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Rivista mensile - n° 1 gennaio-febbraio 2019 € 5,16 - Poste Italiane SpA - Sped. in abb. post. - D.L. 353/2003 (conv. in L. 27/02/04 n.46) - Art. 1, comma 1, DCB Milano. In caso di mancato recapito si restituisca al mittente che si impegna a pagare la relativa tassa







Gruppo UNA

Lloyd’s Baia Hotel



Roma Convention Center La Nuvola

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BOLOGNA CONGRESSI Discover the perfect modular system for your event. With 40 years of experience in the meeting industry, Bologna Congressi is the managing company of the Polo Congressuale of Bologna, the major conference venue in the city, offering a comprehensive consulting service and creative tailor made solutions to each individual customer. Polo Congressuale of Bologna is an International level venue consisting of three connected buildings may be used either together o separately and provides: â&#x20AC;˘ 4 conference halls seating from 300 to 4,000 people â&#x20AC;˘ 9 meeting rooms seating from 20 to 200 people Ćą $  VTP H[KLELWLRQ Ç&#x2021;RRU Bologna Congressi offers a full range of hospitality services, from organising transport and hotel accommodation through to a social programme helping guests to make full use of their free time in Bologna.


Bologna enjjoys a privileged geographical position at a natural cros ssroads within both Italy and Europe thanks to its International airport â&#x20AC;&#x153;Guglielmo Marconiâ&#x20AC;? offering direct Ç&#x2021;LJKWVWRPD DMRUQDWLRQDODQGLQWHUQDWLRQDOGHVWLQDWLRQV The central railway station and the modern Bologna High-Speed Rail station are strategic elements in the railway network and d together make up the most important rail LQWHUFRQQHFFWLRQVLQ,WDO\ High-speed trains serves major cities and allow to reach 0LODQLQRQO\ \RQHKRXUDQG5RPHLQWZRKRXUV Bologna is a modern European city where art and knowledge PHHW,WVPH HGLHYDOFLW\FHQWUHDPRQJWKHEHVWSUHVHUYHG LQWKHZRUOG GWKHROGHVW8QLYHUVLW\IRXQGHGLQDQGLWV unique culin nary traditions make Bologna the capital city of FXOWXUHDQGTXDOLW\

Bologna: where w your event takes centre stage Bologna Congressi S.p.A. /// Piazza Costituzione, 4/a /// 40128 Bologna Italy /// www.bolognacongressi.it /// tel. 39 051 6375111 /// events@bolognacongressi.it

01 2019

contents editorial

under the spotlight

A land of countless opportunities


Convention Bureau Italia: straight to the goal


Roma Convention Center La Nuvola: in continuous ascent 44

HOT TOPICS institutional comment 12

Italy, back to the future

focus on: Italian MICE 46

What’s new? the DMC’s corner 14

What’s cooking?

AIM Group International: delivering unique experiences56 CS Events: a dream partner58

meeting comment

Eventing Milan Convention Bureau: Milan, the place to be 60 16

Over the meeting rooms incentive comment Dear colleague, here’s a bit of extra info about Italy


Happy birthday Eventually!


Gruppo Peroni Eventi: a year at the top


J&TI Events reaches Milan 66 MZ Incentive: in a heartbeat68

the testimonial

Spaceships and Vikings: what’s Next?70

Sophia Loren: endless (Italian) charm

20 dossier: experiencing Italy

the conference centre Roma Convention Center La Nuvola: deep impact events 24

Experiential: the new keyword


A cinematic tour of Italy


the location Lloyd’s Baia Hotel: home of the glistening sea...


the hotel group Gruppo UNA: a new brand identity



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Italy: some advice A small survival guide


Italian cuisine & foreign guests




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01 2019

contents Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais: an enchanting Venetian villa 128

Italy and Italians Italian gestures: instructions for use


unusual Italy 110

Off the beaten track

Hotel Acquaviva del Garda: relax your business


Relais Villa Giulia: a trip back in time


Kolbe Hotel Rome: in the heart of ancient Rome


Romeo: far from commonplace136


glamorous Italy 116

The hotels of VIPs

La Venaria Reale: a setting fit for royalty


Nuvola Lavazza: under the Turin sky140 Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum: welcome to the legend 142


Antico Casale La Carovana: a return to ancient Rome 144 destinations Sardinia Mice Network: the beauty of a network


incentive resorts Almar Jesolo Resort & Spa: business & wellness

Chervò Golf Hotel Spa & Resort San Vigilio: tailor-made events148

chains and clubs To Florence Hotels: relive the Florentine Renaissance 124

Hotel Ambasciatori Luxury Resort: a 360-degree experience150 Vivosa Apulia Resort: eco-resort in Salento



special dossier

Villa Ca’ Vendri: buzzword: beauty





Discovering Puglia


EDIMAN WORKSHOPS BUY MICE ROMA 15 May 2019 Villa Miani, Rome

BUY MICE MILANO October 2019

FULL CONTACT PCO 10-12 March 2019 Excelsior Palace Hotel, Rapallo

FULL CONTACT MEETING PLANNER 1 30 May – 1 June 2019 Palace Hotel, Milano Marittima (Ra)


FULL CONTACT DISCOVER ITALY 20-22 October 2019 Hilton Sorrento Palace, Sorrento (Na)

FULL CONTACT INCENTIVE DESTINATIONS 20-22 October 2019 Hilton Sorrento Palace, Sorrento (Na)


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colophon President: Marco Biamonti Communication and marketing manager: Lorenzo Bini Ediman Srl Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan Phone number + (r.a.) Fax number + info@ediman.it Web site Ediman: www.ediman.it Web site Meeting e Congressi: www.meetingecongressi.com Cap.soc. € 93,600 i.v. Editorial staff (direct number): + jessica.presa@ediman.it Subscriptions: Anna Esposito Phone + – anna.esposito@ediman.it

Ediman Publications: • Meeting e Congressi • Guida Meeting e Congressi • Guida ai Congressi Medico Scientifici Ediman Workshops: • Buy Mice Milano / Buy Mice Roma • Full Contact Discover Italy • Full Contact Exclusive Venues • Full Contact Incentive Destinations • Full Contact Meeting Planner • Full Contact Pco


Consultation tool for executives, industries, associations, professional associations, public relations and business consulting agencies, advertising agencies, trade unions, political parties, international entities, travel agencies, etc. Price per copy: € 5,16 + p&p MANAGING EDITOR Marco Biamonti EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Simona P.K. Daviddi TECHNICAL COORDINATOR Jessica A. Presa – jessica.presa@ediman.it ART DIRECTOR & GRAPHICS Massimo Bernardi CONTRIBUTORS Antonella Andretta, Alessandra Boiardi, Teresa Chiodo, Alessandra Favaro, Carlotta Ferrari, Emanuela Giordano, Cristina Maccarrone, Rodolfo Musco, Sabrina Piacenza, Lorenzo Pignatti, L. Francesca Rebonato, Nicoletta Toffano GRAPHIC DESIGN Silvia Ferri – www.madeweb.it On the cover – Illustration by Angelo Siviglia (ph Immortaltruth at English Wikipedia) Photolithograph & Prints: CNS srl - Treviglio (Bg) Postal subscription - Legislative Decree 353/2003 (converted into Law 27/02/04 No. 46) – Art. 1, paragraph 1, DCB Milano, Registered with the Court of Milan No. 177 of 27/04/1973 Current issue circulation: 11,000 copies

Senior Sales Manager & Corporate Clients: Graziella Corbari – graziella.corbari@ediman.it

Advertising department: Jessica A. Presa – jessica.presa@ediman.it


CAMPANIA: Lina Cappiello Phone + Mob. +39.339.66.97.612 lina.cappiello@ediman.it

MILAN, ALTO ADIGE, FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA: Graziella Corbari EDIMAN - Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan Phone + - Fax + graziella.corbari@ediman.it MILAN, MANTUA, EMILIA ROMAGNA, MARCHE: Antonella Madotto EDIMAN - Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan Phone - Fax antonella.madotto@ediman.it MILAN, BERGAMO, BRESCIA, VENETO, TRENTINO: Patrizia Maggi EDIMAN - Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan Phone + - Fax + patrizia.maggi@ediman.it MILAN, COMO, CREMONA, LODI, PAVIA, SONDRIO, VARESE, LIGURIA, PIEDMONT, VALLE D’AOSTA: Angela Maspero EDIMAN - Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan Phone + - Fax + angela.maspero@ediman.it ROME, RIETI, VITERBO, ABRUZZO: Mizar sas Fiorella Ferrante Mob. +39.393.94.38.033 - Phone + fiorella.ferrante@ediman.it Emiliano Palmieri Mob. +39.338.46.76.920 - Phone + emiliano.palmieri@ediman.it ROME, FROSINONE, LATINA: Mariaelena Barnaba Via Arezzo, 24 – 00161 Rome Mob. +39.348.42.84.381 - mariaelena.barnaba@ediman.it

YEAR 47° - Nr. 1 January-February 2019 Yearly subscription € 150,00 (Abroad € 200,00) The subscription includes also the “GUIDA” delle Sedi Congressuali (Yearly guide to the congress venues). The magazine is sent directly to the subscriptors and is not sold in kiosks.

TUSCANY, UMBRIA: Guido Zaccagnini Mob. +39.340.22.68.473 - guido.zaccagnini@ediman.it Vincenzo Morreale Mob. +39.348.51.06.384 - vincenzo.morreale@ediman.it

BASILICATA, CALABRIA, PUGLIA: Vito Di Savino Mob. +39.347.78.03.446 vito.disavino@ediman.it SICILY: Promoservice – Vincenzo Morreale Via Lancia di Brolo, 167 - 90145 Palermo Phone/Fax + - Mob. +39.348.51.06.384 vincenzo.morreale@ediman.it SARDINIA: Pamela Perone Via Baunei, 12 - 09044 Quartucciu (Ca) Mob. +39.347.05.19.798 pamela.perone@ediman.it

ABROAD AUSTRIA, CROATIA, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, MONTENEGRO, MONACO, CZECH REPUBLIC, SERBIA, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, TURKEY: Graziella Corbari EDIMAN - Via Ripamonti, 89 20141 Milan Phone + Fax + graziella.corbari@ediman.it BELGIUM, CYPRUS, MALTA, PORTUGAL, SWISS, NORTHERN AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST: Antonella Madotto EDIMAN - Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan Phone + - Fax + antonella.madotto@ediman.it

The rights to the images published in this issue of Meeting e Congressi were acquired from Fotolia (https://it.fotolia.com) or granted free of charge by the institutions and facilities to which they refer. In all other cases, Ediman Srl has made every effort to trace the copyright holders, but his has not always been successful. Those who believe they can claim the rights relating to images published are invited to contact Ediman Srl. Legislative Decree 196/2003 - Data protection code - Information Ediman Srl would like to inform readers and subscribers of Meeting e Congressi that their personal data is used to deliver the magazine. The data is processed electronically and, pursuant to Art. 13 of Law 675/96, may be consulted, changed, updated or deleted. Providing your data is optional; however, we will be unable to send you the magazine without it. Your data may be used to send printed material connected with the activities of Ediman Srl. Readers and subscribers may exercise their rights pursuant to Art. 13 at any time and completely free of charge by contacting the data controller directly: Ediman Srl, Via Ripamonti, 89 - 20141 Milan, Italy.

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Via Massimiliano Massimo, 1 - 00144 - Rome ITALY t +39 06 54602857 / 45422578 - f +39 06 87154720 auditorium.it info@auditoriumdelmassimo.it

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YOUR ASSOCIATION WILL REAP THE BENEFITS If you organise international meetings and events for an association then you need to be at Association Day, 20 May 2019. It’s fun, friendly and a treasure trove of valuable information. Learn how to solve challenges faced by associations across all industry sectors. Hear from top speakers, get inspired and connect with your tribe! Then, stay on for IMEX where you’ll meet with destinations, venues and suppliers to gather ideas for your future events.

Register your interest at: imex-frankfurt.com/whatson/association-day

editorial Many have discovered the heritage of venues and skills which makes the “Belpaese” a top destination for successful international events. And this heritage increases and improves constantly, giving us the chance to present, even this year, an incomparable wealth of facilities, destinations and services

MARCO BIAMONTI Managing editor marco.biamonti@ediman.it

A land of countless opportunities t was a correct intuition to publish – last year – an issue of our magazine in English, making it available to the growing number of foreign event planners interested in closely following the evolution of the Mice industry in Italy. The appreciation and recognition were very encouraging.


variety of opportunities – which in many cases can be defined as unique in the world – that allow the realization of unforgettable events, but will also discover many new realities that have developed in recent times in different territories of the country.

Many have discovered the heritage of venues and skills – often unknown – which makes the “Belpaese” a top destination for successful international events. And this heritage increases and improves constantly, giving us the chance to present, even this year, an incomparable wealth of facilities, destinations and services.

A network with increasingly tight and solid meshes, able to provide effective and creative solutions even to the most demanding customer. Enjoy the reading!

Leafing through the magazine the reader will receive not only the tangible evidence of the

“Meeting e Congressi” is the magazine of reference for the Italian meeting industry. Published by Ediman since 1973, it has been helping professionals (agencies, companies, associations) keep up with everything that is new in our world for forty-six years. Supporting “Meeting e Congressi” is the website MeetingeCongressi.com that serves as the main venue finder for Italian conference locations. Ediman was also one of the first in the world to organise sector-specific workshops, which still enjoy a highquality reputation today.

MC | 01 2019 | 9

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naturally exciting

di Genova

PORTO ANTICO Genoa Conference Center

sea as common thread

GENOVA Genoa surprises you with something different

T gether,r To we make the difference between an ordinary meeting and a truly

www.cbgenova.it info f @cbgenova.it

www.acquariodigenova.it eventi@costaedutainment.it

www.centrocongressigenova.it centrocongressi@portoantico.it


memorable event

HOT TOPICS institutional comment

Italy, back to the future I love Italy and my job! I believe that to endorse beauty is a blessing, and to promote where you live is a privilege


CARLOTTA FERRARI President of Convention Bureau Italia c.ferrari@conventionbureau.it

t may not be easy to promote the country you love. But when you achieve this objective, you have a definite advantage, because beauty, especially when it’s close at hand “is the promise of happiness” (Stendhal). Apropos the above, I’d like to tell you a story that promises a happy ending! It all began in 2014, when together with a group of colleagues I decided to make an active contribution to what could be described as the organization of beauty! Let me explain. As readers of this magazine, we are aware of the features needed to promote or sell a product (in this particular case, a destination). Planning, organizing and coordinating are our three core principles, three aspects without which beauty, as a sales aspect per se, would not suffice. We found ourselves working in a context in which for different reasons, mainly political, those who had been entrusted with the task of planning and coordinating were not doing their job properly, so because we all believe in the principle of “to each his own task”, we decided to “turn the tables”. We therefore embarked on a bottom-up process, in which we decided to take on a public role and put our resources, commitment

and boundless enthusiasm at the disposal of a common project, which would benefit individual businesses and the industry as a whole. The Convention Bureau Italia was established thanks to the initiative of a group of people, friends, colleagues, companies and competitors. Shortly after its inception it became a consortium boasting 100 members representing more than 2,000 businesses across Italy. Cities, congress hubs, hotel chains and service companies are recognized and organised under one single umbrella. We agreed that waiting for approval from the political world was no longer an option, as we could no longer rely on uncertain governance, and couldn’t miss the opportunities that were close at hand. The organisational skills for which we Italians are renowned, and the extraordinary energy that enables us to find solutions by overcoming obstacles, is part of our DNA – and we won. We are now a strong entity; a large community of individuals that shares projects and successes. We are recognised by the political world, we collaborate with our institutional representatives and, every year, we bring home new results. But this wasn’t exactly the happy ending I mentioned above. After months of planning, organizing and coordinating, we were finally able to validate beauty, in the broadest sense of the term, which only Italy is able to convey.

Our clients don’t just purchase our services. They choose us because they want to know how we live, to experience our lifestyle, and, they want to feel a part of our home. This desire resulted in the birth of “Italy at hand”, an integrated communications campaign, where the focal point is hands; hands that typify the essence of Italy throughout the world; hands as a means of communication; hands that represent a lifestyle that everyone would like to experience, at least once. “Italy at hand”has been transformed into a film with a series of episodes featuring major Italian cities, and this has resulted in a series of coordinated events demonstrating the professionalism of our industry. We were guests at Bologna and hoped to amaze with a new, fresh, authentic destination, a hive of world-class professionals. In addition to meeting top-level professionals, I was able to personally experience enormously positive changes and a new approach to the market. The Italian operators demonstrated their professionalism, and the true essence of Italy was conveyed. The happy ending happened when the event’s top client confirmed that it had all been worthwhile. This is probably the first time that I’m writing to celebrate our success, rather than using an important medium to speak out and criticise the political world demanding change; in some way, this too is part of the happy ending.

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HOT TOPICS the DMC’s corner

What’s cooking? …or as we’re used to say in Italy “What’s boiling in the pot?” (why do we always bring it back to food?!�)


LORENZO PIGNATTI President of TerraEvents lorenzo.pignatti@terraevents.com

his is one of the most common questions we’re asked by our foreign clients who are eager to know what’s hot, what’s new, what’s cool in our country, to eventually include some elements in an event they’re planning or to have an inspiration for a new program. Within the four key industries of the so-called “made in Italy” (fashion, food, design, tourism) the revenues generated from the tourism industry in the last 10 years are 5% higher than the exports of food industry, 25% higher than exports of fashion industry and almost 4 times the value of the exports of furniture. Having such a crucial role in our country’s economy, it goes without saying that the tourism industry must be dynamic, reinvent itself continuously and attract investments to maintain and possibly improve its attractiveness. I wish I could share with you the opening of a hotel with 1,000 rooms and massive conference space located right in the heart of one of our cities of art; or maybe a new event space facing the Grand Canal where you can dance and play loud music till 4.00 am; or why not a new large street being open

in Amalfi coast to allow the passage of large coaches, or… I could go on and on but this will (luckily) never happen because of our historical and cultural heritage that imposes strict limits to what can and can’t be done in our country. Nevertheless there are constantly relevant news and concrete improvements in the tourism industry that will help us (DMCs in particular) delivering unique experiences and a higher added value to your programs. The topics that are hot in Italy these days are: 1. The unexpected, but indeed meaningful, acquisition of Belmond by LVMH. A 2,6 billion dollars deal that adds to Mr. Bernard Aranult’s group (Luis Vuitton, Dior, De Beers, Dom Perignon are some of the controlled brands) more than 40 hotels – 8 of which are in Italy – and the famous Venice-Simplon Orient Express. LVMH was already an active investor in the hospitality industry owning the six Bulgari branded hotels and the luxury properties of Cheval Blanc, but no one was expecting such a bold move. 2. This is flying a bit under the radar, but Matera (a breathtaking jewelcity in Basilicata, in the southern part of Italy) is Europe’s Culture Capital for 2019 and there are a multitude of events happening in & around the city that could deliver an incredible added value to planners looking for cultural integration in their programs. 3. ENIT, The Italian National Tourism

Board is continuing its process of renovation with a new president, Giorgio Palmucci, an esteemed professional coming from the hospitality industry (TH Resorts) that I believe is the right person to revamp our national board, to ensure a more coordinated and effective international visibility and promotion of our destination. 4. 2026 Winter Olympics – What connects Cortina d’Ampezzo (the jewel of Dolomites) the most renowned ski resort in Italy located just less that two hours drive north of Venice and Milan (the fashion capital) located three hours drive west of Venice? Nothing really, but the Italian creativity can’t be beaten so the Italian government is presenting to the CIO (International Olympic Committee) a dossier with Cortina and Milan as a split destination to host 2026 Winter Olympics. Logistically a nightmare I would say, but indeed a very brave idea and a not to be missed opportunity for our country. There would be more to share, starting from the excellent work being done by the Italian Convention Bureau, or the long expected birth of Rome & Lazio Convention Bureau, the opening of new interesting hotel concepts like Le Massif in Courmayeur (by IHC) but I hope the key message is clear: Italy is a vibrant destination that keeps investing and innovating to maintain and improve its leadership in the tourism industry.

