Wedding Day the Italian Way

We love this time of year in the weddings-abroad calendar – the time when one season of delicious and delightful wedding events has ended and the next is yet to begin. While we love the buzz and the challenge of the wedding season, this quieter time means that we can plan and undertake our own little itinerary of destination wedding venue visits.  This year we are looking at where Italian couples choose for their perfect wedding venue for inspiration. We thought we would give this a catchy little phrase of “wedding day the Italian way”.

Between October and April, Mr Accent Events and I take our annual road trip – often road trips – around  Italy seeking out exciting, new, unique and enchanting venues to offer our future Italy brides and grooms.

IMG_20151012_152746Our most recent trip comprised a glorious couple of days ago driving through the Florentine hills to San Donato in Collina, in the heart of the Chianti countryside, to visit Villa Gaudia. We flew into the Aeroporto Galileo Galilei – named for the Italian Renaissance astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician – otherwise known as Pisa International Airport. Just 45 minutes from touch-down we had passed through passport control, picked up our hire car and we were already beginning our adventure. Our journey took us about two hours through charming countryside and some of the smaller hilltop towns and villages.  For anyone seeking a quicker- though equally scenic – journey, Florence Airport  – the Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola – is a closer alternative.  

VillaG1Villa Gaudia has typically been an Italian wedding venue. Traditionally, Italian weddings feature lots and lots of guests, so a venue that can accommodate hundreds is an absolute must! More recently though,  Villa Gaudia has been attracting international weddings and has had the pleasure of hosting events for French and Spanish wedding parties.

VillaG2The villa is about 30 minutes southeast of Florence, tucked away in the hills – though by ‘tucked away’ I do not mean to suggest it’s a small venue. The diverse layout of the exterior of the Villa lends itself wonderfully  to all sorts of events, not just weddings.

We were to discover, during our visit, that the villa is brimming over with versatility so whether you wish to celebrate in a more casual style – perhaps with a pool party –  or dream of an elegant ‘sit-down’ dinner affair, you have a myriad of choices waiting for you at Villa Gaudia.

Mattia, who is the director of the property and has been looking after the operations side of events at the villa  for almost 15 years, showed us around.  We took some of our own photos but as our venue visits are out-of-season hence a drop or two of rain usually makes an appearance – this trip being no exception – Mattia kindly offered the use of Villa Gaudia’s own photography which really does show off the venue’s attributes!  While there, we could clearly see that work does not stop at the property at the end of the hugely busy wedding season – work had already begun to ensure the property would be in tip top condition for next year’s events.

VillaG4First, we were given a tour of the exterior, as Mattia explained the many ways in which the beautifully designed and ample grounds can be used.  There is both the space and the option for either symbolic or legal civil ceremonies to be celebrated here.

There is plentiful parking for cars or coaches – of course, how else would you get hundreds of guests up the hillside? There is also a full-sized tennis court and a very impressive reverse negative edge infinity swimming pool.

villaG6Not only does Villa Gaudia boast an enviable setting surrounded by the lush Tuscan countryside, but it also has its own enchanting woodland path – somewhere I imagine the happy couple sneaking off to for a little alone time post-ceremony, as their photographer captures those intimate couple portraits. Alternatively this bijou nature trail transforms to a magical aisle for all woodland chic brides!

villa G7The path leads down to a generous garden space, with a neatly manicured lawn which, as you can see, is a charming spot to gather in for refreshing aperitivi either pre or post-ceremony!

Villa G3In fact, the great feature of Villa Gaudia is that its amenities can be used for pre and post wedding events allowing you to turn your wedding day into a wedding weekend.  Chill out under the pergola by the pool, lounge on sumptuous soft white sofas, sipping your cocktail of choice! On request, a cocktail mixologist can be organised, to concoct your favourite tipple or signature cocktail.  Oh my – here at Villa Gaudia it is so easy to be seduced by the celebrity lifestyle!

IMG_20151012_152216This charming and intimate space is excellent for a smaller wedding reception, it can accommodate 20 guests in a long table format which can be styled to your choice for a more glamorous or more rustic theme.

