10 Florence Favorites: Where to Eat and Drink on a Budget

After living in Florence for over 10 years I certainly have my favourite places to eat and drink. Since my student days of skimming by on a minimal budget have passed (thank God!) and I can choose restaurants based on other criteria, I thought it would be refreshing to have new insight. So I asked my current intern Lorelei who is a young american student visiting Florence for the first time to share her Florence experience with me….well at least the eating and drinking part. I think she did a great job and has certainly opened my eyes to new experiences. Enjoy!

La Milkeria – Coffee and Desserts $ Address: Borgo degli Albizi, 87, Firenze If you have a sweet tooth, I firmly believe you should try La Milkeria at least once. It’s the cutest little café and delivers a presentation just as charming, and I’ve had great service every time. From waffles to crepes, it’s all made fresh in the front window—a brilliant idea on their part I must say, as watching Nutella being drizzled on someone’s waffle is an especially tantalizing invite. You can top your dessert with just about anything; fresh fruit, gelato, or both. However, I know they sometimes struggle with taking card, so make sure you have cash on you.

  

The Oil Shoppe $ – A soup, salad, and sandwich shop Address: Via Sant’Egidio, 22/r, 50122 Firenze Hours: Closed Saturday and Sunday Oh, the Oil Shoppe. To most, it’s nothing but a hole in the wall. But to me—to us poor, starving study-abroad students—it is our holy grail, and we will be loyal followers until the death. It’s a small restaurant, but colorful and inviting, with long tables and plenty of stools lining the walls. Almost everything is between 4 and 6 euro. The service is outstanding—they even make an effort to learn your name—and the menu is infinite, with everything being made fresh before your eyes by a handsome Italian man. You can get your food to stay or to-go, and usually it’s very quick; however, if you come during lunch hour, you may experience between a 10 and 15 minute wait. I know a lot of people live for Oil Shoppe’s various buckets of leaves—I think they call it “salad” or something (weird, I don’t get it), but anyway, for what it’s worth, the number 4 panino (turkey, pesto, sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and arugula perfectly pressed on toasted bread—plus double turkey for .50 when I’m feeling Hungarian) is food for the soul.

  
L’Margaritaio Cocktail Bar $ – Inexpensive “Mexican” style margaritas and quesadillas  Address: Via dell’Anguillara, 70, Firenze 055 290374 Hours: 5:30pm-2:00am If you’re coming here for Mexican, well—just remember you’re in Italy. The chicken is…questionable; the vegetables are…weird and frozen, and the guacamole is visually comparable to baby poop (as for taste, I can’t confirm). Basically, I close my eyes, dip my chip, and don’t ask questions, and by some miracle I usually end up enjoying my meal. When you’re in Italy looking for Mexican cuisine, beggars can’t be choosers. That being said, if you’re as easily as impressed as me in the culinary department, this place will likely satisfy your craving—and best of all, it’s inexpensive. On that note, I must confess their means of salvation is the frozen margaritas. They’re towering, delicious, and two will have you feeling pret-ty good, with personal favorites including Gogi Berry, Pina-colada, and Blood Orange. They’re 7 euro, which, meh—“help me, I’m poor,” but even I agree it’s an indulgence you can spare. What’s even better, if you can make Happy Hour hosted between 5:30pm and 8:30pm, frozen margs are only 4 euro each. Pair it with a large plate of nachos (trust me, you’ll want the large), a good group of friends, and you’ll have yourself a time well-spent.


Move on: Best Beer & Vinyl $$ – Old-School American Music Bar and Restaurant  Address: Piazza Duomo Move On is a classy bar and restaurant with an effortlessly cool twist on old-school American music culture. The place is spacious and accommodating, complete with a cool record store on the second floor. The food measures up to the aesthetic feel—but if you’re in doubt, the ricotta and spinach ravioli tossed in a butter and sage sauce won’t disappoint. However, as it’s tucked in the realm of a major tourist attraction, it’s not the cheapest place around.

