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Tickets for Treni Turistici Italiani’s new sleeper trains from Rome to Cortina d’Ampezzo, the famed ski resort in the Dolomites, are officially on sale. 

A bus will take passengers on the final leg of the journey

Tickets to travel between Rome and Cortina d'Ampezzo aboard the new 220-bed Cadore night train are now on sale on the site www.trenitalia.com. The train will run every weekend between 15 December 2023 and 25 February 2024, with some additional runs during the Christmas period between 18 December  and 3 January.  The night journey to reach Cortina, the Queen of the Dolomites, will depart from Roma’s central Termini station at 9.40 p.m. and arrive in Calalzo at 7.57 a.m.. From here a 50-minute bus service leaving from the station will take them to the centre of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Intermediate stops will be at Orte, Orvieto, Treviso, Ponte nelle Alpi and Longarone-Zoldo.

The train has single or double sleeper cabins and 4 or 6-seater couchettes  

Access on board will be allowed up to 40 minutes before departure, allowing passengers to hand over their luggage, including any sports equipment, to the dedicated staff for stowage in a special carriage. Passengers can choose between single or double sleeper cabins, which also include dinner and breakfast service in the ticket, or in 4- or 6-seater couchettes that can also be reserved for group travel.  The train also has a restaurant car serving Italian products and a bar service.

Published in Transportation

"We are very worried about the new European Directive," says Stefano Corbari, president of the travel agency association Fiavet Lazio.  "Even though details have still to be confirmed, things are not looking good. Fiavet has already sent a letter to the European Union raising a number of doubts and concerns. We also find this acceleration strange coming up to the new European elections.

“Things could change, but only if there is dialogue between the parties”

"We don’t have an answer. There could well be change, but only if there is dialogue between the parties. If things are not imposed from above perhaps changes can be made. We are not the only ones who are critical of the directive, and we can only wait for someone to respond. If they don’t then together with the other associations we will have to insist. But we must avoid hasty decisions, because, as I said, this debate on the directive is taking place in the run-up to the European elections. Which means we will have another European Parliament and another committee, and this will make change very complicated, so yes, we are concerned. As for the famous €39 million, the first part has started to arrive.” 

“New agencies turn the spotlight on areas that are not very well known” 

“In Fiavet Lazio, and also in the other regional associations, we have returned to pre-pandemic membership levels. I think we once again understand the importance of an association but, like my colleagues in other groups, I would like more commitment from everyone. As a federation we are moving in many directions, and once again there is a lot of emphasis on training. Many new incoming agencies are opening, and older agencies are opening incoming divisions. In the medium term this will lead to a saturation of the market. But I think this is natural, and those with a solid foundation will stay the course. As a federation we have always pushed to promote other provinces, and these new incoming agencies are doing just that, turning the spotlight on areas that are still not very well known. What we must do is promote the development of local suppliers for the benefit of both colleagues and territories.”

“Artificial intelligence can be useful”

“In some respects artificial intelligence can be useful. But it does not solve everything, and if it is taken superficially it can be harmful. As travel agents we are not ready yet, I think it will take time before we can say we are ready to work with artificial intelligence. We need training, and we need to focus on the individual. This is the most important thing, as well as making sure that we don’t get left behind.”  

Published in Cities & Regions

Neos will connect New York JFK to Palermo airport (Sicily) with a direct flight starting on 8 June 2024. 

Currently Neos operates NY-Milan and Toronto-Milan flights

With this new summer route the Italian airline will expand its network between North America and Italy. Since 2021 it has been operating three weekly flights on the New York-Milan Malpensa route and a Toronto-Milan Malpensa flight since last April.

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will operate the new Palermo flights 

The flight to Palermo will operate with a 355-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. There are two scheduled weekly flights: every Monday the plane will take off at 17:00 from New York and arrive in Palermo on Tuesday at 7:20, departing from Palermo at 11:25 and arriving in New York at 14:50. Every Saturday the plane will take off at 17:00 from New York and arrive in Palermo on Sunday at 7:20, leaving again at 11:25 for New York where it will land at 14:50.

“Our initial goal is to transport some 20.000 passengers next summer”

“This new connection represents a further opportunity for the development of leisure and business flows between United States and Italy, with an initial goal of transporting some 20,000 passengers next summer,” says Carlo Stradiotti, CEO of Neos.  The new intercontinental flight is the only direct service operated by an Italian carrier to and from Sicily and the United States, and is an important opportunity for Italy’s largest island in terms of both outgoing and incoming traffic, without forgetting the many Italians residing in the Big Apple.

  

Published in Transportation

This summer Sardinia made a comeback to pre-pandemic levels and is proving to be a year-round attraction.

“Arrivals were higher than pre-pandemic levels”

“Summer 2023 was a very good season. Arrivals to Sardinia were higher than pre-pandemic levels, and for the first time we are witnessing a growth in tourists beyond the high season. Sardinia has so much to offer throughout the year,” said Andrea Cocco, head of the cabinet of tourism, crafts and commerce of the Sardinia’s Region, speaking last month at the WTM. 