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HOT TOPICS meeting comment

Over the meeting rooms Apart from the time spent in meeting rooms, it is useful to propose experiences in the territory to increase the interest and the involvement of conventioneers


RODOLFO MUSCO publicist and meeting architect CMP, CMM certificate, CME musco@motivationandevents.com

e know that 85% percent of conferences are business events of different types and last on average two days. But we also know that the average time spent in meeting rooms is three sessions of four hours each, for a total of twelve hours, including time for coffee breaks. We consider that many conferences require that most participants travel to reach the meeting place and return to where they reside and operate. Obviously it is not possible to program arrivals and departures perfectly synchronized with the travel times, so that the time that exceeds the hours in the hall is normally at least 10 hours, not including the time necessary for sleep and preparing for the day. For international conferences, jet lag travel and recovery times are much longer, so it is normal to spend many hours in the location, not to mention that many congress participants take the opportunity to “discover” the territory surrounding the venue. Usually those who take care of the management of on-site conventions organize guided tours of historic buildings, monuments and museums. But this is essentially

for tourists who choose the destination to go and “buy” the services. Conferences, on the other hand, go to the places chosen by the client of the event. How do we better prepare them to incorporate the essential elements that are communicated to them during the meeting, and, above all, to internalize the new knowledge? Emotions play an important role in this process. To involve the emotions, there is a need for short messages with photos or drawings related to the territory of the conference to be sent before the event, and the opportunity for conventioneers to “discover” history, culture and humanity in small sites and geographical scenarios not far from the meeting centre. Italy offers many opportunities. There are about 8,000 municipalities and many villages each different from the others. This is the heritage of many cultural groups that have crossed the Italian peninsula in past centuries, when the trips required stops every 30 to 50 kilometres, mainly on hilly sites or in areas protected by defensive walls. Almost all the ancient and medieval villages are inhabited by people who have handed down the habits of a healthy life, “slow” and sincerely open to neighbours and visitors. The inhabitants enjoy wearing their traditional costumes if invited to do so, and they often offer visitors sweets, finger food and drinks – including wine – of their

traditions. All the conventioneers who make this experience – almost always at no cost – are pleasantly surprised, and frequently return to places with their families as tourists. There is another element that can make a conference memorable in Italy: all the municipalities have a patron saint and celebrate him/ her once a year. This happens essentially on Sunday. But organizing the conference so that the part of work ends on Friday or Saturday can allow participants to enjoy the opportunities of these celebrations. The streets of the town centre and the main square are filled with rides, booths offering street food that is characteristic of the region, street artists who enjoy engaging visitors, and more. Many patronal festivals also include public ceremonies, processions, fireworks and convivial moments. Even if local authorities tend nowadays to celebrate the patron saint on Sunday to avoid interruptions of routine work during the week, in some municipalities they continue to celebrate the festival on weekdays. For example, the day I am writing this article, there is a patronal feast in six municipalities in Northern Italy, one in Central Italy and two in Southern Italy. Surprise, curiosity, positive “psychological regression” to the age of development, guaranteed fun. All as an added value of the meeting.

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233 Comfortable Rooms

Congress Centre up to 1.500 Seats

Hotel Parchi del Garda • Congress Centre Lago di Garda Lazise, Verona • Italy Tel. +39 045 6499640 congress@hpdg.it www.hotelparchidelgarda.it

Excellent Italian Taste


HOT TOPICS incentive comment

Dear colleague, here’s a bit o Visiting Italy will put you face to face with certain “cultural” features that could confuse you a bit: here are ten very short tips to help you smoothly organise an event in the country


LUCA CORSI Sponsorship & events manager Folletto Division of Vorwerk Italia luca.corsi@folletto.it

taly is among the top five countries in the world in the ranking of Mice destinations. A report by ENIT (Italian National Tourism Agency) which was produced by crossing data from the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) with that of the Bank of Italy, Federcongressi and ICCA confirms this. It is therefore very likely that a substantial number of our readers are considering Italy as the destination for an upcoming event. Excellent choice, colleagues! Italy is a wonderful country, has produced pages and pages of the history of Western civilisation, is a real treasure chest of artistic masterpieces, has striking landscapes, a unique biodiversity, an incomparable variety of food and wine, excellent facilities entirely dedicated to Mice hospitality and so on... I could go on for hours with an endless list of features any other country in the world would envy. But everyone knows all this, and

repeating it for the umpteenth time seems pointless. Rather, you should know that visiting Italy will force you to face certain “cultural” considerations that might confuse you a bit... From colleague to colleague, here are ten short tips to help your event in Italy go smoothly. 1 Keep calm and be Italian. Try to be “Italian” and act like the locals: to enjoy a real Italian experience, take everything slowly (like the queues at museum ticket offices) and pursue the truest Italy, which is almost never the “mustsees” mentioned in tourist guides or Visitors Bureau brochures, but the alleys, side streets, markets, “pizzicagnoli” (shops selling meats, cheeses or other typical foodstuffs of the area). Here you can touch handmade products and local food and wine delicacies, or meet artists and street musicians, catching glimpses of things you never would have even imagined.

2 Learn a few words in Italian. Most people know that few Italians speak foreign languages, so don’t count on English being a universal language in Italy. Instead, make sure you grab one of those old dictionaries from the pre-internet era (they still sell them in airports). 3 Extra gigs. Do you want to be online wherever you are? Make sure you have enough gigabytes with your smartphone data plan, because free Wi-Fi is still a rarity here in Italy. 4 Add some sports to your events. Cycle tourism, hiking and trekking, water sports (canoeing, sailing, water skiing)... Italy isn’t just art history and museum itineraries. On the contrary, it is also spectacular seen from a river, from the coast or from a mountain path. If you’d like to add a different touch to your event, leave the classic cultural itineraries behind and venture into more sporty

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HOT TOPICS incentive comment

t of extra info about Italy

experiences. 5 Pay attention to getting around. If you’re not sure when rush hour is, you’ll risk getting stuck in traffic much longer than you expected. By train, on the other hand, you definitely run the risk of delays (more so on shorter routes, the so-called Regional trains, than on high-speed routes), while getting your checked luggage at the airport is often like playing Russian roulette. In short, plan any travel ahead and ask for an estimate of the travel time to your destination (Google maps is not infallible). 6 Taxis must be booked. Use an app, book by phone or ask a concierge to do it for you; if you need a taxi, always book it. Never try to stop a taxi with a whistle like in New York or by waving your hand: nobody will notice you. This is not because Italian taxi drivers aren’t paying attention or want to be mean. They simply aren’t allowed to take on customers without a booking

or outside designated areas. 7 Shops close early. The “24/7 shopping mall” is not an Italian concept. And this not only applies to night-time (shops generally close at 7.30 pm, except in the big cities), but also the afternoon: both big and small shops in many areas of Italy close from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm for “siesta”. 8 This is also true for restaurants... This amazes many of my colleagues, but it is an unchanging constant, so it’s best you know in advance. Italian restaurants hardly ever open before 7.00 pm and the kitchen almost always closes around 10.30 pm. The same goes for lunch: from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Those who are used to eating at different times can enjoy an aperitif to keep hunger at bay (consider that many places offer snacks amounting to dinner during happy hour), or can simply fast for a day (it’s also said to be good for your health).

9 Bread and pasta. If you don’t want to attract attention when at the table, never eat pasta with bread: bread only accompanies starters and main courses without pasta. You can make an exception for the “scarpetta” (literally “little shoe”), using a piece of bread to soak up all the sauce from a pasta or soup dish, but it isn’t very refined (and should be avoided in formal settings). 10 Frappuccino, what’s that? I regret to announce that frappuccinos don’t exist in Italy (there’s only one Starbucks, in Milan). Settle for a cappuccino (believe me, they are excellent here). But similar to how eating pasta with bread is unacceptable, never order a cappuccino at lunch. If you do, the waiter will look at you like you’re crazy (cappuccinos are only consumed at breakfast, accompanied by a croissant).

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HOT TOPICS the testimonial

sophia loren

Sophia: endless (Italian) charm Sophia Loren is an icon and has long epitomised Italian glamour throughout the world. She never misses a chance to promote her love for Italy publicly



t’s well known that Italians enjoy expressing their opinions about everything including, first and foremost, politics and football. But there are three things that they all agree on: pasta, the World Cup and Sophia Loren. For Italians (and not only for them) Sophia Loren is a timeless icon. Beautiful at every age, she is renowned for her typically Neapolitan verve. She was born in Rome in 1934, but grew up in Pozzuoli, in the province

of Naples, and her humble beginnings helped her become internationally endeared. Through her characters Italy and the Italians were portrayed, and today, although she is over 80, she is not tired of acting as a worldwide ambassadress for Italy. «We Italians don’t have any faults», she joked during a recent interview. «We are cheerful; extremely cheerful, and affectionate. We take life as it comes, and as a result, we’re laid back and funny. However, when we need to be serious, we become extremely serious». Loren encapsulated this image of Italy to perfection by interpreting characters that became iconic throughout her career, including Cesira in “La Ciociara” (“Two Women”), for which she won an Oscar as best actress in 1962. This was the first time that an Oscar had been awarded to a foreign actress. A STAR IS BORN The life of Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone – her real name – could be the plot from a movie; at times dramatic, and at others romantic, but always full of excitement, like a fairytale. Her mother, Romilda Villani, was a beautiful blonde who won a Greta Garbo look-alike contest. «I used to pray to God that she wouldn’t fetch me from school. Her unusual, voluptuous beauty embarrassed me», said Loren about her mother. Villani was seduced by Riccardo Scicolone, a young aristocratic cad, who gave his daughter Sophia his surname, but refused to marry her mother, condemning both of them to a life of poverty. The Second World War increased their poverty. «I was really skinny as we were very poor and didn’t manage to eat every day – my nickname at school was Sofia Stuzzicadenti – Sofia Toothpick», explains Loren. The turning point came when she was 15 and entered the Miss Italia beauty pageant, winning the title of Miss Eleganza – a substitute title invented especially for her, because she was considered too provocative to win outright. Her career as an actress then took off, due, in part, to her encounter with film producer Carlo Ponti. Ponti, who was twenty-two years her senior, became her

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HOT TOPICS sophia loren

in. In 1962, she won an Oscar as the Best Lead Actress for “Two Women”, De Sica’s iconic, dramatic movie based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, “La Ciociara”. The film also earned her a Golden Palm in Cannes, a BAFTA, a David di Donatello award and a Silver Ribbon. An interesting fact: when she was nominated for an Oscar in 1962, she didn’t go to the ceremony to

Born Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone, Sophia Loren is recognised by the Guinness Book World Record as Italy’s most awarded actress and she is still considered one of the most charming Italian artists


husband and life companion. The two of them were forced to leave Italy to avoid charges of bigamy. Ponti was married, and at that time, divorce in Italy was illegal. «As a little girl in Pozzuoli, during the War, l was really a nobody. I ended up in Rome by chance. It wasn’t easy to understand my potential, what I wanted to do, or how I could honour my upbringing. I dithered around … However, what I do remember is that I wrote “Sofia Scicolone will become a famous actress” on the first page of my third grade exercise book. It was my dream. I went to Rome with my mother when I was 15 because, otherwise, we wouldn’t have survived. From then on I became positive about everything. And it always worked», says the actress who had changed her name to make it more international, replacing the f of Sofia with ph and choosing Loren as her surname. One film followed another, in both Italy and Hollywood, and Loren became the personification of provocative Italian beauty. The accolades began pouring

the testimonial

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HOT TOPICS the testimonial

sophia loren

RISING THROUGH THE STAR SYSTEM One year after winning the Oscar, Loren starred in “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, which won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Film in 1965. She was also awarded a David di Donatello as best lead actress. Another Academy Award nomination as best lead actress followed in 1964. Her second Oscar – this time a career award – arrived in 1991, together with a French Legion of Honour, the same year that People Magazine included her in their list of the most beautiful women in the world; she was 57 years old. In


collect her statue. «It remains the most representative film of my career, the winner of an Academy Award that I didn’t collect, because I was too emotional. If I had lost, I would have fainted. If had I won, I also would have fainted», she says in her recent autobiography “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life”. This is the essential Sophia Loren, authentic, explosive and still capable of getting excited. «It’s a part of myself that I wouldn’t change, even though, at times, it makes me suffer. It’s not a question of an emotional limitation, but a need to always give my best, to be passionate, to live».

1999, the American Film Institute ranked her 21st among the greatest stars in the history of cinema. Today, aged 84, the famous actress, who is recognised by the Guinness Book World Record as Italy’s most awarded actress, is engaged in film projects and her allure shows no sign of dimming.


THE FACE OF ITALIAN IDENTITY Sophia Loren doesn’t only do films. The actress’s name is linked to important Made in Italy brands and events that have kept the flag flying for Italy. In 2007, aged 72, Loren posed for a Pirelli calendar, a celebratory symbol of female beauty and magnificent auteur photography, and in 2006, she carried the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony for the Turin Winter Olympics. In addition, since 2003, she has acted as “godmother” of the MSC Cruises fleet. In keeping with tradition, she is entrusted with the task of launching the liners by cracking a bottle of champagne over the bow. In June 2018, Loren was once again called upon to christen the company’s newest ship, MSC Seaview. She also promoted a lipstick for Dolce & Gabbana, and in 2015, aged 81, starred in one of their advertising campaigns for the Maison’s new perfume, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore with a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Lastly, one of Loren’s most famous quotes pays tribute to everything associated with Italy. «Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti. A woman who knows how to cook proper pasta enjoys a status that, more than anything else, withstands the test of time».

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Natural Splendor, Timeless Meeting & Events in Tuscany. A medieval village, 1,100 hectares of sun and nature between Florence and Volterra: Toscana Resort Castelfalfi offers a 5-star hospitality and MICE philosophy in a unforgettable panorama. Luxurious rooms and suites in the Hotel Il Castelfalfi and La Tabaccaia. Modern meeting and event spaces. Three restaurants offering a refined, Tuscan cuisine. A 1,000-square meters Spa and the largest Golf Course in Tuscany â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 27 holes for emotions beyond compare. Welcome to Castelfalfi.

Book now +39 0571 892000 | info@castelfalfi.it | www.castelfalfi.com Castelfalfi, 50050 Montaione (FI), Italy

HOT TOPICS The conference centre

The conference centre: Roma Convention Center La Nuvola

Deep impact events TERESA CHIODO


n 29th October 2016, the Roma Convention Center La Nuvola was presented to the international market as a space for conventions and major events, in front of an audience of ambassadors, buyers, tour operators and journalists from all over the world. On 29th October 2018, the centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second birthday, La Nuvola welcomed more than 2,000 neurologists

for the third day of the Italian Society of Neurology Congress. The venue continues to evolve and redefine the services and facilities it offers, providing an exceptional backdrop for making professional contacts, launching international collaborations and generally doing business: a fantastic opportunity for Rome and for Italy as a whole, thanks to the potential for

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HOT TOPICS The conference centre

64 events, including conferences and corporate engagements for more than 400,000 visitors. These are just some of the key figures which reflect the excellent results achieved in just two years by La Nuvola, the conference centre owned by EUR S.p.A. and managed within the congress industry market by its Roma Convention Group subsidiary

development it offers, which serves to attract major investments. The decision of the International Bar Association to hold its annual conference – one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world – at La Nuvola proved to be the real litmus test in terms of the success of the venue, with the IBA seeing Rome as a destination that is really coming to the fore with regard to tourism within the conference industry and business tourism more generally. As one of the largest and most powerful professional associations in the world (in this case, of lawyers), the decision of the IBA to choose Rome and La Nuvola made the conference the venue’s most attended event of all time, transforming the location and Rome as a whole into a hub of international networking. Indeed, the IBA event can be viewed as the first major engagement to hold global weight, and is the fruit of the winning strategy employed to see off the competition from leading and wellestablished congress destinations, including

St. Petersburg, Milan and Barcelona. This important result not only benefits the international image of Rome and of the Eur conference centre, but also serves to increase the GDP both of the region and of its citizens, particularly those working in the hotel, transport and commerce sectors, creating more than 16 million spin-off activities for the city. The ultimate end goal is to deliver constant stimulation and support to the congress system, ensuring that the facilities and services provided are always able to meet the needs of businessorientated customers, with a view to making Rome one of the leading conference destinations in the world, alongside London, Paris, Vienna, Shanghai and Las Vegas, through a strategy based on the marketing and promotion of the RCC brand. This avalanche of lawyers – to borrow the words of IBA President Martin Šolc for the purpose of this aside – stayed in Rome in 4,000 reserved rooms (with a total of 20,000 overnight stays) in luxury hotels in the historical centre of the city, in Via Veneto

The structure of the Roma Convention Center is divided into three main elements that integrate and intermingle with one another, creating a system based on each of their specific features and marrying functionality and appeal: La Teca, La Nuvola and La Lama

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HOT TOPICS The conference centre


The Auditorium is located inside La Nuvola and is a functional and technologically advanced space, covered with approximately 14,000 square metres of micro-perforated fibreglass material; inside, 4,725 panels of American cherry wood were used to cover the interior space, in order to ensure a perfect acoustics

and in the Eur; attendees also experienced the entertainment Rome has to offer, with dozens of social events organised including meals in Michelin-starred restaurants, terraces with stunning views and luxury locations, all set against the extraordinary backdrop provided by the city’s artistic heritage: from the Baths of Diocletian and Trajan’s Market to the Bramante Cloisters and the many noble mansions and palaces dotted across the city. The visit of the IBA to the conference centre

served as an important test, enabling ambitious projections to be made: the goal is to reach over 180 days of occupancy within the next year. La Nuvola has served as the stage for a number of spectacular brand experiences for companies of international prominence, from a host of sectors including automotive, energy, insurance, banking, telephony and transport. It was the venue selected as the backdrop for the launch of the new model of the Ferrari Portofino, and Asus also chose La Nuvola for the European launch of its flagship product, holding a major convention for international buyers, with a performance from Bob Sinclair in the Nuvola forum as the climax of the event. Other large and influential companies such as Eni, Poste and Ferrovie have also organised events at La Nuvola, along with Generali, Groupama, Audi and Renault. 2018 was a historical year, which ended with a date that is now firmly fixed in the venue’s schedule; a cultural event designed to facilitate meeting and discussion – “Più Libri Più Liberi”, the trade fair for small and medium-sized companies in the publishing industry, was held between the 5th and the 9th of December, drawing around 500 independent publishers from all over Italy to the RCC. Over the course of the five day trade fair, the cultural programme featured more than 600 activities, where visitors could meet authors, attend readings and musical performances and listen to debates on key issues within the sector. The fair represents a space in which to highlight an output that is often hidden and overshadowed by the big publishers, and the occasion not only serves as an extraordinary showcase in the heart of Rome, but also enables visitors, who always attend in their droves, to have a peek inside La Nuvola and allow themselves to

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HOT TOPICS The conference centre

dream a little. The venue boasts spaces that are characterised by quality, capacity and versatility, an example of true excellence in terms of both organisation and design, further enhanced by experienced and qualified support staff and cutting-edge services and technologies: these are the key strengths that have already enabled RCC to gain a reputation as the ideal location for Mice events. Indeed, in recognition of this, yet another major event of great international significance is set to be held here – the SOI convention, the 17th International Congress of Ophthalmology, will this year celebrate the 150th anniversary of its foundation, bringing thousands of delegates to Rome between 23rd and 25th May 2019. MAJESTIC AND MAGNETIC The structure of the Roma Convention Center is divided into three main elements that integrate and intermingle with one another, creating a system based on each of their specific features and marrying functionality and appeal: La Teca, La Nuvola and La Lama span a total of 55,000 square metres, and can be used to host both major events with thousands of participants and those with fewer attendees, which nonetheless boast the same degree of prestige. La Teca is a gigantic glass “box”, measuring 40 metres in height, 70 in width and 175 in length. It was built to serve as a “container” for La Nuvola, and is constructed from steel with a glass double façade. Inside it, the elusive shape of La Nuvola (“The Cloud”) appears to be suspended, floating in the empty, futuristic space, and providing a visual contrast with the solid structure of La Teca. La Nuvola is the nerve centre of the project: the building serves as a foil for that

of La Teca, creating a perfect connection between freely structured shapes and those that are characterised by precise geometric definition. The property is designed to exist in harmony with the environment, with a variable flow air-conditioning system that enables optimal energy consumption in line with the actual occupation of the spaces.