 Lo Scudo $ – Cozy Italian Restuarant Address: Via dell’Oriuolo, 53/r, 50122 Firenze Sitting right near the Duomo, Lo Scudo is a cute, traditional-Florentine style restaurant tailored to the likes of American tourists with an endless menu presented in all languages. In good spring/summer weather, they open the front of the restaurant and you can enjoy the sun and fresh air. It’s very affordable, and the personal pizzas are extremely satisfying.

  
Ditta Artigianale – Coffee and Brjnch Shop $ Address: Via dei Neri, 32, 50122 Firenze One of the best places for a Sunday’s brunch is absolutely Ditta Artigianale. It’s a small café-style, with energetic model waiters and baristas who turn the music up and dance like no one’s watching (but we’re watching—we’re definitely watching). And if you find yourself starving and staring at the menu, the Madame croquet with avocado is something my friends and I dream about night and day, while the cakes and pastries more than satisfy my sweet teeth—I have many.

Gatto e la Volpe $ Address: Via Ghibellina, 151/r, 50122 Firenze With an underground cellar-feel and infinite red brick, you’re really able to soak in the Italian dining culture. Gnocci and pesto is an absolute must, and did I mention unlimited wine?

Toscania Ristorante and Pizzeria – Italian Restuarant $$ Address: Via Dell’oriuolo 18/R, 50122 This place is a personal favorite in Florence—and for good reason. You walk in, you’re seated, poured a glass of champagne, and soon served an appetizer that depends on whatever mood the chef’s in—all complimentary and without even having to ask. I could’ve ordered everything on the menu, but the first time I saw the pizza, it nearly broke my heart. The “pizza for two” is delicious; with thick, soft crust that melts in your mouth, and while it’s priced as if it feeds one, it’s enormous, so bring a friend—or five. However, if you’re at all wide-eyed for steak, I insist you give this place the honor; it’s a notable investment, but enough to feed the table and more than worth it. All in all, you’ll find the reasonable bill a striking contrast to the immaculate service and impressive decor, which left us just as confused leaving the second time as we were the first. 

  

Kitsch $ Address: Via S.Gallo 22 Kitsch is one of my favorite places for aperitivo, a typical “drink-and-buffet” in the Italian culture. Here, aperitivo typically runs 7-10pm and costs only 10 euro, including 1 alcoholic beverage and an endlessly generous buffet of filling food; pastas, bread, vegetables, pizza—even seafood dishes. On a Friday or Saturday night, it can become crowded and finding a place to sit can be tough, especially if there is a group of you, so I recommend getting there earlier rather than later in order to score a table.


 Festival del Gelato – Endless Flavors to Choose From $ Half of me is ashamed to include this on my list, as it is generally considered a “tourist attraction” by Florentine natives, while the other half of me wants them to cater my wedding. I swear there must be 30 flavors to choose from (and as any modern American, I like my choices—enough to order the same thing every single time). Half cheese cake/half Nutella served in an oversized waffle cone; I like to call it “A dream come true.” And as the price isn’t necessarily a nightmare either, I’ll have you know poor-me was able to afford groceries and gelato in the same day—may we bless this establishment.   My top restaurants and bar suggestions coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Last minute 2016 Tuscan Castle Wedding deals!!

If you were waiting for the best moment to plan your italian wedding or an italian vacation without spending a fortune, you should get moving because the time is now! This charming 12th century castle, Castle Florence 5 is trying to fill up their 2016 calendar at discounted prices. Check out their special last minute deals!Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 21.06.01The EstateThe estate includes a 12th century castle, a wine cellar, a restaurant and wine shop, 2 Villas with private pools and 1 Villa with apartments that are available for short – long term stays. The estate is located 25 minutes from Florence and is immersed in the tuscan countryside. They produce high quality products such as wine, extra virgin olive oil and pure saffron. On request they can also organize wine and oil tours in their 900 year old castle cellars.

