Italy’s Lazio region offers couples €2,000 to have weddings there | Italy

Whether the nuptials are in Rome, in a castle or on a beach, authorities in Lazio are giving €2,000 (£1,670) to couples who get married in the region as they seek to salvage the wedding sector from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative, called “In Lazio with love”, is open to Italians and foreigners who marry or have a civil union in the region between 1 January and 31 December 2022.

Couples can make their requests, providing a maximum of five receipts, from Monday and, if accepted, will receive a €2,000 refund on money spent on Lazio-based wedding services, including wedding planners, wedding attire, venues, catering, flowers, car hire and photographers.

The region has set aside a total €10m for the initiative, and applications for the refund can be made up until the end of January 2023, or until the fund runs out.

“The scheme is needed to support a sector that has suffered badly from the economic crisis,” said Nicola Zingaretti, the president of Lazio. “We have put the significant investment in place also with an eye on the tourism sector, and with the awareness and pride of being able to boast about every part of our region, with many locations among the most magical and fascinating in the world thanks to an unparalleled cultural heritage.”

Since the start of the pandemic, 9,000 couples have wed in Lazio, compared with more than 15,000 in 2019.

The Lazio region has a rich variety of locations to choose from, including the Italian capital, a host of mediaeval hilltop towns and the sand dune beaches that line Circeo national park. Among the most famous weddings to have been held in the region was that between the now divorced Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, who married in Orsini-Odescalchi castle in Bracciano in 2006.

“Let’s relaunch a sector that has been on hold for a long time – the whole wedding chain has suffered economically during the last two years,” said Valentina Corrado, Lazio’s tourism councillor.