How to Elope in Northern Italy
A Comprehensive Guide

Lake ComoVeneziaMilanLe Cinque Terre, the DolomitesMont BlancLake GardaLake Maggiore, these are only a few of the many worldwide famous Italian destinations that you will find if you choose to elope in Northern Italy.

Why Choose Northern Italy for Your Elopement?

When you think of an Italian elopement, probably one of the first things that comes to your mind are rolling hills, colourful and picturesque coastal villages, crystal clear waters and typical La Dolce Vita style landscapes. Italy is all of this, but also so much more!

Northern Italy for example, nestles some of the most precious gems you can find in Italy and honestly, in whole Europe. If you choose to elope in Northern Italy it is because you are looking for a different experience, away from the biggest crowds, you want to explore another side of our country that is as beautiful as the most famous one. You love history and culture, you have a very sophisticated taste when it comes to food and wine, you love the atmosphere lakes can create, you love mountains, cultural cities, as well as a rougher coast that nevertheless hides places that can only be described as idyllic (like, for example, the whole Le Cinque Terre Area).

If this resonates with you, then you are ready to start looking for the perfect destination for your elopement in Northern Italy. Also, keep in mind that most of the times, when you choose to elope to Italy, chances are that you will travel around the country. So when you are choosing the destination for your Italian elopement, amongst many other factors, take into account also the surrounding areas and the options you have travelling-wise when you elope there. If you were to elope in Northern Italy, you will surely have the journey of a lifetime considering how many things there are to visit! Having said that, it is also true that when it comes to Italy this stands for pretty much every area!

So, if you are eloping to Italy, make sure you’ll end up choosing a local photographer that knows the country well and that not only can help you plan your actual elopement, but that can also help you make the most out of your journey to our wonderful country!

Your options are endless, so let’s not waste our time and let’s start exploring this wonderful area.

The Western Alps

The Western Alps extend between Piedmont and Aosta Valley. Otherwise known as ‘our mountains’ (we have been going there for our holidays since we were born), the Western Alps may be less famous than their eastern sisters that include the Dolomites, but they are equally stunning to plan an elopement in Northern Italy. Home of the 5 highest mountain peaks in Italy (actually Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe) they are literally the paradise for keen hikersmountaineers and climbers: with turquoise lakes, green valleys and so many mountain peaks to conquer,  the region offers a varied and breathtaking landscape that is only there to be discovered. If for your Italian elopement you are looking for solitude and silenceadventure and a little bit of a challenge, eloping in the Italian Alps might be the right thing for you.

For the climbers lovers, the area offers plenty of great crags and routes, of particular note, Valle stretta near Bardonecchia is where sport climbing was born and where you can still climb on some old school, traditional routes that will challenge even the strongest climbers.

Best Food Experience for Your Elopement in the Italian Alps

If you travel to piedmont

Polenta concia, polenta mixed with local mountain cheeses
Polenta e spezzatino di cervo, polenta mixed with deer stew
Bagna cauda with vegetable selection
Local cheeses (tome locali) and cured meats (affettati locali)
Antipasto alla Piemontese

You can accompany your meals with some of the best wines of the nearby wine region Le Langhe (more on this in the Piedmond and Langhe section). Highly recommended red wines are DolcettoBarberaNebbiolo and Barolo.
If it is white wines what you prefer, you will want to try any of these: ArneisFavorita or Erbaluce.

If you travel to Valle d’Aosta

Fonduta
Tegole dolci valdostane
Polenta Concia
Seupa à la vapelenentse
Coffee alla Valdostana drunk with the typical “Grolla dell’amicizia”
Fontina Valdostana
Cotoletta alla Valdostana (Cutlet Aosta Valley style)

Aosta Valley has a wide range of DOC and DOCG wines, to name a few: Müller ThurgauMayoletPetite ArvineFuminPetit RougeMuscat petit grainGewürztraminer.

Getting Around

Closest Airports: Caselle Airport, Turin – Malpensa Airport, Milan

There are plenty of train connections but they will only take you up to a certain point. The best way to reach your final destination in the mountains will be by car. A 4×4 car is most recommended, especially if you are planning to elope in Northern Italy in Winter!

