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Hybrid hospitality brand Soho House is to open in Milan, doubling its presence in Italy following its Rome opening in 2021. 

The debut date has not yet been made official, but there is a talk of a possible opening in 2026. The hotel, says the Italian daily newspaper Milano Finanza, will be a conversion of the former cinema Arti n Via Mascagni, in the heart of Milan’s fashion district which, until recently an Olympic boxing gym.

The hotel will have six floors with interiors combining the rationalist style of the 1930s building with elements of Italian craftsmanship. It will have more than 50 rooms, member spaces, a courtyard, a rooftop, swimming pool and gym, and it is owned by London-based real estate company Trophaeum Asset Management.

In addition to Milan, Soho House plans also include further expansion in Spain, with new openings for Madrid and Barcelona. Located on Avinguda del Tibidabo, the Barcelona pool house will join Soho House Barcelona and Little Beach House Barcelona to become the brand's third property in the Catalan city.

Published in Hospitality

B&B HOTELS is the fastest growing value-for-money chain operating in Europe. With over 770 hotels in Europe and around the world, it recently added the UK, with a property coming to Heathrow, and the USA, where the first hotel will be in Orlando. By the end of 2024, the Group aims to have over 800 hotels globally.

In Italy, B&B HOTELS - currently present with 71 properties - aims to reach 80 hotels this year in all the major Italian cities. The latest opening this year is Venice Tronchetto, while Milan is a benchmark, with ten properties spread across all areas of the city.  By 2030, more than 150 hotels are expected, both in new destinations and boosting those already covered. Cities are chosen from among the primary Italian tourist destinations, but also secondary locations with great potential for their artistic and cultural heritage, something that Italy offers even in smaller cities and towns.

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In January 2023 B&B HOTELS obtained sustainability certification recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's (GSTC) and integrated with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  SOCOTEC is a new standard for the sector and a guarantee of a genuine commitment to CSR. With this pioneering approach, B&B HOTELS intends to become the benchmark hospitality brand in terms of social inclusion, diversity and low environmental impact.

At the end of September 2023 B&B HOTELS launched B&me, its new international loyalty programme, entirely free of charge and available on its website and app. Based on three fundamental pillars - discovery, comfort and flexibility - it provides customers with advantageous benefits. In Italy these are private sales, free breakfast on the second stay, a €50 opening rate on new openings (for the first three months) and the possibility of late check-out to 2pm on Sundays.

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The EMA Awards is a prestigious European event that rewards outstanding business travel and tourism companies, and last year B&B HOTELS won first place in the “Best Chain of the Year for Business Travel” category, with the following motivation: "spread throughout Europe, the B&B HOTELS chain has developed a strong corporate social responsibility policy. The co-working spaces are highly appreciated and are easily recognizable for their innovative and functional design. The offer is absolutely well-organized and user-friendly."

B&B HOTELS Italia has more than 30 locations that can host corporate meetings and private events in both more intimate rooms, with a capacity of 10 to 50 people, and in larger areas that can accommodate up to 400. Each meeting room, in addition to being modular, is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to cater for any type of need: from audio-visual equipment such as video projector, screen and whiteboard, to the Wi-Fi network with fibre up to 300Mb/s that allows superfast connection. Meeting rooms can be found in major cities such as Milan and Bari, and in smaller locations such as Borgaro Torinese, Arezzo, Affi and Chioggia.

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Published in Italiabsolutely

With its network of 10 properties in Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Trentino, South Tyrol and Veneto, TH Resorts has consolidated its position as a leader in mountain tourism in Italy.

