Italy, oh Italy. You scream romance, rolling vineyards, beauty, and delicious food all in one. Have you ever heard of someone who doesn't love Italy? Take it a step further with Tuscany, Italy. Most of us girls will immediately think Diane Lane in 'Under the Tuscan Sun'. Ahhhh, transport us there NOW please! We don't think a wedding, elopement, getaway or soiree in Tuscany could go wrong. It's a fail–safe destination for a beautiful event.
One particular venue/villa that caught our eyes, is La Bandita, an old farmhouse that has been renovated with a modern twist on the inside while preserving it's old stone exterior. It sits upon a 1000 acre nature reserve in the rolling hills of southern Tuscany. It opened as a small villa style hotel in 2007 and they have been hosting parties and weddings in the summer months ever since.
As former event planners, we are extremely wary of the venues we select for destination events. Selecting the right venue in a far away setting is like dating, we need to have good relationship with the venue before we can commit. We typically analyze the 'about us' section on the website along with our e-mail correspondence. When we read the blurb from the owner on the website of La Bandita, we instantly fell in love and wanted to commit. "If I ran for office in Italy, my campaign slogan would be “FREE CAPPUCCINO! FREE INTERNET! FREE WATER! You see, I like taking care of people, but I don’t like charging for every little thing…As a result, our rates include: Free Wi-Fi internet access, breakfast, as much cappuccino as you can drink, welcome glass of wine, unlimited free bottled water and soft drinks, and the wine I usually forget to charge people for" Those three sentences make up the stuff event planning dreams are made of. With an attitude and disclaimer like that on a website, we cannot imagine how working with this venue would be anything but an enjoyable experience.
HISTORY LESSON: What does an international music executive do when he’s sick of his big time New York job? He quits his job and moves to Tuscany to open a small hotel! After ten years of chasing rock stars around the world, John Voigtmann picked up and moved to Italy with his wife, who is a travel writer. After four years of searching, researching and renovating... La Bandita, was born.
HOW WILL MY GUESTS GET HERE?: 2 hours from Rome airport and 1.5 hours from Florence, it's best to rent a car to get around the area.