A recently received email (23rd September 2010):
“Stanton Furnell - Carsey wedding”
Just a quick note, first of all to thank you all, once more, for a wonderful weekend - totally memorable.
Everyone got back home safe and sound and all is well. I, thankfully, have found my hearing aid so no need to worry about that any more.
Finally - do you think you could let me have the names of the two singers at the wedding and also the two musicians as I want to do a scrap book and their names would be great.
Thanks again - and best wishes to you all,
A recent review posted to the La Preghiera page on the TripAdvisor site:
“Wonderful wedding location”
4th June 2010
My (now) wife and I were recently married at what we affectionately refer to as "La P." We rented the entire two buildings for three nights, B&B, and had our ceremony and reception there. We cannot say enough about the venue, the owners (John and Liliana) and their in-house planner/manager, Giulia. Thoughtful, flexible, sweet, thorough, professional and welcoming are all apt descriptors. The villas are stunning and are the perfect combination of rustic charm plus discreet modern conveniences. Our only regret is that we were so busy with the wedding, we weren't able to fully enjoy the surrounding area, which our guests report had plenty to do without being as touristy as Tuscany. Our brief trips outside proved the area to be beautiful, especially in the spring. We will be back to celebrate some future anniversary.
Christopher Milito, New York City, USA
More reviews posted to the La Preghiera page on the TripAdvisor site:
“As close to a perfect wedding as you can imagine........”
9th April 2008
We had our wedding here in late March 2008.
We live in Beijing and had chosen Umbria as the perfect place. Our criteria was a restored older place, with a chapel, bedrooms and a restaurant on the one site. We'd actually booked another similar Umbrian venue and 6 weeks before the wedding they decided they couldn't accommodate us for dinner (not what we wanted at all!) Well that could have been a disaster as friends and family had booked flights etc, but in the end - what a stroke of luck!
From the very first phone conversation with an extremely understanding John, everything about La Preghiera was absolutely wonderful.
The photos, and previous reviews testify to the fantastic day we had and the place, but here are a few points:
- venue is stunning. Absolutely. The restoration has been wonderful, to the highest standard. Lovely modern touches like sleek modern bathrooms blend really well with the traditional features.
- its a perfect size for an intimate wedding. I think they have 12 rooms in total (inc Villa Moscatelli) and the dining room and chapel can both seat up to 40 (larger dinners can be done outside and chapel doors can be left open for a bigger crowd). But for our 38 guests, it was all absolutely perfect, and wonderful to have the whole place to ourselves.
- the chapel is beautiful, simple and elegant. And fantastic we could hold a legal and religious ceremony in one go (not always possible in private chapels in Italy.)
- the place isn't stuffy at all, just stylish and relaxed.
- breakfast was wonderful. Different every day and all locally-produced.
- wedding catering was excellent. Everyone was stuffed (!) and loved the variety, from the beautiful antipasto buffet, to the fantastic ravioli with spinach and ricotta, to the three types of tiramisu' and the lemon sorbet.
- lots of lovely touches by the owners (we won't write them here so as not to spoil the surprises!)
- the owners, and the manageress, Giulia, know exactly what they're doing and have a great wedding day down to a fine art. They handle all the legalities, liaisons, paperwork etc brilliantly. They looked after the wedding registration, liaision with the Minister, the caterers, the hairdresser etc.
- we loved the flexibility. We didn't want a typical wedding day, and they were absolutely fine that we didn't do everything a more typical wedding would.
- Villa Moscatelli (also on site and owned by La P) is a great option for pre-wedding. We took the place, with its three bedrooms, for almost a week, and it was perfect to have the lounge, kitchen etc for preparations, and then welcoming the other guests as they arrived.
- the gardens are stunning. Beautifully presented, and a real testament to Angelo's hard work.
- the nearby hill towns of Gubbio, Cortona, Assisi and Orvieto are fantastic. And La P is a great base to see them all. Umbria is also fantastic value compared to more touristy parts of Italy.
- the pizzeria 10 mins walk from La P serves the best pizza we ate in Italy.
- the hairdresser recommended and booked was wondeful.
- the Minister organised by La P was a lovely chap.
We would have our wedding there again tomorrow, no doubts at all. We were so luck to have found a place like this, at just 6 weeks notice, and they John, Liliana, Giulia, and the whole team were superb.
You also don't need to have a wedding to go to La Preghiera. It's also a perfect place for a few days or a couple of weeks break. We'll definitely be back.
Overall, we couldn't recommend this place, and the people enough.
mnab, Beijing, China
Hannah and Russells' Wedding on 5 August 2007 at La Preghiera
Dear Liliana and John
Well, the real purpose of this e-mail was to send a huge, warm and heartfelt thank you for all your hard work in organising the Caulton-Sanderson wedding and for everything that you have done for us over the past 2 years. You have been truly amazing.
We returned to England on Thursday 8th August however our memories of our time at La Preghiera, in particular the weekend of 3rd –5th August 2007 when we celebrated our marriage remain etched in our memories and our smiles aren’t fading yet (the tears have stopped for now though!).
