Villa San Michele: A dream venue for a fairy tale wedding
Natasha Eddery’s Bride-To-Be Diary has proven to be one of our most popular feature series. As she documented the build up to her big day, Natasha took us on a fantastic journey and allowed us to share all the excitement. Readers joined her on the search for the perfect wedding dress and those special shoes to take her through the day to the first dance. She also whisked us off to the Four Seasons for some pre-wedding pampering and shared her top diet, beauty and skincare secrets (read the Bride-To-Be Diary here).
We are delighted to let readers of The Sloaney know that Natasha’s big day was a wonderful success. While the ceremony and celebrations were obviously a private affair, I was lucky enough to stay at the spectacular venue and wanted to give readers – particularly any Brides-To-Be – a sneak peek of the truly magnificent Villa San Michele.
After spending a day and night in the beautiful city of Florence working on a travel feature (read it here) I escaped to the mountains for my first glimpse of where the wedding celebrations would unfold. Natasha’s wedding felt like a fairy tale and the setting is definitely one of the most fantastic places that I have ever visited.
Villa San Michele is nestled in the Tuscan hills and the original building was a monastery that was founded in the early years of the 15th Century. It subsequently became privately owned until it was acquired by Orient-Express Hotels in 1982. As soon as I arrived, the lavish surroundings were obvious. The welcoming staff were also extremely attentive, without being intrusive and the reception has a traditional and almost aristocratic feel.
While the décor throughout the hotel is impressive and even features a façade attributed to Michelangelo, Villa San Michele’s most prized asset is the breathtaking view that is available from the beautifully manicured terraced gardens. For this reason, it lends itself best to the spring, summer and autumn months, closing from November through to March. This is partly to ensure that the gardens are in prime condition for the warmer days of the year and any maintenance work is carried out without disrupting guests.
Floral terraces cascade down the hillside, each providing an infinity effect. If you climb the winding stone steps to the highest vantage point, you will be presented with a pool that is surely situated in one of the most desirable locations in Europe. The panoramic views overlooking Florence are heavenly and guests also have the option to enjoy lunch from this spot at the poolside restaurant.
However, if you are interested in sampling the pinnacle of European fine-dining, the main restaurant is the place to be. The menu is extensive and matched by an impressive wine list. However, you are likely to be distracted from both as a result of the stunning view. I could hardly take my eyes away from it. This really is the perfect romantic place to enjoy the sunset, as Florence twinkles beneath.
There are a number of suites available and I was lucky enough to stay in one of two located within the main building. The four poster bed was one of the most comfortable that I have slept in and it was surrounded by candles when I retired to my room. The lounge area was generous and the marble bathroom even more so.
However, the most dramatic place to stay is the Limonaia Suite, which sits within the Italian gardens. With its own plunge pool and tranquil, leafy surroundings, this is ideal for a luxury romantic break to celebrate a special occasion.
So, whether you are getting married, looking to propose or want to escape the city centre for a special evening in the Tuscan Hills, Villa San Michele is a truly sublime choice. It was the perfect location to see our beautiful Bride-To-Be walk down the aisle and the whole team wish the happy couple very many congratulations.
Watch Sloaney TV for a tour of the grounds…
Book a stay at Villa San Michele by visiting their website. Villa San Michele is located at Via Doccia, 4, 50014 Fiesole Florence, Italy