Destination: Italy

I am FRESH back from a quick trip to Italy and I wanted to share with you all my adventures! Let me start this blog post by saying it is a mix of personal and business, so it is a long one, with lots of pretty, pretty pictures! Grab some popcorn & enjoy!

This whole trip was put together by the lovely ladies over at Weddings by SposiamoVi, in Italy. They invited some of the top destination planners around the world to attend this event. I was fortunate to mingle with planners from Singapore, Dubai, London, Australia, Germany, Russia, India and of course Italy to name a few. It was great to sit & talk about the markets and how similar or different weddings are in other countries. Prior to visiting Rapallo to attend the event, a few of us decided to head to Milan to visit, do some sight seeing & some shopping! Take a look at some of my pictures (all taken with my iPhone) of my Milan experience!

Our first stop after an 8 hour flight was to the hotel to drop off bags, freshen up and then hit the streets! We stayed at Maison Moschino in Milan. If you’ve never heard of this hotel it was designed by famous fashion design house Moschino. Each room has a different look or feel. We happened to stay in the “hearts” room, and there were hearts everywhere. On the walls, curtains, bedding, bathroom door, floor, you name it, there were hearts.

We also walked around Milan and visited Il Duomo di Milan which is the fourth largest cathedral in the world which is located just steps away from the indoor/outdoor mall known as Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II with its luxurious shops. Images of both locations below.

Ok, now, I am a bit embarrassed to say that the highlight of our trip in Milan was a meal we had at a restaurant called Il Solferino. I cannot properly articulate how amazing this meal was, so I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Needless to say, the food was so amazing that we had dinner there that night and headed back for lunch the next day!  If you are ever in Milan, you MUST stop at Il Solferino for dinner or lunch – not to worry it’s the same menu!

Ok, ok, enough about my amazing visit to Milan and the wonderful meals we had! On to the real reason for this post!

The next day we packed up and headed to Portofino for the weekend! We arrived at the Excelsior Palace Hotel and immediately unpacked & changed for the welcome reception taking place at the hotel which is in Rapallo and overlooks the gorgeous Portofino coast!

The next morning we were off to start our meetings with top wedding professionals & venue representatives from around Italy, Switzerland and Greece. I was privileged  to meet a ton of amazing wedding professionals and have added some links & pictures from a few of my faves here:

Daois Cove in Crete, Greece. I was excited to meet Dimitris Daois, the actual owner of Daios Cove, which is a luxury property. Set against the visual drama of a secluded bay, Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas is nestled on a hillside on the beautiful northern coast of Crete. This resort has a variety of room types and has 189 pools (you read that right), which are located in a few of the rooms. You MUST see this property for yourself. Call and make a reservation today, and let them know I sent you!


Villa Cimbrone – Villa Cimbrone is one of the most prestigious Hotels de Charme in the entire Mediterranean, located in Ravello. Its vibrant atmosphere and the awe-inspiring beauty of the views of the Amalfi Coast, make it a favorite meeting place for many. This is what we would consider a private estate for your event with just 19 rooms, but such a perfect location to say your “I do’s” with memories you can cherish forever.

The Crypt is an open gallery with a  gothic style. Although it evokes a medieval atmosphere, it was built between 1907 and 1911.

Minareto Grand Hotel in Siracusa, Italy. Enjoying an exquisite location overlooking the sapphire waters of the Ionian Sea, the serene, inviting Grand Hotel Minareto Deluxe is perfectly situated for exploring the island of Sicily. On the cliffs overlooking Syracuse and Ortygia Island, this hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel in Villa Bosco. It offers a quiet location, outdoor swimming pool and unbeatable views.

That evening Weddings by SposiamoVi put together a lovely dinner for us La Dolce Vita style. We were taken to our location in Portofino in vintage cars. While they were really cute, they were really old and quite scary on the narrow streets atop all of those hills (have to be honest – in case you ever consider this for your event). Dinner was phenomenal and the views were to die for…

During our last day after we wrapped up meetings, we got to visit a few venues. La Cervara, Hotel Splendido and Castello Canevaro. All charming in their own ways, and all with amazing panoramic views of the Portofino coast!

La Cervara – Weddings La Cervara, Abbazia di San Girolamo, Portofino Italy. Seven centuries of history sedately convey the balanced design and the grandeur of the architecture and the gardens. The Cervara – on the road to Portofino – is the ideal destination for those in search of peace and quiet. With it gardens full of Wisteria and many, many event spaces, it is an ideal location for your private event. Sadly this venue only has a few rooms, but it the perfect location for a wonderful night!

This church is located on the grounds of La Cervara, but weddings inside the church are not allowed. It would, however make a beautiful backdrop for wedding pictures.

Hotel Splendido – Set on a verdant hillside overlooking the picture-perfect harbour of Portofino, with its luxury yachts bobbing at anchor, Hotel Splendido is one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats. Also, it faces the famous homes of Dolce & Gabbana!

Fantastic view of the lobby…


Later on that evening, we wrapped the entire trip up with an amazing dinner at Manuelina Ristorante located in Recco, Italy. Manuelina is a family-owned and operated restaurant since 1885, and has won many awards. Ask anyone locally the best place to grab a bite to eat and 9 times out of 10, they will say Manuelina! The manager Laura prepared this great feast of heaven for your mouth. This restaurant would make the ideal location for an intimate rehearsal dinner. Here is a snap shot of our menu along with images of the meal – just divine!

Sadly the next day, we had to pack it up and head home.

If you are considering a destination wedding, consider Italy and give me a call. I’ve made so many amazing connections and look forward to working with each and every one of them!

See you in Italy! Arrivederci!!

  • Bonnie Marie said:

    Love the pictures!

  • Lisa said:

    Wonderfully done!

  • admin said:

    The whole hotel is really amazing Matthew. Rooms with hearts, beds made out of dresses.. Really cool.. If you like that type of stuff of course! : )