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Located in rolling hills, high above Torri del Benaco at the edge of Lake Garda, Borgo Tre is a peaceful holiday hideaway.

Six suites and more set to open in 2025

Now welcoming guests, this elegant 18th century farmhouse restored by local artisans is surrounded by olives groves, cypresses, lemon trees and pine woods as far as the eye can see.  On 400sqm it offers complete privacy with six luxury apartment-style suites. With each suite measuring over 80sqm, guests have their own private garden or terrace with both lake and country views, complete with a master bedroom, living and dining area, kitchen, open fireplace and with designer bathrooms with free-standing marble baths. Some suites can host up to six people.

mini Borgo Tre 2022 by Georg Roske 149 LowResph credits: Georg Roske

Self-catering with complimentary breakfast boxes

The farmhouse retreat is immersed in nature and has a heated outdoor pool made from local granite. A mini nature spa which is due to open soon, will have a relaxation area, yoga terrace, outdoor cabanas, cold plunge pool and a Finnish sauna. Although self-catered, breakfast is served in the comfort of the guest’s own suite with a complimentary breakfast box. Borgo Tre recommends many nearby restaurants to enjoy some of the region’s best dishes for daytime and evening dining. 

mini Borgo Tre 2022 by Georg Roske 454 LowResph credits: Georg Roske

Wine tastings, Vespa trips and hiking

Borgo Tre encourages guests to switch off and explore the surroundings on foot or with the hotel’s e-bikes.  It is ideal for dedicatng time to health and wellbeing, with upcoming yoga retreats to be held in the grounds. With wine tasting, Vespa road trips along the shores, hikes up to the 360-degree viewpoint of Monte Baldo and boat trips on the lake - there is no better way to experience Lake Garda than by staying at Borgo Tre.

For information: www.borgotre.com   

Published in Experiences & Tips

Starhotels has created a tailor-made itinerary inspired by the legendary late-19th century Grand Tour.

Celebrating the excellence of Italian hospitality

Starhotels is delighted to present its Grand Tour, a new tailor-made itinerary centered on the prestigious Starhotels Collezione properties in Florence, Milan, Rome, Siena, Trieste, Venice, Vicenza, London and Paris. These emblematic stops on the itinerary celebrate the history of these cities and the excellence of Starhotels’ Italian hospitality. 

An itinerary reminiscent of the 19th-century Grand Tour 

The Grand Tour reached its peak in the 19th century, when young travellers set off to discover the art and culture of the main Italian and European cities, satisfying their aesthetic taste also by choosing to stay in elegant grand hotels. It was on the occasion of these memorable journeys that in the early 20th century many of the hotels that are now part of Starhotels Collezione, such as the Helvetia & Bristol in Florence and the Hotel d'Inghilterra in Rome, became favourite meeting places for artists and men of letters, some of whom also stayed for long periods, leaving their mark on history. 

grand tour starhotels

Visits to artisan workshops and guided private tours

Starhotels has now reinterpreted the Grand Tour in a contemporary key, with stays of at least two nights in two Starhotels Collezione destinations, choosing from fascinating historic residences. And to make the itinerary even more unforgettable, guests can enjoy Craft Experiences immersive visits to artisan workshops.  A Venetian mask workshop for those staying at the Splendid Venice, to the ancient Cappelli Factory for guests at the Hotel d'Inghilterra in Rome, to the art of the Florentine commesso for those choosing the Helvetia & Bristol in Florence. These are just some of the guided private tours in the Group's Italian destinations, to which are added brand new Craft Experiences in the cities of Trieste, Vicenza and Siena and others created ad hoc in London and Paris. There is also a tour dedicated to the history of fashion in Place Vendôme in Paris, and there are also the handwriting courses held by Pineider's skilled calligraphers in the London boutique. 

Starhotels Helvetia Bristol FlorenceStarhotels Helvetia Bristol Florence

A new Spritz-inspired cocktail  

Also inspired by the 19th century journey, there is a brand new cocktail, Viaggio in Italia, created by Cibréo which is available in all Starhotels Collezione hotels and is a revisitation of the Spritz, the great aperitif classic made with rhubarb and Italian sparkling wine.  The Grand Tour package includes: a non-consecutive stay in at least two Starhotels Collezione hotels of the guest's choice in Italy, Paris and London, a  20% discount including breakfast, a bottle of Italian sparkling wine on arrival, a welcome souvenir by Florentine leather goods brand Pineider, and on request and according to the guest's choice, experiences in artisan workshops. 

