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ImmaTravel has 26 tours dedicated to discovering a less conventional Basilicata.

“We believe in thinking locally and acting globally”

Imma Travel’s 26 itineraries are designed to satisfy every type of visitor: from families to individual travellers, and from groups to nature lovers. And all the products are aimed at both Italian and international agencies. "For years I have nurtured the dream of making Italy known in a way that is different from how it is perceived and promoted,- says Anna Bruno, co-founder, together with the operator’s communications and marketing manager Anna Maria Malaspina. -And so together we embraced this challenge. We believe in thinking locally and acting globally, and as a result we are packaging some of our travel experiences also for international operators.” 

Imma Travel specializes in tailor-made itineraries 

"We have many requests from all over Italy, and we were surprised by the significant number of bookings coming from the Centre North, generated by travel agencies looking for a less-commercial Basilicata,- adds co-founder and sales manager, Anna Maria Malaspina. -We are, therefore, further stimulated to propose exclusive and tailor-made itineraries to our travel agent colleagues all over Italy and beyond.” 

Published in Tour operator

Turkish Airlines is again investing in its Italian network,  and will debut flights from Istanbul to Turin this July.

Narrow-body flights from Istanbul to Turin

The Piedmont capital will be reachable from Istanbul from next 10 July with daily flights, operated with a narrow body.  The new route provides direct access from and to Istanbul, but also the opportunity for Italian passengers to continue their journey to another 348 destinations both in Turkey and in Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and the Far East, all included in the Turkish flag carrier's extensive network.

“A new hub to the East” 

"The opening by Turkish Airlines of the route to Istanbul represents an expansion of great value for Turin,- comments Andrea Andorno, managing director of Torino Airport. -It adds a hub to the East which, due to its geographical location, is an excellent transit point for connections. Piedmont residents will, in fact, have the opportunity to fly not only to Istanbul and the whole of Turkey, but through this large hub to the rest of the world. Similarly, this flight represents an opportunity for further tourism growth for Piedmont, which will be able to be reached from all the destinations in the Turkish Airlines network.”

Turin Airport

Non-stop flights seven days a week

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the non-stop flight will depart Istanbul at 7:15 a.m., arriving in Turin at 9:20 a.m.; departing from Turin at 10:15 a.m. and arriving in Istanbul at 2:10 p.m. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departures from Istanbul are scheduled at 17:00, arriving in Turin at 19:05, and departures from Turin will be at 20:00, arriving in Istanbul at 23:55.

Published in Transportation

The story of Venice’s Bauer gets a new twist as it passes into the hands of the Schoeller Group. 

Schoeller is a Swiss-German group

A few weeks ago news appeared in local newspapers that King Street Capital Management, the main financier of the collapsed Austrian group Signa, had taken control of the Bauer Hotel, with the intention of putting it on the market soon. Now Italy’s leading financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reports that the hotel has passed into the hands of the Swiss-German group Schoeller, along with two other Bolzano assets, the Walther Park and the Viva Virgolo company, already owned by Signa.

The sale is subject to approval by banks and regulators

The sale, the details of which were not disclosed, is subject to approval by banks and regulators and is expected to close in the coming months. In 2020 Signa had bought the Bauer, a luxury hotel overlooking the Grand Canal, obtaining a €135m loan from Raiffeisen to finance its renovation. But work stopped at the end of last year when Signa's collapsed.

Published in Hospitality

Ten private villas with direct access to the sea define the essence of Costa del Capitano, the latest addition to the Leading Hotels of the World Botania Relais & Spa in Forio, on the island of Ischia. 

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Looking out on full-height gardens

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This new property, nestled in the charming village of Sant'Angelo d'Ischia, just 9 kilometres from Botania Relais, is an oasis of privacy and an extension of the Relais's hospitality. Boasting panoramic views and ranging from 65 to 100 sqm the villas have round windows looking onto full-height gardens, vibrantly-coloured Vietri tiled floors and typical Mediterranean furnishings featuring hemp and raw linens in natural tones.