When to Visit

Depending on what you would like to experience on your elopement in Northern Italy, any month of the year is a good one to visit the Italian Alps. If you are after a snowy mountain adventure, then the winter months will be better for you. Try to avoid the most obvious ski holiday periods (January and February). Otherwise, September, as in almost any other part of Italy, remain our favourite month for an Italian elopement: fewer people, not so harsh temperatures and exceptionally beautiful colours and light. Spring time is also one of the best options you have. Eloping in Northern Italy in April and May is simply a dream: fresh Spring breezewarm sunquietness and peace. Is there more to ask for?

Of all the months, we would highly recommend avoiding July and August, the high holiday season here in Italy with the worst temperatures ever.

Places Worthy of Note

Gran Paradiso National Park
Courmayeur (for hikes, treks or “simply” views of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa)
Cervinia, where you can enjoy anything Matterhorn related
MonvisoPian del Re, Pian della Regina and Lago Fiorenza
Moncenisio
Forte di Exilles and Forte di Fenestrelle
Sacra di San Michele

Here below you can find a comprehensive guide about Eloping in the Italian Alps where you will find everything you need to know and more about the locations above.

The Italian Lakes of the Lake District in Northern Italy

Northern Italy is famous not only for its historic cities like Venice, Milan and Turin, and its Alpine range, but also for its many beautiful lakes that are undoubtedly a perfect spot for an elopement in Italy. The most known and popular are certainly the largest ones, Lake GardaLake MaggioreLake Como e Lake Iseo, but there are also many others less famous but just as beautiful and charming, like Lake Orta.

All the Northern Italy lakes share the same ethereal atmosphere given by the stillness of the waters and a unique light tone you will not be able to find anywhere else.

The breathtaking beauty of the surrounding pristine mountains is perfectly matched by the elegant villas along the shore, rich with great architectural value and luxurious Italian style gardens. You can easily see why this area is such a popular area when it comes to elopements in Northern Italy, it is hard to beat its beauty!

If you want to be close to the water but also be surrounded by mountains, a pre-alpine lake would be the right choice for your elopement. For the adventure lovers, the italian lakes offer a great selection of outdoor activities, from hiking and cycling, to ‘vie ferrate’ and watersports.

For the romantic ones, the idyllic landscape offers plenty of opportunities for gentle strolls on the lake shores or through the characteristic villages, intimate dinners with incredible views, private boat tours and relaxing getaways in one of the many spas of the region.

When to Visit the Italian Lakes

High season on the lakes runs from Easter to October, but, if you can choose, we would really recommend AprilMay and June or, even more, September, when temperatures are still warm, but there will be much fewer people around.

Best Place to Visit in the Lake District in Northern Italy

Lake Como

Lake Como

Riva del Garda
Peschiera del Garda
Sirmione
Malcesine
Desenzano del Garda,

Lake Maggiore

Santa Caterina del Sasso
Isole Borromee (Isola Bella – Isola Madre)
Stresa
Verbania and the Natural Reserve of FondoToce
Il Mottarone
For the hiking lovers, Monte Rosa, Formazza, valle Vigezzo e il parco nazionale della Val Grande

Orta Lake

Orta
San Giulio
Mottarone
Sacro Monte d’Orta

Tip from the photographer: Why not consider the less touristic Lake Orta for your elopement in Northern Italy? Much less known than its most famous siblings, Lake Orta is second to none in terms of charm, beauty and magical atmosphere. Opting for a less popular destination will surely pay off when it comes to avoiding the crowds and saving on your budget on your Italian elopement!

Best Food Experience When Travelling to the Italian Lakes

When so close to Milan you cannot not try il Risotto alla Milanese (Risotto Milanese style, infused with saffron) or Cotoletta alla Milanese (Cutlet Milanese style). You will be also tempted by fresh lake fish and polenta concia (cheese topped polenta)

The Northern Italy lake regions also produce a variety of crisp white wines (like Lugana), hearty reds (like Valpollicella) and the world-famous sparkling wineFranciacorta.

