Dreaming of a destination wedding in Italy? You’re got lots of company. Wedding tourism is booming in Italy with over 11,000 overseas couples tying the knot in the Bel Paese last year, according to the Destination Weddings in Italy Observatory, complied by the Centro Studi Turistici tourist study center.
From opulent villas on Lake Como to rustic farmhouses serving farm-to-table food, there are countless Italian wedding venues for every taste and budget. Plus, no matter where you decide to wed, you can be sure that your guests will have plenty to do. The most exclusive palaces in historical cities, frescoed villas with gardens full of flowers sloping down towards the water, ancient castles perched upon a hill in the countryside.
The possibilities are endless, Italy offers the most beautiful alternatives to suit every style and need: from elegant to romantic, from intimate weddings to large family celebrations. Ideal venues for an intimate wedding in Italy are exquisite boutique hotels located in charming medieval towns, or lovely farmhouses immersed in a peaceful countryside. Historical places to get married in Italy include centuries-old churches, finely restored castles, and exquisitely decorated villas surrounded by luxuriant gardens.
Celebrating a wedding in Italy is not only a delight for the happy couple and their guests, but also for the Italian economy. Tuscany was confirmed as favorite foreign wedding destination with 21% of the total followed by Lombardy, Campania, Puglia, Sicily, and Lazio, the observatory said. What’s more, the survey said that the foreign wedding industry has “big margins for expansion”.
Based on the length of stay of couples and guests at the ceremony (3.3 nights on average), 619 thousand arrivals and over 2 million tourist presences were linked to destination weddings in 2022, producing an estimated turnover of €599 million, about 11% more than the levels estimated in pre-pandemic 2019.
The vogue for getting married in Italy has been boosted by celebrity couples choosing the country to get hitched, starting in 1992 with David Bowie and Somali born model Iman Abdulmajid, who swapped vows in the American Church of St James in Florence.
This was followed by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on Lake Bracciano, George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin at Palazzo Papadopol in Venice, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the Forte Belvedere in Florence, and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel at Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, to name a few.