WEDDING LOCATION HOTSPOT: PISA More than a Leaning Tower!
When it comes to locations for weddings in Tuscany, historically the area of Chianti enjoys the largest portion of the cake, with cream on top. Christened ‘Chiantishire’ by its English-speaking fan base, this alluring haven of rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards between Florence and Siena is generously portrayed on postcards and book covers the world over to represent Tuscany at large.
An obvious and easy choice therefore for couples looking to find the perfect place to celebrate their wedding overseas, especially given the imminent ‘option paralysis’ induced by an unfathomable sea of property options, as anyone who has embarked on a wedding venue hunt will recognise.
Tuscany however is vast, and with a surface area of approximately 23,000 sq. km, an importantpart of which lines the coast, offers a wealth of history, tradition, cuisine and beautiful landscapes reaching far beyond the central heartland of Chianti.
As an English wedding planner lucky to live in this beautiful part of the world, my job does by no means start with booking a church and end with waving off the last guest at the end of the party. This is merely the end result of continuous, careful research into all this country has to offer, of navigating the sea of options on behalf of the couple, enabling me to present on a platter simply the best suppliers and venues, experienced first-hand.
This week I was invited as a guest wedding planner to London’s Corinthia Hotel by the Pisa Chamber of Commerce as hosts of ‘Pisa Wedding Destination’ in association with the UKAWP. The event served as a platform for a collection of venues and suppliers based in western and southwest Tuscany to promote their services and introduce their locations for weddings. Pisa can often be overlooked as a wedding destination as the pull of central Tuscany and the fleet of Florence-bound coaches lining up at Pisa International Airport whisk passengers eastwards towards the statue of David. The truth is that the area of Tuscany framed by the Pisan hills and the Tyhrennian sea has much to shout about. Pisa’s Leaning Tower remains one of Italy’s most famous landmarks but rather than a quick visit before following its inclination inland we should pause and turn our eye to what is directly beneath.
The thermal springs of San Giuliano Terme offer pure indulgence in a setting of total tranquillity. The peace of a restored Etruscan hamlet hidden in the hills of Volterra calms your senses as organic food is picked from the land in front of you and prepared in the family kitchen. The prestigious, organic wines of a timeless estate near Montopoli have decorated tables of several illustrious weddings over the centuries and a historical residence in Terriciola offers beautiful outdoor weddings in the vineyards, under the shade of a chestnut tree.
The standard of accommodation will satisfy even the most discerning client with a range of apartments, luxury suites, stylish historical residences and five star boutique hotels. The beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside, the lines of cypress trees and the extensive olive groves are equally as breathtaking as further inland, and you can even see the sea.
Geographically this region also has several obvious advantages including the proximity of some of Tuscany’s most sought after beaches and of the International Airport in Pisa meaning that you never need to travel too far to reach your ideal wedding location.
If you would like to discover more about this region from an insider’s perspective and to be introduced to the best providers for your wedding. I am now bursting to share new secrets…
A big thank you to Fabrizio Quochi from the Pisa Chamber of Commerce and Bertrando di Renzo for organising the event, to all the participants for their presentations and to the Corinthia Hotel for hosting us.