An imposing architecture, three main elements, 55,000 square metres: La Nuvola is the new reference point for the international Mice sector The roof of La Teca is covered with solar panels, producing natural electricity and preventing the building from overheating. Next to La Teca, and parallel to it, there is a black glass parallelepiped (a structure composed of six parallelograms): this building is called La Lama, and contains a hotel with 400 rooms spread across 17 floors; this is set to become an independent Hilton hotel, with a restaurant housed within a cube which sits between these two expansive spaces. Among its many services, the complex also offers a car park located under the structure, which can accommodate six hundred cars. This intricate system of environments is both

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HOT TOPICS The conference centre

A combination of both natural and artificial lighting converse with the stunning architectural value of the building, creating fluid, planimetric, exciting spaces – such an environment opens itself up to the creation of a host of surprising settings, with a degree of versatility that lends itself to any type of event

well-structured and versatile, and with a variable geometry, is truly multifunctional: an ideal space for meetings, business events and training. Indeed, the centre has succeeded in transforming the Eur district into a contemporary gateway to a place that is totally unique in the world: Rome. The structure itself has a variety of potential uses; with a maximum total capacity of 8,000, with up to 6,000 in the conference spaces (which can either be used as a plenary hall or divided into separate meeting rooms, as required) and 1,800 seats in the Auditorium (1,200 in the stalls area and 600 in the gallery). The conference rooms in La Teca are spread out over a total of 9,000 square metres of modular space in various configurations, courtesy of a system of movable walls that enables foyers and halls of different capacities to be created, with a maximum of 30 meeting rooms. On the same level as the conference rooms, visitors will also find the “concourse”, a functional space spanning 2,500 square metres, with numerous service points and 15 lifts, eight of which are panoramic; a business centre with offices, reception rooms, translation booths, control rooms, speakers and hospitality areas can be found on the mezzanine level. The Forum, located directly below La Nuvola – which provides an imposing and spectacular setting – extends across around 6,000 square metres, offering a versatile space with infinite potential. Finally, the Auditorium is located inside La Nuvola, suspended above the Forum level, and is a functional and technologically advanced space, covered

with approximately 14,000 square metres of micro-perforated fibreglass material, stretched and shaped so that it wraps around a skeleton structure supported by steel ribs. The space is also home to three foyers. Inside the Auditorium, 4,725 panels of American cherry wood were used to cover the interior space, machined and shaped using complex cutting systems to ensure a continuous curved surface and perfect acoustics, even during the most prestigious musical and theatrical events. La Nuvola is also the ideal setting for meetings, team building activities, gala dinners and conferences. A combination of both natural and artificial lighting converse with the stunning architectural value of the building, creating fluid, planimetric, exciting spaces – such an environment opens itself up to the creation of a host of surprising settings, with a degree of versatility that lends itself to any type of event. AN EFFICIENT AND FULLY INTEGRATED SUPPLY SYSTEM It is widely accepted that choice of location alone – the most important consideration when organising an event – is fundamental to determining its success. La Nuvola has come to be viewed as one of the locations in Rome that has become symbolic of the city, a conference space which has become a major new player for the meeting and incentive industry, a real driver for the transformation and development of a market that is entirely business-orientated: the figures bear testament to this success, as do the

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La Nuvola Rome

numerous national and international events already held at the location. Cross-cultural talent combined with the cross-disciplinary element and the overarching creativity of all the aspects that revolve around the congress industry give a further boost to a centre in which the spaces are presented as fully-fledged laboratories of innovation within the world of communication. Each of the elements in play, whether structural or organisational, follows the precise rules that serve as real operational marketing levers: these elements include communication and the memorability of the experiences, from which the harmonious combination of all the components is derived, creating a prudent blend of factors designed to ensure the success of the event itself. This in turn must be insightful and always deliver the highest possible standards, to engage attendees, stimulate emotion and ensure positive feedback, the result of a process of interaction that has already been considered upstream by the client. The various stakeholders who have been involved from day one are working to carve out this strategic path, with a view to making Rome one of the leading conference destinations in the world, along with London, Paris, Vienna, Barcelona, Shanghai and Las Vegas, through a marketing operation designed to promote the RCC brand. This declaration of intent is also clear in the statements made by Enrico Pazzali, CEO of Eur S.p.A. and the Roma Convention Group; with the data in front of him, he has confirmed the extremely positive

results achieved, predicting a very bright future indeed: «The IBA event marked the beginning of a record-breaking autumn for La Nuvola and represented an important benchmark for the Roma Convention Center La Nuvola, which operates in the major international events market, as well as on behalf of the management company, Roma Convention Group, enables us to set ambitious goals for the future; our aim is to increase our visitors and the use of the location over the next year. The numbers confirm that we are growing: we have gone from 110 days of occupancy in 2017 to 162 in 2018, and we forecast further increases in 2019 and 2020. We will be celebrating 500,000 visitors and 100 events over the next year. In terms of our results, the Roma Convention Group has seen turnover double and profits triple over last year’s figures, if we look at the final balance sheet at 30 June 2018 for the Group. This improvement in results is primarily due to higher revenues from sales and services, as well as to our success in controlling the costs directly linked to the property – all in all, the numbers serve as a tangible demonstration of the excellent performance of La Nuvola, and the market’s appreciation of the Eur conference centre». Pazzali concludes his comments with the following statement: «We want La Nuvola to be viewed throughout the world as the face of Rome with regard to international business, a product of beauty and innovation which can draw business tourists with a high spending capacity to the Eternal City, bringing resources and employment in their wake».

Roma Convention Center La Nuvola

Viale Asia snc 00144 Rome Tel. + 39 06 54513710 Fax + 39 06 54513800 info@romaconventiongroup.it www.romaconventioncenter.it

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HOT TOPICS The location

The location: Lloydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baia Hotel

Home of the glistening sea... SABRINA PIACENZA


he classic luxury of refined environments that have been significantly modernised meets contemporary services within an enviable and exclusive location, all enhanced by a rich, customised incentive program and an area of legendary charm. The historic Lloydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baia Hotel underlines its role as the absolute protagonist of hospitality in the Amalfi Coast, also through the very recent recovery and renovation work carried out on the rooms and the

restaurant which made it possible to renovate the various spaces optimally to bring them more in line with the needs of modern hospitality. A SUCCESS STORY For more than sixty years now, those lucky enough to stay here have been able to enjoy the incredible view of the Amalfi Coast from the terraces of the hotel perched above the sea in a dominant position. This

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HOT TOPICS The location

Lloyd’s Baia Hotel welcomes international Mice guests seeking a magical atmosphere in its recently renovated spaces immersed in the heart of the famous Amalfi Coast, an area which has always been dedicated to hospitality par excellence

plus alone makes it worth the trip. Many famous people have stayed at Lloyd’s Baia Hotel over the years for this precise reason, simply to enjoy the extraordinary view: artists, poets and writers have been seduced by the charm and beauty of this timeless place for centuries. Lloyd’s Baia satisfies every desire for exclusivity and relaxation thanks to its refined style, the enviable view of the Vietri Faraglioni and the finely tuned range of customised services designed to meet every need, also for the business world. Thus luxury, tradition and modernity coexist in a hotel with classic style embellished with the comforts of a contemporary hotel, in addition to an elegant image in both the rooms and common areas, a balanced combination of technology, quality materials and furnishings, refined details and sophisticated elements. The hotel currently has 132 rooms, three restaurants – one of which bears a famous Michelin star – ceremony halls, seven congress rooms, free Wi-Fi, bar, gym and two large car parks for cars and buses. The entire hotel underwent renovations that

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HOT TOPICS The location

and luminous rooms. The Spa Junior Suites are pure rooms of wellness where guests can purify and refresh themselves after a busy day of work. The standard rooms offer a view of the gulf or overlook the Amalfi Coast and are of different sizes; they can accommodate up to four people. The Deluxe Rooms too are a perfect union of antique charm and modern style, and feature Vietri ceramic floors with minimalist design furnishings


Lloydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baia Hotel has a Conference Centre consisting of seven rooms of varying sizes, easily modulated and fully equipped, able to accommodate up to 300 people

led, in addition to the modernisation of the rooms, to the addition of some significant new features such as the solarium area and the popular and highly requested junior suites, some even with a private spa with sauna or steam room. Sharing the same refined style of furnishings, from exquisite majolica tile floors recalling the local Vietri tradition and modern comforts satisfying the wishes of even the most demanding guests, the Junior Suites are very spacious

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HOT TOPICS The location


The Michelin-starred Re Maurì restaurant is is right next to the hotel and can also be reached via an internal lift: a place where taste and quality harmoniously blend together in a menu overflowing with delicacies. The restaurant opened in 2014 thanks to an ambitious project resulting from the creativity of the Marinelli Group. Here

guests can immerse themselves in the coast’s food and wine culture and Mediterranean authenticity, all expertly proposed by the talented chef Lorenzo Cuomo. The cuisine reaches the highest levels of excellence with refined flavours and delicate aromas, thanks also to the search for and use of the highest-quality raw ingredients.

Lloyd’s Baia Hotel and soft blue tones. The Junior Suites are comfortable rooms with classic furnishings that offer a perfect balance between spaciousness and intimacy. The Suites of Lloyd’s Baia Hotel instead stand out through their dominant Mediterranean colours – red, yellow and blue – and are united by the refined style of their furnishings, majolica tile floors and the many comforts able to satisfy the desires of the most demanding guests. To enhance the feeling of immersion in nature and the landscape, the suites have a terrace with sea view, also accessible from the three Suite Belvedere apartments featuring two adjoining rooms, a jacuzzi and private entrance for a consummately luxurious stay. Lloyd’s Baia Beach is the exclusive and private beach located immediately below the hotel, and can be accessed via a spectacular panoramic lift. The beach is fully equipped with umbrellas, sunbeds and various entertainment areas, and is served by a dedicated bar ready to delight guests with quick summer dishes. Thanks to the pizza restaurant, in the evening the beach becomes a dream location where guests can enjoy a tasty dinner by the sea, immersed in a unique atmosphere. And at nightfall, disco dancing enthusiasts can let themselves go on the dance floor of Rocce Rosse Disco: an intense way to enjoy the nightlife of the Amalfi Coast under the moonlight. Moreover, during the day a qualified staff organises various excursions to discover the natural beauties of this splendid area. FOOD, FOOD, FOOD To fully immerse yourself in the local mood, a date with the highest level of Mediterranean cuisine as offered, in various forms, by the Lloyd’s Baia Restaurant is not to be missed. The patisserie and bakery of the

The magical atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast, a Michelinstarred restaurant and recently renovated spaces: what do you need more? restaurant produce all kinds of delicacies: from bread and seasoned rolls to the best traditional Campania sweets, in both original and reinterpreted versions, such as lemon and mandarin delights, caprese, pastiera, babà, millefeuille cakes, petit fours and multi-tiered cakes, all the way up to stunning cake design masterpieces made for important events on request. And while diners can enjoy lunch or dinner at Lloyd’s Baia Restaurant by booking a table even if not staying at the hotel, a quick bite can be grabbed at Lloyd’s Baia Bar, in addition to a hearty breakfast, a relaxing afternoon snack or a pleasant aperitif before dinner, always in complete relaxation while sitting on the comfortable armchairs indoors or on the terrace overlooking the bay. A tasty lunch is guaranteed, available both in the dining room of the restaurant or at the fresh open-air buffet on the terraces overlooking the sea. During the summer, guests can also dine in the beach restaurant, an informal and highly appreciated locale where guests can relax, but also exchange ideas and job opportunities. For the most demanding and refined palates eager to enjoy an amazing food and wine experience, the Michelinstarred Re Maurì restaurant is a must-try. It is right next to the hotel and can also be reached via an internal lift or through

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HOT TOPICS The location

For the most demanding and refined palates eager to enjoy an amazing food and wine experience, the Michelin-starred Re Maurì restaurant is a must-try

a private entrance; the restaurant opened in 2014 thanks to an ambitious project resulting from the creativity and inventiveness of the Marinelli Group. The restaurant features a traditional open kitchen decorated with typical artistic ceramic tiles from Vietri and is a place of great charm that lets guests immerse themselves in the coast’s food and wine culture and Mediterranean authenticity, all expertly proposed by the talented chef Lorenzo Cuomo. The attention to detail is clear in every element characterising this temple of gourmet cuisine: from dishes that are true works of art, to the high professional level of all the staff, from the cellar with 850 different Italian and international wines and a particular focus on local wines, a unique selection of cigars from all over the world, a special tea cart and an artisan coffee machine, for an infusion prepared directly at the table.


The Marinelli Group is enlarging its accommodation offer in Italy, and is doing so by focusing on the country’s capital. The Group’s new entry is Magica Luna Boutique Hotel located in the historic centre of Rome just a few steps from the highly central Via Veneto and close to the most famous places of the capital. The new property is a boutique hotel that is destined to become a reference point for

businessmen and lovers of culture, art and beauty who enjoy visiting one of the best-loved and most visited cities in the world. Ten rooms with minimalist style and exposed stone, with a geometry in their shapes and warm colours to envelop guests in a relaxing atmosphere: these aspects define the personality of a hotel that meets the needs of those seeking a comfortable environment of refined and modern taste.

THE MOST AUTHENTIC MEDITERRANEAN The hotel also perfectly represents the starting point for discovering the incredible historical and artistic beauties of an area of extraordinary charm and intensity declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. As a way to access the coast, Lloyd’s Baia is the ideal location for tourism focusing on the archaeological beauties of Paestum, Pompeii and Herculaneum, or the more architectural beauties of Naples and Caserta thanks to its proximity to the railway line, also high-speed for some time now, and to the motorway junction. But it is above all the Amalfi Coast itself to attract international guests. Starting from Amalfi, where historical memories are intertwined with unforgettable natural beauties, Ravello and its architectural jewels with terraces overlooking the infinite sea, or Positano, Furore and Vietri sul Mare, towns very near the hotel that can be reached on foot in a matter of minutes. These locations are renowned worldwide, in addition to Salerno and its historical centre, also accessible in a short space of time. A truly strategic and convenient location near the motorway network, perfect for having everything one could seek in a hotel, relaxation, culture and work, or to visit famous places thanks to custom tours and excursions organised by the hotel’s dedicated staff. STELLAR BUSINESS CENTER Although the hotel has always been a destination for leisure, this aspect has long been joined by a business identity that has allowed the facility to expand its target audience. Today the meeting industry chooses

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Lloyd’s Baia Hotel Salerno

Lloyd’s Baia Hotel because it has large and diversified spaces suitable for organising meetings, conferences, debates or presentations. The hotel has hosted businessmen from all over the world over the years, in addition to international events; it has been the background of successful films as well as of worldly occasions in which work and public relations have continually intertwined. It is also very popular for hosting large events, for highly sought-after team-building activities and everything relating to the actual business aspect of an event, which finds a natural scenario here that makes the difference and adds value. Lloyd’s Baia Hotel has a Conference Centre consisting of seven rooms of varying sizes, easily modulated and fully equipped, able to accommodate up to 300 people. The hotel can meet the customisation requests for every event, both as regards space and the cutting-edge technologies offered. A team of business meeting experts supports organisers from the preliminary stages, taking care of every single aspect of the event from planning to implementation, always managing to satisfy any need, even those which may arise during the event itself. With its range of indoor and outdoor spaces combining beauty and business, the hotel can really add that “holiday feeling” to a day of work. In addition to the classic rooms, in fact, organisers can choose to use the large terraces, ideal for setting up pleasant coffee breaks or appetising light lunches, from which guests can enjoy the surrounding view. Not to mention the private beach connected to the hotel, which can become a 100% unconventional event venue on request.

Business and leisure tourism can therefore harmoniously coexist within a hotel that offers a combination of perfectly balanced tradition and modernity. THAT SPECIAL DAY The magical setting characterising Lloyd’s Baia Hotel makes it an absolutely perfect location for hosting fairytale weddings featuring elegance, charm and refinement. A huge range of options can be chosen down to the last detail, with the help and customisation of Lloyd’s Baia’s wedding designers: qualified and experienced professionals with years of experience in the sector, ready to support future spouses in any type of request. The hotel offers different spaces, large rooms and panoramic terraces to accommodate ceremonies for up to 450 guests, such as the Sala Vietri with a spectacular view of the Gulf of Salerno or the panoramic Sala Amalfi facing the Amalfi Coast. Guests also have access to free and convenient parking near the hotel and several parking spaces in the area in front of the entrance. To further increase the charm of an exclusive ceremony, the private beach at Lloyd’s Baia can be used for a symbolic or civil ceremony, as the hotel is also recognised as a municipal seat. For those who want to celebrate their wedding with a religious ceremony, there is certainly no want of nearby churches. In just a five-minute walk, for example, the first church of Vietri sul Mare can be reached. The hotel’s mission of dedicating the utmost attention to each guest is also reflected in smaller details: the newly-weds’ first night in their suite is on the hotel.

Lloyd’s Baia Hotel

Via Benedetto Croce Snc, 84121 Salerno Via Enrico de Marinis, 2, 84019 Vietri sul Mare (SA) Tel +39 089 7633111 info@lloydsbaiahotel.it www.lloydsbaiahotel.it

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Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze

The hotel group: Gruppo UNA

A new brand identity NICOLETTA TOFFANO

Gruppo UNA

via Gioacchino Murat, 23 20159 Milan Tel. +39 02 895261 info@gruppouna.it www.gruppouna.it


ruppo UNA is owned by Unipol Group Spa and was founded in 2017 through the merging of two hotel chains, Atahotels and UNA Hotels & Resorts. The new brand immediately took on the role as the number one Italian hotel chain, with truly impressive figures: 5,000 rooms, a thousand employees and almost 1.5 million room nights. However, 2018 was the year in which the identity and strategy for the whole Group was defined, as explained by Fabrizio Gaggio, Managing Director Gruppo UNA: ÂŤIt was an intense and stimulating year,

both a turning point and a springboard. It was a turning point because a new leader entered the Italian tourism scene with a mission and clearly defined values in line with the philosophy of Unipol Group. It was a springboard because it was then that we took the first steps towards a forwardlooking development path grounded in a solid financial baseÂť. Last year, the new hotel group embarked on the challenging path with extraordinary determination to integrate the two business entities, namely Atahotels and UNA Hotels.

