The Accor group is doubling down in Palermo’s Mondello district with the historic Mondello Palace.  

Renovating the garden to host large events

Already present in Palermo with a Mercure, Accor is now taking over the management of the historic Mondello Palace which closed in 2020. The property, owned by the Italo-Belgian company, will undergo a restyling that will involve both the hotel's 78 keys and the exterior. Here, work will be carried out above all on the garden, to turn it into an environment suitable for large events, and there are also plans to build a new swimming pool in addition to the existing pool.

Accor Mondello

Will it be ready to open in April 2024?

No word yet on the reopening date, although it is rumoured that it could be as early as next April, in plenty of time then for the 2024 summer season. The redevelopment will be carried out with the support of architect Luigi Smecca's studio.

Published in Hospitality

This summer there was a growing demand to get away from touristy areas, with more and more visitors wanting to discover the authentic side of Italy’s cities, towns and villages, and to engage with local communities. The Telegraph, commenting recently on this trend, suggested that anyone coming to Rome should not miss the Garbatella, an off-the-grid neighborhood most visitors to the Eternal City never hear about. 

The Garbatella was built as a working-class garden city in the 1920s, but these days apartments in the low-rise housing blocks are being snapped up for the area’s laidback lifestyle. And for the fact that it is just three metro stops from the Coliseum, and most of central ancient Rome. 

So put the Garbatella on your Rome bucket list, and next time you’re in town take a stroll past colourful murals as locals go about their daily market shopping, or soak up the sun in one of its pretty little squares before dropping into the La Casetta trattoria for a perfect Cacio e Pepe. And for music buffs, in town for next summer’s opera festival at the ancient Baths of Caracalla - which are just ten minutes away by taxi –the cheerful flower-themed guestrooms in Duca’s House are just the ticket.  

Pamela McCourt FrancesconePamela McCourt Francescone
Executive Editor

Published in Editorial

The Merano Grape Festival on 14 and 15 October in Merano dates back to 1886. 

Many of Merano’s attractions like the Passer Promenade in front of the Kurhaus, the Piazza della Rena with the fascinating Kallmünz Castle and the lively Corso Libertà are the setting for this year’s Grape Festival.  For visitors it is an occasion to discover local products, autumn dishes and fine wines all of which enliven the varied programme of concerts and performances. 

Ph Credits: Tommy HetzelPh Credits: Tommy Hetzel

On Sunday 15 October the Grape Festival reaches its climax, when floats and bands in traditional costume parade through the streets of Merano’s old centre. Wandering through the myriad of events - all free of charge - following the musical notes and the tempting aromas, visitors can also take part in various guided tours to discover the historic centre, vineyard walks and local wine tastings. 

Ph Credits: Karlheinz Sollbauer

From 3 to 7 November it is the turn of the Merano Wine Festival, the iconic event for wine lovers with some 1,200 selected labels, producers, visitors, and trade operators from all over the world . Another Merano tradition, that opens the season on 8 October at the Merano Hippodrome, is the Oktoberfest, with the Haflinger horse races - the Haflinger horses have a golden coat - typical dishes and folk performances.

Ph Credits: Tommy HetzelPh Credits: Tommy Hetzel

Published in MICE & Events

Caramanico Terme, located at the mouth of the Orfento canyon and the Orta river valley in the Abruzzo, is a land of wellness, spas and nature. 

Relaxing nature holidays, but also bears and wolves

This charming little medieval village, at an altitude of 650 metres in the heart of the Maiella National Park, in Italy’s central Apennine mountain range, is famous for its sulphurous and oligomineral springs. The favourable climate, thanks to the proximity to the sea and the particular geographical location, make it the perfect choice for relaxing nature holidays dedicated physical well-being.  In the surrounding area of the Apennines wolves, Marsican bears, deer, and chamois have returned to live in the beech forests. 