Getting Around the Italian Lakes

Closest Airports

Best options – Malpensa, Milan – Orio Al Serio, Bergamo
Alternative options: Caselle, Turin – Valerio Catullo, Verona

Train

On Maggiore Lake it is worth mentioning the iconic train line Vigezzina-Centovalli that connects the Italian town Domodossola to Swiss Locarno. The Alpine route is so scenic that is considered among the best train rides in Europe<

Boat

Cruising around either by private boat tour or ferry services will allow you to experience the quintessential lake atmosphere.

Turin, Le Langhe-Roero and Monferrato

Turin

Since half of our family comes from there, it is not surprising that Turin is among our dearest Italian cities. First capital of Italy, this city is rich in history and culture and it is beautifully set between gentle hills on one side and the foot of the Alps on the other.

As you walk along its tree-lined avenues while admiring its elegant buildings, or having a stroll along the river Po bank, you will not fail to enjoy the French influence around you. But Turin has also a distinctive character of its own. Highlights of the city are undoubtedly the charming Roman quartier, buzzing at night with restaurants and bars offering the famous Aperitivo or Apericena (after buying just a drink you can then help yourself to spectacular buffets of local products ranging from starter to dessert – a proper all-you-can-eat dinner!); the beautiful baroque churches, chapels and palaces; the old fashioned tramwaysPiazza Vittorio, one of the largest squares in Europe, overlooking the river Po and Gran Madre Church (surprisingly without crosses and with a Greek tympanum instead); the three Gallerie Coperte (arcades), Galleria Subalpina, Galleria Umberto and Galleria San Federico, displaying rich decor and high end shops; The Royal Palace in Piazza Castello and the Egyptian Museum (second only to the Cairo’s one).

The mystical people among us will find Turin’s strong tradition with the esoterism very interesting. It is in fact considered one of the most magical cities in Europe if not in the world.

Last but not least, Turin is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in Italy, with a considerable number of wonderful vegan cafes and restaurants.

Le Langhe-Roero and Monferrato

Located in the southern part of Piedmont, between River Po and the Ligurian Apennines and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the areas of Le Langhe-Roero and Monferrato are a region of outstanding beauty, certainly famous for its prestigious wines, but also for other local products like truffles (the worlwide famous Alba’s white truffle comes from here) and hazelnuts – Nutella was invented here, by Mr Ferrero!

Its rolling hills, excellent traditional food and picturesque villages make this region ideal for those looking for a relaxing and romantic experience centred on food and wine tastings, touring from village to village, from cellar to cellar, while enjoying the idyllic landscape.

All of these aspects make the area simply perfect for an elopement in Northern Italy. If you are looking for a destination where you can have an experience similar to the one you could have in Tuscany but want to avoid the downs that might come from too much popularity, then Piedmont with its vineyards, mountains, hills, culture and history is your first class alternative for an elopement in Northern Italy!

Best Places to Visit in Le Langhe-Roero and Monferrato

La Morra and Barolo
Murazzano and Dogliani
Barbaresco
Alba
Grinzane Cavour
Carru’

Best Food Experience

White truffle
Hazelnuts
The original Nutella
Il gran bollito di Carru’, 7 different cuts of ox boiled and served with various traditional sauces, one for all, the famous bagnet vert
Lumache (Escargot) di Cherasco
Meat tartare Alba style
Bagnacauda
Vitello Tonnato
Agnolotti del Plin
Piedmont Style Mixed Fried

BaroloBarbarescoDolcetto and Barbera d’Alba BaroloNebbioloRoero, are some of the main exceptional DOC and DOCG wines produced in the area.

5 Best Cellars and Wine Producers in the Area

Tenuta Baràc, Alba
Azienda Agricola Diego Morra, Verdurno
Poderi Gianni Gagliardo, La Morra
Sordo Giovanni, Garbelletto
Forte Masso, Monforte d’Alba

When to Visit

As for many other regions, the best time to visit is Spring and Autumn, when the harvest begins, and the colours are warmer. Also, to celebrate the end of a year of work on the land, the Autumn period is full of festivals and fairs.

Le Cinque Terre and Portofino

If for your elopement you are looking for a seaside destination, with pristine watersold typical stone towns surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, cobblestone little roads and secret narrow “caruggi” (typical Ligurian alleys), then the Italian Riviera is the place for you.

