Wedding destinations really don’t come much more romantic than Italy and the glittering Amalfi Coast has long been a favourite with couples.
Here we pick five of the most picture perfect places to say “I do”.
Best for traditionalists
Where: San Francesco Cloisters, Sorrento
Why: Clients will pick their way through this beautiful headland town dotted with lemon and orange groves as they head towards the historical Cloisters of San Francesco. The Cloisters is part of a medieval monastery and sets a magical scene with its arches and pillars surrounded by flowers, plants and ornamental trees. Birds chirp away while the vows are said, and Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples can be seen in the background.
What else: In the summer the Cloisters holds art exhibitions and musical concerts and is loved by the locals as a place of culture and beauty. What better place to get wed?
Sample package:Kuoni offers its Sorrento wedding package at the San Francesco Cloister for £968. This includes advice on paperwork, meetings with embassies and government authorities, an interpreter, a wedding coordinator, registration fees and posy for the bride and buttonhole for the groom. The operator also offers seven nights at the Eden Sorrento in a standard room on a half board basis for £519 per person in June, including flights with British Airways from Gatwick and transfers.
Best for glamorour
Where: Sorrento Town Hall
Why: Sorrento itself has become hugely popular as a wedding destination since the local tourist authorities began their “Get married in Sorrento – it will be beautiful” campaign in the late 1990s. Its old fashioned glamour appeals to both ends of the age spectrum and it is a great base for exploring the Amalfi Coast – in an open top sports car, of course. Think Sophia Loren and 1950s Hollywood style.
Sample package:Thomas Cook’s Weddings and Honeymoon brochure offers a wedding package for £655 at Sorrento Town Hall, right in the heart of town. The package includes a wedding licence and certificate, civil ceremony and registrar’s fees, administrative details. Extras such as a Mercedes, horse and carriage, hairdressing and make up are also available and must be booked booked alongside a Thomas Cook, Summersun or Select brochure holiday.
Seven nights at the four star Grand Hotel Capodimonte in Sorrento on a half board basis costs £863 per person departing June 15 from Birmingham, Nottingham East Midlands, Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle. Honeymooners receive a free bottle of champagne on arrival.
Best for coastal escape
Where: Positano Town Hall, Positano
Why: Author John Steinbeck immortalised Positano back in the 1950s when it was little more than a beautiful fishing village. He called it “a dream place that isn’t quite real” in Harper’s Bazaar. From the moment your car makes the final bend along the coast road and the terraces of orange and lemon groves come into view, this beautiful little town knocks you for six.
After the wedding at the beautiful old town hall, couples should take a stroll along the flower strewn walkway down to the beach for their photos. The aquamarine Med with the sugar-cube houses, pink flowers and orange blossom make for an unforgettable view.
Sample package:The Italian Connection offers seven night wedding packages in Positano staying at a three or four-star hotel on a bed and breakfast basis and marrying at the town hall for £3,650 in total. This includes ceremony and amdinistrative costs, bouquet and boutonniere, photographs and a violinist.
Best for privacy
Where: Villa Fondi, Sorrento
Why: Couples seeking intimacy and privacy and on their big day should head to the the Villa Fondi. Located high up on the craggy cliff tops of the Sorrentine Peninsular with Mount Vesuvius as a backdrop, the villa provides a secluded and romantic place to wed.
Book clients into the Hotel Europa Palace just a short walk from both the old town and nearby Sant Agnello, with its gorgeous terrace cafes and pastel ice cream parlours. The hotel has a private bathing jetty, great pool and extremely romantic restaurant to boot.
Sample package:First Choice offers a wedding package at the villa for £609. The package includes planning and administration, the wedding ceremony, the marriage certificate and registrar fees, wedding cake, sparkling wine for the bride and groom and a bouquet and buttonhole.
Optional extras include photographs, a video, bridesmaids bouquets, harpist and a decporated horse and carriage. A local consulate fee of £120 is payable. Seven nights half board at the Hotel Europa Palace in Sorrento costs £598 per adult including flights from flights from Manchester departing June 15.
Best for dramatic views
Where: Ravello Town Hall, Ravello
Why: The gorgeous hillside town of Ravello has some of the best views on the Amalfi Coast. Described in literature as “halfway between the sky and the sea”, this little medieval town is perfect for a romantic swapping of vows with its narrow alleyways and steep steps, its characterful piazza and its 11th century cathedral. It just can’t fail to move you – it certainly fired the imagination of some of the greatest writers, musicians and artists including Richard Wagner, Boccaccio, DH Lawrence and Edvard Grieg.
Sample package:Cresta Holidays offers wedding packages at the town hall although prices are not yet set for 2007. The packages includes the ceremony, handling and administration costs plus a posy, buttonhole and wedding coordinator. Couples can stay at the four-star Tramonto D’oro hotel just along the coast at stunning Praiano, which sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking the ocean.
Cresta leads in at £531 per person for seven nights departing June 3, on a half-board basis. Price includes Easyjet flights from Stansted.
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