Caramanico Terme

Ancient churches and hermitages, mountain biking and fishing

Down the centuries hermits and monks have found peace here in churches and hermitages set in the rocky landscape of the Maiella. Like the two hermitages chosen by Celestine V, the hermit monk who became pope: San Bartolomeo at 650 metres asl, and the hermitage of San Giovanni, located at 1,220 metres in a scenic spot in the Orfento valley, both of which are well worth a visit. Visitors can enjoy horse riding, mountain biking on the area’s many trails as well as fishing in the Orta and Orfento rivers.  And of course skiing in winter. 

Caramanico Terme 2   

An annual December roving food and wine exhibition

The Paolo Barrasso Museum houses thirty votive bronze statues from the Roman period (3rd-2nd century B.C.) that were found nearby, and the Abruzzo and Italian Fauna Museum, housed in a wing of the thermal baths, documents wildlife in Italy with over a thousand specimens on display. Among the many annual festivals Boccali DiVini on 30 December is a roving food and wine exhibition through the wine cellars in the town’s historic centre.

Published in Cities & Regions

Hilton Milan has opened its own greenhouse for farm-to-table foods like tomatoes, aubergines, aromatic herbs of various types, chillies of varying levels of heat and edible flowers. 

A first-floor hotel vegetable and spice garden 

All these vegetables and spices are grown in the greenhouse on the terrace on the first floor of the hotel, in the Hilton Milan Greenhouse, and are an important step in the hotel's commitment to sustainability and urban ecology. The vegetable garden supplies the CotoliAmo restaurant kitchen on a daily basis, thus reducing the environmental footprint by cutting the gas emissions from the transport of the food chain. Chef Paolo Ghirardi personally cultivates the area, respecting the seasonal rhythms of nature, and harvesting vegetables and spices directly from the greenhouse to use in his recipes.

“We are committed to ESG practices

The Hilton Milan Greenhouse has drawn inspiration from the city's green soul, taking its cue from the nearby Biblioteca degli Alberi park, the green lung of the Porta Nuova district, which has become one of the landmarks of an increasingly sustainable Milan. "With 50 years of history behind us, we are looking ahead to the next 50, with the aim of repositioning the hotel also from an environmental and social sustainability perspective,- says general manager Daniele Fabbri. - The commitment to ESG practices is now an increasingly indispensable requirement for those who, like us, represent the hospitality industry.” 

Published in Hospitality

Villa Chianti Castellare de' Sernigi is a cosy, finely restored holiday home for stays in the tranquillity and relaxation of Chianti, in the Tuscan countryside. 

The villa has seven guestrooms and two living rooms

Thanks to meticulous restoration, this 15th-century historic residence, located between the provinces of Florence and Siena in the heart of Chianti on a ridge overlooking valleys rich in history, has been brought back to its original splendour.  With seven rooms, two spacious and bright living rooms, a large dining room and a super-equipped kitchen, Villa Chianti Castellare de' Sernigi in Chianti is an environment rich in comfort and services, with a large garden with a swimming pool, and a hot tub for 4/5 people where one can relax surrounded by olive trees, vineyards and cypresses.  

Villa Chianti Castellare de' Sernigi - room

“An independent cottage for eight people”

Bought at the end of the 1950's by the Corti family this historic Tuscan home is still in the family and today Annagloria Puccetti Corti and Enzo Corti personally welcome guests. 

“In the garden we have built an open-air theatre out of 100-year-old wood where we organize musical events followed by buffet dinners with excellent local wines. Currently we are renovating a house beside the villa which will have four bedrooms, its own pool and garden. It will be rented as an independent cottage for eight people or as a guest house of the villa, which will then have the potential of 11 rooms for 22 people. There are not many houses with this kind of capacity in this part of Tuscany." 

mini castellare dei Sernigi67945 copia

A paradise for sports lovers

Activities at Villa Chianti Castellare de' Sernigi in Chianti include weddings and ceremonies, cooking, painting and yoga classes, grape harvest and mushroom and truffle hunting, food and wine tastings, shopping in local towns and outlets.  There is a concierge service, a sommelier and a personal photographer, and for sports lovers the possibility of cycling, walking, hiking, skiing, swimming, sailing, horse riding, hot air balloon rides, tennis, golf and fishing.