Sardinia is now appealing in the off-peak months 

“In 2024 we will continue to promote all our attractions that are spread across the 24,000 square kilometres and 377 municipalities of our island. Food and wine events are an invitation to get to know authentic Sardinia, and are something to be experienced not only in the high season. Regarding overtourism, Sardinia has long chosen to appeal to an attentive, high-profile, and demanding tourist; there is something for everyone here and we are extremely hospitable. If we manage to fully resolve the problem of air transport and connections, Sardinia can be a holiday destination all year round."

Published in Cities & Regions

Double new entry in Rome for the Bzar Hotel&Co group, which adds two hotels to its pipeline in the Eternal City in just over a month. 

Renovating two historic Roman properties

The Bzar Hotel&Co group recently acquired a historic building located at Via delle Coppelle 16, a few steps from Rome’s Piazza Navona, formerly known as the Hotel Varese. It also took over the management of the 24-room 3-star Fori Imperiali Cavalieri, located in Via Frangipane. In the first case, according to the group's ceo and co-founder Filippo Ribacchi, the plans are to transform the property into a 4-star boutique hotel with 24 rooms, a rooftop bar and a restaurant. 

The new Fori Imperiali Cavalieri will have 27 rooms

The second property, the Fori Imperiali Cavalieri, is already being renovated with the aim of repositioning the hotel in the luxury segment as well as expanding its offer to 27 rooms. A lobby, a breakfast room and a rooftop will complete the offer.

A fast-growing hotel group

The Bzar Hotel&Co group operates a portfolio of 15 properties, all located in Rome with the sole exception of the 66-room 3-star 43Station Hotel in Milan. The company's pipeline also includes a further four properties: one in Milan, the Cortina Hotel and the Prassede Palace in Rome, as well as the Belvedere in Ostia. The group is also active in the F&B sector with two restaurants and two rooftop bars.

Published in Hospitality

Volotea is set to bring a fresh wave of investments to its Verona base in 2024, introducing six new international routes. 

Six new routes with bi-weekly flights

The Spanish airline will kick off its expansion with Comiso from 21 March, offering flights on Thursdays and Sundays with over 22,000 seats available. Following closely will be Madrid and Prague due to commence on 22 March, with flights on Mondays and Fridays, and approximately 16,300 and 16,000 seats on sale respectively. Copenhagen and Valencia routes will start from 23 March, operating on Tuesdays and Saturdays, each with 16,300 seats available. Lastly, Bordeaux will join the lineup from 13 April, offering flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with over 14,000 seats on sale.

Volotea

Generating direct and indirect employment

To support this expansion Volotea will position a new Airbus A320 aircraft at Catullo Airport, generating direct employment for an additional 30 people and indirect employment for over 170. The carrier anticipates a growth in capacity of +26% in Verona for 2024 compared to this year, with a total offering of almost 800,000 seats on sale. “Passengers departing from Verona can already start planning their next summer holidays,” said Valeria Rebasti, international market director Volotea, - in addition to the new international routes, Volotea is introducing flights to Comiso, thus adding to the Sicilian destinations already offered from Catullo, and which will allow passengers to discover all the beauties of southern Sicily for relaxing sea breaks.”

Volotea has operated over 40,000 Verona flights since 2012

Since its debut in Verona in 2012, Volotea has transported approximately 5.3 million passengers to the city on over 40,000 flights. The airline has established a strong and synergistic bond with Verona, supporting the valorisation of the city's artistic and cultural heritage.  “With the new connections announced today, Volotea once again responds to the requests of an area always ready to welcome new markets,- said Camillo Bozzolo, commercial director aviation of the Save Group. 

Published in Transportation

Vipiteno in the Italian Alps is a winter paradise for skiers of all levels, and is one of the “Borghi più Belli d’Italia,” the association grouping Italy’s most beautiful towns.

Winter will soon be declared open in Vipiteno 

Winter in Vipiteno is just around the corner and will begin on 24 November with the opening of the Christmas Market, one of the original five markets in Italy’s South Tyrol. Then, on 7 December the ski season is scheduled to start in the Monte Cavallo-Rosskopf area, with skiing in nearby Ladurns available from 8 December. 

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Skiing and tobogganing at Monte Cavallo-Rosskopf 

At Monte Cavallo-Rosskopf there are slopes for all levels, from the well-equipped Kinderland, with snow games for the little ones, to the numerous blue and red slopes suitable for a wide range of skiers. The jewel in the area’s crown is the Monte Cavallo cable car, which starts on the northern outskirts of the town of Sterzing and goes to 970 metres asl where the ski rental shop is located, and on to the heart of the ski area at 1,862 metres. The Monte Cavallo toboggan run breaks records as the longest snow-covered and illuminated toboggan run in Italy. At the rental shop at the cable car departure point visitors can find all the equipment they need for tobogganing. 

Ph credits: Martin SchallerPh credits: Martin Schaller

The Monte Cavallo, Ladburns and Racines lift pass

The ancient spa town of Colle Isarco offers a ski area with 18 kilometres of slopes. The fast and comfortable cable cars serve an area with a total vertical drop of 900 metres, and there is also a children's area. The Valle Isarco ski pass allows visitors to ski with a single ski pass on the slopes of Monte Cavallo, Ladurns and also in the Racines area. 