This network of hotels and resorts is a benchmark for mountain holidays, combining authentic experiences with a focus on wellness and sport.

mini TH CourmayeurTH Courmayeur

TH Resorts has played a key role in the relaunch of mountain holidays, especially after the difficult pandemic period. The winter season that has just ended posted a 20% increase in arrivals, a significant figure that highlights the growing appeal of mountain destinations. This positive trend is continuing this summer, with a 10% increase in bookings, confirming a robust recovery and renewed interest in holidays in contact with nature.

mini TH SestriereTH Sestriere

TH Resorts' facilities are much more than just hotels, they are destinations that offer a range of activities designed to satisfy different types of visitors. From guided hikes to outdoor fitness sessions, from family activities to wellness packages, each guest can find the perfect experience they are looking for. This diversified approach is key to attracting a diverse clientele, from guests who come to indulge in sporting activities to those who prefer relaxation.  TH Resorts makes it possible to experience the mountains at 360 degrees, experiencing every aspect of the landscape and its traditions.

TH PilaTH Pila

There is a trend towards shorter and more frequent trips, a desire to spend time in less crowded destinations and for authentic and sustainable experiences. TH Resorts has been quick to adapt to these new demands, offering flexible packages and promoting niche destinations that allow guests to experience the mountains in a more intimate and personal way.

Environmental and social sustainability is a key element of TH Resorts’ strategy.  The conscious management of natural resources and the promotion of ecological practices are at the heart of the group's operations. This not only meets a growing demand from guests, but also contributes to the preservation of the mountain environment, ensuring that these destinations can continue to be enjoyed by future generations. TH Resorts' facilities are designed to minimize environmental impact, using renewable energy and promoting responsible tourism.

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TH Resorts is dedicated to sustainability, using environmentally friendly materials for construction and renovation, advancing waste management programmes, and supporting local biodiversity conservation projects. All this not only improves the environmental impact, but also educates guests on the importance of sustainability. Many guests staying at TH properties praise the high quality of the facilities and the variety of activities available, as well as the authenticity of the experiences offered and the attention to detail that makes each stay special. 

TH San Martino di Castrozza

Thanks to a winning combination of innovation, quality and sustainability TH Resorts has established itself as a major player in mountain tourism in Italy. Its success in recent years is a clear indicator of the Group's ability to respond to the evolving needs of guests, offering unique and unforgettable experiences in some of Italy's most beautiful mountain resorts.

TH Borca di CadoreTH Borca di Cadore

Published in Italiabsolutely

Riots in Venice?  Well, perhaps protests is a better word because, when angry local residents took to the streets recently, clashing with law enforcement officers, they waved placards  protesting: “Venice is not for sale, it must be protected” and “No tickets, dismantle the ticket barriers.”  

The problem, Venetians say, is that the newly introduced fee of €5 (applicable on a total of 29 peak days, mostly at weekends) is not going to be effective in controlling the hoards of day trippers that pour into their ancient city daily. 


“Who is going to baulk at paying €5, the price of an ice cream?” asked one local resident. “Turn styles to enter Venice?” said another, “what are we, a controlled environment like a theme park, or a museum?”

 

With many raising questions of privacy given that those entering the city have to put their data into the booking system, as well as the “unequal treatment of different categories of visitors,” locals are also loudly demanding rules to limit AirBnB as a way of solving the problem of affordable housing for residents. Alas today only some 50,000 inhabitants still live in the center of Venice, from a peak of 172,000 in 1951.  


Pamela McCourt FrancesconePamela McCourt Francescone
Executive Editor

Published in Editorial

The Foscarini is a 4-star Luxury Bike Hotel in Mogliao Veneto, in a Venetian country villa dating back to the 1600s. 

An ideal starting point for bikers

Strategically positioned halfway between Venice and Treviso, Mogliano Veneto serves as an ideal base to explore major destinations in the region, including art cities, the Dolomites, Prosecco hills, Venetian villas, and the Riviera. The hotel provides various cycling itineraries, such as the 130-kilometre ring on the Prosecco DOCG Hills and the Asolo and Possagno Route, offering challenging yet satisfying routes through the picturesque landscapes of the Venetian countryside and pre-Alpine mountains.

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Rooms and suites distributed across three units

This digital, eco-sustainable hotel prioritises design and offers a unique cycling experience. The villa, after a recent renovation, seamlessly combines historic architecture with modern style, creating a welcoming and sophisticated atmosphere for cyclists and cycle tourism enthusiasts. The 31 rooms and suites are distributed across three units: Villa, Barchessa, and Ca' Nova, the latter  dedicated to the cycling world, and allowing guests to bring their bicycles directly into their rooms. 