For information: https://grandtour.starhotels.com

Published in Hospitality

Gulf Air is reintroducing seasonal connections from Milan Malpensa, operated on a fifth-freedom basis, to Nice and Geneva.

Connecting the French Riviera and Milan 

The Kingdom of Bahrain airline will therefore connect the French Riviera to Milan with two flights a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 21 May to 28 May) and Thursdays and Sundays (from 2 June to 29 September). The route will be served by Airbus A321neo aircraft, with comfortable seats and a modern and advanced entertainment system. From Bahrain International Airport, passengers can reach numerous other destinations in Asia, India, the UAE and Saudi Arabia through the airline's global network. Flights to Geneva will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4 June to 27 September.

Gulf Air is represented  by Rephouse Gsa in Italy

“We are confident that this new route operated by Gulf Air on a fifth-freedom basis to Milan will be a popular option for business and leisure travellers, offering a direct connection between two important European hubs,” says the Bahraini airline, represented in Italy by Rephouse Gsa. Gulf Air flies directly from Bahrain to Milan Malpensa, operating seven weekly flights to which three new evening frequencies will be added from 2 July.

Published in Transportation

ITA Airways' winter schedule includes more flights on the Miami-Rome Fiumicino route for 2024-25.

Up to nine frequencies a week

Starting next 31 October, two frequencies, operated with Airbus A330-900s, will be added on the route, bringing the total from seven to nine per week. The two additional frequencies are scheduled on Thursdays and Saturdays with departure from Rome at 3pm and arrival in Miami at 9.55pm local time. The return flight from Miami departs at 11.20pm and arrives in Fiumicino at 3.10pm local time.

North America is strategic for ITA Airways

The increase of fights from Miami confirms the demand for connections between North America and Italy and underlines the importance of the North American region, the first strategic market after Italy for ITA Airways. The airline currently has eight connections to the United States and Canada, following the inauguration of the direct Chicago-Rome Fiumicino last April and the Toronto-Rome Fiumicino last May 10. 

Up to six weekly Maldives flights at Christmas

Another star destination for winter 2024-25 is the Maldives: during the Christmas holiday flights between Malè and Rome Fiumicino will operate up to six times a week (from 30 December 2024 to 5 January 2025). The operating schedule envisages the departure from Rome Fiumicino at 10.15pm and the arrival at the international airport of Velana - Malè at 11.25 local time, while the return from Malè will be at 1.25pm local time, landing at Fiumicino at 7.50pm. 

Published in Transportation

Everything is ready for summer from the Italian state railways FS Group, with new services to art cities and small towns and with more intermodal and digital services.

In 2023 the state railways carried  500 million travellers 

Last year the state railways carried over 500 million travellers, 30 million more than the previous year (+18%). This positive result over 2022 was driven by the increase in traffic revenues that affected all sectors, but particularly the highspeed segment. Between January and April 2024, 268 million passengers travelled on FS trains (+5% compared to 2023), and of these191 million were on Italian routes. In the same period, Trenitalia transported 150 million travellers.

mini Trenitalia Summer Experience Espresso Cadore ristorante

“We have improved the levels of customer satisfaction”

“This has been an extraordinary year with significant growth in the satisfaction expressed by customers in terms of the quality and reliability of our services, - said Luigi Corradi, CEO and director general of Trenitalia. – In the last three years we have improved the levels of customer satisfaction and our entire offer is permeated by sustainability, which translates into investments for a younger fleet, intermodal services that allow you to leave your car at home, and technological innovations that will ensure an even more complete and quality travel experience. We look forward to the summer with enthusiasm. Forecasts for 2024 indicate further growth, sustained by domestic demand for all our business divisions and companies particularly for the tourism segment and with an important boost also coming from international connections.” 

Services to over 700 summer destinations

The Summer Experience by Trenitalia, Busitalia, Ferrovie del Sud Est, and Fs Treni Turistici Italiani will start on 9 June, and will be boosted by the arrival of the latest-generation trains purchased thanks to the Plan for Recovery and Resilience funds directly allocated to Trenitalia.  More than 700 summer destinations can be reached every day. These include more than 270 Frecce trains daily, with over 130,000 seats on offer. Intercity and Intercity Notte trains will travel to more than 230 cities (of which 70 will be summer destinations). The 6,000 trains per day of the regional network will reach more than 1,700 destinations, and 500 of these are tourist destinations.

