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ITA Airways was focused on the MICE sector at the IMEX 2024 from 14 to 16 May in Frankfurt. 

Tailor-made conditions for individual needs

ITA’s recently launched offer for MICE traffic has a dedicated team and tailor-made conditions for this specific segment, which has a great potential for growth. Whether for small corporate meetings or events with more than 40 participants, the carrier allows its MICE customers to travel individually, taking advantage of a preferential offer tailored to their individual needs. The aim is to make travelling as simple, relaxing and sustainable as possible. For individual travel needs, the company offers dedicated airfares in Business, Premium and Economy Class in the seven days before and after the event, as well as the planning and management of all requests through a single point of contact and all-round customer service.

New flights from ITA’s Rome Fiumicino hub

The Italian airline’s summer network of 57 destinations includes 16 domestic, 26 international and 15 intercontinental routes. North America, Africa and the Middle East are the markets where the airline is introducing new direct flights from its Rome Fiumicino hub. In April the new Chicago-Rome flight was launched and last week the direct Toronto-Rome connection was added. In June it will be the turn of non-stop flights to Riyadh and Accra, in July to Kuwait City and Dakar, and in August to Jeddah, which will complete the network for summer 2024.

The German market is well catered for 

ITA currently offers 152 weekly flights between Germany and Italy, with direct connections between the airports of Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Düsseldorf and Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate. In addition there are connections to the entire network of destinations in Italy and the rest of the world, including South American destinations in Brazil and Argentina, as well as seasonal connections to the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca) and Mediterranean tourist destinations.

Published in MICE & Events

The 32nd edition of the Doge’s Ball will be staged on 1 March 2025 in the spectacular setting of the Scuola Grande della Misericordia, a majestic historic building in Venice’s Cannaregio district. 

A confidential rate for the trade 

The doges were the rulers of the Venetian Republic in Medieval and Renaissance days, and each year the Cannaregio venue, which can be reached both by land and water, by water taxi or - for the most romantic of arrivals by gondola - becomes a new and different stage, reminiscent of the magnificence of the Doge’s court. The opulent sets and decorations for the Doge’s Ball gala evening are designed for each edition by its founder, patron and host Antonia Sautter who told us that many bookings have already been confirmed for next year's highly anticipated new edition.  “There is a confidential rate for the trade for both ticket purchases and costume hire, and bookings can be made on our website or by calling our offices.” 

“Private tables are available for the gala dinner” 

The event lasts the space of one night, starting at 8.30 p.m. when the first guests enter to attend the grand opening show, and it continues into the early hours of the morning. The gala dinner at the Doge's Ball show comprises four courses, accompanied by prestigious wines and rivers of champagne. The tables are many and varied, with large imperial tables alternating with smaller round tables. “Tables are generally shared,” said Antonia Sautter,- because the Ballo del Doge is also about sharing and networking, but private tables can also be reserved.”

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Dancing and an after-dinner event

While the main show is at its climax upstairs, there is dancing on the ground floor with DJ sets and further performances. The after-dinner is included with the full ticket or can be purchased separately for those who cannot attend the whole evening, but still want to soak up the atmosphere of Venice’s spectacular Doge’s Ball.

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The sumptuous costumes can he hired or purchased

For those attending the evening, the first step into the world of the Doge’s Ball is a dress rehearsal. This is the magical moment when guests choose the perfect outfit from among the more than 1,500 costumes Antonia Sautter has designed and made over the past 30 years. “These are unique pieces from every era and style, and they are available for hire and also for sale, along with accessories like iconic tricorn hats, large wigs, sumptuous headdresses, fans and sticks…you name it.” The Ballo del Doge is truly a night-to-remember, an experience that will leave lasting memories of Italy’s magical lagoon city, its traditions and its timeless beauty. For information: www.ballodeldoge 

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Published in MICE & Events

By adding Olbia - its 30th airport served in Italy – Ryanair ups its network of 10 domestic and international routes.

Ryanair offers 300,000 new seats at Olbia’s Costa Smeralda airport

With 60 weekly flights, which, as Costa Smeralda Airport's route manager Mario Garau explained, “are perfectly articulated with respect to the traffic at our airport and destination,” according to forecasts "Ryanair, is the 39th company in our network, bringing us 300,000 new seats and allowing us to reach 3.5 million passengers, with a 20% growth in traffic."

The aim is to carry over 1.2 million passengers 

The low-cost airline will therefore be operating "to all three Sardinian airports from this year, with record operations for North Sardinia, with over 230 flights per week on 33 routes. The aim is to carry over 1.2 million passengers to and from the region," said Ryanair’s CCO Jason McGuinness.

A 12% increase in frequencies over 2023

Alghero airport is set to have its best season ever, with the confirmation of last year's 22 routes, the addition of Frankfurt, and a 12% increase in flight frequency compared to 2023. The airport welcomes Ryanair's choice of a five-year agreement. "Thanks also to an important investment by the reference shareholder, Alghero airport is not only not left alone or abandoned, but has plans for long-term development," says Fabio Gallo, the airport's general manager.