Cross-country skiing and winter hiking in the Val di Vizze 

Ph credits: Harald Wisthaler - SterzingPh credits: Harald Wisthaler - Sterzing

In Sterzing, at an altitude of 1,500 metres, there are 25 kilometres of slopes for skating or classic technique skiing, and the cross-country ski slopes have a large parking area and a centre with rentals. Val di Vizze is also a paradise for those who are looking for quiet and picturesque places for family winter excursions on the groomed trails that run alongside the cross-country slopes. 

Ski passes cost less during the WOW Weeks 

During WOW Weeks, which run from 7 to 23 December 2023, the purchase of a 3, 4 or 5-day ski pass gives an extra day's skiing. The same promotion will be valid during the low season periods on the PREMIUM Weeks, from 7 to 27 January and from 17 March to 1 April 2024. To access these promotions enter the promotional code WOW or PREMIUM in the online shop, depending on the period. These offers are only valid online.

Published in Cities & Regions

Mangia's Santa Teresa Resort in Sardinia has reopened after a makeover costing €12 million. 

Landscaped gardens and 199 rooms many with private terraces

Suite SantaTeresaResort 1 1
Suite Santa Teresa Resort

The work included the swimming pool, spa, gym, tennis court, water sports (SUP and canoeing), landscaped gardens and free parking which are just some of the innovations awaiting guests at Mangia's Santa Teresa Resort.  Located on the small bay of Santa Reparata in the north of the island, Mangia’s Santa Teresa boasts 199 rooms that have been completely renovated and furnished in Italian style. Many of the rooms have sea views or a private terrace. The resort also has an equipped private beach and a shuttle service to the most beautiful beaches in the area. 

Two restaurants and a pool bar

For summer 2024 the Mangia’s property has a new beach club near the resort. There are also two restaurants: the brand-new Donna Floriana Bistrot, which serves traditional and contemporary Italian dishes, and the renovated Perseo Restaurant, with an international buffet that also includes local specialities. Guests can also enjoy sundowners at the Lime Pool Bar, and relax in the Lounge with jazz music.

Published in Hospitality

The Umbria International Airport has reached a new milestone: 50,000 passengers since the beginning of the year.

The airport also inaugurated two new departure gates

The San Francesco d'Assisi Airport in Perugia is pleased to announce that on Wednesday 22 November, the airport reached 500,000 passengers for the first time since the beginning of the year. The celebrations for the new historic milestone also included another important goal for the airport: the inauguration of two new boarding gates, thus expanding the capacity and convenience for travellers and increasing the total number of gates available at the terminal's departure area from four to six. 

mini 02 Aeroporto Umbria 22 11 2023

“The airport will race towards one million passengers by 2025”

“This is an extraordinary achievement and is the result of a lot of work and a clear vision by the Regional Government. In 2024 Umbria Airport will carry out the extension works already financed by the Region, which will allow us to continue the race towards one million passengers by 2025 with a new industrial plan and new route investments," commented Donatella Tesei, President of the Umbria Region  Antonello Marcucci, President of Umbria Airport added, "reaching 500,000 passengers is a further tangible sign of the airport's success and its growing importance for the region. We look forward to the future with enthusiasm, committing ourselves to continue to provide high quality services and to support the economic development of our region.”

Published in Transportation

Umbria celebrates its first Michelin star, a remarkable feat for the Elementi Fine Dining Restaurant at the Borgobrufa Spa Resort, achieved just two years from its launch.  

The chef’s vision of ethical fine dining

Colpa d Alfredo Porco Cinturello Urbevetus 100 2

 “I cannot help but think of all those who have worked with me discreetly but decisively for ten years, in a union of professional and personal intentions, like my wife Martina Pallante, who is the Borgobrufa’s restaurant manager.” The significance of this Michelin star lies in the authenticity of the 70 micro-suppliers, the tightly-knit kitchen and dining room brigade, and the Sfascia family for their belief in the chef’s vision of ethical fine dining. 

mini Elementi Fine Dining

“Chef Impero works to safeguard and relaunch small local companies”

The Sfascia family, which own the resort, has always aimed at positioning the Borgobrufa project as a tourism and restaurant model for the entire region. “Chef Impero with his cooking philosophy has managed to transfer our values to the catering sector, and there is a real sense of pride for his efforts to safeguard and relaunch small local companies”, says Andrea Sfascia. 

mini Staff cucina e ristorante Elementi Fine Dining

A  professional kitchen brigade and dining room staff

The announcement of the Michelin star acknowledges the entire team behind the restaurant. Alongside Chef Impero and restaurant manager Martina Pallante, the kitchen team comprises sous chef Daniele Binario, chefs Antonio Virgilio and Nicola Marzano, as well as the pastry chefs Pamela Fabrizi and Andrea Angeleri, while the dining room is helmed by the first maître and sommelier Domenico Scotto D'Antuono and the chef de rang Mariantonella Di Renzo.

Published in Food&Wine
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