Villa 1 (for 14 people)Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.49.03Villa 2 (12 +2 people)Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 13.04.57Villa 3 (divided into 3 separate apartments)Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 18.50.00 2016 AVAILABILITIES & SPECIAL DEALS*All packages below include the following Use of castle courtyard or Chapel for wedding and Dancing Room and welcome gift for bridal couple. Unless noted otherwise, Wedding dinner quoted separately. First come, first serve.

PROPOSAL  1
First half of April
Various possibilites: please inquire at wed@tuscaniaevents.com

PROPOSAL  2
24-27 APRIL
Up to 50 People, Fix Price:  
3 Night Accommodation (including tax) EURO 8,900 

PROPOSAL  3
5-9 MAY
Up to 43 People, Fix Price:
up to 4 Night accommodation for 47 people (including tax)
EURO 10,288

PROPOSAL  4
16-18 MAY
Up to 43 Guests, Fix Price:
2 Night accommodation (including tax)
EURO 5,430

PROPOSAL 5
May 22-24th June
Up to 55 People, Fix Price:
2 Night Accommodation (including tax) 
EURO 6750

PROPOSAL 6
22-27 May
Up to 43 People, Fix Price:
5 Night Accommodation (including tax)
EURO 11,665

PROPOSAL 7
31 May- 3 June
Up to 50 People, Fix Price:
3 Night Accommodation (including tax)
EURO 8,900

PROPOSAL  8
6 – 10 June.
Up to 50 Guests, Fix Price:
3 Night Accommodation (including tax, final cleaning)
EURO 8,900

PROPOSAL  9
13 -16 June
Up to 50 People, Fix Price:
3 night Accommodation, (including tax, final cleaning)
EURO 8,900

PROPOSAL  10
20-23 June.
Up to 33 People, Fix Price:
3 Night Accommodation (including tax)
EURO 5,749

PROPOSAL 11
23-27 June
Up to 16 People, Fix Price:
4 night Accommodation, (including tax, final cleaning)
EURO 4,092

PROPOSAL 12

30 July- 2 August

Up to 30 People, Fix Price:
3 Night Accommodation

Euro 5,290

PROPOSAL 13

10-13 August Up to 50 People, Fix Price:

3 night Accommodation, (including tax)

EURO 8,900

PROPOSAL 14
16-20 August
Up to 37 People, Fix Price:
up to 4 Night accommodation  (including tax)
EURO 8,900

PROPOSAL 15
30 August – 2 September
Up to 46 Guests, Fix Price:
3 Night accommodation (including tax)
EURO 7,738

PROPOSAL 16
5-8 September or 11-14 September
Up to 50 People, Fix Price:
3 night Accommodation, (including tax)
EURO 8,900

PROPOSAL 17
19-23 September
Up to 36 People, Fix Price:
up to 4 Night accommodation (including tax)
EURO 8,044

PROPOSAL 18
26 – 30 September
Up to 44 Guests, Fix Price:
4 Night accommodation (including tax)
EURO 9,676

PROPOSAL 19
1 – 7 October
Up to 26 People, Fix Price:
6 night Accommodation, (including tax)
EURO 7,720

PROPOSAL 20
10 – 15 October
Up to 26 People, Fix Price:
up to 5 Night accommodation (including tax)
EURO 6,500

PROPOSAL 21
After October 18th
– Various possibilities. Please inquire at wed@tuscaniaevents.com for additional information

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Castle Florence 5 is a fantastic castle with a rich and unique history. An overall great tuscan experience at a great cost. For more information on the above packages for either a wedding or for vacation, please contact us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com  (while supplies last!!!!)