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Ischia’s only Michelin green-star restaurant

Costa del Capitano also features a spring-water swimming pool, a sun-drenched solarium with cabanas, and two tennis courts. The highlight is La Tuga Restaurant helmed by resident chef Alessandro Iacono, who showcases the island's fresh fish, indigenous raw materials, and vegetables sourced from Botania's Hortus Saporum. In addition to the amenities on the estate, villa guests enjoy full access to the Botania Relais's wellness and F&B outlets, including the Garden Spa and the. culinary delights in the Corbezzolo and Nonna Marì, where executive chef Tommaso Luongo crafts dishes rooted in local traditions. Not to be missed is the acclaimed Il Mirto, Ischia’s only Michelin green-star vegetarian restaurant.

Costa del Capitano

Published in Hospitality

Located in the heart of Rome’s historic centre, near the Pantheon and Piazza Venezia, the Radisson Collection Hotel, Roma Antica, opened recently.

The hotel has Friends and Family Stay rooms

This is the sixth Radisson Collection hotel and consists of 84 rooms, some of which have panoramic terraces. Measuring 80 sqm the Friends and Family Stay rooms can accommodate up to six adults, and the hotel has a Turkish bath and a fitness centre. The Modius Restaurant celebrates Rome’s culinary traditions with a special focus on first courses, many of which are classic dishes, while the Modius on the Roof Terrace is on the eighth floor.

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Ancient Roman remains have been incorporated into the basement

Thanks to the renovation of the Lares Permarini palace the Radisson Collection, Roma Antica is a hidden archaeological gem. In fact a fragment of the ancient surrounding wall of the Porticus Minucia from the Roman imperial era was found during the works. Following the discovery, the project was expanded to include the in situ enhancement of the archaeological remains, which will be open to visitors in the basement of the hotel, together with a multimedia video.

“Our goal is to reach 30 hotels in Italy by 2027”

"The hotel's eye-catching aesthetics and ideal location make it a remarkable example of our vision of contemporary luxury," says Chema Basterrechea, global president and CEO of the Radisson Hotel Group. "With this new addition, we are proud to move closer to our goal of reaching 30 hotels in Italy by 2027, a testament to our ongoing commitment to Italy and to the industry.”

Published in Hospitality

Icon srl was founded in January 2019 and, together with Antico Podere San Francesco, Borgo Verde, Park Hotel Marinetta, The Sense Experience Resort and Hotel Botticelli (acquired in May 2022), is the sixth company in the Ficcanterri family's group. Currently undergoing a generational transition, three out of five of the younger generation are now working in the company in various operational management roles. The current general manager, Ciro Verrocchi, was appointed in 2023.

“The Icon Collection project was launched before the pandemic which turned out to be a very complex and difficult period for everyone”, says Icon’s president Federico Ficcanterri.  “During those months I worked closely with my collaborators to ensure the continuity of our course, to try to foresee developments and to act accordingly. Fortunately for us, our core business is in seaside resorts, so the pandemic shock had a less traumatic effect on us than it did on those colleagues of ours who run city properties.”

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Hotel Botticelli 

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Hotel Botticelli

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The reorganization and promotion of the Group’s four properties is going full steam ahead.  After opening The Sense in 2020 the focus is now on the Antico Podere San Francesco, which will be repositioned in the relais segment with additional rooms, a swimming pool for adults, a SPA and a restaurant. Then there is the rebranding, in terms of both positioning and architecture, of the Hotel Botticelli, with the aim of making it a benchmark hotel in the 5-star luxury boutique segment in Florence. And, last but not least, the Park Hotel Marinetta’s renovation and rebranding will involve an initial stage of expansion and restyling of the rooms, followed by a complete redefinition of the restaurant, swimming pools, SPA and park. The new positioning will be 5-star, while the property will still be oriented towards families.

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Antico Podere San Francesco

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"We believe that the best way to meet the demand is to carefully study the purchasing habits of our potential guests and the reviews guests leave us. This way we can constantly optimize our tourist offer on the one hand, and our product on the other. The guest is at the centre of everything. Listening to our guests is primary in our product optimization strategies, as it allows us to tailor the travel experience specifically for them, to anticipate their needs, and to impress them with “special effects.” 

The Icon Group has identified a series of actions to promote responsible tourism, including purchasing local products or producing them locally, water-saving systems, the use of compostable products such as crockery and cutlery for composting food waste from the kitchen and other F&B departments, the enhancement of local services and activities, and attention to recycling. In 2023 the We Plant project was launched for the protection of the environment. in compliance with point 15 of the UN's Goal 2030.