Intermodal services are a growing sector

The Fs Treni Turistici Italiani will operate the Espresso Versilia and the Espresso Riviera trains, and the Cadore Espresso is confirmed between Rome and Cortina. There will be more than 9,700 daily connections of Busitalia in Veneto, Umbria and Campania, and approximately 1,000 train+bus rides with Ferrovie del Sud Est in Puglia. The intermodal offer grows with connections to 19 ports and 23 airports, to which are added 12 FrecciaLink routes, in connection with Frecce trains, and 159 links to tourist destinations in connection with regional trains.

Published in Transportation

Thai Airways is returning to Milan Malpensa from 1 July with daily flights to Bangkok, using new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

“The only airline to operate non-stop between Thailand and Italy”

"Our non-stop flights are returning to Italy, guaranteeing a state-of-the-art travel experience thanks to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, where comfort and innovation blend- said Armando Muccifora, Thai Airways International sales manager Italy, South East Europe, Mediterranean & Africa. -We are proud to be the only airline to operate a non-stop connection between Thailand and Italy. Thanks to the reintroduction of flights between Milan and Bangkok, Thai is once again in a leading position for flights between Southeast Asia and Italy.” 

Flat beds and Michelin-starred menus in Royal Silk Class

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is configured to offer a comfortable and luxurious flying experience while maintaining operational efficiency. Royal Silk Class offers seats that transform into flat beds, providing privacy and comfort for optimal rest during the flight. The culinary offerings for Royal Silk Class passengers are curated by Michelin-starred chef Duangporn Songvisava (known as Chef Bo), with an international menu designed to maximize the dining experience for passengers that draws inspiration from Thai culture and includes the use of selected local ingredients.

Ergonomic seats and ample legroom in Economy Class

Economy Class is designed to maximise passenger comfort with ergonomic seats, ample legroom and individual screens for in-flight entertainment from which a wide selection of movies, music and games can be accessed. Economy Class passengers can also choose from a wide range of meals and drinks inspired by Thai and international cuisine.

Published in Transportation

HABITA79 has a breathtaking rooftop view of Vesuvius and the archaeological excavations of Pompeii. 

Europe’s first green hotel 

Following a recent renovation, the early 20th-century building is now a sober and refined boutique hotel with design elements that are a combination of modernity and craftsmanship. And, by virtue of the services offered, it is the first green hotel in Europe.

There are 79 rooms including suites

Easily accessible by car from both Naples airport and railway station, HABITA79 is just 50 metres from the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii and a 5-minute walk from the town's railway station. The 79 rooms are modern in design and are divided into three suites, five junior suites, eight deluxe and 63 superior rooms. They have contemporary décor as well as air conditioning, high-speed Wi-Fi, a 55" Smart TV with premium channels, a walk-in shower, a safe with a charging socket,  a minibar and 24/7 assistance.

HABITA 79 4

Two restaurants and a rooftop bar

The hotel also has six high-tech meeting rooms with natural light, one of which can boast a separate kitchen for banquets. HABITA79 also has a bar and two restaurants. The Roof cocktail bar has an exclusive view of Vesuvius from the hotel terrace. The Il Circolo restaurant is a modern social club with a 1950s atmosphere offering traditional local cuisine, including the famous Neapolitan pizza. At Raw, on the other hand, guests  find the haute cuisine of chef Roberto Lepre, for a refined sensory experience with a breathtaking view of the archaeological excavations.

Exceptional green technology 

This is the only hotel in Europe to jointly use a geothermal plant, a cogeneration plant, a glycol storage system as well as other advanced thermoregulation systems, thus maximizing energy savings and minimizing the environmental impact. The property’s use of green technology extends to the use of two TIPO 2 charging stations of 22 kW each operated by Enel X for electric cars.

Published in Hospitality

Visiting the Malatestian Library in Cesena is like stepping back into the Middle Ages. 