A full immersion in Tuscany’s heritage and wines

 "We also bring guests to visit local artists like crystal blowers (85% of the crystal in Italy is produced in nearby Colle) and silversmiths, a ceramist, painters and a hand-printer of fabrics. Then there are the vineyards, the olive harvest, visits to an oil mill and to wine cellars, from the most famous to small family wineries which produce excellent wines!

Lving room 1st floor copia

Annagloria Puccetti Corti and Enzo Corti can also organize guided tour guides, massages, wine tastings, pizza and ice cream courses and classes in making Florentine paper... the list is endless. And they can arrange for Helichianti helicopters to take guests to and from nearby airports, and on visits to the most fascinating locations in Tuscany.
Published in Hospitality

Latam is to boost its flights to Milan and ROme from January 2024, following the successful first year of its Sao Paulo to Rome route. 

Latam operates on 90 airports worldwide

During Its inaugural year, Latam transported 123,000 passengers between Brazil and Rome on 338 flights operating between Guarulhos and Fiumicino airports. The route was served by the Boeing 777, Latam's largest aircraft with a capacity for 410 passengers, and it maintained an impressive average load factor of 91%. Currently, Latam holds the title of the airline connecting Brazil to the world most comprehensively, with both direct and non-direct flights to 90 airports worldwide.

“Improved efficiency and competitiveness”

Aline Mafra, sales and marketing director Latam Brazil, commented, “Latam has significantly improved its efficiency and competitiveness in recent years. Consequently, we are now the airline with the most extensive connections between Brazil and Italy, offering direct flights to Rome and Milan from our Guarulhos hub. We are pleased with the performance of the route to the Italian capital, and as a result, we have decided to expand our operations between the two countries.”

An increase in flights and an accent on Brazilian cuisine

From January 2024, Latam will increase the flight frequency on the Sao Paulo-Rome route from three to five flights per week, and the Sao Paulo-Milan route will also see an increase from four to five weekly flights. At the beginning of this year Latam introduced the Brazilian Flavour programme with renowned chefs from various regions of Brazil. Every three months, the airline offers a signature dish created by these culinary professionals on international flights in the premium business and economy cabins, particularly those departing from Brazil and lasting over 7 hours, such as the routes connecting Guarulhos Airport to Rome and Milan.

Published in Transportation

Jet2.com is expanding its reach from Edinburgh Airport for summer 2024 with the addition of Rome flights.

“We look to the future with great confidence”

The new flights to Rome Fiumicino will operate from 8 March with two flights a week, on Mondays and Fridays, operating all summer and continuing through winter 24-25, thus covering the whole year. "The demand for flights and city breaks to Rome remains strong, so we are responding with a new route from Edinburgh Airport to this popular destination,- says Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays. - We are now offering holidaymakers even more choice. We have established fantastic relationships with the airport, hoteliers and industry partners, and we look to the future with great confidence.”

A seventh Jet2.com plane based at Edinburgh Airport 

Jet2.com's commitment to Italy also includes the expansion of frequencies on existing routes with Naples (up to two flights per week) and Verona (up to two flights per week). In total, during the peak traffic periods of summer 2024, Jet2.com will operate up to 96 weekly flights to 32 destinations from Edinburgh Airport. There will be almost one million seats for sale from the airport, a figure that represents an increase in capacity of more than 20% over summer 2023. "The demand we are seeing from customers and independent travel agents remains strong, so we have responded by expanding our operations at Edinburgh Airport with new routes, additional capacity and a new aircraft based there - the seventh - for summer 2024.” 

Published in Transportation

How has the perception of Italy changed abroad since the pandemic?