Asking Sardinia to axe the municipal surtax

McGuiness asks Sardinia to fall into line with the Friuli Venezia-Giulia region which recently decided to abolish the municipal surtax from 1 January. "Following that decision, Ryanair opened a new base in Trieste, with a 50% growth for next summer. The same thing could happen with Alghero and Olbia.” 

Published in Transportation

The Hotel Mediterraneo Sorrento has been awarded one of the new keys in the Italian Michelin Guide. 

Outstanding style and service

Designating the most exceptional hotels in Italy with its new key accolade, the Michelin Guide has awarded one key to Hotel Mediterranean Sorrento. This luxury property on the Sorrento Coast, just an hour from Naples, and with easy access to Amalfi, Capri and Pompeii, has been selected by the prestigious guide for the “excellence of its architecture and interior design, individuality, personality and authenticity, the quality of service, its relevance in the context of the location and the consistency between price and experience.” 

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“Customer satisfaction is our main objective”

"We are extremely proud of this accolade. It is another step on our path of continuous, sustainable and inclusive growth,- says sales and marketing director Pietro Monti. “When I started working in the hotel we had three stars and the management was predominantly family-run.  Year after year we invested in the property and in training both ourselves and our team who are our most valuable asset. Customer satisfaction is our main objective.” 

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An Autentico Collection hotel 

“With our fifth star in 2021 we reached a first important milestone, and the Michelin key this year is another step on our journey. We are now aiming to continue making the Hotel Mediterranean a benchmark in Italian luxury hospitality, which has no equal in the world." At the Mediterraneo modern design and the typical colours and materials of the Sorrento Coast create a timeless style in the 55 rooms, four Junior Suites and two family suites, which earned the hotel the LIV Hospitality Design Awards in 2021 while in 2023 it entered the prestigious Autentico Collection of independent luxury Italian hotels.  

Published in Hospitality

Things have become more intricate for the Bauer Hotel in Venice, with King Street saying no to a sale to Schoeller.

The situation is increasingly more complicated

The property, which is part of the Italian investment portfolio of the Austrian giant Signa in default, is in an increasingly more intricate situation. Following news of the sale of the property to the Swiss-German group Schoeller, the US fund King Street Capital Management, one of the main financiers of Signa itself, to which the ownership of the Venetian hotel had apparently passed a few weeks earlier, immediately intervened.

A pledge that moved from Luxembourg to a Gulf family

“Things are complicated,” says the Italian financial daily Milano Finanza. The issue involves a pledge that, through a Luxembourg sub-holding, weighed on Bauer, in favour of a Gulf family office, which in turn had granted a loan to the company founded by René Benko. Last March, however, the Arabs allegedly assigned their claim to King Street, which, upon announcing the signing of Signa's contract with Schoeller, enforced the pledge through another Luxembourg company traceable to the US fund.

The property is currently valued at around €300 million 

The transaction was understandably not appreciated by Schoeller, which intended demanding fulfilment of the contract. Hence the possibility that the Austrian group could sue King Street, which in the meantime, however, has already instructed the financial advisor Eastdil Secured to put the asset on the market. As of now, the property is valued at around €300 million, but the original plans would have been to renovate the hotel, although work to the sum of €150 million is currently at a standstill.

Published in Hospitality

The W Hotels brand, part of the Marriott portfolio, is set to make its debut with a new opulent lifestyle complex in Poltu Quatu in Sardinia. 

150 hotel rooms and serviced apartments

Encompassing more than 240 units, including some 150 hotel rooms and areas designated as serviced apartments, confirmation of the project coincides with the completion of the deal, with the asset management company Castello SGR acquiring a local real estate complex for €70 million. The transaction was facilitated through the recently established Gem Fund and the entire property, currently composed of a 139-room hotel and over 100 residential units, will undergo a refurbishment.

“The Costa Smeralda is a premier global destination”

This venture aligns with Castello SGR's strategic development plan to strengthen its foothold in the hospitality sector. The recent inclusion in the Anima group has further boosted its position, and with a portfolio valued at some one billion euro, consisting of 32 properties and over 4,000 rooms, Giampiero Schiavo, CEO of Castello SGR, highlights the operation's significance in the context of Sardinia's luxury brand allure. “In the current market dynamics, the hospitality segment stands out as particularly attractive, and this acquisition contributes to the repositioning of properties in the super luxury segment, reinforcing Arzachena with the Costa Smeralda as a premier global destination.”

Published in Hospitality

Emirates will put its new Airbus A350, due to enter service in September, at Bologna from 1 December.

The new A350s will have three cabin classes

With 10 new A350s expected to enter the fleet, the Dubai-based airline plans to deploy the aircraft to nine destinations in the coming months. The new A350s will be configured with three cabin classes, with 32 seats in the new generation Business Class, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 259 seats in Economy Class. All are intended to serve short- and medium-haul destinations in the Emirates network: the first A350 will fly to Bahrain with daily frequencies from 15 September next, with a second service starting on 1 November. The aircraft will land in Kuwait with daily service on 16 September and in Muscat from 1 December.

