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This year Tuscany is marking the 450th anniversary of the death of Cosimo I de' Medici with many events, including an exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi Sacrati, seat of the presidency of the Region in Piazza Duomo in Florence. The exhibition will be inaugurated on 21 April 2024, in memory of the date that marked the death of the father of modern Tuscany on 21 April 1574.

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Among the events there will also be 27 August, the day on which Cosimo was appointed Magnus Dux Etruriae in 1569 becoming, thanks to the papal bull issued by Pius V, Grand Duke of Tuscany. A third event, announced by the president of the Tuscan Region Eugenio Giani, is a concert in homage to Florence’s great musical culture during Cosimo’s reign.

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Eugenio Giani has also announced a €200,000 tender for proposals from municipalities interested in the works of Cosimo I dei Medici, with the aim of promoting awareness of the Duke and his time. “I will be available to visit schools to talk about the local history that is lacking in many schools, and which we want to revive.”

'Tuscany is the only Italian region that has 450-year-old roots dating back to Cosimo, a statesman who made Tuscany a state, which is something no other region can boast. When Italy was formed Tuscany was the only region that had an identity stretching back over hundreds of years, thanks to Cosimo I de’ Medici.”

Published in MICE & Events

It is unclear why the Lufthansa-ITA agreement is taking so long. The European Commission is pushing for the carriers to relinquish some slots on North America. Why?They are very profitable routes, so why should Lufthansa and ITA Airways give them up? 

The key question is who would benefit from the two carriers surrendering their coveted slots? And what pressure has the European Commission come under to point in this direction? In short, it is a complex issue, but we see no reason for a nascent European carrier to sacrifice interests that are currently obscure. It would be good to have a clearer understanding of the forces at play, especially as they impact millions of citizens. And, above all, to resist lobbying pressures that appear disconnected from the genuine interests of travellers. 

Giuseppe AloeGiuseppe Aloe
Editor in Chief

Published in Editorial

Despite recording excellent figures for June, concerns loom over tourism in Italy during July and August. While the number of foreign visitors is on the rise, particularly with the influx of travellers from the United States who are eager to explore and experience our country, there are two significant issues at hand. 

Firstly, Italians who should have travelled en masse in their own country are not doing so. Despite seeking travel quotes, when they count the pennies in their pockets, they find they just don’t have enough money. The fact is that right now Italians are running out of travel reserves. The Covid pandemic impoverished the nation and, if we add the insane rise in prices, then the picture is complete.

Secondly, foreign travel also faces its share of challenges. If the affluent can still afford trips costing €60,000 and more, the majority have had to significantly shorten their holidays. What was once an average two-week vacation has now been cut down to one. Highlighting a phenomenon that is likely to persist unless Italy’s economic conditions improve.

Giuseppe AloeGiuseppe Aloe
Editor in Chief

Published in Editorial

A record number of 41,000 passengers transitted at Trapani Birgi airport in June.

A 47% increase over the same month last year

This is the highest figure so far this year, and there were 1,040 flights. Airgest, the company that manages Trapani’s Birgi Airport, reports a 47% increase in passengers and an 18% increase in flight movements compared to June 2022. The total number of passengers in the first half of 2023 was 533,641, surpassing the corresponding period in 2022 by 47%. When compared to 2019, there has been a remarkable growth of 162%. The load factor for almost all destinations was high, with national destinations such as Bologna and Bergamo at 91%, Treviso at 89%, Pisa and the new Malpensa route at 88%, and international destinations like Baden-Baden at 93%, Riga at 92%, Katowice at 90%, and Frankfurt Hahn at 87%.

“The top-performing airport among those handling between 1 and 5 million passengers”

.“Step by step, month after month, we are shaping the future of our airport,” said Salvatore Ombra, president of Airgest. “Recently the Airports Council International, an association representing 575 airport operators from 179 countries, certified Trapani Birgi as the top-performing airport among those handling between 1 and 5 million passengers. We will mathematically reach the significant milestone of one million passengers by the end of the year. Our next objective is to become one of the most successful investments in the Sicilian Region.”