Tuscania Event weddings at Castle Florence 5

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Let the dream begin……

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A Scandinavian Wedding in Florence

A&C_237The wedding of Swedish couple Anna & Christian was one of my favorite Tuscania Event weddings for several reasons. Scandinavians generally request their guests dress black tie and they hold much importance to speeches throughout the event. The end result…..hot tuxedo clad guests (and of course tall beautiful women) and a wedding filled with great speeches and emotion. This is the story of their beautiful wedding in the hills of Florence.

Location

How can you go wrong with a brand new 5 star hotel in Florence? Tuscania Events organised the first wedding here at Villa Tolomei.

Getting Ready

The Villa’s rooms were breathtaking and a perfect backdrop for pictures! The bride was simply breathtaking in this understated yet elegant gown. In this case, less is certainly more!

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A&C_092The Groom

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Ceremony

Anna & Christian opted for a beautiful symbolic ceremony in the front garden officiated by their own Swedish pastor.

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I can’t forget to include the best looking guests ever! Who doesn’t like a man in a tux?

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Cocktail Hour

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Dinner

The reception dinner was held in the back of the villa with views over the tuscan countryside and Florence.

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What can I say? Beautiful location, beautiful couple and a well dressed crowd makes for an unforgettable Italian wedding. For more information on Villa Tolomei or to discover the right location for you, please contact us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com

Many thanks to Emma from Innocenti Studios for capturing these beautiful moments!

Let the dream begin…….

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Civil Ceremony in Florence: The Rose Garden

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.02.52Convincing couples to marry in Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the world is really not very difficult.  Outside of the history, art and food there are numerous advantages to a Florence based wedding. You can marry any time of the year (even in the winter there are things to do and see) and the surrounding areas are filled with castles, villas, and farmhouses perfect for unforgettable wedding receptions. Florence and Pisa airport are also close and convenient. Unlike many other tuscan towns you have 5 options to choose from for celebrating a civil ceremony –  La Sala Rossa or red room and La Sala dei 500 in the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence town hall), Bardini museum, Villa Vogel and lastly the beautiful seasonal option of Il Giardino delle Rose or The Rose Garden. Typically a civil ceremony is celebrated in the local town hall only so the fact that you have 5 options to choose from in Florence is certainly a plus!

Have I given you enough reasons to choose Florence??

I am dedicating this blog to the seasonal option – Il Giardino delle Rose or the Rose Garden which celebrated its first wedding ever in the summer of 2012. Thank you to former Florence Mayor Renzi and now Italian Prime minister for this possibility!

The Rose Garden

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The Rose Garden is located right underneath Piazzale Michelangelo with wonderful views of the city and is filled with up to 350 different types of roses. There is also an adjacent Japanese garden (see picture below) that was given as a gift of peace from Kyoto, Japan.  Throughout the garden there are  12 bronze statues by Belgian artist Jean Michel Folon. Although it is open all year round, the best time to visit is from May-September and it is also the only time frame you can marry civilly there.

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This is the actual terrace dedicated to performing the civil ceremony followed by a picture of the terrace set up for civil marriages. The frame on the right that looks oddly like a suitcase is actually one of the bronze statues and it uniquely frames the backdrop. Here is a link of a video that clearly showcases the beauty of the ceremony space – The Rose Garden.

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The Rose Garden has a rental fee paid directly to Florence’s town hall from 2250-3000 euros depending on day chosen (2014 pricing). Ceremonies can be held only on Tuesday mornings only twice a month from May- September. For more specific information please contact us at wed@tuscaniaevents.comScreen Shot 2014-03-11 at 14.39.42

If you would like to know more about the possibility of celebrating your dream wedding in Florence, please contact us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com

Let the Dream Begin…..
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Destination Wedding Italy: Monteriggioni

If you are looking for an authentic italian wedding experience look no further – Monteriggioni is a true gem and one of my favourite hilltop towns in Tuscany.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 16.39.13Located halfway between Florence and Siena, Monteriggioni is a small medieval town surrounded by exterior walls that were built for protection in the 1200’s. Today you can take a walk along these walls for spectacular views of the tuscan countryside.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 16.38.50Here is a section of wall where you can walk.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 16.49.24One of the restaurants in the main square.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 14.10.21And well, just pure charm….

