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Norwegian is investing in the Italian market and introducing new Milan Bergamo and Bari routes in 2024.

Milan Bergamo and Bari are the new spearhead

The Copenhagen-Milan Bergamo route will commence operations at Orobic airport on 31 March, 2024, with four weekly frequencies (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday). Then, starting from 18 May flights will connect Stavanger in south-western Norway to Bergamo on Wednesdays and Saturdays, up to 30 September, 2024. Furthermore, from 2 June, the capital of Finland, Helsinki, will also be linked to Bergamo, with three weekly flights (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday). These new additions complement the resumption of flights from Tromso on January 16 and those from Oslo and Bergen starting on 28 March, 2024.

“Norway is a rapidly expanding market” 

“The announcement of Norwegian Air Shuttle's new routes boosts the airline's presence at Milan Bergamo airport and confirms the growing interest in the routes that connect northern Europe and, in particular, Norway, which is a rapidly expanding market,” said Emilio Bellingardi, general manager of Sacbo, and Giacomo Cattaneo, aviation commercial director.

Three Scandinavian countries linked to Bari

Norwegian, in a noteworthy development for Bari, just one year after its debut in Puglia with the connection from Oslo, is relaunching with two new routes from Stockholm and Copenhagen. These mean that three Scandinavian countries will be directly connected to the Apulian capital by the carrier. From 4 May to mid-November, the weekly flight between Bari and Stockholm will be operational on Saturdays, and from 22 June, the bi-weekly flight from Copenhagen (Wednesday and Saturday) will be added. The Oslo route will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Boosting inbound and outbound traffic

“With these new routes, we are ready to see an increase in demand towards Norwegian destinations in the next summer season. We look forward to welcoming customers on board our aircraft and having them travel to beautiful Bergamo, as well as transporting Italian passengers to Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Stavanger,- said Magnus Thome Maursund, CCO of Norwegian. -Likewise, we aim to encourage both incoming by having Apulians fly to Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo, and outgoing to Bari and Puglia.”

Published in Transportation

The Como Alpina Dolomites will open its doors on 7 December in Val Gardena, in the Alpe di Siusi.

A 60-rooom ski-in-ski-out resort 

The new Italian Dolomite property, a 60-room ski-in-ski-out resort with an annual opening, is the second property of the Como Hotels & Resorts Group in Italy. It joins the Tuscan Castello del Nero in the heart of Chianti, and is Como’s fifth in Europe and 18th globally.

A selection of F&B offerings

The property's F&B outlets will be divided into three areas: the bright and informal open-air Alpina Chalet, the intimate Mountain Restaurant, dedicated to healthy Como Shambhala Cuisine, and the relaxing lobby lounge for drinks, light snacks and afternoon tea. The Como Shambhala Retreat Spa, will offer an extensive holistic wellness programme and have a 22-metre indoor pool, a 7-metre panoramic outdoor pool, a sauna, relaxation areas, a fitness area and a beauty centre.

Published in Hospitality

The Hotel La Majun in the Italian Dolomites is offering 4 nights for the price of 3.

1,200 kilometres of ski slopes with 50 lifts

The Dolomites in the heart of the Italian Alps are a UNESCO World Heritage site, celebrated for their breathtaking landscapes, pristine slopes, and world-class skiing - which is some of the best in Europe. The Dolomiti Superski is the largest ski circuit in the world, boasting 1,200 kilometres of ski slopes and accessible by 50 lifts across 15 resorts. So, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Dolomites provide a skiing experience that's second to none. 

Ph Visciani

Special offers for Alpine adventures

From December through to March, Hotel La Majun in the quaint Ladin village of La Villa in the Alta Badia, is offering a series of special offers perfect for guests planning an alpine adventure. The 4 nights for the price of 3 offer includes; complimentary access to the hotel’s spa with a swimming pool, whirlpool, two Finnish saunas, steam bath, panoramic sauna, Kneipp path, hot tub and plunge pool; concierge service; complimentary ski pass collection and delivery service; complimentary access to storage facilities and boot warmers; homemade sweets and pastries each afternoon  and complimentary underground parking 

17 0687 la majun 07 10 22 visciani ph

Local specialties in the restaurant and wine tastings

The offer is valid over the following dates, subject to availability; 8-26 December, 6-11 January, 3-10 February, 2-31 March. The family-run La Majun radiates Alpine elegance and traditional Italian charm.  Guests can dine on the flavours of South Tyrol in the restaurant which features a menu of Ladin dishes and authentic Italian cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. La Majun’s sommelier also offers weekly wine tasting sessions. For those seeking adventure Hotel La Majun is perfectly placed to offer a range of activities for the winter season with access to the Dolomiti Superski complex right on its doorstep. For information: https://www.lamajun.it

Ph Credits: Visciani

Published in Hospitality

The Four Seasons San Domenico Palace is the Best Hotel 2023 for the Virtuoso agency network. 

