If you’re planning on getting married abroad and are looking for a picture-perfect location in the sunshine, then consider the enchanting Italian island of Sicily.
You can easily see why it’s such a popular destination for weddings abroad – the island’s rich history, stunning sea views and incredible landscapes make it the perfect spot for a romantic Italian wedding.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and can be found to the south of mainland Italy, by the ‘toe’ of the boot-shaped country.
The island is home to some amazing cities, historic hill top villages and pretty seaside towns, so whether you’re dreaming of marrying in a grand Italian castle or you want a relaxed beach wedding, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
One of the most impressive sights on the island is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe – adding to the dramatic landscape on the east coast. In the winter months, it looks even more impressive with the addition of snow.
Sicily has a warmer climate than mainland Italy, with the warm weather starting earlier in the year and lasting longer. The best times to visit are between April and June or between September and October. During these times you can benefit from the lovely weather but avoid the high prices you’ll pay in the peak months of July and August.
Sicily has a rich history and is home to the Roman sites of Piazza Armerina and the impressive Greek temples of Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta, which are said to be some of the most well preserved ancient Greek temples in the world, even rivalling those found in Greece itself.
Sicily has two main airports in the biggest cities of Palermo and Catania. If you’re travelling from the mainland, you can take a ferry across the 3km Strait of Messina. Ferries cross from Villa San Giovanni or Reggio di Calabria to Messina.
SEE MORE: A Guide to Getting Married Abroad
Cefalù is a historic seaside town and one of the island’s most popular beach destinations. It’s a picturesque town, with a sandy beach, narrow streets and pretty shops and restaurants. It’s full of culture and history, and is home to the stunning Norman Cathedral and the ancient Sicanian temple, which is sat on the cliffs overlooking the town.
SEE MORE: Seaside Wedding Stationery Designs For Beach-Loving Couples
Sicily has plenty of pretty hilltop towns that are full of charm and character and have the most incredible views. Erice is a historic town in the province of Trapani, which looks out across Trapani and the northwest coast. With grey stones and cobbled streets, it really feels like stepping back in time, which is perfect for a classic wedding full of romance!
Taormina is another gorgeous town, set up high on the island close to Mount Etna. It’s famous as the home to an ancient Greek theatre – Teatro Antico di Taormina, which overlooks the impressive volcano, dramatic cliffs and pretty sandy beaches. If you’re planning a wedding in Taormina, then wedding photos at the theatre are a must!
Perhaps you like the idea of a city wedding? The biggest city is Palermo and was described by Lonely Planet as ‘flamboyant and feisty’, so it’s full of character. There are busy markets, noisy streets and vivid colours.
There’s rich architecture too, combining baroque churches, gothic palaces and crumbling buildings still waiting to be rebuilt after being bombed during the Second World War. This is the place to go if you want a traditional wedding that experiences authentic Sicilian culture.
The Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands are just off the eastern Tyrrhenian coast. The seven islands have volcanic origins – think black sand beaches, smouldering craters and dramatic coastlines, all set against the bluest sea views.
The islands are all very different; rustic Alicudi is so unspoilt (the only mode of transport is donkey!), whereas Panarea is a super fashionable and very expensive island, where you travel around by golf carts.
If you love the idea of getting married in Italy but want to explore the other areas, make sure you see our guides to getting married in Lake Como and weddings in the Almalfi Coast for plenty more inspiration!