The Bells are Ringing at Perillo Tours

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Castel Monastero in Tuscany.
Castel Monastero in Tuscany.

Think romance. Think leading honeymoon destination. Think Italy. It seems time to think of speaking with Steve Perillo, president of Perillo Tours, as Recommend did. During the conversation, we learned that the company that has been taking American travelers to Italy for 70 years is applying its Italian know-how to delivering top-of- the-line destination weddings.

“Taking advantage of the fact that many consider Italy to be the most romantic place in the world, and that the entire country is in love with love,” president Steve Perillo points to the natural extension of the company’s Italy travel expertise into destination weddings. “Our front yard, so to speak, is Italy, the ultimate destination for lovers, and for those who imagine saying their marriage vows while overlooking a Tuscan vineyard, or those dreaming of renewing vows as they look out over the Mediterranean Sea along the Amalfi coast, our wedding planning team is ready to make it all happen.”

According to Perillo, his biggest market is for their destination wedding packages that feature a symbolic ceremony, suited to couples already married at home, but wanting to celebrate with friends and family in the most memorable places in the most memorable ways. Basic Silver packages include the ceremony set up—from flowers to seating, an English-speaking celebrant, bridal bouquet and boutonniere for the groom, wedding cake and sparkling wine, photographer service, and onsite wedding planner. Gold packages add such elements as makeup artist and hair stylist for the bride and specific hotel accommodations with special room amenities and in-room breakfast the day after the wedding.

Consider a sampling of Perillo-style wedding venues in Italy. In Siena, couples say “I do” in the warm surroundings of Castel Monastero, a wonderful resort in one of the most charming settings in Tuscany; in Ravello, it’s the fairytale setting of the Hotel Marmorata; and in Positano on the Amalfi coast at the Eden Roc Hotel.

On demand, Perillo Tours expanded its destination wedding expertise to Greece, where couples celebrate life’s memorable milestones on the quintessentially picturesque Greek Islands of Mykonos and Santorini. The suggested honeymoon venues are the deluxe Myconian Collection, where couples have a choice of several elegant beach hotels (all with thalasso spas), and the Aressana Spa Hotel in Fira, spectacularly located on the edge of Santorini’s caldera.

“Packages, of course, just provide a framework,” points out Perillo, “for few travel-related products are more customized than destination weddings, which call for special dinners and excursions for guests, who most often arrive stay on a Thursday for a Saturday wedding, then leave on Sunday for home or an extended vacation. Of course, many of those extensions fit easily into our independent itineraries or even escorted tours.”

In fact, according to Perillo, “our all-inclusive escorted [tours] are really popular with couples off on a ‘second’ honeymoon who are a bit more mature, are really interested in sightseeing and enjoy mixing time alone with the camaraderie of a tour.” However, he adds that “the company’s extensive selection of independent tours are those that appeal most strongly to honeymoon and anniversary travelers, who relish lots of leisure time in their memory-making arrangements.”

Perillo points to a particularly popular tour, the 10-day Three Crowns of Italy, spending three nights at the Hotel Victoria in Rome, three nights at the Grand Hotel Cavour in Florence, and two nights in Venice at the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal. Including four-star accommodations, all transfers, first-class rail tickets Rome/Florence/Venice, and escorted sightseeing in each city, the tour is priced from $2,090 per person sharing. Just last February in Rome, Perillo tour leader Dante Roversi took charge of a last-minute request from passengers Melissa Roeder and Matthew Schmidt: After gathering flowers and sparkling wine, and arranging for a candlelit dinner, Roversi stepped up as their Celebrant during a private symbolic ceremony on the terrace of the Hotel Victoria. Now that’s amore!

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