The award was presented in Las Vegas

The Taormina hotel received the award in August in Las Vegas at the Luminaries, Legends and Leaders awards, which concluded Travel Week 2023.

“We are even more motivated to continue raising the bar”

Lorenzo Meraviglia, the general manager of The San Domenico PalaceLorenzo Meraviglia, the general manager of The San Domenico Palace

"We are honoured and delighted to receive this prestigious award," said general manager, Lorenzo Meraviglia. The San Domenico Palace reopened two years ago as a Four Seasons hotel, and I can honestly say it has been an incredible adventure. All this would not have been possible without the contribution of the owners and the Statuto Group. This award is the culmination of a lot of passion, commitment and hard work by the whole team, but it is only the beginning. Now we are even more motivated to continue raising the bar.”

Published in Hospitality

AI was a burning topic at the Global Travel Tech Thinktank, held as part of WiT Singapore 2023, with key industry leaders brainstorming the way forward for travel in the age of artificial intelligence. 

Tossing around ideas under the umbrella theme of The Possibilities & Responsibilities of Travel In The Age of AI and Tech the experts agreed that the upside is that AI could indeed unlock unprecedented levels of personalization, enhance customer experience, and streamline operations. But, they warned, there is also a downside that “poses hazards, could result in job displacement and bias in decision-making as well as giving rise to privacy concerns.” 

They concluded on an upbeat note saying that AI opens up many possibilities for travel. “The key is to start internally, start small, and try it out in collaboration with other industry players, governments, and regulators with the aim of ensuring data protection, ethical standards, and social responsibility.” 

Pamela McCourt FrancesconePamela McCourt Francescone
Executive Editor

Published in Editorial

On 4 November until 23 March 2024, LOT Polish Airlines, a member of Star Alliance, will launch new weekly Milan Malpensa-Rzeszów-Jasionka flights.

The new flights are available on www.lot.com

Every Saturday flights, operated with modern Embraer 170 aircraft,  will depart at 4.50 pm from Rzeszów and land in Milan at 7.05 pm with the return flight from Milan-Malpensa to Rzeszów departing at 7.45 pm and arriving at 9.45 pm. Tickets are available through all LOT Polish Airlines’ booking channels including www.lot.com. 

“Our flights provide many travel options”

“We are excited to add a Milan-Rzeszów nonstop service to our scheduled flight network," says Amit Ray, director Italy, DACH markets and India, and head of global corporate and strategic sales. “We are experiencing significant demand in Italy for travel to Poland. While our flights from Milan Malpensa, Venice and Rome to our global hub at Warsaw's Chopin Airport (WAW), as well as flights from Rome to Radom, already provide many travel options for our Italian customers, they can now easily explore the south-eastern part of Poland by flying nonstop from Milan to Rzeszów.”

Present in the sky since 1929, the Polish carrier is the 12th oldest airline worldwide, and is one of the most internationally recognisable Polish brands.

Published in Transportation

All the "goodness" of Merano’s Christmas markets can be found from 24 November until 8 January with the Emperor's Omelette, Michelin-starred chefs and cooking courses.  

A Michelin-starred chef in a chalet

How “good” Merano is... and even more so during the period of the Christmas markets which, from 24 November last up to 6 February. Don’t miss these gastronomic festivities with a Michelin-starred chef cooking in a chalet right in the centre of town and cookery courses to learn how to prepare the local dumplings as well as the famous Emperor's Omelette.  

Egon HeissEgon Heiss

Produce from Frangsburg Castle’s Soul Garden

Egon Heiss, the Michelin-starred chef of the gourmet restaurant Prezioso in Fragsburg Castle, takes over the Piazza della Rena square which is framed by historic buildings. In a chalet in the Christmas Village he will prepare dishes that sum up the spirit of his South Tyrolean cuisine in an Alpine-Mediterranean version. He uses ingredients that are regional, and often from the Fragsburg Soul Garden, a social project for disadvantaged young people in Labers, a hamlet of Merano, from which his team selects only the freshest vegetables, berries, and herbs.

Ph Credits: Alex Filz

Cookery courses in the Taste Academy

Visitors can put themselves to the test in the Taste Academy courses, learning how to make traditional South Tyrolean Christmas biscuits, Spätzle dumplings and Schlutzer, the local ravioli. While desserts range from the classic strudel to Strauben sweet pancakes. For information: www.taste-academy.it  

Published in MICE & Events

Pierfrancesco Carino, vice president international sales of ITA Airways, speaking at the Wtm, outlined the carrier’s plans for nearby and transcontinental markets. 