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Key players discuss the new brand identity, the development plan and increasingly customised services for Gruppo UNA, the new Italian hospitality brand. The accent is on an authentic Italian spirit

Born from the merging of two hotel chains, Atahotels and UNA Hotels & Resorts, Gruppo UNA boasts 37 hotels in 19 among the most beautiful destinations in Italy Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze

Fabrizio Gaggio continues: «Unipol Group was faced with a choice on how to manage the two brands, and it decided to invest in their development: Gruppo UNA is thus the result of corporate synergy. Just as Unipol Group is a key player in the insurance landscape, Gruppo UNA likewise intends to be a sign of excellence in the Italian hotel industry. We started from a process of analyses involving both external and internal professional resources. We have made major investments in terms of human resources and training. This led to the creation of a single hotel group with great potential, rising from the imprint given during the foundation phase. «This innovative approach to the hotel business came at a time when real estate assets were being split from hotel management, but there is more to the story than that». Fabrizio Gaggio summarises the three key factors that define the Group: «The first is a healthy business model whereby an Italian shareholder outside the industry carries out an important operation within the hospitality sector; the second is the creation of a well-structured and organised platform based on investments in human capital; the third is based on the recognition that

Versilia Lido | UNA Esperienze

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FABRIZIO GAGGIO Managing Director Gruppo UNA «The overarching theme remains the intrinsic Italian spirit of Gruppo UNA, which is expressed in a unique mixture of passion, tradition, taste, know-how, energy, ways of being and the will to experience the best of what has always distinguished our country».

Villa Le Maschere | UNA Esperienze the Italian spirit is a distinctive feature and a leitmotif for the brand’s strategic future». Last but not least, the activity of Gruppo UNA complies fully with the ethics code it shares with Unipol Group. It is also committed to a sustainable approach that is seen in its use of renewable sources of energy, a search for products from certified supply chains and the adoption of waste management policies aiming to minimise environmental impact.

OPERATION BRAND IDENTITY Gruppo UNA has embodied a clear managerial strategy focused on strong growth since its début. The immediate future includes re-opening the Principi di Piemonte, UNA Esperienze in Turin by Spring 2019. This five-star hotel is presently under renovation. Meanwhile, in Milan’s trendiest neighbourhood located between the square Gae Aulenti and Corso Como, in 2020 the Group will celebrate the re-opening of

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UNAHOTELS Capotaormina the former Atahotel The Big, which will be completely renovated with a Superior four star ranking. Furthermore, in addition to plans for new openings, the Group is also working on an intense programme to upgrade existing assets, beginning with a major re-branding effort. Fabrizio Gaggio explains: «This is an exciting and engaging project. Gruppo UNA was founded on a genuine vocation for hospitality, which is sustained by a new team whose individual backgrounds bring us in-depth knowledge of this industry. We are currently the leading all-Italian hotel chain. We have three different ways to experience a hotel stay so that our guests are ensured a positive memory of their time with us». To make this possible, the portfolio has been split into three brands, each with its own characteristics and personality. The aim is to interpret the wishes and needs of different types of travellers and different kinds of travel. «The overarching theme remains the intrinsic Italian spirit of Gruppo UNA, which is expressed in a unique mixture of passion, tradition, taste, know-how, energy, ways of being and the will to experience the best of what has always distinguished our country – continues Gaggio –. In practical terms, it is the way we have chosen to position the 37 structures on the market; these include the city hotels, resorts and aparthotels that make up the Group’s offering. It is now divided into three new collections, each with its own characteristics, which were designed to offer service that is increasingly personalised». Fabrizio Gaggio lays out the specific qualities of the three different perceptions of hospitality: «The UNA Esperienze collection is Gruppo UNA’s solution for its most demanding guests who desire the highest level of accommodations: eight unique villas, resorts and hotels in dream locations where each guest’s inner self is central

and the experience is incomparable. The UNAHOTELS collection is richer in number: twenty-one four star properties where the guiding concern is efficiency and highquality service expressed through care for the environment, elegance, delicious food and attention to details. These hotels are located in major city centres, in areas that are full of charm and history so that they are perfect for both business and leisure. Lastly, UNAWAY is designed for smart

Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze

Gruppo UNA

37 structures divided into three different brands but all characterised by the same, autenthic Italian spirit


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Gruppo UNA

UNAWAY Congress Hotel Bologna San Lazzaro stays without jeopardising quality: eight properties located along the main national thoroughfares or in urban residential areas. These hotels are designed for people on business travel and all guests who want a practical solution that reflects our standards of service and hospitality».

Linea Uno Hotel & Residence Milano

EXPERIENCING ITALY Gruppo UNA has properties in ten different Italian regions. They cover 19 destinations which, through their number, distribution and quality offering, are a key reference for hospitality in Italy. The strong tie with Italy is a special characteristic: «The Italy brand is in our DNA», affirms Nicola Accurso, Head of Sales & Marketing, Brand, Communication, Revenue and Distribution for Gruppo UNA. «After launching the three brands, we are now focussing on the brand experience in order to define our interpretation of Italian hospitality as far as possible. Our collaboration with the Italy Convention Bureau demonstrates our commitment


In Spring 2019, the prestigious Principi di Piemonte UNA Esperienze will re-open its doors in Turin, following a major renovation project. Located at the heart of the Piedmont capital, this historic five-star hotel will become a privileged address for leisure and business travellers in search of a sophisticated location. A symbol of Italy’s age-old splendour, the hotel was designed in 1934 by Vittorio Bonadé Bottino and Giovanni Chevalley. The impressive building, in clear Rationalist style,

was inaugurated in 1936 and is still considered one of the city’s most refined architectural jewels. Within it is the famous Salone delle Feste, with its own special entrance featuring mosaics by Venini and historic Murano chandeliers. The hotel has 99 rooms, including a Presidential Suite that can also be used for private events. There are dining options for true gourmets and an elegant spa and wellness centre. The conference centre contains six meeting rooms with capacity that ranges from 12 to 250.

to promoting the national brand. We consider it strategic to position ourselves as the reference chain for tourism under the Made in Italy brand». Accurso then explains the tools that will be used in 2019 to promote the brand experience concept: «We intend to place the customer even more at the centre of our activities in order to improve the perceived quality and to render communication more useful and targeted. More content will be put on our new website and we will become even more active on social media to provide our customers with useful information, following a fresh and dynamic approach. We will also do considerable B2B work so that we are more and more identified as a company that is both responsive and proactive regarding the requirements of our sales partners». Looking at Gruppo UNA’s projects for 2019, it is obvious that there is effort being made to increase its presence on the Italian market in terms of destinations and the number of properties. Nicola Accurso explains: «Under this profile, an essential part of our strategy is our intention to relaunch the franchising model with a proposal that presents an alternative to that of large international brands. We aim to be a reference point for affiliation with the multitude of unbranded hotels, offering a trim model to work in an integrated manner and providing our affiliates useful tools to develop further. We are firmly convinced that this will bring tangible results in a fairly short time». A STRONG TEAM FOR THE MICE INDUSTRY One clearly expects a hotel group with such forward-looking goals to pay particular attention to the business sector, which overall represents 51% of the demand for the Group. More specifically for the Mice sector, the share in 2018 was about 22%.

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Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze This was made up of a series of major events organised last year for companies of standing like Vorwerk Italia, Intesa San Paolo, Whirpool, L’Oreal Italia, Agos Ducato, Electrolux, Citroën Italia, Luxottica, Lyreco and Novartis. Growth of 14% is forecast for 2019, while new projects are already filling the year’s calender: World Congress of Dermatology and events for Eni, Astrazeneca, Lions, Bayer, Safilo and Whirpool. Contributing to this success are certainly the destinations and the properties from the north end to the south of the Peninsula. Each one stands out through the special ways it meets the various requirements of the meeting industry. A group of 12 properties are available in Milan to host major events with over 2,900 participants, especially UNAHOTELS Expo Fiera. UNAHOTELS Varese is also worth mentioning as it too is in Lombardy and can host up to 800 attendees. There are two main properties dedicated to conferences in Bologna: UNAHOTELS Bologna Fiera, with several meeting rooms featuring natural light, and UNAWAY Congress Hotel Bologna San Lazzaro, equipped with an autonomous conference centre for large events, product launches and mini-trade fairs. Moving on to Tuscany, Versilia Lido, UNA Esperienze is ideal for meetings on the seaside, in a modern setting with a spectacular rooftop bar and restaurant. In Rome, the UNAHOTELS Decò Roma has a lovely modular conference hall filled with natural light from large windows on the roof. Lastly, in Sicily the finest properties for the conference market are: UNAHOTELS Naxos Beach with its autonomous conference centre, and UNAHOTELS Capotaormina with its stupendous location on the top of a cliff overlooking the Bay of Naxos. The Palace Catania, UNA Esperienze is extremely refined and centrally located and features the Etnea

Roof Restaurant & Bar and a marvellous view of Mount Etna and the city. There are also many properties that offer special charm: ancient villas, seaside resorts, golf hotels and historic buildings. These are all ideal choices for the incentive market which focuses on exclusivity. All the properties located from Piedmont to Tuscany and from Puglia down to Sicily are too many to list in a concise overview. Anyway, the properties alone are not enough to determine the success of a group in the increasingly complex Mice market, as Nicola Accurso points out: «It’s a market that receives increasingly urgent requests for estimates, tailor-made solutions and advanced technology packages. Our intention is to accompany these trends as far as possible and to position ourselves as the ideal choice for our clients by also strengthening our offer in the realm of customer experience». Innovative services, customised products, rapid responses and an excellent structural offer are the distinctive features of Gruppo UNA for the meeting industry, coupled with clear business strategies carried out by a winning team. Nicola Accurso confirms: «The 2019 team will be divided into the corporate section, with direct management of the company portfolio, and the agency section, with Michele Balzarelli continuing at the helm, with the usual business synergy. The team is reinforced with the arrival of Claudia Vanni, a new resource with vast experience, who will manage all the international business to give a further boost to the segment which we are targeting more and more. In addition, we will participate in various international trade fairs and events dedicated to the Mice industry in order to promote our brand and our properties that are especially appropriate for conferences».


The portfolio has been split into three brands, each with its own characteristics and personality. The aim is to interpret the wishes and needs of different types of travellers and different kinds of travel

Villa Le Maschere | UNA Esperienze

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HOT TOPICS under the spotlight


Straight to the goal


From communication campaigns to a national identity film and unconventional workshops: Convention Bureau Italia illustrates Italy at Hand, the Event in a sneak preview of the second edition LUCREZIA NUBIANI



ver since its establishment in 2014, Convention Bureau Italia (CBItalia) has spoilt us with the launch of many new ideas and projects for promoting the Italian meeting industry, all of which are in line with the increasingly demanding international standards: a dense program of promotional-commercial events at international level; a lead-generation project to grow the association segment; constant up-to-date communication. It was within this context that in 2017 Italy at Hand was established as a communication campaign entirely dedicated to the Italian meeting industry. A set of images featuring the universal image of hands brings out the values that make Italy the ideal stage for events: hospitality, entertainment, taste, inspiration, harmony and much more. Continuing in this direction, in early 2018 the Italy at Hand project evolved into a national identity film that takes the audience on a visual journey of allItalian splendour, images, emotions and inspirations.

The new ambitious goal was to transform this film into something tangible that could be used by anyone wishing to choose Italy for their events. To give a first-hand experience of all the potential present in the Italian Mice industry, CBItalia created a veritable “Italian experience” in the form of an unconventional event: Italy at Hand, the Event. FROM COMMUNICATION TO THE EVENT The promise CBItalia made through Italy at Hand, the Event turned out to be quite challenging. This is not a B2B event, but rather a celebration of the Italian meeting industry that enables the international buyers and suppliers in attendance to immerse themselves in all the values that gave rise to the communication campaign. The first edition of the event took place in Bologna in early November 2018 and was a great success: 3 days, 43 buyers from 18 countries, 45 suppliers representing the whole of Italy; 4 networking activities focussing on the values “Taste”, “Excellence”,

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5 1 / A cooking class at Le Cesarine 2 / Gala dinner at Palazzo Gnudi 3 / Ginevra: CBItalia’s association workshop 2018 4 / Rome: the Imperial Fora 5 / FICO Eataly World: Carlotta Ferrari (President CBItalia) and Oscar Farinetti (Ceo and Founder Eataly) 6 / Palazzo Gnudi: Ray Bloom at Italy at Hand 7 / Palazzo Re Enzo: briefing with the participants in Italy at Hand 8 / Palazzo Re Enzo: business meeting 9 / Palazzo Pepoli: Carlotta Ferrari during the Opening Night

“Style” and “Art”. And that’s not all. For the occasion, Bologna opened its most prestigious “doors”: Palazzo Re Enzo, where 888 business meetings were held for operators, plus Palazzo Pepoli − home to the Museum of the History of Bologna − Palazzo Gnudi and FICO Eataly World. Gemma Biagiotti, General Coordinator of the Event, commented: «The countless scenic and cultural resources, combined with historical buildings equipped with the latest technologies, were the strong points that led us to choose Bologna as the destination for an event like ours, whose purpose is to incorporate all the essence of the spirit of Italy, which sits at the very foundation of the communication campaign for the broader Italy at Hand project». To enrich the format of the first edition, prestigious international guests were in attendance, including the Founder of the Imex Group, Ray Bloom, and one of Italy’s most successful businessmen, Oscar Farinetti. AFTER BOLOGNA, ROME The challenge has been accepted for 2019 as well. Indeed, the announcement has

been made for the destination that will host the second edition of the Event, a location that has all the pre-requisites to celebrate true Italian spirit. Italy at Hand will be held in Rome from 7 to 9 November. «We chose Rome as the venue for the Event for several reasons. First of all, the city boasts great professionalism and competence in its rising star of the meeting industry, the Convention Bureau Roma e Lazio. We are confident that this energy will allow Italy at Hand to once again unleash its potential as the first unconventional Mice event. Secondly, organising an international Mice event in one of the most visited destinations of the global meeting industry is a new irrevocable challenge to face» said Tobia Salvadori, Bureau Manager of Convention Bureau Italia. International buyers can already preregister on www.italyathand.com, but that’s not all. They can also request information from and get in contact with Italian hospitality by participating in the events CBItalia is organising in Toronto, Chicago, London, Manchester, Brussels, Zurich, Munich and Düsseldorf.



Convention Bureau Italia

Piazza Adua, 1 50123 Florence Tel. +39 342 0148387 info@conventionbureauitalia.com www.conventionbureauitalia.com

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In continuous ascent As an absolute star of the Italian and international Mice scene, the Roma Convention Center La Nuvola surprises the guests of every event it hosts with its versatility. We discussed the centre with Plinio Malucchi, GM of Roma Convention Group SIMONA P.K. DAVIDDI


ust over two years after its inauguration on 29 October 2016, the Roma Convention Center La Nuvola in the heart of Rome’s modern EUR district has already become one of the international meeting industry’s reference points, chosen by the world’s biggest brands for their events, but also by the world’s main medical and scientific associations for congresses and conventions. The original structure designed by starchitect Massimiliano Fuksas certainly deserves credit: a continuous play of solids and voids, lights and materials, with the iconic “cloud” (nuvola means cloud in Italian) floating in a glass and steel case. But above all the versatility of its spaces must be given credit, which literally seem to be redesigned for each event, and the team of professionals of the company appointed to manage the location, Roma Convention Group. «In these two years, the Nuvola has carved out a leading role in the tourism-congress sector, presenting itself as the contemporary face of Rome to the world, combining beauty,

innovation and functionality to compete with established Mice destinations such as London, Barcelona, Paris and Vienna», said the General Manager of Roma Convention Group, Plinio Malucchi, who continued with an assessment of the two-year period which just ended: «The Roma Convention Center La Nuvola has hosted over sixty events including congresses and corporate events, with over 400,000 in attendance, 20% of which foreign. And that’s not all: at 30 June 2018 the financial statements recorded profits that have as much as tripled compared to the first half of the previous year, a sign of the ever-increasing performance of EUR’s congress hub on the Mice market. The brands that have chosen us are incredibly diversified, all at the front-line, and include the most prestigious automotive, oil and insurance companies, in addition to banks and transport and telephony companies». A few examples? Malucchi offered two names of incredible prestige, Ferrari and Asus: «Ferrari presented the new Ferrari Portofino with a super glamorous event, branding the Nuvola with the unmistakable red of its prancing horse, while Asus organised the European launch of its flagship at our centre, inviting international buyers to a maxi-convention which ended with a party featuring a performance by Bob Sinclair».

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CORPORATE, FAIRS, CONGRESSES The ingredients for the winning recipe are therefore the versatility of its spaces, cutting-edge services and technologies, quality and creativity, allowing the Nuvola to host truly any type of event, becoming a reference point for the city as well as for the International Mice community. Plinio Malucchi continued, «Whether it’s a congress, a trade fair, a cultural event, a sporting event or a corporate convention, we have the right spaces to meet every need. It is precisely the modularity of our meeting rooms, together with the creativity of our staff, which allow us to host the most diverse events, transforming every challenging situation into a successful one. One such example is “Più libri più liberi” (More books more freedom), the national trade fair of small and medium publishing houses held at the beginning of December: it is definitely the most important cultural event held in the capital, with a significantly enhanced programme and an elevated number of attendees right here at the Nuvola; but also Huawei Eco Connect Europe, the European congress of the telephony giant focusing on the themes of innovation and technology which brought thousands of participants from all over Europe to Rome. And then there’s IBA, the International Bar Association, one of the most prestigious conference events in the world: one of the largest and most powerful

associations, of lawyers, has chosen Rome and La Nuvola for the congress which sees the most attendance of all, bringing Rome as a location and destination under the international networking spotlight. Last but not least, this past April we were chosen as both a local sponsor and a local venue for a large sporting event, the first edition of the Italian round of the Formula E World Championship; in addition to involving the two venues managed by Roma Convention Group (editor’s note, both the Nuvola and the Palazzo dei Congressi, the 1930s building by Adalberto Libera), the event also involved a large part of the EUR area in the tender. And it will be repeated in 2019: on 13 April EUR will again host the E-prix of Formula E and the Nuvola will be the event’s e-village location». WOMEN AND THE COMPETITIVE EDGE These significant results not only support the international image of Rome and the EUR congress hub, but also the close-knit staff behind the scenes of Roma Convention Group. Malucchi concluded, «The world of congresses and major international events is a very broad, diversified and fast market today. In these two years we have built a young working team with dynamic professional figures, all highly specialised and oriented towards internationality, with 67% of all staff being women».

