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The Best Locations for Weddings in Liguria

24 June 2013

Liguria is just a name to define the most beautiful coastline of Italy located in the extreme northwest. Known for its villages overlooking the sea, it stretches from the coast of France to the north of Tuscany. Just a few places have such a great charm! Liguria is full of colours and breathtaking views. It’s worth walking through the narrow alleys where fishermen’s houses lie, go hiking in the mountains and diving into the bluest waters of Italy.

Best locations for weddings in Liguria

This region has always been considered a terrace overlooking the sea and provides the best locations to get married in Italy. Beyond the many facilities for newlyweds and families, Liguria provides the perfect backdrops for destination weddings.

Be captivated by majestic and opulent churches, by the turquoise sea that smells of citrus and by the friendly people! These are the best locations for weddings in Liguria:

Portofino

Portofino is a fishing village in the east of Genoa. Little had changed since the sixties, when Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Frank Sinatra spent their holidays here. Portofino is located on a rocky promontory and made by a series of small pink and yellow houses, surrounded by hills with pines, palms, cypress trees and azaleas.

the view of the bay of portofino from the brown castle

Here you will find some of the most luxurious villas of celebrities and politics, not just Italians. In the Piazzetta, you can enjoy shopping through the boutiques of Gucci, Pucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. The harbour is the centre of the village life, with yachts that look like resting into the bay. Portofino is one of the most exclusive destinations for luxury weddings. Imagine celebrating your wedding aboard, under the moon and the stars of the bluest sky. Civil weddings might be celebrated on the terrace of the Castello Brown, an imposing medieval building that stands on the hill overlooking the village. The lovely garden and the view will make your wedding photos breathtaking. Belmond Hotel Splendido is a must for the wedding reception.

a long shot of an house on a rock in portofino, liguria
the view of hotel splendido in portofino, italy

For those who prefer getting married in a garden, Villa Durazzo is the venue for civil ceremonies in Santa Margherita Ligure, 5-minutes drive from Portofino. Very close, the beautiful church of San Giacomo is the ideal location for religious celebrations. Between the Villa and the Church, is the beautiful Italian garden, a terrace with palm trees and secular plants overlooking the bay.

Cinque Terre

Along with Portofino and Santa Margherita, Cinque Terre are the big attraction of the region, five former villages, many of which are accessible only by hiking or by sea.

Riomaggiore is a picturesque fishing village, with tall narrow houses, typically in pastel tones. Manarola stands above a huge pile of coloured dwellings that seem to arise from the rocks. Corniglia is located 100 meters above the sea, on the crest of a rocky promontory; it is connected to the beach by a never-ending staircase, consisting of 365 steps. Vernazza is a beautiful village that grew up around its harbour, well known and popular in Roman times. Monterosso is a popular tourist destination famous for its charming, elegant villas and renowned for its beautiful beach Fegina.

the view of manarola surronded by the ocean

The Cinque Terre are the most popular destination for elopements and pre-wedding photo sessions. Your engagement session couldn’t be better here! The sea view is fantastic, as well as small villages and terracotta-roofed houses painted in bright colours. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore are the five gems, with beautiful beaches and a mild climate all year, ideal for any photo shoot, like weddings, family pictures and, why not,  wedding proposals! There are just a few hotels and reception venues: farmhouses and excellent restaurants are the only options in the villages. That’s why Cinque Terre are recommended for small events only.

the view of the bay at night from the terrace of belmond hotel in portofino

In Vernazza, civil weddings are celebrated in the church on the top of the village. It might be the perfect occasion for taking some wedding portraits in the small alleys right after, during a romantic walk to the harbour. In Manarola, ceremonies might take place outdoors, on a simple terrace belonging to the municipality with a breathtaking view of the turquoise sea and the pastel-coloured houses. In Riomaggiore, weddings are hosted in the town hall, which provides a broad terrace for civil ceremonies that can accommodate around 30 people. Monterosso is the ideal venue for religious ceremonies, celebrated in the church of San Giovanni, in the old village. Civil weddings take place at City Hall, located in the old town just a few steps from the beach and pier.

Lerici

Lerici is located in a picturesque inlet of the Gulf of Poets, south of La Spezia in Liguria. This small town is called the Pearl of the Gulf, for its breathtaking beauty. The area around the Gulf has attracted many writers in the early 19th century; the English poet Lord Byron spent part of his life here.

lerici & tellaro from the castle

Today Lerici is a seaside resort with a small marina. The two public beaches are gorgeous. Very little-known abroad, Lerici, Tellaro, and Fiascherino are some of the best destinations in Italy for seaside weddings. Beyond the climate of the area, always a bit windy and perfect for holidays and weddings, Lerici and Tellaro provides two majestic castles on the seacoast, where you might arrange ceremonies with a view.

Civil ceremonies are celebrated on the top of the Castello di San Giorgio, one of the most beautiful and fascinating locations in the area. In case of rain, they might be celebrated in the lovely Gothic chapel, inside the castle as well. The castle is also available for wedding receptions. Unlike all the other locations of Liguria, Lerici is suitable for weddings with a large number of guests, thanks to the many accommodations and facilities of the area.

Portovenere

Portovenere and the Gulf of the Poets are UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The harbour of Portovenere is dominated by brightly coloured houses, while medieval streets lined with shops go up the hill. Getting there by sea, the first thing you see is the Church of San Pietro on the top of the rock.

portovenere from the top

In front of the church, Palmaria is the largest island in the Gulf and offers visitors some beautiful beaches. The Byron’s cave, just below the church, is a rocky area that leads to the creek that the poet Byron used to swim.

With its small harbour lined with colourful houses, the narrow streets that lead to the castle and the church standing on top of the rock, Portovenere is one of my favourite places for photo sessions, pre-wedding and engagement shoots. Portovenere is the perfect location for any wedding. Civil marriages might amphitheatre over the panoramic terrace of the amphitheatre. The ceremony will be held outdoors, weather permitting, enjoying the breathtaking view. For the Catholic rite, there is no better place than the Church of San Pietro, above the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Sestri Levante

Sestri Levante is located further north. You can’t miss the Baia del Silenzio, a sandy beach close to the centre. This hidden gem is probably the most beautiful and romantic beach in Liguria. Civil weddings in Sestri Levante are held in the local Town Hall.

view of the ocean in sestri levante

Just above it, stands majestically the Hotel Dei Castelli, the perfect destination for weddings and receptions among history and culture. Ideal for symbolic ceremonies, it can also accommodate many families and guests in the fabulous rooms with sea view.

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