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Getting Married in Monteriggioni

For a Catholic ceremony, my two favourite choices are Chiesa di Santa Maria in the actual town of Monteriggioni or Abbazia (abbey) dei Santi Salvatore e Cirino located nearby in Abbadia Isola.

Chiesa di Santa Maria in Monteriggioni square

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Abbazia (Abbey) dei Santi Salvatore e Cirino in nearby Abbadia Isola

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For Civil wedding ceremonies, my  favourite options are the city hall of Abbadia Isola (which is located in the monastery) or the city hall of Siena.

Abbadia Isola (1 km from Monteriggioni)

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Town hall of Siena (25 minutes from Monteriggioni)

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0350Holding a Wedding Reception in Monterriggioni

Although there are many locations in the area to hold a wedding in Monteriggioni, one of my favourites is Hamlet Chianti 2. It is a beautiful villa that can accommodate 30 guests on site and offers a splendid view of the countryside and medieval town of Monteriggioni. This historical villa is full of tuscan charm and is located only 1 km from Monteriggioni centre.

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To experience an authentic Italian wedding in the medieval village of Monteriggioni contact us for more information: wed@tuscaniaevents.com

Let the dream begin……

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Elope in Beautiful Italy

Some of my favourite weddings have been the simple civil elopements…..a couple who decides to come all the way to Italy just to get married – no guests, no fuss, just the celebration of pure love.  It’s these intimate romantic weddings that make my job such a pleasure!
wedding-59The great thing about Italy is that there is absolutely no lack of spectacular places to get married civilly. From Florence’s formal “Sala Rossa”, Volterra’s beautiful frescoed hall, a beautiful terrace of a seaside castle to an olive grove there is surly something for everyone. With the help of Tuscania Events we can guide you through all the necessary steps (which vary according to nationality) and provide ceremony translation and witnesses as necessary.  The fun part is finding the best and most unforgettable civil ceremony location!
Here are just a few of my favourite elopements over the years. However the options are truly endless…….
ImageWedding planner Viviana translates this ceremony in the outdoor courtyard of Certaldo Alto.
135 copy 2287 copy 2I most certainly can not forget to include the beauty of Florence’s Sala Rossa – even though there are 5 possibilities in Florence to choose from – all unique. That is me translating the ceremony in the Sala Rossa or red room (appropriately named!).
wedding-22 copywedding-2wedding-56Siena anyone???
0350How about a beautifully frescoed room…..Oratoria di Santa Caterina is right outside of Florence in the countryside of Bagno a Ripoli.
C&R_-010 copy 2Or perhaps a nice civil ceremony in Volterra.
tumblr_lskg1lAvmY1qatl1eWhat about a castle by the seaside….Lerici castle below or Doria castle in Portovenere.
300813_micjos0183-2790661311-O copy300813_micjos0274 copypvCan’t forget a garden in Siena. Please keep in mind however that only a few outdoor locations in Tuscany provide the possibility of a civil wedding to be celebrated outdoors. Tuscania Events can provide you with a list of options.
H&T-227 copyHow about this unique and unusual option – San Galgano. Yes, you can actually marry inside this super unique abbey without a roof. How cool is that!
Habgood-Images-Tuscany,-Italy-64These are just a few of the many places that you can have a civil ceremony. The beauty and the backdrop of Italy make celebrating a wedding truly unforgettable. For more information on the possibilities to elope in Italy please contact us for a free consultation:wed@tuscaniaevents.com
And let the dream begin……..
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Destination Wedding Italy: Portovenere

The southern coast of Liguria is one of my favourite places not only because it is absolutely breathtaking but I have have fond memories of my own fairytale wedding that took place in the beautiful church of San Pietro overlooking the Bay of Poets.  That’s me (albeit 10 years ago) with my prince charming and the church in the background. Not too shabby eh?