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Park Hotel Marinetta

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“In the pine forest in Marina di Bibbona, in cooperation with the municipality and the Tuscany Region, in-house guests planted more than 30 trees and shrubs.”  

The entrepreneurial idea behind the Sense Experience Resort was to create a 4-star full-service resort that would replicate the business and organizational model of the already consolidated Park Hotel Marinetta in Marina di Bibbona, a medium to high-level family product.

“But then we decided it was appropriate to integrate the initial strategic approach with some additional factors aimed at the luxury segment, the development of the Maremma as a tourist destination, and the possibility of cannibalization between the Group's properties.” 

The Sense Experience Resort and the Park Hotel Marinetta both work with the high-end MICE segment and the main markets are Germany, Switzerland and Italy as well as Asian markets and Australia. The Sense joined Preferred Hotels & Resort, an important partner to consolidate its presence mainly on the US market.

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“Catering mainly to the luxury segment, the philosophy of the Sense Resort is based on experiencing nature with all five senses and providing personalized experiential stays that reflect and interact with the territory.” 

At The Sense Experience Resort guest takes a sensory journey, a totally immersive experience, that can provide unforgettable sensations.

“One of our unique features is our helichrysum essence, which grows wild in our park, and is offered to all our guests upon arrival as a welcome gift. We are constantly working on the in-room experience, to allow guests to choose and customize their comfort, and clearly the food and wine experience is central. We call our concierges Experience Specialists, which means they are personalized consultants of emotions who know all about our area, and they tell our guests all about it together with details of our Experience Collection, which includes more than 60 experiences for unique stays.”

 

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Borgo Verde

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Down the years the Group has selected and worked with over 50 experience providers to create the Experience Collection, which includes a wide variety of activities from biking, trekking and boating to kite surfing, wind surfing and stand-up paddle, golf and Wine & Dine as well as cultural activities and experiences.

“The boat and the bike experiences are among the most popular with our guests.”

Federico Ficcanterri says the greatest value a company dedicated to hospitality can have is its human capital, and that it is only through the enhancement of this capital that great results can be achieved.

“The passion we put into our work is not only conveyed to our guests, but also to our employees whom we call “in-house guests.” Today we are reaping the first fruits of our hard work over the last eight to ten years.  Clearly we are always looking to the future, and we are constantly on the lookout for new properties to expand our portfolio. We would like to invest in Milan.”

Published in Sponsor

Terrazza Flores: the best of Argentine flair with striking views of some of Rome’s most iconic monuments.

A classy Roman rooftop terrace with striking views

Terrazza Flores is a classy new downtown rooftop terrace with spectacular views over some of the most famous monuments in the heart of Rome. From the Dorrego Group, which has El Porteno restaurants from Rome to Milan and from Madrid to Miami. Terrazza Flores, which is just a block from the world-famous Trevi Fountain, is the newest rooftop concept in Rome’s historical center and a is must for clients who appreciate Argentina’s renowned gastronomy. 

Cocktail Terrazza Flores El Porteno

An exclusive highlight on tours of Rome’s nightlife 

Located on the sixth floor of the building that houses the luxury Hotel Umiltà36 and the El Porteño Gourmet restaurant, Terrazza Flores is a must for a full immersion in authentic Argentine cuisine, and a privileged dive into the culture of the city of Buenos Aires, which is the home of the tango. Open for lunch and dinner with delicious cocktail and dining options and unforgettable late-night experiences, this addition to Rome’s exclusive sky lounges is an exclusive highlight on tours of Rome’s nightlife.  

Iconic Buenos Aires dishes with a fusion twist, and exciting cocktails 

Bar Terrazza Flores El Porteno

Terrazza Flores’ menu is inspired by many iconic dishes reimagined with a fusion twist, from tacos to Argentina’s fabled empanadas, and from burgers to Caesar salads,  and there is an exciting and well-stocked cocktail list that showcases the flair of the dexterous mixologists. This extensive rooftop area, with comfortable sofas and table seating offers wonderful views over some of the Eternal City's most iconic monuments. Guests at Terrazza Flores will be intrigued to discover many recognizable and characteristic roofs in the heart of the Eternal City: from the presidential Quirinale Palace, to the Altar of Peace, and from nearby Piazza Venezia Square to the magnificent dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Published in Leisure

Beyond Italy's iconic landmarks and majestic art-infused cities lies a world of adventure waiting to be explored. From the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to the azure waters of the Mediterranean, Italy is a chequerboard of pulse-pounding activities for adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

In a recent survey from Holidu it emerged that, when it comes to adrenaline-fueled escapades Italy’s two largest islands, Sicily and Sardinia, take the biscuit. Sicily in fact leads the list of Italy’s 20 regions with an impressive 203 adventure-packed activities, while Sardinia comes in second, trailing at 77 and closely followed by Tuscany at 76. 