PLINIO MALUCCHI, General Manager of Roma Convention Group Spa «In these two years, the Nuvola has carved out a leading role in the tourism-congress sector, presenting itself as the contemporary face of Rome to the world, combining beauty, innovation and functionality to compete with established Mice destinations such as London, Barcelona, Paris and Vienna»

Roma Convention Center La Nuvola

Viale Asia snc 00144 Rome Tel. + 39 06 54513710 Fax + 39 06 54513800 info@romaconventiongroup.it www.romaconventioncenter.it

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What’s new? Italy is always on the move for the Mice industry. Initiatives, suggestions and new facility openings – we bring event organisers all latest news they need about the most beautiful country in the world (Ok, we’re a little biased!) ALESSANDRA BOIARDI


hen considering Italy for your next event, you may have to opt for many diverse situations. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the country knows that Italy is beloved of so many people throughout the world for more than just its history, art and culture, or for the 7,456 kilometres of beautiful shoreline and azure seas that surround the peninsula. Of course, these features may already provide more than enough reasons to claim that Italy offers no shortage of ideas when it comes to creating a memorable event, but it is also important to remember that in addition to being home to innumerable cities of art, Italy is also a country that is synonymous with modern, cutting-

edge urban environments. As well as its fashionable seaside resorts, the Bel Paese also boasts an infinite number of tiny villages where historic traditions and splendour are frozen in time. Beyond the areas such as Chianti that enjoy international fame, Italy is also teeming with lesser-known pockets of beauty, like the hills of the Langhe area in Piedmont or options that are ideal for an incentive trip in fresh snow. In short, the more familiar you are with Italy, the more likely you are to choose it, one could say. But in order to do so, you need to know more than its places and traditions. As is the case everywhere, there are developments, innovations and transformations taking place in Italy all the time, and these impact event organisers, who are always on the look-out for useful information that can pique their interest in a congress destination once they have decided to or have been tasked with organising an event abroad.

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GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START – SHOPPING, FOOTBALL AND DEBUNKING CLICHÉS Did you know that for many foreigners, their first Italian experience takes place at the airport? It’s true – a layover in an Italian airport is very popular for shopping, and this is surely no great surprise. According to research carried out by the corporate communications agency Klaus Davi & Co. on behalf of a multinational company in the cosmetics industry, the most popular of these shopping hotspots among foreigners are, in order, Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino and Naples (all three of which are have comfortable, modern meeting spaces). Indeed, if your event brings you and your delegates to these parts of Italy, you certainly could suggest a visit. But Italy also wants to be known for the things it loves most. What could be more appealing than holding an event in a destination that has chosen a football team as its brand ambassador? This is precisely what has happened in Friuli Venezia Giulia – a region just waiting to be discovered, boasting culture, nature, sea, mountains and the Strade del Vino e dei Sapori (Wine and Flavour Routes) – which has chosen to be represented by Udinese Calcio, at both national and international level. In addition to acting as an excellent “business card” – the team has been playing in Serie A at the top of the Italian football league for the past 25 years – this also enables organisers to include a Stadium Experience in their events, a guided tour of the stadium delivered in English. And those attracted by the Italy-football combination – yes, we really are talking about Italy and football, never mind the clichés! – might be interested to know that last year, a new four-star hotel opened in Turin that is 40% owned by the Juventus Football Club. Named J Hotel, it is the first in Italy to be built in collaboration with a


Italian MICE

football club. Guests are able to get up close and personal with sporting events, as well as the superb cultural and gastronomic attractions of the region. The hotel is located just a few hundred metres from Allianz Stadium and is used by the Juventus first team, which also take advantage of the brand new Juventus Training Center adjacent to the J Hotel. This means that visitors can enjoy a unique experience in the same hotel that hosts their favourite sports stars. Who knows? Perhaps the luckiest among them will get to meet the Juventus champions, Cristiano Ronaldo above all! Elsewhere in Turin, two other new spaces for the Mice industry have been unveiled recently, both the result of skilful works of industrial archaeology. The first of these is the Nuvola Lavazza, a new multifunctional space bearing the name of the worldfamous coffee brand, housed inside a former power plant dating back to the late nineteenth century. Here, there are spaces

hot topics Left the new Nuvola Lavazza, a work of industrial archaelogy with spaces for meetings and events in the heart of Turin. Above there is a new hotel in Turin near the Allianz Juventus Stadium, the J Hotel, used by the Juventus first team and suitable for the meeting industry

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Above, Trieste, in Friuli Venezia Giulia. In the centre, the Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin, an impressive industrial complex with a whole range of spaces for events. Below, the “Food for Good” campaign by Federcongressi&eventi

that can even accommodate large-scale events, a museum and no less than a signature restaurant: these are just a few of the strong points of the venue (we’ll discuss this in greater detail later in this issue in a dedicated article in the Venues section). The Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) is a giant industrial complex with a whole range of versatile spaces suitable for cultural events, concerts, artistic performances and, of

course, meeting industry events. So, we move from these two industrial recovery projects to a futuristic one: last year, during the annual Wired Next Fest for innovation and technology held in Milan, Diesel introduced The Capsule, which, as the name suggests, is a capsule created to function as a meeting room. This time-saving capsule – which remains a prototype for now – is outfitted to host meetings lasting no more than 15 minutes. Participants know that the closer the timer gets to the end of the stipulated time, the more unpredictable things happen inside the “room”, making every discussion, particularly those that are unnecessary, rather uncomfortable. After all, «The best decisions I’ve ever made have been quick» is one of the mottoes of Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel who is Italian to the core. But we don’t want to beat about the bush,we just aim to update you on the fruit of Italian creativity at its most advanced. IN ITALY, FOOD IS SERIOUS BUSINESS You surely would have noticed that there’s no messing around when it comes to food in Italy. The cuisine of Italy alone is worth a trip – or an event – regardless of which region you decide to visit, but in this instance, we’re going to look at something different. Among the innovations, or rather, the milestones recently achieved, we would like to tell you about the project spearheaded by Federcongressi&eventi, the association that unites companies from the Italian meeting industry with the non-profit organisations, Banco Alimentare and Equoevento. Last year, this project was named as an example of best practice at the European Parliament in Brussels during the “Less Waste, More Solidarity” conference.

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hot topics

The project is called Food for Good and it will enable you to prevent left-over food from your event from being wasted. The goal of Federcongressi&eventi is to raise awareness among Italian operators and international associations from the global meeting industry, so that they contribute to fighting food waste during events. The project enables any food not consumed to be recovered and donated to charitable organisations such as family shelters, soup kitchens for the poor and refugee centres. Through volunteers from Banco Alimentare and Equoevento, Federcongressi&eventi puts the managers of the catering companies in contact with the non-profit organisation closest to the event, so that left-over food can be recovered quickly and safely whilst complying with the relevant regulations in force.

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? Italy is also the perfect setting for congresses that would struggle to find a backdrop with a comparable impact elsewhere. Did you know that the island of Lampedusa off the coast of Sicily â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with all that this destination has come to represent internationally â&#x20AC;&#x201C; hosted one of the most innovative medical congresses in the world, commissioned by the Italian Society of Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI)? The SIAARTI Academy of Critical Emergency Medicine (CREM) wanted to find an innovative way to train its young members, and called upon Aim Group International to organise the second edition of the event in 2018 (the company also created the first edition of the event). This centred on a hard-hitting largescale outdoor simulation, which featured not only a disaster at sea, but also a huge traffic accident, with the intervention of rescue helicopters. During this simulation, the doctors in attendance were called upon to put the skills acquired during the training week into practice, simulating the roles of victims, health workers and observers. In this case, choosing a small island that is usually not considered for congresses and events of high scientific value also served as a way to support Lampedusa, leaving a positive legacy for the area and for local operators in terms of image, professionalism and economic implications. Elsewhere, and taking a completely different approach to the case study just presented, the Museo del Basket (Basketball Museum) due to be opened in Bologna represents a new development that is set to arouse the interest of the international Mice industry. Yes, it is true, basketball is played in Italy too and the capital of the Emilia region boasts a long tradition in this sport. Designed to further increase the appeal of Bologna

Above, Lampedusa, the original location chosen by AIM International for a medical congress with outdoor simulations. Right the Principi di Piemonte Hotel | UNA Esperienze belonging to Gruppo Una

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OOOH! EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Discover a new concept of location in Italy. Imagine a place devised and designed for multiple purposes. Where temporary and permanent coexist. A space filled with light, created to continuously change and evolve, with intelligent, light and flexible architectural elements, and no technological or functional boundaries. A place of beauty with a strong, seductive personality, capable of transforming your events into totally unique experiences. www.riminipalacongressi.it

Palacongressi di Rimini. Designed to welcome you. Created to amaze you.


THOSE WHO CHOOSE ITALY Among the new developments on the hotel front in 2019 – with a particular focus on the Mice industry – we see a “return” in Italy for the Gruppo Una, which recently unveiled its new brand identity, marking a strategic turning point. The new brand identity is focussed on the concept of Made in Italy and reorganises the 40 hotels owned by the group in 10 regions and 22 locations in Italy into three different categories. The first of these is Una Esperienze, a collection of nine luxury villas, resorts and hotels which includes, among others, the Principi di Piemonte in Turin (scheduled to reopen at the end of March 2019) and the next opening of an establishment in Via De Cristoforis 6 in Milan, destined to become the group’s Milanese flagship. The second category is called Unahotels, a total of 23 four-star facilities located throughout Italy. This is the category to which most of the hotels primarily dedicated to the Mice industry belong. Finally, the third category is Unaway, which includes eight facilities located along the major national road networks or in urban residential areas. Unaway is designed to accommodate even those who travel for work (we have dedicated an article to the new brand in our The Hotel Group section found in the first few pages of this magazine). Elsewhere, other big names have placed high expectations on Italy, including the major chain Rocco Forte Hotels, which announced several acquisitions in the country over the course of 2018: one of the most recent

Above the new Hotel de la Ville in Rome, by Rocco Forte. Right Palazzo Montemartini, a Radisson Collection hotel (Rome). On the opposite page, above Palazzo Matteotti owned by a new luxury brand, The Dedica Anthology and, bottom Vistaterra, an original venue in the Canavese region, Piedmont

of these is the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea in Palermo. Indeed, with the new addition of the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, Italy is the country in which Rocco Forte Hotels has the most widespread presence, with a total of six luxury establishments. The Rocco Forte Hotel openings scheduled to take place in Italy in 2019 include the Hotel de la Ville in Rome (May) and the Masseria Torre Maizza in Apulia. The Rocco Forte House, also in Rome, is set to open in September, while the property in Palermo will make its début in 2020. The Radisson Hotel Group is another of the international groups that has chosen Italy in recent months, announcing its first Radisson Collection hotel in Italy, Palazzo Montemartini, in the heart of the Eternal City. Built in 1881, this historic building is located next to the Baths of Diocletian and the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, designed by Michelangelo. Palazzo Montemartini, a Radisson Collection Hotel, comprises 82 elegant rooms and suites. The Superior Room is among these, along with the Skylight Suite boasting a large central skylight that gives the room its name, and the expansive Penthouse Suite, which features a private rooftop terrace. In Milan, meanwhile, a new brand has recently been launched: The Dedica Anthology. This brand has set its sights on the luxury hotel market and has a portfolio of seven historical properties in Italy and in Europe. In the coming months, the group is set to channel substantial investment into restyling these structures with a focus on restoration, modern design and a series of technological updates. The brand is headed up by CEO Stephen Alden, who is internationally recognised as a visionary hotelier and a strong leader; he has created a number of successful brands in the ultra-luxury hotel world. In Italy, The Dedica Anthology hotels include Palazzo Naiadi in


and to enhance its sporting tradition, the museum will feature educational areas for young people and schools, as well as an event space.

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events & communication dmc

Authorized DMC travel agency and tour operator with great naƟonal and internaƟonal experience and selected partners

hot topics CONGRESSES Even work can be a pleasure.

Rome, Palazzo Matteotti in Milan (boasting a roof bar, Latitude 45 with a stunning view on the Duomo cathedral), the Grand Hotel dei Dogi in Venice, Palazzo Gaddi in Florence (currently closed for restoration, ready to welcome guests in early 2020) and Hotel Bellini, also in Venice. At the moment, Milan seems to be the place to be for the hotel industry: new openings – and Italian débuts – are imminent for various international brands that until now have been absent from the Bel Paese. The Edition brand, for example, is set to take over a former electoral office on Corso di Porta Romana, while Soho House is soon to arrive in Via Brera; elsewhere, a Lungarno Collection hotel will open in Corso Venezia, in a former archiepiscopal seminary. In addition to these, the Melia is set to take over the Galfa Tower, the W Hotel will open in Piazzetta Bossi, and a hotel is being prepared by Spanish chain Catalonia near Central Train Station.

FROM FAMOUS TO LESSER KNOWN PLACES: CANAVESE To change the setting entirely, and coming back to the theme of Made in Italy, an example of innovative Italian entrepreneurship that unites past, present and future can be admired in Vistaterra, just over half an hour’s drive from Turin and less than an hour and a half from Milan. This new tourist centre is immersed in the greenery of the Canavese region in Piedmont, and comprises the Castle of San Martino, with the large stately park that surrounds it, an ancient vineyard and the Vivai Canavesani nursery, created after World War II by the industrialist and luminary Adriano Olivetti. In this instance too, the Mice industry has been given due consideration, with a number of spaces designed for indoor and outdoor events of any type; furthermore, in terms of energy, the entire complex is selfsustaining.

INCENTIVE TRAVELS Any place can be wonderful.

EVENTS Designed to success.

INCOMING Details make the difference.

CONVENTIONS & MEETINGS No place is far if you know how to reach it.

GAYA Events & Communication srl Via Paolo da Cannobio 12 - 20122 Milano Ph + 39 9 0283595074 Fax + 39 9 0283595075 mail info@gayaevents.it

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Delivering unique experiences How to bring the local taste of the hosting destination to events? How to take inspiration from local culture and expertise to enhance the event program? AIM Group, as international PCO and DMC, can support finding the best solutions ALESSANDRA BOIARDI

To involve delegates in unique experiences they can make only in that specific region is the key that makes events memorable

AIM Group International

Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Florence, Hamburg, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Prague, Rome, Vienna. www.aimgroupinternational.com info@aimgroupinternational.com


ach destination has its own history, culture, business and scientific professional community, and “personality”. So, when organising an association congress, corporate convention, meeting or event, you must valorise what the local destination can offer. As a Professional Congress Organiser, with almost 60 years of experience, 16 offices in 10 Countries and active globally, and as DMC services specialised provider, AIM Group International has a deep local knowledge, expertise and contacts network with local suppliers in many destinations, that enable clients to make a direct experience of the truly local culture. It is all about creating the specific experience tailored to each project. «By listening to what our client wants to obtain through the event, we can find out how to touch each attendee in a way that resonates them long after the event and propose only authentic activities, providers and locations which can fit best the purpose» outlines Ulrica Hackl, Senior Project Manager Vienna Office, AIM Group International.

A DMC offers not only a full range of services such as hotel accommodation, venue selection, dinner organisation, entertainment, visa procedures, transportations, team building activities, speakers selection, public relations with local institutions, but most of all a rich and diverse portfolio of unique experiences. «Involving delegates through unique experiences they can make only in this region will make events really memorable. And delegates must be the protagonists of the activities, not only viewers» adds Ulrica. Some examples? «In Italy you can teach them how to prepare homemade pasta with grandmothers, then cook it and eat together; in Portugal they can participate to a handicraft workshop and paint their azulejo that they take home as gadget; in South France you can involve them doing the harvest grape, or again, in Budapest you can do a climbing-crawling tour to discover the hidden caves underneath the city centre». Furthermore, thanks to a DMC service you can save time and avoid spending time in searching, comparing, negotiating and designing the whole program, benefit from strong buying power and better rates, mitigate risks and manage sudden issues. All these benefits, thanks to a one-stop-shop, the dedicated DMC project manager and team for any service and need.

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V.le Gian Galeazzo, 3 - 20136 Milano - info@pvagency.it - www.pvagency.it



A dream partner CS Events boasts in-depth knowledge of Italy and all the country’s infinite facets, making it the perfect partner to create an event with an extra “wow” factor SABRINA PIACENZA

CS Events

Via della Marrana, 8 00181 Rome Tel. +39 06 92091004 www.csevents.it


Events is a versatile and strategic consultant, more than just a service provider, that builds synergies with its clients through constant in-depth dialogue in order to identify opportunities, develop innovative programmes and customise proposals. For several years, CS Events has organised events, providing support to international agencies by offering extremely qualified consulting with the aim of meeting every possible requirement. Backed by a long experience and comprehensive knowledge of the territory, CS Events skilfully provides ideas and projects for high-level events. CS Events often takes part in the dialogue between agencies and clients straight from the initial proposal phase, when the objectives and the means to achieve them are established. To communicate the agency’s desired message to its clients, it is crucial to rely on a local DMC with vast experience and CS Events has demonstrated its role as an ideal partner in meeting the various challenges that the market proposes. From developing large-scale productions to recruiting entertainment dancers, hairdressers and barbers that turn a gala dinner into a uniquely entertaining event, the latest results achieved by CS

Events are proof of the solid relationships forged with many clients over two decades of activity. Helping people discover Italy and promoting the country’s history, traditions, culinary excellence and extraordinary landscapes are major objectives for CS Events as it showcases the destination through original incentive programmes, team building activities and innovative tours. The young, dynamic staff are on hand to identify the best locations and services within Italy’s infinite heritage that will turn each event into something unforgettable.

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Italian MICE

Milan, the place to be Milan offers an extraordinarily rich combination of culture, art and entertainment. The numerous events planned for 2019 will further add to Milan’s appeal, with a selection of tailormade propositions by Eventing Milan Convention Bureau




he recent ranking published by the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore only confirmed what is already common knowledge: in Italy, Milan is the best city to live in. It probably is not even necessary to showcase the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, set to be celebrated this year, to reiterate that the capital of the Lombardy region also tops the world charts for culture. Indeed, it is no coincidence that back in 2015, the New York Times named Milan among the top 52 tourist destinations on the planet, and the ICityRate Report 2016 crowned it the “smartest city” in Italy. So, while no further proof of the city’s appeal is needed, these accolades certainly further confirm Milan’s long-held status. Milan truly is a “wow” destination and is host to all manner of events in a variety of different locations. This not only offers endless possibilities for entertainment, but above all, ensures that Milan is a city teeming with prestigious services and centres of excellence, fundamental elements to attracting visitors from the international meeting industry. In order to make sense of the vast range of proposals and initiatives that are continuously popping up all over the city, it is essential to have a point of reference. Eventing Milan is the city’s convention bureau created expressly to serve as a go-between and guide to all that the city has to offer in terms of hospitality, catering,

entertainment and shopping. It was founded in 2008 upon the initiative of Fiera Milano Congressi, the company that manages the MiCo Milano Convention Centre. Over the last ten years, Eventing Milan has established itself as the mainstay of the Mice sector in the city, creating an extensive network of highly-qualified operators in this industry with a view to providing the market with an increasingly advanced and customised offering. In order to promote Milan as a key destination, every year Eventing Milan Convention Bureau creates a rich programme of initiatives ranging from participation in the leading international trade fairs to the organisation of fam trips for international buyers. Through its experienced and diverse team and a group of more than 100 partners, Eventing Milan Convention Bureau delivers the perfect combination of experience and flexibility in order to meet any requirement. Hotels, venues, DMCs, PCOs, catering companies, providers of audiovideo services and equipment, car rental companies and a host of other services and facilities are perfectly coordinated in order to meet the demands of international event organisers, create customised incentive programmes and attract potential interlocutors with innovative proposals. This web of activities is as complex as it is stimulating, and the company’s deep roots in the region and impeccable knowledge

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of what the city has to offer are key to the success of Eventing Milan, which is further fuelled by the close collaborative relationship it enjoys with local institutions, in particular the Municipality of Milan, testifying to the superlative quality of the services it offers. A LONG YEAR OF EVENTS Milan offers cutting-edge venues such as MiCo, one of the largest convention centres in Europe, an extensive range of hotels and accommodation of all levels, more than 1,200 restaurants, a diverse range of museums, galleries and entertainment centres and an efficient urban transport network. In addition, it boasts the most famous shopping streets in the world and a number of leading international events, such as the Salone del Mobile, earning the city its reputation as the global capital of design and fashion. The city welcomes leisure and business tourists from all over the world, providing them with a full calendar of events and opportunities, and Eventing Milan builds its customised Mice programme around this. 2019 is undoubtedly the year of Leonardo Da Vinci, marking the 500th anniversary of his death. The life of the great Renaissance master, which has always been closely linked with the Lombard capital (The Last Supper being a prime example of this), will be remembered with a programme of

initiatives and events, with the Sforzesco Castle serving as the hub of operations. This programme will be accompanied by a series of exhibitions, concerts and multimedia installations, demonstrating the enduring ability of the city of Milan to regard its cultural tradition as its own future – as true today as it was in the 15th century – as well as attracting talent from the fields of art, technology, science and fashion. But 2019 will also be the year in which the XXII La Triennale di Milano is held, this time entitled Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival. This international exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect on how design is changing and affecting all areas of our lives, and what it can contribute to the development of contemporary society. In addition to Leonardo and La Triennale, a host of other major exhibitions will be dedicated to other great names in art: Antonello da Messina, Jean-AugusteDominique Ingres, Roy Lichtenstein, the Pre-Raphaelites, Giorgio de Chirico and Antonio Canova. Their masterpieces are on display at the prestigious exhibition spaces located throughout the city including the Royal Palace, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Mudec museum of culture. Visitors are offered a programme that touches upon classicism and the contemporary from east to west, providing an intense injection of Milan’s culture, which spans more than a thousand years.