New Milan Linate-London City flights

"At Wtm we launched something new specifically for the British market. ITA Airways is launching three three daily flights from Milan Linate to London City with the new Airbus 220-100. This is a highly innovative product, in fact we are the only ones covering this route, and the frequency is designed specifically for London, Italian and international business travel.

4 daily flights connecting South America to Rome

In addition last week we introduced Rio de Janeiro, so we are strengthening our investment in South America where we now fly to São Paulo and Buenos Aires. ITA Airways now has four daily flights connecting South America and Rome. In addition we are focusing on North America, where we operate 122 weekly frequencies on six gateways. And we have announced the opening of the seventh destination with a frequency to Chicago, to be followed in May by Toronto in Canada.”

“Waiting for the green light from the European Commission”

The ITA Airways fleet currently counts 82 aircraft with plans to boost this to 96 planes next year, “with the focus on sustainability. The Lufthansa-ITA Airways agreement?  “At the moment we are waiting for the green light from the European Commission.” 

Published in Transportation

The Royal Palace of Caserta, in the Campania region close to Naples, is a grand royal residence set in a sprawling park. 

The world’s largest royal residence

The Royal Palace holds the distinction of being the world’s largest royal residence by volume and was historically owned by the Bourbons of Naples, with a brief period of residence by the Murat family. UNESCO recognised its significance in 1997, declaring it a World Heritage site alongside the Vanvitelli Aqueduct and the San Leucio complex. Commissioned by King Charles of Bourbon, who envisioned a palace that could rival the grandeur of Versailles, it served as a seat of government for the capital Naples and the entire kingdom.   

The Royal Palace of Caserta

The park is one of Europe’s most beautiful formal gardens

The Royal Palace of Caserta serves as the focal point of the entire composition, positioned on a central axis that connects and unifies the entire complex. Featuring four courtyards and spectacular vestibules, it exemplifies a monumental property designed for the sovereigns' residence and for the court. It also functioned as an administrative centre, drawing inspiration from the Escorial model in Spain. The park surrounding the palace was the last of the great European formal gardens, influenced by the creations of Versailles and 16th-century Roman and Tuscan villas. The English Garden within the park stands out as a significant and picturesque example of European landscape gardening.

reggia di caserta

Ticket prices start from €5

A notable physical link between Caserta’s Palace and the Royal Colony of San Leucio is the Carolino Aqueduct, which was an essential infrastructure not only for the palace and gardens but also for the ironworks, mills, and manufacturing industries along its route. The palace is accessible at all times and  hosts numerous events, with ticket prices starting from €5.

Published in Hospitality

CdsHotels is making significant moves for 2024/2025, with the Riva Marina Resort, a major development in Puglia.

Riva Marina will have 587 rooms and almost 2,200 beds

With its expansion the Riva Marina Resort in Carovigno is set to become Puglia's largest property, while the group is also repositioning of Pietrablu in Polignano a Mare as a 4-star superior hotel tailored for couples. “The project involves a Capex investment of approximately €15 million, with 25% funded by the Puglia region, for the construction of 131 rooms and 13 rooms allocated for staff, in addition to the existing 443,” states the company's commercial director, Ada Miraglia. This brings the total to 587 rooms and nearly 2,200 beds.

Riva Marina is scheduled to reopen in 2025

Further enhancements include the addition of a second 400 sqm swimming pool with an outdoor bar and solarium, along with another tennis court and a five-a-side football pitch. The reopening is scheduled for the beginning of 2025. “The idea is to have a property of sufficient size to host significant Mice events, previously held in Terrasini in Sicily," continues Ada Miraglia. Additionally, a proposal for a 1,500-seat conference hall is awaiting authorisation, complementing the existing spaces for 900 delegates.

Pietrablu is undergoing a restyling

Pietrablu is a resort managed under a rental contract. “We are currently finalising the estimates, with works expected to commence in November and conclude by March 2024,” says Ada Miraglia. Following the restyling, the hotel will have 23 Comfort rooms, 122 suites, 41 deluxe suites, and five deluxe top-view suites. Guests will enjoy B&B and half-board treatment, a bar, two restaurants, a private beach, swimming pool, sports fields, and expansive green areas as well as a 700 sqm spa.

France is the leading market followed by Germany

These investments follow a truly positive summer for the group which closed the season with a +17% turnover compared to both 2022 and 2019, on a like-for-like basis. The demand primarily comes from Northern and Central Italy, with French visitors representing 9% of arrivals this year, and surpassing Germany as the group's leading international market.

Published in Hospitality
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