Published in Transportation

The Antica Dimora Doso, a wine resort in the heart of the Langhe, featuring seven rooms and suites has opened.

A restored farmhouse in the Barolo area

The newly opened Antica Dimora Dosio wine resort is in the Langhe region, the result of the restoration of a farmhouse connected to the wine cellar of the same name. The project was headed by Gianfranco Lanci, leader of a group of three wineries in the Langhe and Monferrato regions, who sadly passed away recently. The new establishment, which maintains and preserves the distinctive features of the original farmhouse, is located on the highest point of the Serradenari Hill, a prestigious area known for Barolo wine and with views of the Monviso mountain.

Five bedrooms and two suites, all with fireplaces

Spanning two floors, the wine resort has five bedrooms and two suites with panoramic vistas of the garden, the Alps, and the Langhe’s vineyards. Each room is themed around a natural element and boasts unique furnishings, accessories, and fabrics in harmonious shades, and they all have fireplaces. 

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.Outdoor seating and a heated winter garden

After exploring the region, guests can enjoy a refreshing swim or relax on sun loungers by the heated pool, taking in the scenic beauty of the rolling hills and the lush vineyards. At sunset they can unwind in the outdoor seating area, savoring an aperitif or a glass of wine and a platter of local specialties. During the harvest season, when the rows of vines turn shades of yellow, red, and orange, guests can also enjoy the heated winter garden.

Electric bicycles to visit vineyards and a UNESCO site

In addition to the accommodation, Antica Dimora Dosi offers a wide range of experiential activities to be enjoyed in both the Langa and Monferrato regions. These include renting electric bicycles to explore the La Morra area, embarking on vineyard treks with the option of a picnic among the rows of vines, or visiting the Underground Cathedrals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Coppo di Canelli winery, which is part of the same group as the Antica Dimora Dosi.

Published in Hospitality

Biella, a creative Alpine town famous for being one of Italy’s cities of crafts and folk art, in 2019 was recognized as a UNESCO Creative City.

Famous for the production of cashmere and a paradise for hikers and bikers

Nestled in the Alps, about an hour north of Turin, Biella is the Italian wool and textiles capital and is known for the production of cashmere.  Many of the former woollen mills, knitting mills and workers’ houses have been transformed into creative incubators for experimentation with new artistic cross pollinations. The Biella area is a natural for hikes of all types, from those on flat ground and with gorgeous views, to those on paths carved onto the side of mountains, and the even more strenuous ones that climb up to the highest peaks. The area is also ideal for mountain biking, and rentals are available at the start of many of the trails like the Oasi Zegna. 

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The Oasi Zegna nature reserve and medieval Biella

The Oasi Zegna nature reserve and was the brainchild of Ermenegildo Zegna, the visionary head of the Italian textile empire. Visitors can choose to wander around on their own account or take one of the English language guided tours that are available. The oldest part of Biella, known as the Borgo del Piazzo, was founded before 1200 and has steep narrow cobbled streets and also a funicular railway linking the newer lower town to the top of the hill.  The old settlement has many small churches, the oldest of which is the Church of San Giacomo.  

An ancient Roman gold mine and Italy’s Best Golf Course

Among the sites of archaeological interest we find an open-sky old gold mine from the Roman era in the Bessa Special Nature Reserve. The eye-catching large hillocks of pebbles, which are residue from the gold mining, have a mysterious and unique appearance. Biella can also boast Italy’s - and one of Europe’s - best golf courses, the Golf Club Le Betulle. This 18-hole, par-73 course was designed by the famous English architect John Morrison, and has a high degree of technical difficulty.