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Services for cycling enthusiasts

For cycling enthusiasts, the hotel also offers amenities like monitored storage, e-bike charging stations, bike washing and repair facilities, an affiliated workshop, a changing room with a shower and a self-service laundry for technical clothing. Additional services include a well-equipped gym, a breakfast with homemade products, and an app for independent access to hotel services.

Published in Hospitality

The Antico Sipario Boutique Hotel Signature Collection, is the Bwh Group’s new Italia entry.

The hotel is on the border of Umbria and Tuscany  

The hotel owes its name (sipario means stage curtain in Italian) to the discovery during renovations of the stage curtain of the small theatre that was once in the building. It is in the historic centre of Paciano, a medieval village in the Lake Trasimeno area in the province of Perugia, on the border between Umbria and Tuscany.

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A garden, a cloister and a conference room 

The eight Superior and Deluxe rooms and the communal areas are therefore a tribute to the building’s artistic tradition with the the concepts of theatre and performance declined in all their expressions with references to art, opera and great personalities from the history of the theatre. The Antico Sipario also has a garden, a cloister, a conference room converted from the old theatre, while the hall has been conceived as an open space for meeting and sharing.

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A meeting room for up to 40 people

The meeting room accommodates up to 40 people, has excellent acoustics and is ideal for business meetings, training courses and other private events. The hotel also has a long tradition of organizing weddings and there is a playroom for young guests. From the hotel it is only a 15-minute drive to Castiglione del Lago on Lake Trasimeno, and less than 50 minutes to Perugia, Orvieto, Montepulciano and Cortona, while Rome and Florence can be reached in less than two hours. 

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A shop with local specialties and wines 

The shop has a selection of local products such as honey, jams, preserves, home-produced Trasimeno wines and extra virgin olive oil, as well as a line of 100%  bodycare organic cosmetics. There is also a Bookcrossing library corner and an area where children can colour, draw, play with  puzzles and enjoy reading.



Published in Business

The new five-star luxury La Maviglia Golf & Spa resort in Puglia, owned by the former Southampton chairman, will be the Ionian competitor to Borgo Egnazia.

A 500-acre estate with trulli and olive groves

What some are already labelling as the Ionian competitor of Borgo Egnazia will open in Maruggio, in the province of Taranto, in the land where Primitivo wine is produced. La Maviglia Golf & Spa Resort, from the Swiss company Ultimate Collection, is led by former Swiss-Italian banker and the owner of Southampton, Nicola Cortese. Designed by Oppenheim Architecture and landscape architects Enea, the resort will be developed on a 500-acre estate that includes over 40 Saracen trulli and olive groves. The property is said to have been purchased in 2023 for €12 million, while the total investment for the entire operation is expected to top €200 million.

There will be 70 suites and an 18-hole golf course

Upon completion scheduled for 2027, the complex will include a resort with 70 suites, ranging in size from 55 to 150 sqm, as well as an 18-hole golf course on some 200 hectares, which will be flanked by a Golfer's Lodge with 20 rooms. The complex will also have a clubhouse with a restaurant, bar, lounge and conference rooms. The plans also call for the construction of a further 35 one-to six-bedroom villas, with living and dining areas, outdoor spaces and swimming pools, ranging from 90 to 450 sqm, while four more restaurants and a 5,000 sqm medical spa will be added.

Published in Hospitality

The State Road 452, better known as the Strada della Contessa has reopened between the Umbria and Marche regions.

Historically an important link between Umbria and the Marche 

Tourism in the area suffered significant losses, with a drop in turnover of more than 10% in the province of Pesaro and Urbino alone, equivalent to around €2 million during the eight-month closure for extraordinary maintenance on the road. Historically it has been a crucial link between Gubbio, in north-east Umbria, and the province of Pesaro and Urbino in the Marche region.