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Although there are many churches and many castles  for holding a legal ceremony along the Ligurian Riviera, I will focus on the magical place of Portovenere with its spectacular views of the “Bay of Poets”.

The Bay of Poets

The gulf of La Spezia is referred to as the Bay of Poets simply because the area attracted many great poets like Shelley and Lord Byron. The sheer beauty of the rocky coast and crystal waters makes it one of the most beautiful backdrops for weddings. Below is “Grotta di Byron”  named after the poet Goerge Gordon Byron who was inspired by the beauty.

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Entrance to the Grottopv6

Portovenere

I love this quaint fishing town with tall colourful houses lining the coast and many seafood restaurants. Although there is a small sand beach suggested for children, be prepared to jump into the crystal waters from the rocky coast. Take a stroll inside the “Caruggio” where there are many small boutiques and do not forget to walk all the way to the castle for some spectacular views.Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 10.58.35

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Doria Castle

This castle is perched on the hilltop with views of the San Pietro church, the entire village of Portovenere and the Mediterranean sea. You can hold a civil wedding ceremony of the outdoor terrace of the castle. Just breathtaking!

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Chiesa di San Pietro (Saint Peter’s church)

This 12th century church  is perched on a rocky hill with 360 degrees views of the mediterranean sea. I will let the pictures speak for themselves…..but can you imagine celebrating a catholic ceremony here?

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One of the great things about Portovenere is that it is close to Pisa International airport and very well connected by boat to visiting other charming villages in the area – Lerici, Cinque Terre, Portofino to name just a few.

pv4For more information on organising a civil, catholic or symbolic ceremony in Portovenere please contact us at: wed@tuscaniaevents.com

Let the dream begin…………

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How to get married in Italy legally: a civil wedding ceremony

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a wedding planner is “how can I have a legally binding wedding ceremony performed in Italy yet recognised in my home country?”. There are two possibilities:

  1. A civil ceremony: This is the easier legal ceremony to organise in Italy. The number of spectacular city halls and outdoor locations is certainly a great way to celebrate an unforgettable wedding. From frescoed city halls, rustic stone courtyards to a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the mediteranean….there is something for everyone.
  2. A Catholic wedding: Although the process is slightly more complicated, it is considered a full legal marriage recognised by the catholic church all over the world. In this case you are required to obtain both civil and catholic document requirements.

I’ll explain shortly the biggest differences between the two different weddings and what is required, how much it costs and the timing.

CIVIL WEDDING

Civil

  • Must takes place in a town hall or a propriety belonging or rented by a town hall. This means that most of the time it is celebrated indoor, in ancient palaces or in a mediaeval courtyard.  There is the possibility to marry civilly in a few selected locations however it varies from tuscan town. Tuscania Events can assist in the search for locations that allow on site civil ceremonies.
  • The couple must complete the paperwork here in Italy prior to the ceremony. Tuscania Events will assist fully with this.
  • The bureaucratic process can vary according to nationality so it is important to mention both nationalities to be sure the necessary paperwork guidelines are followed. Tuscania Events can assist in the specific document needs and with navigating the cumbersome and often difficult Italian bureaucracy.
  • The couple should be prepared to be in Italy three or four days prior to the ceremony to finalize all the necessary paperwork.
  • The cermony lasts around half a hour and it is performed in Italian and translated in your native language by one of our interpreters. It is pretty straight forward and beautifully written and full of significance. The couple is free to add few readings, music, personal vows and the exchanges of rings.
  • Two witnesses are required: one for the bride and one for the groom. Usually it is two members of the bridal party or the parents. If you don’t have any guest present Tuscania Events will provide the witnesses.
  • Pricing: you will have to pay a rental fee directly to the town hall (with our assistance) that could be from 300€ to 5000€ depending on the Town Hall. For the paperwork expect to pay from 150€ up depending on your nationality.  If you need other services, you will also have to consider additional expense for the musicians, photographers, florist, photographer, etc.
  • We suggest that the process should begin around 6 months before the actual ceremony date.

