Conventino di Gradara: wedding location in Le Marche
GET MARRIED IN GRADARA, LE MARCHE
Today's post has, for me, a really important, very personal meaning.
Thanks, in fact, to my column "Tambo on tour" (inspections in the wedding locations of Emilia Romagna and Marche and meeting with selected suppliers ... oh by the way! You have read the other stops, for example, at Palazzo Viviani or at the Estate Biodynamic Mara or the interview with Laura Generali of Bianca Collezione Sposa Milano?) I went back to a special place for my heart. I returned to the location that at the time, in 2013, I chose to celebrate my wedding: the Conventino di Gradara.
Coming back here was nothing short of magical. It must have been the beautiful day or the kindness of Erica and Matteo, the new owners (whom I sincerely thank for the warm welcome and for the concrete availability of collaboration), the fact is that I felt as I did then: happy, serene and full of joy!
The Conventino di Gradara rises right under the walls of the Gradara Castle, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino. It is easy to get there: just follow the signs for the center of Gradara and, as soon as you arrive at the last roundabout just below the walls, just turn left and after about 100 meters you will find the Conventino!
Before talking to you about my inspection, as always, I like to focus on the village that hosts the location, would you like to?
GRADARA, A BIT OF HISTORY
Wonderful Gradara. The splendid medieval village and the imposing fortress with its fourteenth-century walls are already visible from Cattolica (and also from my house!). It is in fact 142 m above sea level and the view from here on Le Marche and the adjacent Romagna is nothing short of crazy, breathtaking!
It's little Gradara, or rather, its historic center is a small jewel, well preserved and, certainly, to visit at least once in a lifetime. The inhabited center is characterized by alleys and alleys overlooked by shops, restaurants and artisan workshops. All under the great fortress dating back to the end of the twelfth century.
Like all the castles in the area, the one of Gradara was born as a military fortress and, over time, became a noble residence. The Malatesta, Sforza and Della Rovere families have followed one another over the centuries and the interiors of the Rocca still preserve important artistic works of the fifteenth century. Furthermore, the Rocca was one of the main reasons for the clash between the Papacy and the Marchigiane and Romagna families. They were always arguing ...
GRADARA, PAOLO & FRANCESCA'S CASTLE
A visit to the Gradara Castle is practically a must for travelers to the area (and for tourists who flock to the Romagna Riviera in the summer).
You can visit both the interior of the castle and walk along the crenellated walls, on the drawbridge and in the very green external courtyard.
Gradara is certainly famous for the events of Paolo and Francesca, the 2 lovers who really existed whose passionate love story is told by Dante in the verses of canto V of Hell.
It is said that the tragedy of the 2 boys took place right in the Castle of Gradara, but beware, "they say": in fact, it is not written in any document that the theater of their tragedy was precisely the Rocca di Gradara! Speaking of which, I invite you to read this interesting article by Roberto Copello on the myth of Paolo and Francesca.
And now we come to us and to the heart of this post.
CONVENTINO DI GRADARA, THE HISTORY
The origins of the Conventino di Gradara date back to the mid-16th century when a small group of Capuchin friars settled here, perhaps linked to the Order of the Observant Franciscans of Pesaro.
The monks here were protected from the teeming outside life and carried out their life in the cloister, the church, the garden and the humble cells for the night.
Between the late 1700s and early 1800s the Conventino passed into the hands of the Republicans who sent the friars away. They returned here in 1822 thanks to Mons. Clemente Fares, bishop of Pesaro.
About a century later the Convent became a summer residence for seminarians and in 1925 it definitively became a private residential villa.
THE SITE ISPECTION
ACCESS AREAS AND THE CLOISTER
There are 2 main entrances to the Conventino: one located in the front square (as soon as you arrive from the main climb that runs along the walls of the Rocca di Gradara, past the Giardino degli Ulivi, so to speak) and one almost at the end of the climb.
If you enter the Conventino using the first entrance, you will enter a delightful antechamber and then the internal cloister.
If you continue, however, on the slope that runs along the walls of the Castle, you will come directly to a large gate that opens onto the large garden and the swimming pool.
I certainly prefer the latter solution for the access of both guests and spouses: in fact, beyond the large gate, the spectacle that presents itself to one's eyes is of strong impact.
The Cloister is perfectly preserved and is the place where, generally, the civil ceremony held by the Municipality of Gradara is celebrated (even I got married right here!).
THE SALON AND THE TAVERNETTA
The large hall (former refectory) is splendid with its large windows overlooking the rear side of the Conventino and the panoramic terrace.
The rumpus room on the ground floor is delightful, perfect for the ceremony in case of bad weather and for dinners with a few close friends thanks to its warm and romantic atmosphere.
THE ROOMS AND THE "SHEEP ROOM"
Il Conventino boasts 9 bedrooms, all characterized by small frescoes. The most particular of all is certainly the "Room of the Sheep", so named because of the fresco on the main wall. Here the bride can calmly prepare herself before "entering the scene" and it is certainly a very romantic solution for the wedding night.
THE CHURCH AND THE OTHER EXTERNAL ENVIROMNMENTS
The presence, then, of a small but still very large church inside the Conventino is very interesting. At the moment, unfortunately, it is still not possible to celebrate weddings, I am confident in the near future!
The garden adjacent to the large swimming pool is certainly the ideal place for a welcome drink and an appetizer buffet. In case of bad weather, however, the covered arcades of the Cloister are perfect for this purpose.
Tennis court, wellness area and a spectacular panoramic terrace (uh how much I love it!) With the very special "eye" close the rooms of the structure
MICRO WEDDING & MINIMONY
Furthermore, the Conventino di Gradara is certainly a perfect location for ceremonies and weddings between a few close friends, I told you about it in this post, remember? In addition, it is part of my project for weddings 2022/2023 in time of Covid19, the #safewedding.
Photos: mine, Alessandro Orlandi and Effe11 Photography
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Your Planner in Romagna and Le Marche
Member of Board of Directors of WPI Wedding Planner Italia (on 2020 and 2021), National trade association for Professional Wedding Planners.