The time that we spent at La Preghiera before our wedding was lovely and relaxing despite increasing excitement and Hannah's constant questions, that seemed to add to those already though of by yourselves! Then when our guests started arriving the excitement grew even further and with each new face came more smiles of pleasure in finally seeing the beautiful surroundings, which we had chosen for our wedding. The complements about La Preghiera were flowing.
The Pizza and Ice Cream evening was a wonderful event which joined all our guests together the night before our wedding. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves due to the wonderful setting, food and atmosphere. Our special thanks go out once again to the World Champion Ice Cream chef – we can still taste the amazing flavours that we tried in particular the cookies ice cream, which was Hannah’s favourite!
Then the wedding day arrived with an early morning trip to the Commune in Umbertide and the excitement was definitely reaching an all time high. Many thanks Liliana for accompanying us and for translating the ceremony, you were wonderful and we couldn’t have done it without you. We think that we speak for everyone when we say that the ceremony at the Commune was more that we imagined (definitely in a good way!) and that we all found it a little emotional (some of us more than others!). There are also some quirky moments from our visit that we will always remember including the little lady with the dog that frightened the life out of Hannah’s mum! These all serve to make the day even more memorable than it already was.
Back at La Preghiera we started to get ready and the hairdresser was wonderful. All the guests who had their hair done said how fantastic she was and there were even plans at one stage to try to smuggle her away or invite her to come back to England with us!! Please pass on our thanks once again to her. Then there was the beauty therapist…what can we say – a master at all trades. My nails lasted for a week and I even treated myself to a manicure set in Pienza to see if I could do it myself! Once again all the ladies that had their nails done said how great the beauty therapist was. In addition to this my makeup on the day was perfect. I couldn’t have wished for it to be any nicer and thanks once again.
The wedding day was perfect. We don’t know what else to say. Neither Russ nor I couldn’t have wished for it to have gone any better and looking back now there is absolutely nothing that we would change. Our special thanks go to the Pastor, the harpist and also to John for your translation – once again, without you it wouldn’t have been possible (thanks also for the handkerchief!). We would also like to send our thanks to the team of photographers who spent the day at La Preghiera and made us feel as though we were celebrities being followed by the paparazzi!!! We await the photographs with excitement! We would also like to send our thanks to the florist. All our flowers were beautiful and were exactly what we requested. On the photographs that our guests took, the flowers really stand out and look wonderful. The atmosphere of the day was made even more special by the Jazz Trio (Grandad’s favourite!). Thanks especially for "Just the way you look tonight" which was perfect and also for organising the I-pod! The day was filled with complements from our guests about the setting, food, atmosphere and organisation, the whole wedding party send their thanks to everyone who helped out in front of and behind the scenes! You are amazing.
Finally the meal at Il Vecchio Granaio on the Sunday was wonderful and was a lovely way to complete our time at La Preghiera. By this stage there were 32 exhausted but thoroughly happy guests.
La Preghiera is a truly remarkable and special place in terms of its history and setting and it is made even more special by the people who work there. You are a magnificent and wonderful team who work hard to successfully achieve the dreams of your guests. Thank you for everything and for giving us a wedding weekend beyond our wildest imagination. You have created and been a part of many happy memories that will remain with us for a lifetime. We will definitely be back to see you all in the future and wish you continuing success.
Many thanks once again
Hannah and Russell x x x
“An amazing find - Perfect”
26th March 2007
We spent some months searching for a suitable venue for our wedding in Italy. We were looking for something with a real wow factor but at the same time relaxed and informal. Towards the end of our search we had become experts in our own right on wedding locations and properties from the far north of Italy to Sicilly. We then came across La Preghiera on the net and the rest is history!! We visited La Preghiera in late January for a weekend to look at the property and to talk through our wedding plans. We flew from London Stansted to Perugia and then hired a car for the short drive to Calzolaro which was ideal and certainly a big plus point for our friends and family travelling from the UK for our wedding.
We had fairly specific ideas of what we wanted for our wedding day, which was first and foremost a stunning location closely followed by a place for our family and friends to enjoy our day in style. We couldn't believe it, upon arriving at La Preghiera it was almost too good to be true all our hopes and aspirations were being realised, this place was perfect!!!
John and Liliana are very warm and welcoming hosts with attention to detail never being far from their thoughts. They have spent many years transforming this once near derelict 12th century monastary into a real work of art, from the moment you pull up at the wrought Iron gates at the driveway to stepping into the front door the presence of this building hits you right between the eyes. From the internal decor to the marble bathrooms, it is all absolutely stunning.
We are returning to La Preghiera in May to finalise our plans for our wedding in September, we can't wait to return.
Sichal, Dorset, UK
The Ranson-Bartlett wedding at La Preghiera
Dear Liliana & John
Just a quick note to thank you both for the fantastic weekend we have just spent with you for the Ranson-Bartlett wedding. From our perspective the whole event was perfect, and we were very pleased to have participated in such a lovely occasion for our good friends. We enjoyed sharing your home very much indeed: I have made a note of all the little touches that I want to copy, but in our brand new suburban detached house I am sceptical of being able to achieve such a tasteful result as you have in La Preghiera!
It was lovely to meet you.
With best wishes from Fife
Andrew & Yan