“The Airbus A350 adds more premium cabin options”

In Europe, the A350 will make its debut in Bologna from 1 December, as well as in Lyon and, from 4 November, in Edinburgh. 

"The A350 will be a game changer for Emirates, allowing us to serve regional points with superior operational efficiency and flexibility in the Middle East and GCC, West Asia and Europe," said Adnan Kazim, the airline's deputy president and CCO, Emirates' A350 confirms our long-standing commitment to investing in the best customer experience in the sky. Flying the A350 to nine cities in such a short timeframe adds more premium cabin options, greater choice across all geographies for our customers, and ensures we maintain our competitive edge and industry-leading position."

 

Published in Transportation

Ryanair intends positioning Calabria as a leading European destination.

Reggio Calabria gets 8 new routes

With a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Reggio Calabria for Ryanair's new base, the Irish low-cost company has positioned an aircraft at the airport and launched eight new routes, five of which are international: Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Manchester, Marseille, Tirana, Turin and Venice.

“Providing competitive fares and increased connectivity”

"This significant expansion,- said CEO, Eddie Wilson, -marks the beginning of a long-term strategy with the region to position Calabria as a leading destination in Europe, increasing inbound tourism, connectivity and employment, while offering the lowest fares in Europe. With a commitment to provide competitive fares and increased connectivity, Ryanair is poised to transform travel for residents and visitors, unlocking the full potential of the Calabria Region, attracting a diverse range of tourists and stimulating economic development."

RYANAIR REGGIO CALABRIA

“We have a plan to modernize all of Calabria’s airports”

"In just a few months we have placed our airport company SACAL under the control of the Region and finally made it operational,- said Roberto Occhiuto, president of the Calabria Region  “At the same time we have a plan to modernize all of Calabria’s airports. Two years ago Reggio Calabria Airport had no prospect of development and with flights to Rome and Milan in danger of being cancelled. We saved those connections, had them doubled, and a few months ago we officially presented Ryanair's debut on the shores of the Strait of Messina together with Eddie Wilson.”

“Our goal is to bring more tourists to Calabria”

This summer Ryanair has also increased the routes from the airports of Lamezia Terme and Crotone and is currently operating 30 connections in Calabria. “Our goal is to grow the entire regional airport system, to bring more tourists to Calabria and give new opportunities to our fellow citizens. With Ryanair we are on a path that will be positive for our Region in the coming months and years.” 

Published in Transportation

The Villa Riviera Resort on the Ligurian Riviera and the Leonardo Trulli Resort in Locorotondo, Apulia, are the latest additions to the Autentico Hotels collection. 

Between Portofino and the Cinque Terre

The Villa Riviera Resort is set in a 15,000 sqm park overlooking the coast between Portofino and the Cinque Terre. It consists of two historic villas with 15 rooms featuring original frescoes and designer furnishings and elements. In addition there are two restaurants and an outdoor spa set amidst olive trees and ancient stone ruins, as well as an atmospheric infinity pool.

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“We can guarantee a homogeneous offer throughout Italy”

Surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and Leonardo Trulli Resort in Alberobello, is a scattered property of heritage buildings, all of which have been finely restored thanks to careful conservation work that has preserved their authenticity while providing them with all modern comforts. "With the entry of these two properties into our club," says Mario Cardone, CEO & co-founder of Autentico Hospitality, -we can guarantee a homogeneous offer throughout Italy from art cities to seaside and mountain destinations in the most evocative places in the north, centre and south of the country.” 

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The Dune Piscinas Resort gets a fifth star

The year will also see an important reopening in Sardinia: the Dune Piscinas Resort. Following a five-year-long renovation this resort will reopen its doors in June ready to offer guests even more attentive service thanks to its fifth star. The new-look property, located in a protected area directly on the beach, which can boast the highest dunes in Europe, has 28 rooms and suites, three restaurants, an American bar, a library, open-air cinema, spa and gym, outdoor swimming pool and public areas that allow guests to enjoy the views of the dunes.

Published in Hospitality

The Omnia Group’s Shangri-La Roma’s new convention centre has opened.

A centre for private and corporate events

The Omnia Hotels Group recently celebrated the inauguration of its new Shangri-La Roma convention centre which has 13 meeting rooms equipped with cutting-edge technology for private and corporate events. There are also two plenary rooms, each of which can be divided into a further three spaces, a hall of around 400 sqm for catering services, an outdoor area with a terrace, and further rooms inside the hotel.  

OMNIA Hotels family

The Omnia Group has eight properties in Rome

"This has been a complex project and we have given the city an important facility with all the appropriate services; we are now working on the new restaurant and the swimming pool," said Francesco Lazzarini, CEO of the Roman company that today boasts eight properties in its portfolio, all located in Rome, " We continue to invest in the city, for example with the new St. Martin Hotel and the Rose Garden Palace, which was completely renovated following the acquisition, as well as the Hotel Imperiale, which will open again on Via Veneto by the end of the year. Renovations on our latest acquisition next to the Opera House will also begin shortly: it will be called the Aria Palace, in homage to the opera."

Published in MICE & Events
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