Nestled in the hills above Florence, Belmond Villa San Michele is a lovers’ paradise and a truly magical venue for a luxurious honeymoon or wedding
Set among the hills above Florence – surely one of the greatest romantic cities on the planet – Villa San Michele is a picture-perfect Tuscan retreat. A former 15th-century monastery with a façade by Michelangelo, it has been preserved through time and is rich in history and architecture. And, just as importantly, it has all the comforts you would expect from a property in the Belmond group.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing Villa San Michele for your wedding or honeymoon is its location. Undeniably, it is just perfect. Less than 15-minutes from the city (and with distant views of the dome of Florence cathedral), it is a world away in atmosphere from the bustle of cosmopolitan Italy, with its secluded setting in the green and unspoiled Arno Valley.
The hotel is intimate, with 45 suites and rooms, some with private terraces. What strikes you most is the breathtaking views. Whatever part of the Villa you happen to be in, there is something to see. This means no such thing as a bad room – you can choose from an outlook over the stunning Italian gardens, the dreamy Florence panorama or the vineyard-clad Chianti hills. Among the most outstanding choices if you like space and seclusion is the Limonaia Suite, originally the monks’ orangery and now an elegant large apartment with a private heated plunge pool and awe-inspiring vistas.
While Florence offers abundant gourmet options, the temptation is to dine in. Villa San Michele’s La Loggia Restaurant has an international reputation for its authentic Tuscan cuisine – also running popular cookery lessons throughout the year. For relaxed trysts, you can sip morning coffee in the cloister or beside the swimming pool.
With so many sights and sounds of Tuscany on the doorstep, there is plenty to see and do when you do venture out. This is wine country, so a tour of one of the local vineyards is a must. Historic Pisa is an easy drive if you want to explore a city beyond Florence.
Weddings and honeymoons
Both weddings and honeymoons are a speciality of the hotel, with multiple dining and entertaining options and spectacular photo opportunities whichever hotel location you choose. Some couples prefer the terraced gardens for an al fresco wedding or opt for the Cenacolo Room, which comes complete with a period fresco of the Last Supper. You may also opt for exclusive use of the hotel, including the La Loggia Restaurant. In April 2015, the hotel opened its new Davanzati Room, a separate event space with a capacity of up to 100 people and set in the hotel gardens with its own large terrace.
* Non residents may marry in Italy according to Catholic rites and you are also able to arrange religious ceremonies of other faiths. There are several spectacular local churches if you opt for an Italian church wedding.
* Civil ceremonies can be conducted in town and city halls throughout Italy. The team at Villa San Michele can organise champagne cocktails in front of Fiesole Town Hall after the ceremony, or assist with town hall ceremonies at Palazzo Vecchio (Florence Town Hall).
* Blessings can be arranged – either for couples who have already had a civil or religious ceremony, or for those who wish to celebrate an anniversary or renew their vows.
* The team at Belmond Villa San Michele will organise a whole host of finishing touches – from bridal pampering and music to photography and video. They can also recommend local musicians, whether your taste is Italian opera, jazz or something for the dance floor.