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Tourism returns to Italy. And becomes experiential 

Wednesday, 31 August 2022 13:32

International tourism has returned to Italy. According to research by Accor the global hospitality leader, Italy is topping the list of preferences of European travellers (33%) and global travellers (26%).  German visitors remain in first place, followed by Americans (Bankitalia statistics), but what has changed is the type of tourism international travellers are seeking. The Americans call it revenge travel, and it now means seeking out exotic and little-visited destinations and experiencing off-the-beaten-track places and local traditions and customs.

Visits to vinegar mills and cheese factories

Cesarine.com, the oldest network of home cooks is recording its highest ever numbers this summer. And, it says,  the type of cooking experiences being requested have changed. Now visitors no longer just book dinners or lunches, they want at least one cooking class, and how to make fresh pasta and r are the most popular dishes these would-be celebrity chefs want to learn. They are also requesting tours of markets and food shops.   "But now market tours and cooking classes are not enough to satisfy our most loyal customers from the USA,- says Davide Maggi, founder & ceo of Cesarine.com. - They are asking to visit vinegar cellars, oil mills and cheese factories.”

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Discovering village life

And if the great art cities remain an important attraction, tourism is expanding to new destinations. A survey by PaesiOnLine shows that international tourists want to discover Italy’s smaller towns and villages.  So no longer just famous destinations such as Portofino or Civita di Bagnoreggio, but lesser-known ones with amazing stories. From Roscigno Vecchia in Campania which has only one inhabitant, to Marzamemi in Sicily with its tuna catching traditions and from Casperia in Lazio, mentioned by Virgil and 3,000 years old, to Rasiglia which is criss-crossed by torrents that have earned it the nickname of the Venice of Umbria. www.cesarine.com

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