Italian MICE

Eventing Milan Convention Bureau

Piazzale Carlo Magno, 1 20149 Milan Tel. +39 02 49976109 www.eventingmilan.it info@eventingmilan.it

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Happy birthday Eventually! Ten years of activity, the perfect blend of conception, design, innovation and execution, and a young yet experienced group: these key ingredients have led to the success of Eventually SABRINA PIACENZA


Via Filippo Sassetti, 19 20124 Milan Tel. +39 02 36592410 Fax +39 02 36592419 www.eventually.it info@eventually.it


ver the course of ten years of activity, the agency has specialised in corporate events within the B2B and B2C world. Some examples include product launches, trade fairs, conventions, incentives and major shows, every aspect of each one taken care of from the more creative elements to logistics, production and communications. Right from the start, Eventually has worked on building up its strong foundations through collaborations with large-scale corporate clients such as Samsung, Ferrero, Lavazza and Huawei. The combination of a superb reputation, steely determination and the ability to remain up-to-date has enabled the agency to succeed in forging major partnerships in a host of industries over the years, expanding its customer portfolio. The agency has received a number of accolades at the Best Event Awards, which it won outright in 2016 before going on to triumph at the Evenement Exceptionnel of the Heavent Awards in Cannes in 2017. This recognition has helped to give the Eventually team a renewed sense of drive and energy, key strengths of every event it creates. Samsung, Ferrero, Lavazza and Huawei

are just some of the agency’s clients. The team have designed and curated a number of events for each of them over the years since Eventually was founded. Among the most recent of these was the Huawei Christmas Concert for the Chinese telecommunications company – 2018 marked the third year that this event was held, this time with a special edition to celebrate 15 years of Huawei in Italy. Recently, Eventually has also worked with Sephora, Moto.it, Metrica, QC Terme, Sopra Steria, Vodafone and Allianz. For this last company, the agency designed the Allianz Acumen event in Trieste, which provided a window to the future and fostered dialogue among academics, innovators, managers and visionaries. Finally, the big shows created recently for Samsung deserve a mention too: the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S7 was accompanied by an exciting laser show — the biggest ever to be held in Europe to date — while the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 also represented a first with the largest hologram ever made on our continent. These prestigious events have consolidated historical partnerships and expanded the agency’s customer portfolio with the acquisition of new brands, an achievement made possible through the experience gained over the last ten years and the exceptional professionalism that has always set Eventually apart from the competition.

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A year at the top Gruppo Peroni Eventi ended the year on a high thanks to its strengthening relationship with a number of prestigious partners and a new division, which reaffirms its undisputed position as a leader in event planning SABRINA PIACENZA

Gruppo Peroni Eventi

Via dei Prati della Farnesina, 57 00135 Rome Tel +39 06 45472299 Via Filippo Sassetti, 19 20124 Milan www.gruppoperonieventi.it


teady growth and unstoppable success, driven by a sense of dynamism that has delivered excellent results from every perspective, have marked Gruppo Peroni Eventi, the live communication company specialised in the conception, planning and production of events all over the world in a celebration of a truly record year. After a strong 2017 during which the group recorded a 50% increase in turnover, 2018 saw further growth of 30% over the previous year. Founded more than twenty years ago, the agency has two offices, one in Milan and one in Rome, and has just been added to the “Growth Leader 2019” ranking. Drawn up by the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore in collaboration with Statista, this ranking looks at well over six thousand Italian companies, selecting the top 350 in terms of growth in turnover between 2014 and 2017. The success of the group can be attributed to the wide range of services it offers – everything from event organisation to public relations activities, marketing and digital strategies – which has led to the expansion of its customer portfolio, establishing new partnerships with major multinational companies including Formula E, Q8, Zurich, Octo Telematics,

CDP and Finmeccanica, in addition to the relationships already enjoyed with companies such as Reply, Lenovo, Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz, Safilo, Mars Italy, Art Discovery, Facebook, Turner, Moleskine and Amex. But Gruppo Peroni Eventi doesn’t plan to rest on its laurels: the positive results recorded have led to the creation of a new Guest Management division, which is exclusively dedicated to logistics and, as the name suggests, to guest management. This new team will implement the work of the Project Management division, which is supported in turn by the Production, Art-Direction and Creativity team. This close-knit group of professionals shares an international mindset and has provided support to prestigious clients at a host of different events, including the first ever E-Prix in Rome, which saw 35,000 spectators line the specially-created course in the EUR district, and 12,000 visitors to La Nuvola Roma Convention Center.

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The Italian leading DMC - PCO since 1985 targetmotivation.it





And more collaborators


Contracts with suppliers





Loyal customers

1.200 Events per year

























Target Milan.com Target Venice.com Target Rome.com Target Tuscany.com Target Sardinia.com Italianmate.com FOR INFORMATION AND REQUESTS: Stella Martorelli tel: +39 041 2392627 | mail: commerciale@targetmotivation.it - congress@targetmotivation.it

FOCUS ON the Italian mice

J&TI Events reaches Milan Significant news for an agency based in Rome that has just inaugurated a Milanese office and focuses on making its mantra interculturalism and reconnecting people, places and cultures ANTONELLA ANDRETTA


rom Rome to Milan via the Netherlands: in short, the trajectory of Tiziana Guerriero’s career. After 15 years working in the Mice sector, she has decided to breathe new life into her business by creating a new company, J&TI, headquartered in Rome. When and why did you decide to open a branch in Milan as well? «This city represents a challenge for us, but also an opportunity: that of working in a complex, stimulating and multi-faceted reality such as that in Milan. I moved there in September and, as a first step, I will participate in a co-working project in Portello (near the futuristic Citylife skyscrapers, ed. note), an inspiring and creative place for professionals and companies».

J&TI Events

Headquarters Via Rosa Raimondi Garibaldi, 40 00142 Rome Tel. +39 06 83549452 Sales office Viale Renato Serra, 14, 20148 Milan MI Tel. +39 333 4862948 guerriero@jti-events.com www.jti-events.com

So how is the agency structured and which market do you specifically address? «The headquarters will stay in Rome where the team, consisting mostly of people of Italian and Dutch origin, will continue to work with renewed strength thanks to the arrival of new colleagues. Our core business is in the Northern European and Middle Eastern markets, but this year we have begun to turn to Italian customers, especially banks and insurance companies». What are your strengths? «I must firstly mention our know-how, acquired through years of experience with

companies in various product sectors, which we offer to our customers on every occasion. This is followed by our flexibility and the customisation of each event, designed down to the last details and in line with budgets. Our customers greatly appreciate our transparency, speed of communication and accuracy; indeed, so much so that sometimes after we deliver the planning documents, we don’t receive any further questions! Another important aspect is the offer in several languages: in addition to Italian, we offer Dutch and English». The most recent events organised? «Of our more recent events, I would like to mention the Assicurazione Bene convention held in Tuscany, which involved about 500 people including employees, executives and family members: we managed reservations for the event’s resort and for another 10 external accommodations, as well as professional and recreational activities, spaces for the meetings and even the baby club for the little ones. Another I’d like to mention is the highly successful incentive we organised in Bilbao for 95 Dutch entrepreneurs from the Cubus Nederland Association, with a gala dinner and party held inside the prestigious Guggenheim museum. Lastly, I fondly remember a five-day tour from Corsica to Tuscany for a Dutch group of Ferrari enthusiasts!». Upcoming projects? «We are planning a back-to-back event in Sorrento in May and June for no fewer than four groups of about 80 managers from Total Erg. This is a large project where creativity, flexibility, efficiency and problem solving, which are also our four cornerstones, will play leading roles».

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In a heartbeat Heartbeataly concentrates the energy and experience in the Italian territory with creativity and passion to find great solutions for any type of event. Every single project is “tailor made”, every client is special ALESSANDRA BOIARDI

MZ Incentive

Society of MZ International Group Via Carlo Farini, 81 20159 Milan Tel. +39 0289078538 ciao@heartbeataly.com www.heartbeataly.com


Incentive, staffed by experts in incentive travel working with Italian and international companies. is a special division of MZ International Group. MZ Incentive has flown guests all around the globe over the years. From the Galapagos islands for a magical cruise, and creative adventures in almost every country in South and Central America, to exciting safaris in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania, and trips to discover the mysterious beauty found in the Far East such as Malaysia, Thailand, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and of course numerous short breaks all over Europe. The trusted partnership with their clients that has lasted over the years, is something that makes proud. «We give our complete attention to all the requests we get from clients, and it does not matter how big or small the projects are» they say from MZ Incentive. Over the past few years, MZ Incentives have had the opportunity to organise and host an increasing number of events and trips in Italy, which is a “dream come true” for the professional staff that love working and showcasing their own country. Many Italian and international companies have collaborated with MZ to organise sales conventions, prize trips and special events all around Italy. The opportunity to share knowledge and passion for this incredible country, and work on projects that deliver unforgettable moments for

participants and clients, is what drove MZ Incentive to create Heartbeataly. Heartbeataly is the Dmc (Destination Management Company) of MZ Incentive that concentrates the energy and experience in the Italian territory with creativity and passion to find great solutions for any type of event. Every single project is “tailor made” as they consider every client to be special. The activities cover the whole country, from the furthest northern regions crowned by the Alps to the southern islands where the Mediterranean pushes towards Africa. Their commitment for quality and authenticity drives them to seek the best solutions for their clients. Whatever type of trip you are searching for, Heartbeataly can tailor a program just for you. They can suggest a road trip through lakes and mountains taking in jaw-dropping scenery; a time travelling trip taking you back in history to enjoy the monuments and buildings in ancient cities; a gourmet centred programme with mouth-watering food and inspiring wine, learning how to make some basic dishes. Italy is an extremely diverse country, and this aspect makes it very special. There is always something to suit any budget, something to consider even if the guests have been to Italy numerous times. There is always something new to be discovered! MZ Incentive with Heartbeataly together with the well-known excellence of MZ Congressi, PCO for Scientific Congresses in Italy and all over the world, MZ Associations managing scientific associations, MZ Education, the CME department, make MZ International Group a good choice for any area of event management in Italy.

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Spaceships and Vikings: what’s Next? Ancient Nordic warriors in a Tuscan port, floating theatres in Portofino and combine harvester spaceships: as fantastical as this might sound, magic has nothing to do with it – instead, the focus is on creativity and innovation. In a word, Next Group ANTONELLA ANDRETTA

MARCO JANNARELLI President of Next Group «Everything we do begins with a strategic analysis: focusing exclusively on the organisation of the final event is not sufficient. It is essential to create ideas upon which large projects can subsequently be built».


«Indeed, 2018 was also a fantastic year in that regard: we took part in various festivals, and achieved a series of satisfying results; the first of these was our Best Event Award for the Ferrari event in Portofino. We also won 10 first places in various categories and the Agency of the Year award. In addition we took home five golds at the Grand Prix Relational Strategies event».

Now that we’ve left 2018 behind us, how do you feel about the year? «For us it was an extremely positive 12 months from every perspective, beginning with our turnover, which rose for the fifth consecutive year – in 2018, we hit 48 million Euros».

Which elements of the Ferrari event won over the judges? «I would say the creativity of the event and the actual installation, which required a truly impressive effort in terms of production. The very choice of Portofino as a location inspired a unique and daring idea, which in turn resulted in an extremely memorable experience for all: we constructed a custommade floating theatre, and then moored it in the water in front of the village. It was a theatre which featured a double reveal: first, the screen opened over the town, illuminated by a spectacular light show, and then a Ferrari came onto the stage, with Portofino itself as a backdrop. Setting all of these elements up also called on all of our relational skills, in managing the various organisations and institutions in the area».

And of course, it’s impossible to talk about 2018 without touching upon the prizes you have won as a group...

What kind of organisation do you need to put on an event of that calibre? «In 2018, our team also grew: today, we

ext Group is so much more than a simple agency – it is a real melting pot of ideas, a huge creative workshop-cumlaboratory where professionals from the communication, events and promotions sectors work in harmony, managing all of the activities required in order to create and implement major events, conventions, competitions, product launches, loyalty campaigns and much more besides. Buoyed up by an extremely satisfying 2018, the company now faces a new year full of fresh challenges. We talked about this with the group’s President, Marco Jannarelli.

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Some of the creative and highly innovative events recently organised by Next Group: above the title, on the opposite page, and here below, the Ferrari event in Portofino, which won the Best Event Award 2018; left and above left, the event for the launch of the new Viking cruise ship, which took place in the medieval Old Fortress of Livorno (Tuscany)

employ 130 people, who work across the various integrated business units: The Next World is responsible for the organisation and logistical management of events, incentives and conventions, while The Next Event is dedicated to event creativity and communications. Finally, Next Solution deals with promotions, incentive marketing and loyalty campaigns». Can you give us any other examples? «The launch of the new Viking cruise ship is another event that stands out: for this occasion, we reconstructed the saga of the ancient Vikings in the port of Livorno, linking this to our historic maritime republics in the Middle Ages. We created a show which integrated technological elements into the narration of the story, which began in the Old Fortress, and then continued on board the ship. The impact was truly remarkable – an event-experience that really engaged guests, providing the entire city with an original evening show. Meanwhile, for AGCO, we chose the factory in Breganze, in the province of Vicenza, as both the location and the focal point for the event, recreating a journey that spanned the real and virtual worlds in the heart of the facility, in order to present the group’s new combine harvester to the dealers and journalists present. We worked with suspended screens, sound design and lights to enhance the

architecture of the space, which was used as the location for a convention dinner». How would you explain the success of these events? «Everything we do begins with a strategic analysis: focusing exclusively on the organisation of the final event is not sufficient. It is essential to create ideas upon which large projects can subsequently be built, tracing a fluid path that eventually leads to the final act. The event itself is work of media, and calls for the procedures that are typical of this context». The saying goes that the best way to predict the future is to invent it: what do you have in mind for 2019? «We aim to continue with and consolidate our growth, aiming for +10%. But beyond our turnover, we also want to consolidate our activities, increasing the loyalty of our customers even further so that they always involve us in new tenders and so that we win a high percentage of these; we are also looking to conquer a bigger slice of the foreign market. None of these elements can be separated from the growth of our company structure: we will be looking for new resources for both our creative and project management teams. The event itself is work of media, and calls for the procedures that are typical of this context».

Next SpA

via Sallustiana, 26 00187 Rome via Antonio da Recanate, 1 20124 Milan 30 Haymarket - St. James’s London SW1Y 4EX www.nextgroup.eu

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HOT TOPICS dossier experiencing Italy

Experiential: the new keyword No longer just incentive trips, post-congress activities and team building: event venues in Italy now emphasise the experience, becoming multi-sensory environments that make events memorable due to their uniqueness TERESA CHIODO

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel,” said the American poet Maya Angelou. This concept is also true for events, where the more the senses are stimulated, the better the communication. In fact, establishing an emotional connection with the audience is fundamental, and relying on the experiential element enhances this. “Experience” seems to be the keyword of the moment, reflecting the new direction the Mice industry is taking. Empirical studies show that when a context is “experiential”, it leads to stronger impressions and more positive attitudes. While it is easy to talk about experiences – unique if possible – in contexts such as team building, post-congress activities

and incentive trips – this new paradigm of experientiality is now also applied to event venues. It is within this context that the emotional resonance of the stimuli can play a strategic role since an invitation is implicitly sent for guests to approach the meeting experience in an ideal manner. When a person is at ease, even the most difficult parts of a business meeting are experienced better. The right experience in the right location can make participants less resistant. For example, a sales team will seem less aggressive when presenting a company’s new sales objectives after a mud bath and before a candlelit dinner. THE ITALIAN WAY OF LIFE The setting is important to bring out the message that needs to be conveyed, and the sensations taken away at the end of the event are equally as important; something should remain in the eyes, ears, mouth, nose and hands of participants to keep the emotions felt and memories alive as long as possible. Thus, Italian venues become

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special arenas that can meet the growing demand for interactivity and engagement that is multi-sensory and immersive. The atmosphere that you breathe becomes an indelible memory. Graziano Mascheri, the Founder of Experientiae – Experience Designer, spoke with us about it. According to Mascheri, «Beyond the immense artistic, natural and cultural heritage that constitutes the great wealth of our country, tourists in Italy find something that cannot be found anywhere else in the world: the Italian Way of Life, the pleasure of stopping and enjoying a unique lifestyle. Today, both Italian and foreign tourists want to enjoy experiences: they are no longer content simply visiting a place and its most famous attractions, but want to fully immerse themselves in the life of the inhabitants and their daily habits, enjoying experiences in line with their way of being. People want to feel emotions and seek experiences that can be adapted to their personality, their lifestyle and their needs; they love to be surprised and be showered with attention exclusively for them and no one else. The offer must therefore be segmented and authentic: a picnic in the vineyards, a fishing trip with fishermen in Sicily or a private visit to a long-established residence overflowing with history where the owners guide guests on a discovery of secret artistic treasures, creating extraordinary encounters and lasting emotions through descriptions that inspire even the most demanding in the crowd. We can add a journey to a farmstead where excellent Italian P.D.O. products are made, or active participation in one of the many unique historic events, such as the Eroica (an impressive vintage-like cycling race) in Tuscany where participants ride 20th century bicycles and dress in

period clothes. I believe that experiential means spending time mindfully and sharing it with others. We know that the new generation of travellers wants to do more than just see new places: they want to experience them in a way that leaves them transformed, both spiritually and mentally. There is also an impulse to share this with others, both through social media and by helping others fulfil their dreams. My project, Experientiae, was therefore created to ensure that each of our trips is an opportunity for discovery and a return to all that is essential, going from virtual to actual. This is a timeless place where “experiences” are not necessarily sought out or created, but may be found in small details, stimulating and activating the power of our senses. This year I will introduce the Italian companies to a new “Experience Retreat” format, which has the ambitious goal of transforming the classic Off-Site Meeting for upper management and/or the board into an engaging and emotional experiential programme that also seeks to stimulate team motivation and spirit».

GRAZIANO MASCHERI Founder of Experientiae Experience Designer «People want to feel emotions and seek experiences that can be adapted to their personality, their lifestyle and their needs; they love to be surprised and be showered with attention exclusively for them and no one else».