Discount outlets and a place of pilgrimage

Biella is the center of Italy’s production of finest woollen and cashmere products. These can be bought directly at discounted prices (and huge savings) from the many outlet stores of labels such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Fila, Cerruti and Piacenza. They can also be found in the stores that belong to the manufacturers that produce them. Thirteen kilometres away, at 1,180 metres asl, the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Oropa is Piedmont’s most famous place of pilgrimage and one of the most important in Italy. The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the entire area is the Special Nature Reserve Sacro Monte di Oropa.  For Information: https://www.atl.biella.it

Published in Cities & Regions

You have to be careful when you carry anything to extremes. This is one of the rules of life that applies to everyone and to all economies. What am I talking about? About the skyrocketing prices being charged in all sectors of Italian tourism. Senseless and unjustified increases. Standard accommodation that is costing as much as a luxury stay. Flights to nearby destinations at fares usually charged for transoceanic routes. It’s pure madness. And it’s time it stopped. We cannot carry on like this. Also because, as I have already said, but let me say it again, there is no real reason for these endless hikes.

If Italian tourism wants to recover what Covid took away, well, it has made a big mistake. Because if hoteliers, airlines, airports, B&Bs, etc. don’t calm down, this will be the last summer we’ll see tourists coming to Italy.

Giuseppe AloeGiuseppe Aloe
Editor in Chief

Published in Editorial

So, here we are. Lufthansa has officially acquired 41% of ITA Airways. And this has garnered great satisfaction from the Meloni government and from treasury minister Giorgetti. But things are slightly different. The one who is really satisfied is the German airline, as when operations begin it will find it easy to drain traffic out of Italy and pour it into the Germany market. 

Understanding this is extremely simple. Lufthansa has done it with all its satellite airlines. And it will do the same with ITA Airways. Which is very unfortunate. We are a country without strategic assets, with the exception of Trenitalia. Which, let me remind you, before the arrival of Mauro Moretti (a former trade unionist at the state railways and therefore someone who knew the company inside out) was among the public assets with the lowest profitability and highest debt. Now things have reversed, thanks to capable managers who know what they are doing.

Which was one of the ills, first of Alitalia, and then of ITA Airways. For years there have been no truly competent managers. Who understand not just the rudiments of air transport, but also what it means to run an airline. Which is not the same thing, because someone who worked in Fiat with difficulty can run an air carrier. The idea that a manager can perform admirably in any kind of company is of course untrue. There is an abundance of evidence supporting this claim, including ITA Airways.

Giuseppe AloeGiuseppe Aloe
Editor in Chief

Published in Editorial

The bosses of major airlines always complain when something gets in the way of their goals. IATA speaks of 4,500 cancelled flights during the French strikes against the measures of Emmanuel Macron's government. Some 730,000 passengers were affected.

This is a. IATA study that would like to influence the debate on the issue, directing the attention solely on the airlines’ profit losses. Don’t be fooled by the figure of 730,000 passengers. They are using this number to avoid saying they lost a load of money. If they really cared about passengers, the airlines would return the Covid refunds. Instead many of them still have that money - we are talking about billions of euro - and are holding tightly on to it. If they care that much about passengers, why don't they return the money?

At this point the question for all of us, who are mere penpushers and not airline bosses is, are the French right to strike over a crazy reform that extends the retirement age for everyone? The answer is yes. Because it is fair that after a long working life everyone can retire with financial security and when they are still in good shape, rather than merely moving from their desk to their grave.

We don’t give a fig if airlines are not making profits when the reason for this loss is far more important than all their margins.

Giuseppe AloeGiuseppe Aloe
Editor in Chief

Published in Editorial

As Eurocontrol has already announced, this summer will be another hectic one for European skies. For the second year in a row airlines and airports will be unprepared for the mass of flights that, in practice, is now identical to that of 2019. That is, the year before the pandemic.

But why is this still the case? It's quite simple really, and it falls under the hyper-capitalist perspective that businesses have today. All companies.

At the first signs of the Covid crisis, what did all the major European airlines do? They fired en masse. Instead of keeping the workers who had built giants like Lufthansa or British, they threw them out. And now? Now those gaps are still there. Maybe a little fuller, but not really. And why?

The reasons are two. Firstly, companies have found that they make better profit margins by paying fewer employees. Secondly, in many cases workers who were laid off by companies have found better, and higher-paying, jobs. In the end we will see the ongoing shortsightedness of companies that will put the blame for their own incompetence on the passengers. That is, on those who create wealth for the companies. Absurd.


Giuseppe AloeGiuseppe Aloe
Editor in Chief

Published in Editorial
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