genuine Italian experience, equally stunning locations characterised by more exclusivity, lack of mass tourism and a high degree of peace. All at a much more reasonable price.
These are the 5 main reasons why you, like many other couples, might want to opt for something quite different.
1 – many lesser known places are as beautiful as their more famous counterparts.
A remarkable aspect of Italy is that, wherever you go, you will be surrounded by beauty. Venice is not the only place where you can find canals (try Chioggia or Comacchio, for instance) and the historical centre of Florence is not the only Unesco heritage site of its kind (there’s Urbino, for example). Puglia is not the only sun kissed region with amazing beaches, crystal clear water and never ending olive groves (try Liguria or Calabria). If it is amazing landscapes and magnificent artwork and buildings you are looking for, then you will be able to find them off the beaten track too.
2 – going off the beaten track guarantees you exclusivity.
The last time I was in Rome I saw with my own eyes newly wed couples queuing up at the Campidoglio to take a photo with the stunning Forum behind them. Well, if you ask me, that is a killjoy. No matter how beautiful the major locations are, they lack exclusivity, especially in the high season. Not to mention the hordes of tourists you will bump into as you walk down the road. Some people like the attention, but it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.
3 – you will get more value for money without compromising on quality.
As London is more expensive than Liverpool, Perugia is cheaper than Florence. Avoiding the most famous locations will save you money, which you can reinvest on a longer honeymoon, a better dress or better wine amongst other things. The Big Ones will be pricy and you often pay more just for the privilege of being there. And that is fair enough, but more and more couples wish to get greater value for money.
4 – you will find a less staged Italy off the beaten track.
In the Big Ones everyone speaks English, you are surrounded by tourists and other couples, you can get a fry-up for breakfast and a Pastis before dinner, and can get all the souvenirs you may wish for. But is that a truly genuine Italian experience? Some might think otherwise. Sometimes couples wish to feel like they are not just a part of a never ending wedding assembly line, they like to be made to feel special. They long for a bit of adventure and to have a truly Italian experience, with all its pros and cons.
5 – Peace and quiet.
A wedding can be a stressful event per se. Emotions are a big part of it and it is not to everyone’s taste to have crowds treading on your toes as soon as you step out of the city hall. Some people just genuinely want peace, silence, in the purest sense of the word, which is far easier to find off the beaten track.
It goes without saying that many couples do not experience the downsides of the Big Ones and have the most amazing wedding they can wish for and we are happy about that. Leaving Italy with a wonderful memory of this country, wherever region or city that may be, is always flattering to us Italians.
Some people though believe that less is more, that peace is an essential requirement for a great wedding, and that when in Rome you should really be in Rome, not in what a foreigner thinks Rome might be. For me, having a truly genuine Italian experience is a requirement. Last but not least, those pennies saved by going off the beaten track can go towards a bigger and better honey moon, a truly amazing Italian grand tour of all the main destinations, Byron and Shelley style, to be the annoying tourists other couples can’t stand.