For larger weddings, it is just a matter of simply changing table shape and making use of the area around the pool or by choosing another of the property’s dining spaces – such as a beautiful terrace with countryside vista.

And there we have the villa’s exteriors.  Now for the interiors – and you will most certainly NOT be disappointed. Villa Gaudia is a box of charms and it is just as lovely and versatile inside as outside!

VGBedroomThe venue features 5 double rooms to accommodate 10 guests. The decor is Tuscan charm blended with a dash of country chic. – pleasant and appealing, warm and welcoming and so comfortable!  The rooms are all spacious and each comes with its own balcony terrace perfect for romantic indulgence when its an absolute must to open a bottle of the finest tuscan wine!

Mattia tells us that accommodation for additional guests can be found just a short, 10-minute, drive away.  

VillaG8Inside the main building is an open plan lounge-dining area.  So cosy for winter-time gatherings. Mattia had kindly kindled the fire for our visit and the smoky woody perfume and crackling of the logs created a warm and inviting atmosphere inside.  Again, in my usual creative whirl, I can imagine scattering pine cones and placing candles around the room infused with Christmas-time aromas.

This property is unique in its capacity to  adapt to suit many diverse occasions and events – catering for immediate-family or close members of a wedding party to stay at the villa prior to the big day, in an intimate ‘home-style environment’ then effortlessly transforming into a perfect party venue.  

VillaG NightThe party atmosphere is aided by Villa Gaudia’s very own nightclub and bar area.  The inside setting of the nightclub and bar means that entertainment can go on well beyond midnight.  And so you can still see and access the outside of the villa while inside, along one wall there are patio doors that open out onto yet another garden area!  

The villa allows music to continue until 1.00 am in the Limonaia with the villa hire fee for your wedding or special event.  For those couples who wish for their  party to continue, then there is the option to dance the night away this can be discussed with the villa but will incur an hourly continuance fee, but well worth it to keep the fun going on your special day.  If you desire a more relaxed wedding celebration where you can chill with background music using an iPod or CD player (without dancing) then the music can be played until 2.00 am.

Villa Gaudia can, on request, be an all year round wedding and event venue.  We love this seasonal option and we can most definitely see the charm and appeal of an out-of-season wedding here.  Tuscany is wonderful all year around but especially during the Autumn and Winter months. If you are considering an Autumn or Winter wedding in the Tuscan countryside, the Villa Gaudia, with its prestigious position against the natural colour palette of the surrounding countryside, will definitely inspire your creative ideas for your wedding day.

We loved our visit so much we have written our own ‘menu’ of reasons to consider Villa Gaudia for your wedding tucked away in the Tuscan hills.  Whether you imagine an elegant gala-style dinner featuring sparkling crystal candelabra; or prefer a buffet of typical Tuscan delights befitting your personal woodland or country wedding style then…

Aperitivo

Tantalise your guests with a uniquely designed Symbolic Wedding Ceremony 
or opt for an al forno legally-valid Civil Wedding Ceremony at Villa Gaudia

Primo

Seasonal options for your wedding event a veritable feast of colour

Primavera– the blossoming beauty of Spring

Estate – the sultry shimmer of Summer

Autunno – the earthy-toned tranquillity of Autumn

Inverno – the pine-scented serenity of Winter

Secondo

Villa Gaudia’s specialty selection of enviable vistas and breathtaking panoramas

Select from the tasty terrace or gourmet garden

Dolce

Flavour your favours with fabulous & fizzy entertainment

Accent Events will work closely with Mattia and the team at Villa Gaudia to make your wedding day a gourmet Italy Wedding Experience – one you will never forget!

If you would like to know more about Villa Gaudia, weddings in Tuscany and/or out-of-season wedding venues, options and ideas, then we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us at weddings@accentevents.co.uk  To take a closer look at the wonderful villa featured in this article you can also visit the Villa Gaudia website.

Villa Gaudia: Via del Focardo, 50/A - San Donato in Collina - 50067 - Rignano sull'Arno - Firenze | Dove Siamo? | Mappa del sito
Tel. 055 8307171 Mobile 331 6165160 | E-mail - info@villagaudia.it | Copyright © 2015
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