I’m not sure any word gets my heart pumping more than Tuscany: flowing red wine, rolling green hills, quaint medieval towns perched high on mountaintops, days spent strolling vineyards pausing only for mounds of the world’s best pasta, and yes, the famous, radiant Tuscan sun. Few places in the world reach such heights for scenery, gastronomy, luxury, and cultural heritage.
The central Italian region is home to multiple, unique and bustling cities including Florence, Siena, Pisa, and Lucca—not to mention the hundreds of smaller towns and villages just as worthy of a visit. And more– Tuscany’s natural landscape includes a little of everything, beaches along its Tyrrhenian coast, islands such as Elba, part of the Apennine Mountain range, olive groves, and vineyards, to name a few!
This is all to say, the options for wedding venues in Tuscany are extremely diverse. However, for larger weddings with over 150 guests, finding a spot that truly captures the heart of Tuscany is no easy feat. After all, many of the most picturesque venues with that quintessential backdrop are small estates or individual villas with limited space for guests to stay. For a truly Tuscan destination wedding venue that can support a crowd, The Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa offers top of the line services without sacrificing the magical charm of Toscana.
With prime views of the historically fascinating Serchio Valley, the 180 room hotel, Renaissance Tuscany, is embedded into the mountain of the Il Ciocco Estate and Park. Driving onto the property, you are greeted by chestnut groves, terraced vineyards and olive groves, and countless vistas of the countryside below.
Guests can enjoy luxury suite options, an internal heated pool, and terrarium (sauna, steam, and shower circuit), a beauty spa, outdoor pool, two unique restaurants—La Veranda and Le Salette, a cocktail lounge, 11 meeting rooms, and many event spaces. It’s easy to stay put all trip—as the resort offers many events and activities like cooking classes with the chef, wine classes, cocktail hours, or outdoor picnics. It’s even easy to spend the day splashing in and out of the outdoor pool and getting lost in the view.
But for those days when your spirit wants an adventure, the resort is located close to the lively medieval town of Barga, with both Lucca, Pisa, and Florence only an hour away, as well as many vineyards and natural wonders for excursions.
The Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa offers a vast range of possibilities for weddings, from intimate gatherings to large scale celebrations. These spaces include multiple restaurants, terraces, and rooms, and couples can creatively use the different spaces to suit their needs. From pre-wedding pizza parties at the swimming pool to cocktail hours on La Veranda’s terrace (below), both the team and the property are flexible!
For a memorable ceremony in a quiet grove, their garden terrace can sit up to 250 people and features an astoundingly lush mountain backdrop. For receptions, their two most popular spaces are La Piazzetta and the Auditorium Salone Pascoli. La Piazetta (below top) is the entrance to the hotel itself, a terraced piazza overlooking the pool and valley beyond that can sit up to 400 people for cocktails or 250 banquet style. The Auditorium (below bottom) is a massive, gorgeous hall that opens up onto its own terrace and can accommodate 300 people (not to mention it’s a little removed from the hotel rooms so you and your guests can party all night).
Wedding Day Details
Aside from the many panoramic views and unique venues, the resort also pays fine attention to detail and makes sure all of the couples’ wishes are fulfilled. As for food, their talented chefs specialize in both Tuscan and international cuisines, and their menu is full of homemade pasta options, indigenous meats, and local produce. It wouldn’t be an event in Tuscany without a knockout wine list (my personal favorite is the Chianti Riserva). All pastries and wedding cakes are homemade and served directly from the Pastry Kitchen to the guests.
For couples looking for a little R&R throughout their wedding weekend, the Beauty Spa Renaissance Tuscany has 12 cabins, including one suite for couples. They should also pay a visit to the Turkish bath suite or stop in for a detox foot bath before taking a breather in the relaxation area terrace.
The hotel has a large directory of services and recommended suppliers, and will take care of all the details from floral design, photographers, music, and entertainment, set up and decorations, to limousine or car rental or babysitting services.
Emily Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle and travel writer. A recent graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Emily’s work can be found in numerous regional and national publications including Connect Corporate Magazine, Alma, New England Living, and Bride and Groom. She has served as the Arts Editor for both Southeast Florida Style and Design Magazine and Charleston Style and Design Magazine. Emily is currently an Academic Advisor at Northeastern University where she also teaching writing courses.