Cinque Terre” literally means the Five Lands, it is a coastal area in Liguria that stretches within 5 beautiful towns,  Monterosso al MareVernazzaCornigliaManarola and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you love hiking and you’d like to explore one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy at a slow pace, enjoying the surroundings to the fullest, then you should check out the Blue Path (il Sentiero Azzurro). A 12 km easy trail that connects the 5 fishing towns and will take you on a stunning walk through beauty and history.

Elope in Portofino

Portofino is a little gemstone on the Ligurian coast: rich in Mediterranean personality, Portofino is a town that’s been loved by artists and writers over time. The famous “Piazzetta” and its typical colourful houses, have been the source of inspiration for travellers, visitors and artists for hundreds of years. Its perfect and always mild climate makes it the ideal destination in any season.

Italian elopement in Portofino, Liguria

Milan

Milan is probably the most internationalinnovative and future-oriented of the Italian cities, but that does not mean that it is not also rich in history, art and culture. Considered the European capital of Fashion and Design, Milan is a vibrant city that can offer you the buzz of contemporary art studios, cutting-edge fashion, innovative design and cuisine, but at the same time captivating you with some of the most important museums, galleries and buildings in the world.

Few of the many things you can do when visiting Milan are:

  • Visiting il Duomo di Milano, the famous gothic cathedral, and tour its roof and terraces enjoying breathtaking views of the city .
  • Window shopping (for many of us at least) under the sumptuous arches of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IIworld’s oldest shopping mall.
  • Spending a night at La Scala, one of the most important opera house in the world
  • Seeing Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie and visit Pinacoteca di Brera to admire the work of the other Italian Master Painters
  • Enjoying an aperitivo along the romantic canals of Navigli

Eloping to Milan is ideal for those eclectic people who love the vibrancy of a modern city without having to compromise on culture  and history.

Venice and It’s Lagoon

Listed as a UNESCO world heritage, Venice is a city like no one else in the world. This historical city was originally built on 100 small islands in the Adriatic Sea. Instead of roads, Venice relies on a series of waterways and canals, while passage on foot is permitted by over 400 bridges connecting the islands. The whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world’s greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and others. Last but not least, with its tranquil atmosphere, soft colours and beautiful buildings, it is one if not THE most romantic city in the world! Waat more can you ask for if you decide to elope in Northern Italy?

Things To Do in Venice

  • Vaporetto ride along the Canal Grande
  • Visiting Piazza San Marco and Basilica di San Marco (maybe during the acqua alta, high-water period, to add a reflecting mirror effect to your pictures!)
  • Visiting Palazzo Ducale and Ponte dei Sospiri from the inside
  • Gondola tour enjoying the canals and the many famous bridges like Ponte di RialtoPonte delle Guglie and Ponte degli Scalzi (to name a few)
  • Boat or ferry tour to Murano, the island of glass and Burano, the island of lace.
  • Enjoy a live opera or ballet at Gran Teatro La Fenice opera house
  • Explore the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of the most illustrious modern art collections in the world

Food Experience in Venice

  • Polenta, the most important food in the Venetian tradition, you will find it accompanying almost every main dish.
  • Baccalà Mantecato (marinated cod)
  • Fegato alla veneziana (liver venetian style)
  • Risi e Bisi (Risotto and Peas)
  • Bigodi in Salsa (Thick spaghetti with anchovies sauce)

Best Period to Visit Venice

Venice gets extremely busy and hot (and sometimes smelly) in the summer, so we recommend avoiding the months between June and August. Acqua alta (high water) floods areas of Venice during the winter months between November and March, and although, when mild, can give a mirror-like effect to the surface of Piazza San Marco, when extreme can affect access to the square.

So the best months to visit Venice would be AprilMayearly June and September.

Venice is also home to the famous Venice Carnival, if you don’t want to miss it make sure to be around towards the end of February and beginning of March.

Eloping to Venice would be ideal for those romantic souls that feel the charm of an ancient city almost floating on the water and love the pastel colours of the building and the canals. A private Vaporetto tour or a gondola ride is always a must in an elopement in Venice, but why not consider celebrating your symbolic ceremony right on the gondola while cruising the canals?