ACROSS ITALY If the objective at the base of experientiality is therefore to share unique and original experiences in an unusual context to favour the enrichment of vision, perspective and mentality, and to preserve this in the memory of all for a long time, then let’s set off on an experiential journey across the peninsula via the primordial elements of earth, air, water and fire, which will be the stars of intriguing sensory paths involving taste, touch and sight. As mentioned, impacting the senses is fundamental to

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amazing participants and getting their full attention at an event. Choosing one venue rather than another for an event or a business meeting can become quite important depending on what type of experience is desired and on the energy the destination emits.

Above and centre, Accademia Barilla in Parma. Below Aqualux Hotel Spa Suite & Terme at Lake Garda

TASTE: FOOD AS MEDIUM FOR SOCIALISATION Although everywhere on the Peninsula helps to create the strong association between Italy and good food, it makes sense to start from the Food Valley, the land of good food par excellence and great classic dishes famous all over the world. Since food is more than eating and conviviality, it can become a medium for socialisation through its own glamorisation: this is the trait attributed to La Bottega dei

Portici project at I Portici Hotel Bologna. The “sfoglina” (the pasta-maker that still makes pasta dough by hand to sculpt tortelli and cappelletti one by one, ed.) of a restaurant no longer works behind the scenes, but has moved to the restaurant’s window where she can be seen by passers-by. This creates an open space of culture and shopping for the public, ideal for a cooking class or team-building event that combines the Italian culture of fresh pasta with the organisational goals of team working and fun. Participants are involved in a workshop that will put them to work, starting from making the dough and ending with rolling out the pasta and folding and closing the tortellini and tortelloni. Not far from Bologna, Academia Barilla in Parma is the first multi-purpose centre with a gastronomic theme, which opened just a stone’s throw from the main landmarks in the historic city centre and from the streets full of shopping and entertainment. It features an auditorium with 95 seats, an open kitchen and a hands-on cooking laboratory with 16 individual professional workstations (in addition to the bakery and pastry labs). This venue is ideal for putting on cooking lessons and cooking challenges, conferences, incentives, product presentations and gala dinners, perhaps prepared entirely by the participants with the help of the Academy chefs. Local excellencies are the main ingredients: prosciutto crudo (cured ham), Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar and countless varieties of egg pasta. WATER: RELAX AND ENERGY RENEWAL The conference venues connected to thermal spa sites have become a classic, as they include a complete offer in terms of sensory experiences. They also offer a new and different way for participants to combine work with personal time for well-being. With many options related to well-being and entertainment, spa facilities are quite widespread in Italy and the element of water reflects a paradigm of profound communication, hospitality and energy renewal. Guests feel particularly relaxed, open, flexible and ready to welcome notions and have new experiences as they liberate themselves from stress at a destination chosen for a business meeting that features the predominant element of water. In northeastern Italy, at Lake Garda, Aqualux Hotel Spa Suite & Terme is one such property. The pulsating heart of the structure is its AquaExperience aquatic court surrounded by a perimeter of glass walls: there are eight swimming pools (seven with thermal water and one with salt water) that combine to create a continuous path to wellness. In the evening and at night, a kaleidoscope tints the water of the pools,

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Above Grotta Giusti Natural Resort near Pistoia; below forest therapy at Miramonti Boutique Hotel in Merano

endlessly redesigning the hotel and giving guests a show in a space that develops dynamically. The fluidity of environments and flexibility of spaces at Aqualux make it possible to organise different types of events, from general meetings to team building, from board meetings to car and motor vehicle presentations. Access to the events through varying entrances is customised each time, studied in relation to the particular type of event. Air, earth, water and fire can all take shape and settle in at Lefay Resort & Spa at Lake Garda as well. Ample space, natural fabrics, premium materials, Mediterranean cuisine, an eco-friendly attitude, advanced technologies and a view to local products are all harmonised in this venue, which is often chosen by Mice planners to add

warmth to training sessions and develop positive energies. The seamless architectural integration with the surrounding landscape and the use of renewable energy sources have always qualified Lefay Resort as one of the Italian excellencies that successfully combines enterprise and sustainability within a concept that integrates the classic notion of luxury with ethical values such as the environment, promotion of the local area and the recovery of tradition. The Resort is the ideal setting for business meetings, team building and work encounters in a venue that blends luxury, wellness and nature perfectly. It has a meeting centre located in a dedicated area that features two rooms of different sizes, both equipped with cutting-edge technical equipment and natural lighting from the large windows that offer a splendid lake view. Not far, there is a thermal spa haven with a thousand-year history, Sirmione, that can host the meeting industry in its luxury hotels, such as Grand Hotel Terme, Acquaviva del Garda, and two other hotels under the brand Terme di Sirmione, which combine to create an authentic spa destination. A spa venue located on the outskirts of Milan in the Lombard countryside, Monticello Spa affirms its role as the ideal location for a business meeting conducted from a total wellness perspective. The property has modular spaces equipped to host different types of business events: seminars, round table discussions,working sessions and training. Moving south to Monsummano Terme in Pistoia, the Grotta Giusti Natural Resort is surrounded by a centuries-old park and welcomes its guests to a nineteenthcentury villa with frescoed rooms enriched by antique furniture and paintings. The pearl of the structure is its thousand-yearold cave, where salt-sulphate-alkalineearth mineral waters flow. It is divided into three areas: Paradise, Purgatory â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with its Limbo Lake â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and Hell, where the humidity reaches 98%. Each has a different temperature and together they form a 50-minute wellness path. But the most interesting aspect of the cave is the submerged part, or Limbo Lake: it is one of the largest underground hot water lakes in Europe, where it is even possible to go diving. It is a surreal, dense environment suspended between twilight and the hidden cavities of the original concretions created underwater, which the bubbling thermal water continues to shape. The dives are carried out in small groups under the supervision of two expert guides. Two outdoor thermal pools complete the aquatic offer: one measures 750 square metres and has underwater massage jets and a large scenic waterfall. Still in Tuscany, we have the perfect location

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IMPORTANT FEATURES TO PLAN A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE In order to plan memorable experiences, it is important to research and to have acquired skills through years of organising. Here are the main elements to keep in mind when planning an experience: ■ Stimulate the power of the senses ■ Add value to the area, to the traditions, to all that is local and authentic ■ Fully immerse yourself in the place, in its life and in the people who live there ■ Give themes to your projects (telling stories and tugging on people’s hearts) ■ Get in touch with nature and develop a relationship ■ Create relationships and interact with people (the individual is at the centre of the project) ■ Invite all participants to enjoy the moment, putting aside their digital and social media distractions. for a post-congress tour: Bagno Vignoni, a tiny village whose central square is dominated by a huge 16th-century pool, inside which a hot thermal water source springs. The scenery, especially in the colder months, is of rare splendour. In the nearby region of Emilia-Romagna, the Grand Hotel Terme di Castrocaro has established itself as the ideal place for interpreting the concept of a conference based on total wellness in an environment where Art Deco and the aromas of recent Italian history create unique environments. There are endless spa resorts in Italy, but one last mention goes to Continental Terme of Ischia, an island within the island, where guests find the Mediterranean style combined with thermal pools, greenery, an area for outdoor events and businessoriented wellness. EARTH: SILENCE AND NATURE IN INCREDIBLE ENVIRONMENTS Earth is synonymous with nature and silence so, what better context to encourage

listening and the exploration of self than that of the forests of South Tyrol? It is no coincidence that the main meditative traditions have always looked to silence as one of the select tools for the creation of the path itself. At Miramonti Boutique Hotel in Merano, the owner Klaus Alber offers guests forest therapy. It is a holistic discipline from Japan known as shirin-yoku, which literally means “bath in the forest”. To alleviate the physical and psychological disorders generated by work-related stress, guests enter the forest with their mobiles turned off and are led by an expert along a circular sensory path lasting about an hour. Participants carry out breathing exercises and hug the trees for minutes, walking barefoot on moss. In the group of venues inspired by earth, those that not only have their foundations in the earth but also their walls and ceilings come to mind: hypogeal spaces transformed into hotels, caves that become places of meditation for seminars. The Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort is located in the enchanting rock landscape of Sassi di Matera and is the result of the skilful conservation recovery of a series of cave-dwellings, buildings, stairways, alleys and courtyards, according to the unusual hotel category known as “diffused hotel”. A complex can consist of a group of “cave-houses” arranged in a typical “neighbourhood” configuration with a unique view of open spaces and squares, or distributed on various levels while respecting the structural characteristics of the Sassi hypogeum, with the front part in tuff-block masonry and the back part carved into the rock. The convention hall has been entirely built in cave environments, and is available for business meetings, work meetings and presentations. In Favignana, one of the three Egadi Islands off Sicily, Hotel Cave Bianche sits

Above original Hotel Cave Bianche in Favignana, Sicily. Below Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort carved out in the rock in Matera

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within a landscape featuring a multitude of hypogean spaces and old pit quarries for the excavation of tuff, which was one of the most important island activities in the past. The complex is 12 metres below ground and is configured in a sequence of separate spaces created by means of vertical cuts that let light filter through: it is a sort of crack, a geometric configuration etched into the ground. Natural light penetrates from above to all three levels of elevation. Tuff block is the only material used and, as per the local building traditions, it has allowed the property to reinterpret the concept of “unfinished”. The large venue hosts meetings, cultural events, receptions and musical performances. For team building, on the other hand, earth gives way to the turquoise sea: guided dives, excursions on boats, fishing tourism, but also bike and scooter trips to discover the island’s most beautiful beaches. In the Cuneo area, in Piedmont, the brilliant green slope of a hill is the roof of a modern and functional winery belonging

to the company Cascina Adelaide. It is a contemporary structure of steel and glass, of earth and grass, that almost seamlessly fits into the landscape. It encloses vinification and ageing areas with large and small barrels, all contiguous and lacking partitions, and the tasting room. Facing outwards is a large window revealing the vineyards. The winery has rooms and spaces available for corporate events. We move from structures built “in” the earth, to those suspended “above” the earth. One of the largest tree houses in Europe (87 square metres) is immersed in the vegetation of Lazio’s Maremma in Arlena di Castro (Viterbo) among olive trees and lavender. This is the suite of a farmstay. Made of solid Canadian cedar, it was constructed on a 200-year-old maritime pine tree. Its covering is the leafy crown of a tree that remains unharmed, as the structure is self-supporting. High-tech design and comfort can also find their place here without interfering with the simplicity of nature. The tree house is called La Piantata and is an ideal location for corporate events as well as photographic sets. The property has partnerships with industry specialists for the technical preparation and organisation of events, while guests are offered the opportunity to participate in cooking classes with the best Italian chefs in collaboration with the Boscolo Etoile Academy of Tuscania. There are many highlights nearby as well: Lake Bolsena, where guests can take classes at sailing centres or hire small boats, the beaches of Montalto di Castro, the thermal waters of Papi di Viterbo and the golf courses of Tarquinia. Business negotiations boast the scent of the Earth if they are conducted on a golf course, walking between a green and a fairway! There are some spectacular golf courses in Sicily. A couple of examples? The holes of the Verdura Resort golf course

Above La Piantata, one of the largest tree houses in Europe, near Viterbo. Right the famous Apulian trulli. On the opposite page above the Etna and below the legendary Ferrari. From 16 to 19 May in Modena, where the Prancing Horse was born, there will be the first edition of the Motor Valley Fest: a long weekend packed with events, show, races and dream cars

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lap the sea: the five-star Rocco Forte in Sciacca, in the province of Agrigento, a Unesco Site for its Valley of Temples. It has two championship golf courses, one with 18 holes and one with 9, while the resort offers a large conference room (up to 300 people), seven meeting rooms and a spectacular outdoor amphitheatre for 500 people for Mice events. There is also the 18-hole course designed by Franco Piras for Donnafugata, a luxury resort in the province of Ragusa offering spectacular views among gentle slopes and small lakes set between two nature reserves and the sea on the horizon. The Donnafugata Events Centre is perfectly integrated with the surrounding environment among the olive and carob trees typical of the Ragusa countryside, and boasts eight different fullyequipped meeting rooms featuring refined environments. Let’s go from one island to another, Sardinia: The land here also has a unique scent, that of the ancient walls of the Convento San Giuseppe, which tell of traditions of bygone times when it was a monastic complex in the Middle Ages built around a small country church, before becoming a farm in the nineteenth century and then being incorporated into the city

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of Cagliari and becoming a location of rare charm, where original events can be set up, choosing between the ancient rooms and lush gardens. Returning to the south, Salento is a land entirely to discover, rich in natural beauties, enchanting coasts full of beaches, cliffs and pine forests, and a hinterland featuring many artistic attractions and picturesque villages. Surely the curious grey cusps covering the massive circular constructions cannot go unnoticed, and in Apulia they populate entire villages: they are trulli, very special dwellings that are only found in these parts (Alberobello is their “capital”). For a truly unique experience, it is possible to stay in some of these agglomerates that have been transformed into luxury hotels, such as Tenuta Monacelle in Fasano, Chiusa di Chietri in Alberobello and Il Palmento in Locorotondo. FIRE: VOLCANOES CLIMBING OR FERRARI DRIVING? When the element fire comes into conflict with another primitive element like water, but in a solid state, something truly curious can arise. Because no one can escape the charm of an oxymoron. What a unique

HOT TOPICS dossier experiencing Italy

Right the modern Pavillon du Mont Fréty at 2,173 metres. Below Lumen Museum of Mountain Photography on the top of Plan de Corones

AIR: ON THE PEAKS OF ITALY Last but not least, an event can also be held on the peaks of Italy. Indeed, Mont Blanc is a spectacular location for conventions, meetings and events: it is the highest peak on the peninsula at 4,810 metres above sea level. Thanks to the new Mont Blanc Skyway starting from the famous ski resort Courmayeur, it is possible to reach the meeting rooms of the brand new Pavillon du Mont Fréty station at 2,173 metres. This is located in the heart of the most incredible and unique cable-way in the world. The Alps Hall is a conference room with latest generation equipment, every possible comfort and a capacity for 150 people theatrestyle. The Dames Anglaises Hall is modular and can also be set up theatre-style, while the Cave Mont Blanc Hall has a single table and a capacity of about 20. Changing peaks, on the top of Plan de Corones (in South Tyrol), the 1,800-square metre Lumen Museum of Mountain Photography also houses an event hall for up to 200 people and a restaurant, AlpiNN, where gastronomic delights intermingle with breath-taking views.


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experience to ski on the most active and tallest volcano in Europe, with the sea in view just below the slopes. We are still in Sicily, among the most famous seaside resorts that have a mild climate even in December. Sicily Lifestyle is the destination management company that promotes Sicily in every season leveraging its deep knowledge of the area. It designs irresistible combinations of activities like a morning of skiing – and perhaps admiring Etna spouting fire if is erupting – and swimming in the crystalline warm waters of the coastal resort in the afternoon. Taormina takes first place in this category. But fire red is also the colour of the most beloved car ever, Ferrari. Driving a Ferrari on one of Modena’s race tracks, where the legend began, or perhaps through the spectacular streets of Chianti or the Castelli Romani are truly unique experiences. And for motor lovers, from 16 to 19 May in Modena there will be the first edition of the Motor Valley Fest: a long weekend packed with events, shows, races and dream cars, from Ferrari to Lamborghini and Maserati.

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A cinematic tour of Italy

In Italy, places tell the story of cinematic tradition. Business-oriented film tourism enables visitors to rediscover the sets from their favourite films, allowing them to relive the emotions these conjure TERESA CHIODO


any directors, including those of international fame, have shown a particular predilection for Italy as the scenic backdrop for their films. Italy has always been seen as a nation with a thousand faces, and the history of cinema is deeply interwoven with the country and its identity, through places, art, culture and suggestion: it is a land of changing rhythms, which never fails to seduce and enchant. The pastoral beauty of the hills that slope gently towards the sparkling blue sea, the austere fortresses, the natural parks, the cities of art and the villages, traditions and ancient folklore – all of these elements make Italy an ideal place for any film to be set. Let’s take a look at some of the destinations that have become stars of the screen in their own right.

. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! We begin our tour of the cinematographic sets of Italy in one of the most recognisable of all Italian cities: Rome. It is one of the best-loved places of all time by film directors, and has been chosen as the location for 130 films, from Neorealist classics to some of today’s more lighthearted movies. The Oscar-winning films The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino and La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini present an unforgettable image of the city, and indeed, Fellini shot a number of his other masterpieces in the capital. In terms of cult movies, how can we forget the Vespa tour of Roman Holiday, the chases between the churches and around Castel Sant’Angelo in Angels and Demons or the stunning set design in To Rome with Love by Woody Allen? Furthermore, a location of particular interest for business and conference tourism – with a large number of spaces for Mice events – has its home in Rome: the so-called dream factory, Cinecittà. This legendary film studio has been creating emotion

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Some of the famous films shot in Rome: Roman Holidays (left), To Rome with Love (below) and Angels and Demons (below on opposite page). Bottom Cinecittà Studios have plenty of sets ready for the meeting industry

through moving pictures since 1937, and is still going strong today. Cinecittà Studios is the temple of Italian cinematography, but it is also home to a variety of sets that appeal to foreign film makers, and has been a magical source of inspiration for countless screenplays. The staging department has served as a workshop for many of the great masters of Italian and international cinema, from Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti and Michelangelo Antonioni to Ettore Scola, Giuseppe Tornatore, Marco Bellocchio, Pupi Avati and a host of others. Cinecittà enjoys a place of prominence among

the major international film studios, and boasts 40 hectares of land, 20 studios, two tented structures, an outdoor pool which covers seven thousand square metres and the so-called resident sets. These large permanent sets enable visitors to immerse themselves in a number of different eras, from Broadway in the 19th century, as used by Scorsese for Gangs of New York, to the Roman Republic and Medieval Florence, and has also become a superb location for conventions, gala dinners, meetings and special “turnkey” events. Indeed, for each such event, the various evocative settings can be exploited to their full potential:

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FROM VENICE WITH LOVE Venice has always been viewed as unique in the world, with an inimitable setting the noble palazzo buildings, the narrow streets or calli, the canals. These elements, combined with the city’s rich history, have made Venice the perfect place to set historical films such as Othello by Orson Welles, The Merchant of Venice by Michael Radford, Death in Venice by Luchino Visconti, Nikita by Luc Besson, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade by Steven Spielberg and numerous Bond films. Directors and film-makers are bewitched by its charm: more than 700 films feature Venice as a protagonist, offering evocative and mysterious glimpses of the city. No angle of the lagoon city has not appeared at least


Teatro 5, for example, seen as the Temple of Fellini, where the great master directed every single scene of his films – La Dolce Vita, Amarcord, And the Ship Sails On, Intervista and many others – and big-screen special effects can be added on request. The event itself can be combined with a guided tour: as well as stopping off at the historical sets mentioned above, this takes visitors on a voyage of discovery, unveiling the secrets of the cinema, the history of Cinecittà, the costumes worn by international stars like Alberto Sordi and Sophia Loren, the accessories and props used in some of the biggest films shot at Cinecittà and even the sketches drawn by a number of famous production designers. Moving from set to set, we come across “Ancient Rome”, built specifically for the historical drama Rome and one of the biggest ever created at the studios. It is a painstaking reproduction of Imperial Rome,

constructed for the 2004 series across an area which spans around four hectares. Inside, the “Kristal Tent”, located in the centre of the Forum, is the perfect space for gala dinners. The tent is transparent, enabling guests to admire the dramatically lit set outside. In winter, it is heated, and equipped with atmospheric lighting and a sound system. The set itself is dressed with more than three thousand set pieces, created for a number of films, and these can be used to decorate the location, and to make any event even more spectacular and memorable. Meanwhile, in summer, the sides of the tent are opened out, transforming it into an elegant and evocative gazebo. This fantastic set is wonderfully surreal, and has already been chosen as an event location by a number of major international companies – Louis Vuitton, American Express, Goodyear, Fendi, Samsung and Ford to mention just a few – enabling clients to immerse themselves in an authentic film set, breathing the same air that the inhabitants of the Roman Empire breathed in the streets 2,000 years ago.

