Weddings and honeymoons on the Cilento Coast in Southern Italy
Updated: Oct 5
Santa Maria Di Castellabate
A truly beautiful, magical area full of gorgeous venues, ancient buildings, traditional Italian villages, incredible hospitality and amazing people.
A place that takes your heart and makes you forget the rest of the world. A place that time forgot. A place where no one knows how to hurry. A place to truly relax and unwind.
Just one and a half hours from Naples airport and central station, the Cilento coast is a real hidden gem.
This area has somehow managed to stay relatively unknown and keeps its authentic old world charm allowing you to experience true Italian tradition, genuine local friendliness and Mediterranean style.
Not to mention the food and lifestyle that grant its residents near immortality – people here live much longer than in the rest of Italy thanks to it being the home of the world famous, traditional Mediterranean Diet that most of them follow.
The area of Santa Maria di Castellabate is one of my very favourite places to be.
Whenever I am here, I always choose to stay in either this wonderful, traditional hotel run by the fabulous Carlo and his wife, born and bred in Santa Maria di Castellabate
Or I stay here in this fabulous family run B&B further along the promenade
From wherever you look there are breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea showing off the stunning coastlines of Cilento and Amalfi and from here you will be able to sit and watch some amazing sunsets over Capri and the Ischia Islands
At the very top of the hillside, you will find the traditional, ancient village of Castellabate with its winding, cobbled streets and narrow stairs and homes built into the hillside.
This is a beautiful medieval town and home to a couple of great restaurants.
The beaches of Santa Maria di Castellabate stretch for days, with golden sand and crystal clear waters.
A walk along here can take hours as it is sprinkled with waterfront cafes, bars and beach lidos offering local, home made, mouthwatering cuisine tempting you in.
For water sports lovers, little boats venture out daily for snorkelling and diving trips and for those of you that just want to relax and chill, how about a boat trip just to explore the coastline with a delicious lunch of local cuisine on board.
From the local port of San Marco, just a ten/fifteen minute walk from Santa Maria, ferries run to both Capri and Amalfi, both places that are well worth a visit.
Here, in this little place of heaven, coastal living creates a wonderful feeling of wellness and peace and there are plenty of hotels and b&b’s situated right on the seashore where you can be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves and the smell of the sea air.
Live La Dolce Vita as you enjoy your fresh Italian coffee and croissants and delicious gelato in little seaside bars while you sit and watch the world go by.
Dotted along the shore are the fishermen mending their nets on the beach after being out at night for the catch of the day, supplying the locals and restaurants with the freshest of fish.
Day trips to local vineyards and mozzarella farms are an idyllic way to spend a day in which you will be offered lunch and wine among the vines.
Another way to embrace the culture is to take one of the many cooking classes. These usually take place in traditional kitchens and are taught by the local Nonna's who are full of stories of their heritage.
The day starts with a trip to the local markets to pick up your ingredients and ends with a fabulous meal that you have cooked, drinking local wine and enjoying the company.
The Greek temples at Paestum are some of the best preserved in the whole world, an incredible collection of ancient architecture from settlers about 2600 years ago and they are only a 25 minute drive from Santa Maria.
When evening arrives, there are plenty of restaurants all offering locally produced, Mediterranean food made from scratch with natural ingredients. A lot of the restaurants and hotels even grow their own offerings on their family land.
This area also boasts stunning venues for destination weddings, such as a magnificent castle, an ancient tower situated on the beach of Santa Maria di Castellabate.
Or the hilltop restaurants in the medieval village of Castellabate, giving stunning views of Capri and the coast, and plenty of opportunities for the romantic sunset pictures.
The sunsets here are truly beautiful and no matter how long you stay here, you will find a lot of locals coming out to watch its magic every night.
There is also a wonderful choice of private villas and castles all with wonderful views which make amazing natural backdrops for your incredible wedding day.
One of these is a place that captured my heart many years ago. It is owned by an actual Italian Prince and his gorgeous wife and comes with acres of grounds, it’s own private beach and it’s very own island complete with a lighthouse.
I visit them as often as I can and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the gardens, and spend many hours chatting over a glass of wine listening to the sound of the sea.
This villa has plenty of spaces for laid back, relaxed wedding ceremonies and outdoor banquets serving incredible, local food and wine and enough accommodation for your closest family and friends.
and of course, your extra guests will be welcomed for all of your celebratory activities.
Your other wedding guests can be accommodated very close by in the various hotels, private villas, B&B's and guest houses in the nearby towns of Ogliastro Marina, Santa Maria and San Marco.
One of my other very favourite wedding venues in this beautiful area, is the magnificent castle situated about a twenty minute drive from Santa Maria. Set up high, overlooking the coast, this spectacular castle will definitely give your wedding the WOW factor.
There are many other areas of the Cilento coastline just waiting to be explored and these are all stunning, unspoilt, rugged landscapes well worth a visit including these listed below
Other Towns to visit in the Cilento area
Once your wedding is over, you could think about taking a few days to explore some of the other towns in the region.
This is the largest town and makes a great base for exploring the region.
Is a very lovely little seaside fishing village.
It is another place you might consider for your base and once you are there you might very well want to stay a while.
Cape of Palinuro
The town of Palinuro itself with its promontory that is one of the most striking in Cilento, is a great base to stay in.
Palinuro has many spectacular beaches with crystal-clear water and its fascinating sea caves.
From Palinuro’s port, you can hire little boats to take you out along the peninsula to five of the sea caves.
Lovers of nature trails will fall in love with the Sentiero della Primula (Primrose Path), 14 kilometres that run along the promontory with breathtaking views of the sea, but also of the forests, rivers and archaeological sites in the area.
Marina di Camerota
A very popular destination in the area thanks to its privileged location.
It is at the foot of hills with ancient towers and centuries old olive groves, amid rocky promontories overhanging the sea and beaches with an almost tropical appearance.
These are just some of my favourite places to explore but there are many more locations waiting for you to discover them
If the stunning Cilento area has captured your imagination then get in touch with me soon and I can help you plan your wedding, elopement, honeymoon or vow renewal creating some magical memories for you and your loved ones to treasure forever.
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