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Getting married on Lake Garda

Enchanting views, historic villages and fairytale castle: the Lombardy side of Lake Garda is the perfect setting for a wedding full of charm

If there are destinations in the collective imagination that exude tranquillity and romance, Lake Garda certainly ranks among them.

 

Nestled peacefully between Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino and easily reachable within a couple of hours from Milan, the crystal-clear waters of the lake contrast with the stunning mountains that surround it. There it is overlooked by villages that are rich in history and teeming with life, even in spite of their enviable tranquillity. 

It should not be surprising therefore that this setting has been voted by both Italians and non-Italians alike as the ideal location to celebrate your wedding day. Choosing to get married on Lake Garda means immersing yourself in a rarefied atmosphere where space and time seem to lose their traditional boundaries. 

From Salò to Lonato, from Sirmione to Gardone Riviera, the sheer variety of wedding locations on offer is surprising to see. Between intimate churches carved into the rock face, lavish castles, stunning beaches and colonial-era villas, every couple is sure to find the location that bests suits their needs and tastes. 

 

An atmospheric wedding at Castello di Lonato

Immersed in a setting that seems to be from another time, Castello di Lonato (Rocca Viscontea) offers a range of options for couples who decide to celebrate their marriage and is also one of the most sought after wedding locations on Lake Garda.

We are in the Province of Brescia, in what is considered one of the most impressive fortifications in all of Lombardy, dominating the southern area of Lake Garda on the one side and the historic centre of the town on the other. The site of a fortification since the days of the Roman Empire, over the centuries the castle changed hands between the Visconti and Scaligeri families and then the Venetians until it was acquired by Italian Senator Ugo Da Como in 1920, who later donated it to the Municipality of Lonato. 

Today the main area of the castle contains 3 rooms that can be used as receptions: the small frescoed Reading Room is suitable for extremely intimate ceremonies (around 20 guests) and also has a small chapel, the Captain's Room can accommodate up to 120 seated guests, while the walkway around the ramparts provides a magnificent panoramic view over the city, the nearby countryside and the lake. An essential natural setting for both summer and spring weddings, the Rocchetta della Rocca, located in the highest part of the castle, can host wedding ceremonies on the lawn just outside the stunning garden for up to 350 guests. 

 

A sophisticated wedding in Sirmione

Among the cobblestone alleys, colourful houses and stately villas, among which is the lavish home once owned by Maria Callas, Sirmione will enchant you thanks to its position as a peninsula jutting out into the Brescia side of Lake Garda, its profiled outlined by the battlements of the Castello Scaligero (one of the best preserved in the region) and for the Grotte di Catullo, a huge archaeological site that dates back to the age of Roman villas and one of the great historical and cultural treasures of Lombardy. 

In addition to being an ideal place to visit at any time of year, its elegance is a coveted setting for lakeside weddings thanks to the incredible photos you will be able to take in its historic town centre. Here you can organise a civil ceremony in a room on the third floor of the Palazzo Callas, a historic building dating from the late 18th century and now site of the Town Hall as well as the go-to location for exhibitions and major events. 

And since the name Sirmione has always been associated with well-being…why not take advantage of the town's famous spa to enjoy a couple of hours of relaxation among the steam and the healing waters before the big event?

A romantic wedding in a church in Salò

Those who choose to have a religious wedding should certainly consider having their ceremony at one of the many small romantic churches in Salò, the true pearl of Lake Garda: thanks to its mild climate and its prime location on the gulf of the same name, it has been named an international tourist resort. 

One of the most stunning impromptu viewpoints over the beauty of Lake Garda thanks to its position halfway up the hill that slopes down towards the Gulf of Salò, we have the Church of Cisano, located in the charming village of the same name. Owned by the Knights of Malta, over time the church has been enriched with artwork and other decor and today is a much sought after wedding location thanks to its intimate feel and incredible artistic collection as well as its large garden, which lends itself well to background photos with family and friends after the ceremony. 

A practical wedding location during only certain times of years, right on the shores of the Brescia side of the lake we have the Church of San Fermo. Dating back to the 15th century, it is located on the promontory of the same name overlooking the island of Isola del Garda, the church's unique location and unmissable view over the lake from the cliff attracts visitors from all over the region.

 

A barefoot wedding on the beach at Lake Guarda

Who said that a beach wedding had to take place on a tropical island or under the shade of palm trees in the Caribbean? We are lucky enough to live in a country where you can get married in bare feet even in the most incredible lakeside locations. This is also true of Lake Garda, where beaches, rocks,  coasts and shores are all bathed in freshwater; as well as being the destination of choice for thousands of holidaymakers every year, the lake has also become the favourite background location for many couples who decide to get married here. 

A place that was almost a secret until very recently but which is now what is one of the most popular outdoor spots on Lake Garda is Spiaggia Giamaica, located right in the historic town centre of Sirmione and close to Grotte di Catullo: its crystal clear waters and picture postcard scenery seem as if they were made for framing your most special moments. 
From here we move to the Lido di Fasano di Gardone Riviera, where a stone beach not far from the town centre has been awarded a Blue Flag for the quality of its waters, making it an ideal location for those who want to celebrate their wedding day on the beach before continuing the party in one of the many villas right on Lake Garda itself. 

A wonderful beach that is usually a firm favourite among young couples, Lido dei Limoni di Gargnano is another location definitely worth considering, whether it's for the ceremony itself or a more informal and joyful celebration that lasts long into the night.

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