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CATHOLIC WEDDING

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  • Must take place in a catholic church. Italian churches are usually ancient charming buildings. They can be simple stone chapels even 1000 years old, or frescoed magnificient churches depending on the style you prefer.
  • A Catholic marriage in Italy is not possible if one of you was previously married in a Catholic church and then divorced without a formal annulment from the catholic church.
  • The couple must complete the catholic and civil paperwork here in Italy.
  • Refer to civil ceremony above as the documents required for a civil ceremony are also required for a catholic wedding.
  • About catholic paperwork: it is basically the same for all nationalities. Around two months before the ceremony you will have to present your religious pre cana peperwork to the italian bishop. Tuscania Events will assist you and guide you through this process.
  • We will also provide you a parish that speaks your native language. You’ll have to meet up with the priest a few days before the actual wedding day. So the couple should consider being in Italy at least three to four days  prior to the ceremony.
  • The ceremony lasts around one hour. The wedding will be celebrated during the mass if both spouses are Roman catholic. If one of the two is protestant it is easier if they only celebrate the Rite of marriage without the mass. However this is decided also by the parish. In this case the ceremony will last around 30 min. and must be approved by your own Bishop that must give you permission in writing.
  • The mass is the same all over the world. Tuscania Events will provide you a parish priest that can perform it in your native language. You will have the possibility to add readings and music. Then there will be of course the personal vows and exchange of rings.
  • Four witnesses are required: two for the bride and two for the groom.
  • There is no rental fee for the use of the church but you certainly can not forget to make a donation that can be from 300€ for the church and from 100€ for the priest. You’ll also have to consider the expenses for the paperwork that are from around 150€ depending on your nationality. Then, if you need musicians, photographers, florist, photographer and other vendors, you will also have to consider the possibility of additional costs.
  • We suggest that the process should begin around 6 months before the actual ceremony.

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Whether you decide to have a civil wedding or a catholic wedding in Italy, Tuscania Events is available to guide you through the entire process and turn your dream of an italian wedding into reality. To find out more about the beautiful city halls, the panoramic terraces or the breathtaking churches please contact us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com

Ease of mind comes with an expert!!!

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How much does a wedding in Italy cost?

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a wedding planner is “how much does a wedding in Italy cost?”. This is certainly one of the most important things to think about when determining if a wedding in Italy is right for you. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Although I tried my best to be as accurate as possible, these price estimates should be used only as a baseline reference as there are many variables to consider.

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Location/Accommodation

It is very difficult to give an exact idea of what you may spend for accommodation as it all depends on type of accommodation  you choose. Generally the most budget friendly accommodations are self catering villas and the most expensive solutions being a full service luxury hotel. Prices for self catering villas can range from 50 euros per person per night and up and luxury hotels from 150 euros per person per night and up.  However prices for accommodation can greatly fluctuate depending on length of stay, amount of amenities available and location.

ImageCatering Costs

If there is no on site restaurant on location which is the case for the majority of locations expect to pay from 90 – 130 euros per person. Then there is the 10% VAT tax to add. Within this per person price would include the following: an abundant cocktail hour, dinner (2 first courses and 1 second), wine and water, dessert, all tables, chairs, cutlery, glassware, linens, and wait staff (there may be some small increases per person if you have specific chair or plateware requests). Generally open bar is quoted separately. Food costs are lower if the location has an on site restaurant (prices from 75 euros and up). And I forgot to mention the most important part…Italian food is abundant and absolutely amazing!! You definitely get more for your money in Italy.

