[:en]In 2017, Puglia has been nominated the most beautiful region in the world by National Geographic. This nomination has probably brought increased popularity and consequently more and more foreigners choose it for their destination wedding.
The white beaches, the clean sea, the medieval villages, the immense olive fields, and the exquisite gastronomic cuisine are an irresistible attraction for so many people belonging to the most varied cultures who dream of their “yes, I Do” in a fascinating and particular place.
Puglia holds 10% of foreign marriages, a cut above other regions that seemed to be the worldwide favorites, such as Tuscany or Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Masserias, villas, castles with a chic and refined style are perfect for celebrating weddings of different kinds. Puglia is now on the podium for the most popular destination especially for celebrating luxury weddings (prices, in fact, seem to be the most inaccessible, but truly, it is the most beautiful region in the world!)
Why has Puglia become so popular and gained such a reputation in so little time?
Certainly, the show biz factor has played an important role! In the last few years, more and more VIPs have chosen Puglia as their holiday destination: Ivanka Trump, Madonna, and, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, the first couple to marry in Puglia.
The most requested areas are Valle d’Itria, the beloved Polignano a Mare (which became popular in America after Liam and Hope’s wedding in The Bold and the Beautiful was filmed, and in China too after popstar Hiraku Utada and the lucky waiter Francesco Calianno’s wedding in Puglia). Monopoli, Savelletri, Ostuni, Bari, Alberobello and Fasano are top on the chart aswell. Lecce is enchanting for its artistic and architectural beauty.
Foreigners feels enriched by the art and the culture and let us not forget that the local villages have a typically medieval look. What is fascinating is the feeling of being back in time even though Puglia is a region of a western country, Italy.
Certainly, cinema has also played its part. After the film ” The story of the tales ”, a candidate for the Cannes festival in 2015, it seems that the recurring dream of many foreigners is to get married in Castel del Monte. A XIII century fortress built by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of Frederick II. Unfortunately, getting married here is currently not possible.
Any foreign citizen who does not have residence in Italy can marry in our country, providing a valid identity document. Most decide to marry according to the rite of their religion. In fact, churches belonging to the most diverse creeds are located throughout Puglia.
Those belonging to Islam get married in mosques. The largest Islamic mosque in Italy has been in Bari for two years. The ceremony involves declaring himself or herself eternal love before a priest as well. The day after the wedding ceremony, once the marriage has been consummated, a wedding reception is offered by the groom and his family in order to make the marriage public to the community.
The traditional Arab wedding feast, still held by many families today, is a riot of Arabic colors, music and songs. Wedding celebrations are very important in the Middle East and involve the whole community, more or less similar to traditional Italian weddings here in Puglia.
Not all Muslims come from the Middle East. In fact, many come from European countries and there is a large number of marriages from Western backgrounds, above all the US and Russian. The weddings are mainly held in Christian and Orthodox churches (in the area of Brindisi and Bari) usually outdoors in front of a pastor. Hills and beaches are privileged places.
Another ethnicity that Puglia has been favoring in recent years is India. The Vivaha is a lavish ceremony that has increasingly taken off in Puglia after 2014 when Ritika Agarwal (third son of the iron millionaire Pramod Agarwal) and Rohan Ketha, heir of the founder of the Mexx fashion house, celebrated their wedding for three days in Fasano bringing along elephants too!
There are also weddings celebrated according to the Shinto rite. The spouses of the rising sun seem to prefer Salento for its art, especially in the mid-seasons, which are considered the most favorable for marriage.
Naturally also the banquet halls have their charm. Weddings abroad are celebrated especially at home, or at refreshments. Therefore, our venues are a great novelty for those who come to get married from other parts of the world. Which venues and locations are among the most popular?
The grand hotel Riviera in Lecce, a white luxury hotel with swimming pool and palm trees, the Hotel Monte Sarago in Ostuni also white luxury and the very rustic and refined Masseria Santo Stefano in Bari.
The only ones to snub Puglia (perhaps a little due to envy) seem to be the Mediterranean, in particular the French and the Spanish.
Finally yet importantly, mixed marriages have increased in the last ten years. However, this is another chapter.
A great satisfaction and above all, an increase in business opportunities for a region that has become known and appreciated in the world only recently.[:]