Verona and Vicenza

Both listed as UNESCO world heritage, Verona and Vicenza are less famous than their neighbour Venice, but they are equally rich in history, culture, architecture and great traditions, from music concerts to fine food and wine. So absolutely a destination worth considering if you want to elope in Northern Italy.

Verona is undoubtedly famous among the Shakespeare lovers for being the city where the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet is set. Here you can still visit the gothic building that is believed to be Juliet’s house and lean from the same balcony Juliet heard Romeo declaring his love.

Verona is also home of the world famous Arena di Verona, an ancient roman amphitheatre that still fulfils its original function hosting open air opera and music concerts appreciated around the world.

Vicenza, apart from being the hometown of our beloved grandma Nonna Berti, is most famous for its Palladian architectural style: Andrea Palladio, considered one of the most influential architects of the past 500 years, left many outstanding examples of his art disseminating palaces, villas, and buildings around the city and in the surrounding areas conferring a characteristic renaissance elegance to the area. Worth of note, Basilica PalladianaVilla Capra La RotondaTeatro Olimpico and Palladian Villas of the Veneto.

Eloping to Verona and even more to Vicenza would be ideal for those ones that want to have an authentic Italian experience and immerse themselves  in culture and art without the annoyance of massive tourist crowds.

The Dolomites

The Dolomites are a massive mountain range in northeastern Italy. Region of outstanding beauty, and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, they are the ‘Alpine Destination’ in Italy par excellence.

Their landscape is so diverse and dramatic, rich of vertical walls, craggy pinnacles, karst plateaus and idyllic valleys, that it makes the heaven of mountain lovers and active travellers. The remarkable contrast between the rocky mountains and the green alpine pastures is what makes the Dolomites so iconographic. And of course elopements in this part of Northern Italy are definitely one of a kind.

When to Visit

There is not a season better than another to visit the Dolomites, it just depend on what you are after:  in Summer, you can explore all the via ferrata, you can hike from mountain hut to mountain hut, bike or go rafting. If you are planning to hike in the dolomites, the best period to visit would be June through September. As usual, we recommend avoiding August, as it is the busiest month of the year.

You are travelling to the dolomites to ski, then visit from December through March.  In winter, you can ski in the largest ski resort in the world, Dolomiti Superski, enjoy the snowy mountains landscape or stroll around one of the many Christmas markets in the local villages.

The spectacular surroundings are only matched by the outstanding quality of the accommodation, from rifugi and mountain huts to luxury hotels and spa, and a wonderful traditional cuisine. You can surely see why the Dolomites have become such a popular destination for elopements in Northern Italy.

When to Visit

Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Lago di Braies
Lago di Misurina
Passo Giau
The Cinque Torri
Lagazuoi
Croda da Lago and Lago Federa
Selva di Cadore
Val Gardena
The Puez-Odle Nature Park
Alpe di Siusi
Val di Funes
Sassolungo
Marmolada
Seceda
Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park

Best Food Experience

Polenta, like in Veneto, polenta is one of the most common foods in Dolomites and it will accompany almost every main meal.

Casunziei, half moon shaped ravioli with various traditional filling.

Gnocchi with butter and smoked ricotta

Canederli, or Knödel, boiled dumplings in a meat broth

Apple strudel

Wines

The area is very famous for its white and fizzy wines, like Müller-ThurgauLagreinTeroldego and Trentino DOC.

But for warming up in winter nothing is better than a traditional Italian Grappa, a grape-based pomace brandy that comes with different flavours all sourced in the surrounding mountains.

How to Get There

Closest airports: Malpensa Airport, Milan – Marco Polo Airport, Venice. It is best to rent a car to visit around.

Italy Elopements: A Comprehensive Guide

Your elopement in Italy is going to be amazing! Make sure you book a local photographer and planner who actually has experience in Italian elopements that will help you have the best day you could ever dream of!

We are a sister duo and we specialise in elopements all over Italy. Over the years, we have helped our couples eloping in some of the most beautiful destinations in our country. Below you will find our comprehensive guide to elope in Italy in which you will find all the resources you’ll ever need to start planning your adventure!

Get in Touch

Make sure to GET IN TOUCH and book your free consultation with us! We will give you the first directions so you can start taking your first steps in your exciting journey!

Benni & Carol

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