Under the Tuscan (Honey) Moon: An intimate destination wedding in Tuscany, Italy
by Melissa Adams
Lodgings Fit for RoyaltyAt each evening’s end, everyone had what was perhaps the best treat of all: a night in sumptuous, historic lodgings overlooking the lush Tuscan countryside.
The manor house boasts 11 spacious, artfully refurbished bedrooms. While each has been modernized, the 16th- and 17th-century elegance has been preserved thanks to period-authentic antiques and paintings, frescoed walls, original brick flooring and 18-foot-high timbered ceilings. Many of the sleeping rooms have canopy beds and all take in sweeping pastoral views of vineyards, olive groves and cherry trees.
If your guest list runneth over, two neighboring villas, each with its own grounds and pool, are available for rent. Several hotels within walking distance can accommodate additional overflow.
The Dini DimensionAs your hosts, the Dinis adds a rich human dimension to stays at Villa Buonvisi—an element missing from many travels. Here, instead of only the occasional interaction with waiters and clerks, you experience a real connection with a local family.
At cocktail hour, chic Gianna Dini is likely to offer you a chiodino of Campari spiked with her late husband’s own vintage. During your stay, you may be proudly shepherded around the estate’s wine cellar and olive oil-making facilities. Regaling you with regional lore, a family member might pour samples of sulfate-free, allegedly hangover-proof wines and offer tastes of cheeses and oils (pressed from organically grown olives), all made on the premises.
Gianna isn’t shy about dispensing friendly suggestions for making the most of your time in the region, from therapeutic beauty treatments in Lucca’s natural spa and shopping designer boutiques to visiting the Tower of Pisa or hiking Cinqueterre (five ancient coastal villages linked by footpaths).
Looking BackReflecting on the experience, Nicole says, “In a word, it was magical. Visiting the Buonvisi estate is like turning a page of the past. It exudes Old World charm and a blend of elegance and comfort.”
Would she recommend a villa wedding to other brides? “Yes!” she affirms, “particularly those who want an intimate destination wedding that feels truly authentic and warm.”
For brides planning this style of event, Nicole advises, “Decide early on not to stress about details. In choosing Italy as our backdrop, we knew our location would be great and that the rest of the minutiae didn’t really matter.” After honeymooning in Rome and on the Italian Riviera, she concludes, “When you choose to have a wedding far away, you have to relinquish a certain amount of control, which, quite honestly, was very liberating.”