Travel Log: Florence Part 1 (Welcome Dinner)

*Please note that many of the photos in today's post (all photos from our welcome dinner) are credited to our incredible photographer Eva Lin Photography. Any photos posted on this blog are not to be used without express written permission.
Continuing my Italy travel series, today I want to share the first of two travel logs on Florence. Florence will forever a special place in my heart as the city we chose for our wedding! Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember that we visited Florence last April (you can read my travel log here) to meet our wedding planners and solidify our venue. After our initial stops to explore Siena, Lucca, Modena and Parma, we arrived in Florence two days before our wedding ceremony. Our agenda was to check into our wedding venue villa, meet with our planners, and finalize some small last minute details regarding the weekend events we hosted for our guests: a Friday welcome dinner, Saturday wedding ceremony & reception, and Sunday brunch. Please read on for more photos and a peek into some of the wedding preparations as well as our welcome dinner.

We chose Villa le Fontanelle as our wedding venue after viewing multiple properties in the Florence area. This 15th century Medici villa has been beautifully restored and operates as a B&B when not booked for weddings! What sealed the deal for us was both the location (a 10-15 minute drive from downtown Florence) and the incredible views. In addition, the owners and staff were all incredibly gracious, kind, and quick to accommodate every request. When we arrived at the villa Thursday morning, they greeted us with coffee and appetizers before showing us the rooms and property.

The unbelievable view of Florence (oh hi, Duomo!) from the outdoor patio where we held our wedding dinner and cake presentation (more on that in the next post!).

Here is a sneak peek of the area where we held our wedding ceremony!

After re-familiarizing ourselves with the villa, we headed into downtown Florence to meet our wedding planners, VB Events, and visit the restaurants we chose for our welcome dinner and Sunday brunch. I always love walking along the river to take in the views of this historic city and its bridges!

Coming up on the Ponte Vecchio...

We chose Golden View Open Bar for our Sunday brunch, which is right next to the Ponte Vecchio and has this amazing view:

Our Friday welcome dinner was held at La Loggia in Piazzale Michaelangelo, named after the famed Renaissance sculptor. This square has both a bronze recreation of the famous David sculpture and an incredible view of the city. The restaurant La Loggia sits on a site initially intended to be a museum for Michaelangelo's works, but selfishly I am glad that never happened because it was a perfect location to gather our family and friends to kick off our wedding weekend! We arranged a buffet style menu and arranged a mixture of table seating on the covered patio of the restaurant as well as tall tables out on the uncovered patio to provide our guests with the most freedom to eat, drink, mingle, and meet each other. We also arrived a bit early to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and take photos with these jaw-dropping views. It was a perfect evening!

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into our wedding preparations and our Friday welcome dinner! Please stay tuned for more travel logs detailing our wedding day in Florence and our post-wedding celebrations in the Amalfi Coast and Rome. I hope you are having a fabulous week so far, thank you for visiting my blog today, and wishing you a wonderful weekend.


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