Tuscan tourism down in August

According to the regional Confesercenti few tourists have booked facilities for the month of August. The decrease has been about 2.5%. The seaside sector has seen a 2% decrease, the countryside and art cities a 2.8% decrease and spas a decrease of 2.8%.

‘Posadas’ prjoect to increase Accommodations on Sardinia

The Regional Council of Sardinia approved a new programme by the name of ‘Posadas’ which calls for increased accommodation on the island. The programme plans to recover historic and valuable buildings and intergrate them into hospitality initiatives. ‘Posadas’ plans to create new accommodations with at least 1,200 beds and 600 rooms in 50 destinations throughout the province.

ANCI: 5.4 million euros for tourism and culture in national policy law

The 2007-2013 National Strategic Policy Law is providing cities with 5.4 million euros to invest in tourism and culture. This information comes from a study done by Cittalia – ANCI Ricerche on behalf of the Department of Public Functions. “The structural funds are destined to increase the attractiveness of the territory in terms of tourism to make it competitive through interventions that are more selective with respect to the past,” explained Alfredo Scalzo, the head of the research team. “Another chage in the EC strategic plan is the Inter-regional Operating Programme (POIN) for the development of ‘cultural, natural, and tourism attractors’ in Sicily, Calabria, Campania and Puglia.” According to Cittalia – the ANCI structure dedicated to the studies – the implementation of this programme, which is in the midst of the approval process, could transform southern Italy into a tourism centre of the Mediterranean that is able to compete at the international level.

Four Seasons plans to open Renaissance Palace in Florence

The Four Seasons Hotel chain is preparing on opening an extra deluxe hotel in Florence. The new hotel will go by the name of Palazzo della Gherardesca, a Renaissance treasure with a 4-hectare, centuries-old park located in the historic centre of the city. The strucuture has 116 rooms, each different from each other, 79 of which are ready to use. The Royal Suite costs around 13,000 euros. The Four Seasons in Florence also includes a villa, which can be used starting in the autumn as well as a restaurant, bar, fitness centre and swimming pool. This will be the Four Seasons’ second deluxe hotel in Milan.

Expo 2015 in Milan catalyst for 200 new hotels in the city

“A great opportunity for the Milanese entrepreneurial system,” was how Antonio Pastore, the Chairman of the Borsa Immobiliare, a special agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, defined Milan’s Expo 2015. It is estimated that over 200 hotels with 24,000 rooms will be built for this event. This would enlarge the Milano hotel sector by 50% as presently there are 430 hotels with 47,468 beds. The growth is necessary to host the number of expected visitors – between 15 and 25 million people during the four months of the event.

Rome plans to attract new tourist vists

The city of Rome is thinking of new ways to help attract visitors to the Italian capital. The plan prepared by the Capitoline municipal administration to resolve the fortunes of tourism in the city for the summer was presented last month. People under 30 would have discounts to various performances. This is a short term solution offered by the Vice Mayor, Mauro Cutrufo. “In September we will present medium to long-term projects that we will study to bring tourists back to Rome,” the Vice Mayor explained. “At the end of the summer season we will have to work with the government to include the promotion of Rome within national promotion while some measures will have to be taken for the weak American dollar,” remarked the Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno.

Venice Carnival 2009

The famous Venice Carnival celebrating the end of winter each year will take place next year Between February 13 and 24 2009. The theme of the upcoming festival will be “The Six Senses”. New for next year is the planned transformation of St. Mark’s Square into an open-air drawing room decorated with scenes that will recall Renaissance-style gardens. As an addition to the existing regular events and balls, visitors will be able to enjoy avant-garde street theatre shows. Tickets should be booked well in advance since both hotel and ball performances are mostly sold out. Click here for Venetian festival packages.

Naples Boats and Ferries

Speed Boat transportation started again for the season between between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno. The service is known as Metro del Mare. Rapid sea connections will be provided between 24 ports of the Campania coast,reaching a total of nine lines in 2008. The MM2 and MM3 lines will be running between Naples to Salerno, stopping at some of the ports of the Sorrento and Amalfi coast. The monohull and catamaran hydrofoils will be equipped this year with onboard bar services, and announcements will be made to passengers in Italian and English to indicate the next docking port. Brief tourism information will also be provided. An information call centre, info-points at the stops and on mobile phones, will further enhance the offer. Some of the Sea Metro Lines are complemented by road transportation services that make it possible, with one ticket, to take mini-excursions to the archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum, as well as to Mount Vesuvius. During the summertime shows at Villa Favorita in Herculaneum night time service will also be offered. Good news for tourists of limited budgets.

Siena Tuscany Farms in Trouble?

The popular holiday farms sector in the beautiful Province of Siena is experiencing a negative trend of decreased overnight stays. According to the estimates the decrease in overnights from 2007 to 2008 varies between 15 and 30%. Full occupancy is not expected during the upcoming long weekends of the summer and fall season. Up to now bookings have been around 60% of capacity. The trend among both foreign and Italian tourists is to stay for 2 or less nights as opposed to previous years when visitors usually stayed for at least a week. The clientele is changing due to the increased services of many European discounted airlines catering to travelers with preference for short European vacations. According to latest farm house holiday statistics, 20% of visitors are driving vacationers from the USA, 20% from Scandinavian countries, 20% from Belgium, and 10% from Germany, Holland and Great Britain. The remaining 30 percent represents domestic visitors. “Those farm houses that continue to prosper are the ones with loyal customers, thanks to their greater services and higher quality” commented Enrica Bartolini, Chairwoman of Agriturist Siena. Does this mean we can expect price reductions for 2009?

Andrea Palladio Anniversary

The Province of Vicenza is celebrating Andrea Palladio’s 500th year anniversary with guided visits to the major works of the great renaissance architect. It is an initiative that is being brought back for the 500th anniversary of the birth of the architect from Vicenza. Tours are organized every weekend between April 26th and November 2nd to teach visitors about the most influential person in Western architecture and to introduce more than 400 villas conceived and inspired by the artist in both Vicenza and the surrounding towns. It will also be possible to visit the underground areas of Palazzo Thiene in the historic town of Vicenza