A library donated for public use in the 15th century

Dating back to immediately before the invention of printing, the Malatestian was the first civic library in Europe, and is the only 15th-century library that is still perfectly intact. Cesena is in the Emilia-Romagna region, between Ravenna, the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains, a handsome art city where cultural traditions go hand in hand with hospitality, good food and good living. The library is in a wing of the monastery of the former Franciscan Convent, and started life when Malatesta Novello, Cesena’s noble ruler, agreed to finance the project, donating it to the Municipality for public use.  

cesena keys

Two keys open the massive wooden door

With both the municipality of Cesena and the friars of the monastery responsible for overseeing its use, and controlling who could enter, a dual key security system was devised, with one key given to the town officials and one to the monks. Today only a small number of visitors are allowed in at any one time, and the custodians who accompany them use copies of the original old keys to unlock the massive wooden door over which there is a marble engraving of the Malatesta elephant emblem.  In 2005 the library was recognized a UNESCO Memory of the World for the value of its architecture, and the rows of priceless codices on its shelves.  Divided into three naves, the wide center aisle is flanked by 20 pale floor-to-ceiling columns, each carrying the Malatesta coat of arms. 

malatestian library

Arched windows supply the only light 

There are 29 rows of dark wooden multitask pew-like desks with seats, inclined lecterns and bookshelves under the desktop. The hall is filled with light that pours in from the arched windows on both sides and from the circular front window, and the library has only ever been used in daylight hours.  The Malatestian Library houses a total of 343 manuscripts of legal, medical, scientific, literary, theological, and philosophical works as well as Greek and Hebrew codices. Chained to each of the desks these precious, large and often unwieldy leather-bound books are all the more extraordinary because they were hand-written before the invention of the printing press. For information: www.comune.cesena.fc.it.

malatestian library

Published in Leisure

Last October there was talk in the Italian media of a takeover of Villa San Giorgio, also known as Castello di Portofino, by the Cascade group, which controls Four Seasons. 

The Castello di Portofino sold for €66.4 million

The operation was soon denied by the Bill Gates' company, but now the Italian daily Corriere della Sera has revealed that at the end of April the property was sold for €66.4 million by the previous owner, the Garrè family to Fort Partners, a Puerto Rican company headed by the entrepreneur Nadim Ashi, who has been working with the Four Seasons for years. It was a good deal for the Ligurian family, given that, according to the Milanese newspaper, four years ago the Ligurian property was valued at €37.33 million.

Four Seasons is opening two hotels in Rome

Villa San Giorgio is spread over more than 1,200 sqm, divided into 12 mini-apartments, has a private lift leading to a small beach below, and a private park. The municipality's zoning plan identifies the building for residential use, as already explained last October by the mayor of Portofino, Matteo Viacava, commenting on rumours that were already circulating about the current deal. To transform the complex into a hotel would therefore require a change of use. Two similar transactions conducted by Fort Partners in Rome, with the acquisition of Palazzo Marini in the centre and Palazzo della Rovere in Via della Conciliazione, have however already been carried out with the aim of opening two Four Seasons hotels in the capital.

Published in Business

At the Trento Festival of Economics Italy’s minister of tourism Daniela Santanché said: “We are in point of fact a start-up”.

“In the past not enough was done to support tourism” 

Interviewed for the panel Tourism, Innovation and Artificial Intelligence at the Festival dell'Economia, organized by the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24Ore in Trento, the Italian tourism minister Daniela Santanché said “in the past, not enough was done to support tourism: only very recently tourism got a ministry so, in point of fact, we are a start-up.”   

“We must not become hostages to artificial intelligence”

With reference to the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the minister said that over €1 billion had been “invested to improve accommodation facilities.  I have a great ambition, - she continued, -I want to go back to seeing Italy first, not fourth as it is now. We will succeed if we boost the quality of services. Tourism is fundamental for economic growth.”  Minister Santanché went on to say that artificial intelligence must be at the service of, and not against, man emphasizing that “we must not become hostages to it, but approach it as an opportunity...of course, it must be regulated.” 

The tourist tax needs to be revised 

On the burning issue of the tourist tax, the minister said that the measure needs to be revised, and that it should not be used to balance a budget. "If you got that revenue for tourism, it must go back into tourism, and it must be used to improve the life of the community, which should not feel threatened by the arrival of tourists. Tourism must belong to everyone: from hostels to camper-van pitches...from normal to extra-luxury hotels. It is not blasphemous to talk about extra-luxury.”  

Published in Trade Opinions
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