Italy remains a highly attractive destination. It never lost its charm. The pandemic gave us room for thought, and for how we can modernize what we have to offer. Italy is still a favourite. After a sold-out summer, the first weeks of September are seeing significant hotel occupancy levels. The weekly trend for September and October is of over 41.1% bookings, putting us ahead of competitors like Spain and France. Domestic tourism in our art cities is also showing increasing levels of satisfaction. The main international flows in September are from the United States (19%) and Germany (5%), with a drop in domestic bookings for October and November.

How can Italy become even more competitive on the international stage?

It means not just intercepting trends but also guiding them, and ENIT does this by participating in international fairs and acting as the driving force behind the Italian regions.

How is ENIT working to promote sustainable and responsible tourism?

We are active not only with best practices and promoting sustainable tourism through specific events and by developing outdoors activities and the blue economy. We lead the EU Eco Tandem ENIT Project which facilitates and supports the ecological transition of tourism businesses. There is a lot of demand for outdoor tourism and the Italian lifestyle.  

Why is ENIT's proximity to industry players important, and how are you strengthening this relationship?

Direct networking remains a barometer to gauge the tourism industry's vitality as well as a stimulus for exchange. It allows us not only to maintain proximity to stakeholders but also to enhance both direct and indirect collaborations.

On which markets is ENIT focusing? 

ENIT is present on every continent with its own offices, which allows for an organic and informed view of the markets and the ability to tailor offerings to specific needs.

In terms of tourism promotion, which digital and technological strategies have you adopted?

Key strategies include providing user-friendly web platforms and mobile apps for planning and booking travel. We use data analysis to better understand travellers' preferences and offer personalized recommendations. We integrate VR and augmented reality AR to offer a more detailed view of destinations and attractions, and also geolocation to provide real-time location-based information, as well a  digital payments.   

What appeal will Italy have in the next two years? What new markets can we expect and how will events be exploited?

Travelers will increasingly look for eco-sustainable experiences such as rural, agritourism, wine, food and wellness activities, and also those with Gen Z appeal. Cultural tourism is an integral asset and will continue to attract as will hiking, cycling, and water sports while luxury is another focus. 

Published in Trade Opinions

The annual autumn foliage is a truly exceptional and enchanting experience, engaging not only the eyes but all the senses. 

An eco-conscious approach that blends into the landscape

The exquisite foliage phenomenon reaches new heights when enjoyed in the cosy setting of Tennes Lodges & Chalets in Racines – a splendid 5-star retreat nestled in one of Italy's northernmost valleys, hugging the Austrian border. Melding seamlessly with the natural surroundings the Tenne Lodges, designed with an eco-conscious approach, employ wood, stone, and glass to harmoniously blend into the landscape.


Delighting in the Indian Summer

Through luminous windows the forest seemingly permeates the Tennes Lodges & Chalets living spaces, illuminating them with the vibrant hues characteristic of this season – a phenomenon cherished over the centuries and commonly known as an Indian Summer. In a bid to offer an exclusive and sophisticated sojourn that fully immerses guests in this magical period, Tenne Lodges & Chalets has a unique package. The Golden Leaves offer, available from 10 September to 29 October 2023, invites you to relish the mountains in an unconventional and romantic way, capturing every nuance with heightened intensity.

Outdoor activities and a wellness area 

This enticing offer encompasses a 5-night retreat inclusive of half-board, commencing with a lavish breakfast comprising of delectable homemade and locally-inspired sweet and savoury treats. As the day winds down a delectable gourmet menu awaits at the refined restaurant. Guests can partake in guided tours, indulging in leisurely strolls or invigorating mountain bike expeditions along pathways and woodland trails that cater to different levels of difficulty. The well-appointed wellness area boasts a fully equipped gym and a rejuvenating swimming pool, both available for complimentary use. Package rates commence at €895 per person.

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Published in Hospitality
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