At the top of Sicily's adventure list are its 150 off-road and mountain bike trails on scenic and rugged pathways, where adventurous cyclists navigate challenging terrain and breathtaking landscapes on off-road and mountain trails. Parachuting comes in second with 21 sites that offer thrill-seekers the chance to leap from soaring heights and freefall through the sky, and the island also has 15 opportunities for rafting and tubing. 

Sardinia and Tuscany then chip in with additional thrills such as kayaking and tree-climbing, rounding out Italy’s high-octane adventure experiences with paddling through rivers, lakes and the ocean, or making gruelling ascensions into forest canopies to overcome the challenges of rope climbing and free climbing. www.holidu.it/casa-vacanze/italia#regioni-avventurose.

Pamela McCourt FrancesconePamela McCourt Francescone
Executive Editor

Published in Editorial

The little town of Pienza, perched on a hill in the Val d’Orcia valley, shows Tuscany’s charm, art and nature at its best. 

For a day trip or a longer stay 

Blending perfectly with the surrounding landscape and creating that unique mix for which Tuscany is known the world over, Pienza is well worth a day trip from Siena or Florence (an hour, and an hour and a half respectively), as a stop on a tour of the Val d’Orcia, or to stay overnight to delight in its tranquil setting and UNESCO historic centre.   

Ancient city walls with views over the countryside

Pienza can be enjoyed on foot, starting from the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta on the main square which is one of the Italian Renaissance’s most important buildings.  To the left along a narrow pedestrian street overlooking the ancient city walls, from designated viewpoints that coincide with the ancient towers, there are splendid views over the Tuscan countryside. 

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Renaissance architecture and delicious Pecorino cheese  

Visitors will be amazed by the Palazzo Piccolomini. Built in 1459 according to the Humanist project of the Ideal City, as a summer home for Pope Pius II, it is the first example of Renaissance architecture.  The first floor is open to the public, displays period furnishings and tells the history of Pienza and of its close links to the Piccolomini family. The town is also famous for its Pecorino di Pienza cheese that is found in such local dishes as Pici (handrolled thick spaghetti), is also served on brushetta with Tuscan cold cuts, or grilled. 

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The set of The Gladiator is nearby

Film buffs will want to visit nearby Corsignano where the final scene of The Gladiator was filmed. Of course there are more great views over the Val d'Orcia, but for Russell Crowe fans this is a visit not to be missed.  Pienza is a perfect stop on a tour of discovery of the Val d'Orcia, and the other small nearby towns well worth visiting include Montalcino, which is famous for its Brunello red wine, and Bagno Vignoni which is famous for its thermal waters which are right in the town. The boutique Hotel Le Terme Bagno Vignoni is a historic 4-star with direct access to the thermal springs. Another town well worth a visit is Arezzo, which is less than an hour’s drive away. This is the city of the great artist Piero della Francesca, and really should be on every Tuscan itinerary. For information: www.pienza.org, www.discovertuscany.com/arezzo

Published in Cities & Regions

Important news for the Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel, which joins the Virtuoso network. 

“We have a tailored service approach”

Joining Virtuso is an opportunity to create new sales and marketing opportunities, explains Estelle Vassallo, general manager of the hotel in the town of Amalfi in the Campania region. "The Virtuoso evaluation process is incredibly selective. Becoming a partner is therefore a real honour. The reputation for exceptional customer dedication enjoyed by the network's member agencies fits perfectly with our tailored service approach."

Historic charm blend with contemporary elegance 

The Virtuoso network comprises more than 2,300 selected properties in 100 countries. The network's agencies have an average annual turnover of $28-32 billion worldwide. The Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel is a 13th-century monastery building that blends historic charm with contemporary elegance. Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and its rugged coastline, it offers a range of dining experiences and treatments at the Anantara Spa.

Published in Hospitality
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