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Location Rental Fees
Location rental fees are additional fees charged for the use of indoor or outdoor areas for a reception party. Depending on the location you select you may pay zero (sometimes a rental fee is waived if you rent the location exclusively for a given amount of time using all their accommodations) to 5500 euros plus 22% VAT. The wedding rental fee obviously fluctuates depending on level of location (luxury location vs more rustic) and the day of the wedding (weekday celebrations will have a lower rental cost than a saturday for example). Also, additional rental fees may apply if there is an on-site chapel, special courtyard etc. These costs vary widely depending on location.
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Ceremonies
Civil weddings
Whether your civil ceremony is allowed on site or you select one of the many beautiful town halls you can expect to spend anywhere from 300 euros to 5000 euros. Above is a civil ceremony held in one of the Monumental villas in Lucca and below at the town hall of Volterra.
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Church weddings
There is not a fee per se for a catholic wedding but you certainly can not forget to make a donation. I would say a suggested donation should be approximately 100 euros for the priest and  300 euro donation for the church.
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Symbolic weddings
Symbolic weddings can be held in an area of your choice. The costs here could be a rental fee from the location or payment of the celebrant which can be from 250 to 1500 euros depending on several factors. Ministers will charge more than an ‘actor’ celebrant.
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Document Fees
There are some document fees involved to perform a legal wedding which are from 150 euros (but vary according to nationality).
Music
Music costs will depend entirely on what you like….live music vs DJ (DJ being the least expensive). You can expect to spend a minimum of 1000 euros for music to cover the entire day. There is also the obligatory Italian music tax or SIAI that needs to be paid which ranges in price depending on your location, type of music and number of guests but I would safely say a minimum of 250 euros.
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Photographers
Italy is cheaper than the US and possibly other countries and we have some extraordinary photographers on our preferred vendor list. From 1800 euros plus 22% VAT and up depending on hours of service and number of photographers.
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Flowers
 I love flowers and the amount you spend is based entirely on how important flowers are to your event. But I would say a minimum 1000 euros. You can obviously spend less if your group size is small or if it is a simple elopement. In general the costs of flowers I believe is pretty competitive with other countries. Same flower bouquets and using simple arrangements or planted flowers vs cut are a great way to cut back on overall floral costs.
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Printing
I can not give an accurate estimation on printing costs but in my experience printing costs tend to be cheaper in other countries so when possible you may want to think of printing as many things from home. Menu printing is often done by the caterer chosen and is sometimes included or priced separately.
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Favors
The cost for wedding guest gifts or favours all depends on what you select: a small bottle or oil, wine, watercolor painting,  something ceramic, etc. One of the great advantages here is that there are many Italian artisans to choose from. Pricing from 5 euros and up depending on gift choice.
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Hair & Make-up
In Italy it is less expensive to get your hair & make-up done in a salon vs an on site service. Salon rates are from 250 euros and up (Bridal hair & make up trial and on wedding day). On location from 400 euros (Bridal hair & make-up trial and on wedding day ).
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Additional Vendor Costs
Transportation
Transportation is too difficult to quote without my specific information as it all depends on guest number, type of vehicle etc. For a specific quote you can email us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com
Additional Rentals
Depending on the location you choose and environment you want to create there could be additional furniture rentals. For example, a very cool after dinner bar and dance area with couches etc. This is not a certain cost but only a potential cost depending on the venue and your preferences.
Wedding Planner
A wedding planner is never more important than when planning a destination wedding. Our knowledge of the local language, our assistance with necessary documents to perform a legal Italian wedding and our knowledge of high quality vendors of all budget levels are truly indispensable to ensure your experience is stress free. Since planner fees vary according to size of wedding, type of ceremony etc. it is best to email us directly for a free quote.
Again, this list should be used as an overall reference as there will be many variables that will affect the overall cost. In order to get a better idea of your potential wedding costs, feel free to e-mail us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com with your projected wedding date, number of guests and overall inspiration.
I would like to thank Jules for his wonderful photography and Tuscania Events couple Gaia & Marco for choosing us!
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