“The focus is now on boosting the economy”

The two regions launched the “Contessa, a Gateway between Land and Sea” project which led to the reopening, and it was  recently presented in the Rome headquarters of ENIT, the Italian tourism board.  “The focus is now on boosting the economy by highlighting the local food and wines,-  said Amerigo Varotti, director of Confcommercio Marche Nord. -As well as routes dedicated to the discovery of restaurants and typical products in Umbria and Marche, the project includes historical and cultural itineraries through places linked to the Montefeltro and Della Rovere families. And, on the archaeological front, there are sites of great interest such as the Roman Theatre in Gubbio and the Mallio Bridge in Cagli, as well as the museum and archaeological park in Fossombrone, and the Arch of Augustus in Fano.” 

“The project highlights the area’s tourism potential” 

Barbara Marsili, president of Confcommercio, emphasized the importance of highlighting the excellence shared by the two regions, countering the tendency to bypass central Italy, and stressing that “thanks to the support of the municipality of Gubbio, the Chamber of Commerce of Perugia, and the Umbria region, this project aims at highlighting the tourism potential of the area while promoting inter-regional collaboration that transcends administrative borders.”  

Published in Cities & Regions

Launched in 2021, ItaliAbsolutely is the evolution of authentic Italy, and emerged from decades of publishing expertise by the Travel Quotidiano media group.

 A pioneering B2B platform for the inbound market

This pioneering B2B platform entirely in English quickly established itself as a premier resource for professionals in the inbound tourism sector. With a dedicated team of 30 passionate professionals, ItaliAbsolutely has published over 2,300 articles to date, drawing over 70,000 international operators to its newsletter.

Over 2,300 articles published

The portal provides incoming operators with an exceptional platform to showcase their offers, delivering unmatched visibility and opportunities. Buyers regard ItaliAbsolutely as a trusted partner for reliable information which is updated daily, while DMOs and DMCs use it as a primary channel for targeted, high-quality promotion.

Special print editions for major trade fairs

Beyond information dissemination, ItaliAbsolutely plays an active role in promoting Italy abroad. We distribute special print editions at key trade fairs such as the WTM in London, TTG Experience in Rimini, the ITB in Berlin, and the Las Vegas Travel Forum.

Fam trips, workshops and B2B meetings

Further boosting our industry presence, we organize events that connect international buyers with Italian suppliers through fam trips, workshops, post tours, and B2B meetings. These are stimulating networking and business opportunities that enhance the understanding of Italy’s diverse destinations and allow international operators to discover first-hand the thousand facets of Italy.  

Operators are invited to Hop on Board!

These activities foster exciting networking and business opportunities, and they enable international operators to experience them firsthand. ItaliAbsolutely's journey is just beginning, with many innovations and developments on the horizon. "Hop on board!" is the invitation we extend to all operators in the sector to join us in this exciting venture.

Published in Tourism Industry

Robert Allyn, chairman of Through Eternity Tours, says post-pandemic demand for Italy has exploded. 

“A year ago we opened in Fort Lauderdale” 

The demand is focused on Florence, Pompeii and Venice. But also Padua and Verona and many other destinations, especially for repeat customers, with a focus on customized products, “ said Robert Allyn, chairman of Through Eternity Tours,  speaking to Italiabsolutely at the Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum.  “Our head office is in Rome, but a year ago we also opened an office in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, to be closer to our customers and partner travel agents in the US and avoid problems linked to the time difference of at least six hours.”

Working in Europe but also in Greece and Turkey

Grasping the importance of a diversified offer, and eschewing the fashions of the moment, Through Eternity Tours has expanded its products and today, in addition to Italy, it also markets other important European cities from London, Paris and Madrid to Barcelona and also destinations such as Greece and Turkey.   

“Sometimes we have difficulty meeting demand”

The post-pandemic for Allyn has been a real explosion. “Towards Italy in particular we are handling huge numbers. They are so impressive that sometimes we even have difficulty meeting demand for some top attractions, such as the Vatican Museums or the Uffizi, where it is not always easy to get enough tickets.” 

Published in Tour operator
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