The Tourist (above and right), Once Upon a Time in America (centre) and Casino Royale (here above) have all Venice as (fabulous) backdrop

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The ancient Bard Fort in Valle d’Aosta was the location chosen to hide Loki’s Sceptre in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie

once in a film, as a backdrop for a love story or an adrenaline-fuelled chase. Our itinerary starts from the main “entrance” to Venice, the Santa Lucia train station, where Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp meet in The Tourist and where, in Venice, the Moon and You, an unlikely gondolier, Alberto Sordi, picks up foreign female tourists. At the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Woody Allen tries to seduce a beguiling Julia Roberts in Everyone Says I Love You, and the magnificent Sala del Capitolo is the setting for the masked ball organised by the Doge in Casanova by Lasse Hallström. Meanwhile, the ornate interiors of Ca’ Rezzonico feature in several scenes of Moonraker, with Roger Moore in the role of James Bond. One of the most famous scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade takes place in Campo San Barnaba, and this is also the location for the shop run by the antiques dealer who falls in love with Katharine Hepburn in Summertime. The lunch scene from one of the greatest classics of all time, The Anonymous Venetian, was filmed at Fondamenta Borgo 1147, with Florinda Bolkan and Tony Musante. Returning to the Grand Canal, we come to another Venetian icon, a place which has appeared in several films: the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. In Zelig, the church serves as the background to the interview with writer Susan Sontag (who plays herself in the film) with regard to the mysterious identity of the protagonist, Woody Allen in one of his most satirical roles ever; meanwhile, in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, it is the meeting place for the Illuminati sect; it can also be seen behind Ripley (Matt Damon) in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ever photogenic, dramatic and beautiful, Piazza San Marco has appeared in an infinite number of films and film sequences, earning a place in the history of cinema. Looking out over the Grand Canal, countless scenes from famous films spring to mind: from

Bond’s rather unlikely yacht crossing in Casino Royale to Luc Besson’s masterpiece Nikita, to scenes from Inferno and the The Merchant of Venice, both of which required the Rialto Bridge and the canal to be closed to the public for several hours. The opulent interiors of the Ca’ D’Oro palazzo, meanwhile, have been featured in Romeo and Juliet, and elsewhere, on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the eponymous former Benedictine monastery – which originally dates back to the tenth century, but was restructured by the architect Andrea Palladio in the sixteenth century – appears as Portia’s palace in The Merchant of Venice. The Hotel des Bains, where Thomas Mann set his short novel Death in Venice in 1911, is also the setting for Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film version. This elegant establishment also “plays” the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo in The English Patient, while its equally luxurious neighbour, the Excelsior – and more specifically, the magnificent Sala degli Stucchi – is the restaurant on Long Island that Robert De Niro reserves for his evening with Elizabeth McGovern in Once Upon a Time in America. FROM NORTH TO SOUTH, FROM EAST TO WEST Heading back up to the north west of Italy, the ancient Bard Fort in Valle d’Aosta was the location chosen to hide Loki’s Sceptre in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, directed by Joss Whedon and starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson. Other scenes in the film were shot in Piazza Cavalieri, in the city of Vittorio Veneto. Remaining in the north, the magnificent cities of Milan and Turin are both much-loved locations for several great directors, and are the setting for films such as adrenaline-packed classic The Italian Job by Peter Collinson, the bourgeois I Am Love by Luca Guadagnino and The Best Offer by Giuseppe Tornatore. Villa Balbianello in Lenno on the shores of Lake Como is the backdrop for a number of famous movies, including Martin Campbell’s Bond film Casino Royale in 2006 and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, the 2002 film directed by George Lucas. On the Ligurian Riviera, meanwhile, the glamour of picturesque Portofino (along with Vernazza and Riomaggiore, two villages in the Cinque Terre) has been transformed into the set for scenes from Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo Di Caprio. Elsewhere, the farmhouses, castles and villages of the Emilia-Romagna region have bestowed their beauty on a number of film sets: the film 1900 by Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Robert De Niro and Gérard Depardieu was set in various locations in the provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia. Tuscany is a region that is much beloved by directors for its historic cities, overflowing with art and beauty, and for its rolling green

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hills. As a Unesco World Heritage Site and city of art, Florence has not slipped under the radar: a host of film-makers, both Italian and foreign, have immortalised it in films such as Bobby Deerfield by Sydney Pollack, The Portrait of a Lady by Jane Campion and Obsession by Brian De Palma. The town of Pienza, in the heart of Tuscany, was the set of Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient, starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, a film which won nine Oscars in 1997. Staying in Tuscany, the Monti Sibillini National Park and Castelnuovo dell’Abate, a town in the municipality of Montalcino in the province of Siena, were the setting for several scenes in Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Franco Zeffirelli, which also features the hills of Assisi and the Cathedral of Monreale, in the province of Palermo. The countryside around San Quirico d’Orcia (Siena) was used to shoot Gladiator, the epic film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe. In the Abruzzo region, the spectacular Rocca Calascio (in the province of L’Aquila) has been used as the location for a number of films. The most famous of these is indisputably Ladyhawke, the 1985 film directed by Richard Donner starring Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer, but it also appears in several scenes in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 1986 The Name of the Rose with Sean Connery, and The American, the 2010 film directed by Anton Corbijn starring George Clooney (the latter was set entirely in Italy, guest-starring Castel del Monte, another location in the Abruzzo region). Naples in Veils by Ferzan Ozpetek was filmed in the historic heart of Naples, an

atmospheric location full of mysticism, with its Baroque palaces and enigmas. The city seduces with the breathtaking beauty of its marble, its palaces, its ashlar-decorated façades, and with the secrets of the Cappella Sansevero and the Farmacia degli Incurabili, both of which are locations in the film. The Archaeological Museum is another of the places immortalised in the film, along with the Naples underground, which is another of the attractions of the city. And of course, the breathtaking view from the Castel dell’Ovo on the Caracciolo promenade, is another set which cannot to be missed. Heading further south, we reach the picturesque villages of the Basilicata region, such as Matera and Craco, the setting for various Italian and foreign films including

VIlla Balbianello, on the shores of Lake Como was the backdrop, among the others, for Casino Royale (above) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (below)

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Above Pienza, in the heart of Tuscany, was the set of The English Patient. Below Procida, the island of Il Postino

King David, The Passion of the Christ starring Mel Gibson, and The Quantum of Solace, one of the most exciting James Bond films, which also features a number of other Italian locations, including Siena – during the Palio – Torbole and Tremosine, on Lake Garda. The region of Apulia today enjoys a newfound fame, thanks to the effects of film tourism. The desire to visit some of the most beautiful hidden corners of the region is further fuelled by the discovery of a number of extraordinary locations seen in a film, advertisement or television programme.

Indeed, for some years, film proposals have been increasingly flooding in, from great directors who see the value of the entire region as the perfect natural backdrop for all sorts of scenes. A few examples of this? Simon West shot Stratton in Lecce and Cerano, Ericson Core set the remake of Point Break in Castro and Punta Riso, Ferzan Ozpetek filmed Loose Cannons and Fasten Your Seatbelts in and around Lecce and Gallipoli, and Paolo Genovese shot Ever Been to the Moon? in Nardò. The list of films set in Apulia and Salento in particular goes on and on, but we cannot fail to mention the recently-released musical Walking on Sunshine, an impressive international production which opened in London and was entirely shot in Salento, and the work of Edoardo Winspeare, The Ark of Disperata, set in Depressa, in the administrative division of Tricase, which tells the story of the Salento area, balanced between an elusive dream and a brutal yet evocative reality. THE ISLANDS: OSCAR-WINNING STARS The beauty of the Italian coastline is often the backdrop to the most visually stunning films, both Italian and foreign. Charming Procida, in the Gulf of Naples, was the setting for Michael Radford’s 1994 film Il Postino: The Postman, starring Massimo Troisi and Philippe Noiret. The film takes place in a location that can easily be visited today: Marina Corricella, a tiny fishing village characterised by narrow alleyways and pastel-coloured houses, which seem even brighter when contrasted against the brilliant blue of the sea. Nearby, the beach of Pozzo Vecchio has been rechristened as “the beach from Il Postino”. The island of Ischia has a long-running love affair with the cinema, and this passion is revived on a continual basis. Romy Schneider, Burt Lancaster, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Vittorio De Sica, Peppino De Filippo, Isabelle Huppert, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow are just a few of the big names who have filmed on the island. Ischia has been used as the location for a number of cinematic greats such as Cleopatra, which remained the most expensive film every

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HOT TOPICS dossier experiencing Italy

made in the history of Hollywood for a very long time. More recently, The Talented Mr. Ripley was also set on the island. But it also proved an ideal location for classic Italian summer comedies including Vacanze ad Ischia, Ischia Operazione Amore or Suddenly Paradise. Heading down to Sicily, Salina was another of the locations used to film the above-mentioned Il Postino: The Postman; this island is part of the Aeolian archipelago, another Unesco World Heritage site. With its beautiful natural landscapes, captivating ancient villages and cities brimming with art and history, Sicily has always been replete with stunning locations for film directors, from Sicily, Italy and abroad. These evocative landscapes have provided the backdrop to the Commissario Montalbano series – corners full of history and intrigue, surrounded on all sides by wild nature and Baroque architecture: indeed, the “Montalbano Tour” can be enjoyed by land or by sea. The inspector and his TV crew have visited a vast number of sites

on the island: in the series, the castle of Donnafugata “plays” the role of the glorious and heavily guarded residence of Boss Don Balduccio Sinagra, while fictional Marinella is Donnalucata in real life. A couple of episodes of the series have been shot in Marina di Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla. Whenever cinema in Sicily is mentioned, the first name to spring to mind is no doubt that of Giuseppe Tornatore, a director committed to paying homage to his home through his films. The most famous of these is surely Cinema Paradiso, from 1988, the winner of the Oscar for best foreign film, starring Philippe Noiret. Set in the imaginary Sicilian town of Giancaldo, the film was shot in several locations on the island: the ever-present town square is Palazzo Adriano, while other scenes were filmed in Bagheria, Cefalù, Castelbuono, Lascari, Chiusa Sclafani, Santa Flavia, San Nicola l’Arena and Termini Imerese, as well as among the ruins of Poggioreale and in Oriolo Romano. Finally, The Leopard is not only one of the most visually stunning films in the history of world cinema – it also takes its audiences on a voyage of discovery through the world of the Sicilian noble classes in the 1800s. Based on the novel of the same name by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the film was shot in Palermo and the surrounding province, and takes viewers on a tour of a host of extraordinarily beautiful villas and ancient palazzo buildings. The prince’s residence is recreated at Villa Boscogrande, while many of the outdoor scenes were shot in Piazza Rivoluzione and Piazza della Vittoria in the Kalsa district, as well as at Casa Professa, or the Church of the Gesù. The famous dance scene was filmed at Palazzo Gangi, while the village of Donnafugata was recreated in Ciminna.

Above, Cleopatra was shot in Ischia while The Leopard (here above) was filmed in Palermo and the surrounding province. Left the castle of Donnafugata, in the province of Ragusa, “plays” the role of the heavily guarded residence of Boss Don Balduccio Sinagra in the Commissario Montalbano series

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HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice

A small survival guide

Advice, both serious and tongue-in-cheek, from an insider of the Italian meeting industry on how to make the most of an event organized in our Bel Paese and avoid errors that could prove to be fatal EMANUELA GIORDANO Founder and creative manager of Quid Italy


hinking about the problems we Italian organisers occasionally run up against when we work in a foreign country, I thought it would be helpful to propose a short compendium of information that is useful for foreign organisers who come to Italy. I am giving it the somewhat ironic name of “small survival guide” based on the experience of an insider (me), because it is not always easy for a foreigner to manage a situation on the ground from a distance. Likewise, it may be hard, for example, to understand certain traditions or bureaucratic

features of the host country, in our case Italy, which may be completely different or totally unheard of elsewhere. But fear not: there’s a remedy for everything, and as I always say, with a bit of good will and “lateral thinking” we can find a solution to any problem, using a good measure of flexibility and openness, which I think is the first commandment of a successful event organiser, don’t you agree?! I’ll try here to indicate a few points that are crucial to meet the challenge of organising an event in our country, even though I feel the most pressing suggestion I can give you is: place your trust in a capable and competent local correspondent, someone who can deal with most issues in your place, and thus to enable you to really have everything under control. But if you belong more to the “do it yourself” school, then here are some of my suggestions, lightened with a pinch of irony that never hurts!

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Italy: some advice

① Provide your suppliers or local correspondent with all the crucial basic information: who the participants are (age, sex, ratio of men/women, social class); how long you will be in Italy and which cities do you wish to visit; any kind of special requirements and requests (and please be specific); what budget is available (without this item, understanding how to organise what you want becomes a mission impossible!). ② Distances in Italy and between different art cities: It is normal for someone visiting Italy to want to see as much as possible, especially since our country is virtually an open air museum. Bear in mind, however, that our “Boot” is long and narrow, meaning that in some cases covering the distance between one city and another is not a mere hop, skip and a jump. I can still remember a group of Egyptian visitors who, in 10 days time, covered almost the whole country (and they even wanted to pass through Viareggio to see the famous Carnival!). They must have spent more time sitting in a bus than with their feet on the ground! ③ Historical locations are beautiful, but first a word of caution: Historical locations, whether they are cities, castles, palaces, museums or other sites are enchanting backdrops for your events. In our country you can certainly find an incredible variety of beautiful sites catering to all tastes and any budget, but remember that: almost all the historical locations covered by the system of cultural heritage protection lack air-conditioning or heating since architectural changes needed for such installations are not allowed. Thus in the summer they can be quite hot and in the winter very cold. Cultural heritage protection, moreover, in some cases restrict the use of sites for certain types of events

or activities, certain types of installations or entertainment. Thus it is a good idea to start by asking what can be done and how (because finding out after everything has been organised leaves little margin for discussion to find a solution). It is also important to know beforehand of any scheduling restrictions related to noise (music and use of amplifiers or night-time commotion) and performances. This is needed, for instance, to decide whether a certain type of show is feasible or if you can dance until dawn, because some locations require all activities to end by 11:00 pm to avoid disturbing the peace (especially in residential areas), and restrictions are often set in local ordinances. ④ Food: If the people in your group have strict food requirements it is recommended

Left, Italy has a plenty of historical location for the Mice industry: stunning venues often under the protection of the cultural heritage, that could restrict their use in some cases

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HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice

or guides who speak your language you should request this in time, because the second language spoken here is English. ⑦ Italian flexibility: Throughout the world we are noted for our flexibility, openness and adaptability, but don’t try our patience with absurd last minute requests. We are not yet equipped for miracles (but are in training).

hot topics In Italy we are not accostumed to set air-conditioning to “polar” temperatures, not even during our hot summer. Below, when you choose the entertainment show for your event, go for something local: the acrobatic pizza-makers are perfect in Naples but slightly out of place in Milan or Venice

to bring along a cook from your own country, something, for instance, that almost all visitors from India do. In Italy it is not easy to find someone skilled at preparing dishes from other countries. We Italians are also famous for our own cooking (CNN places us at the top of the list) and are a bit disappointed that you do not want to sample our cooking, which we love to do when we visit your country! ⑤ Regarding hotels in Italy, remember that: We are not that fond of air conditioning set at “polar” temperatures as is done in some countries. Our climate is rarely that torrid, so you will never find “American” style air conditioning switched on even in the winter. In some cases the installations are not even planned for “polar” temperature settings. So you should know that it cannot get that cool even if you ask to turn it down to “snow in August”. In our country you will often find double beds (we like to sleep comfortably and close), and some hotels may have double beds only. So it is always best, from the start, to specify the type of bed desired. If you have particular requirements, because of habits or lifestyle, it is best to make this clear ahead of time. Two examples: the Japanese prefer bathtubs to showers, so ask beforehand because not all rooms have bathtubs, often just a shower. Guests who are Muslims do not want and cannot have wine or any alcoholic beverage at their table, so it is best to specify that no alcohol at all should be seen at your meals. If you wish to have soft drinks instead, ask for them because in our country these beverages are generally only served on request. ⑥ Languages spoken: A majority of the personnel in Italy speak the main languages, but if you want to be sure to have local staff

⑧ Performances and shows: Our country is reputed for its artists, painters, seafarers and singers. This is something we are proud of, but it is important to know how to select shows or performances best adapted to the occasion so you can avoid excessive stereotypes and, especially, a ridiculous blunder. To help you understand: although the acrobatic pizzaioli (pizza-makers), like Pulcinella, are symbolic in Naples (even if we Italians tend to see them as tourist traps) and thus logical, in Venice, Milan or Rome they are out of place. Italy offers a vast range of entertainment possibilities, including local folk traditions, adapted to various situations: so trust your expert on site who will give you the best advice. You will be enchanted! ⑨ Team building and training: I have first hand knowledge in this item and the one above, because they are my professional field. Thus I would just like to say that in Italy we have fantastic professionals both in the field of entertainment and performances and in that of team building and training. All are able to propose activities in English and often in other major languages as well. The territory of our country is such that we can offer a vast range of possibilities, whether they are sports, activities related to art and culture or else unique experiences inherent to our nation itself. From my own experience I can affirm that we have everything (excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant, but it is perfectly true what I’ve said!): sea, mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, plains, forests, art, gastronomy, and so on. Our country is an endless sea of surprises. Dive in! ⑩ Obeying the law: In Italy, as in any other part of the world, there are laws to be respected when you organise an event, performance, public show or other activity. In this case having a local correspondent who can handle these formalities is a true blessing. There are so many different legal clauses to know depending on the type of event, that in some cases “do it yourself” can be... dangerous. I hope my guide will be helpful, at least as a first aid kit and… Welcome to Italy, for me the most beautiful country in the world (excuse me if I sound a bit partial!).

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HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice

Italian cuisine & foreign guests What to do (and what not to do) when hosting a business lunch or a gala dinner in Italy: experts advice on the dishes, service and organisation to avoid mistakes and stereotypes EMANUELA GIORDANO


taly boasts numerous excellencies, one of which is the cuisine, which is known world-wide for its exquisite taste, the variety of the dishes and its simplicity. The culinary art of the Bel Paese is founded on an ancient past. It has evolved along with history, successfully increasing its appeal to foreigners – other countries – over the centuries. In fact, Italy triumphed at the 2018 International Trade Show for Gastronomy in Luxembourg, winning the Culinary World Cup by taking first place among 30 countries and 2,000 participants. This very prestigious competition takes place every

four years – just like the FIFA World Cup for football (a mention of the most loved sport in Italy is appropriate) – bringing together the world’s greatest chefs in a culinary challenge. It goes without saying, therefore, that any company based beyond the border deciding to organise an event in Italy must also consider the gastronomic aspect of the “mission”. While it is easy, perhaps even normal, to eat well in Italy, it is just as easy for non-Italians to make mistakes that could compromise the success of their event should they choose dining options that do not live up to expectations. To avoid errors like these, we need advice from those who know this culinary world intimately as they pursue their passion through their work. We asked the opinion of experts in the field. These experts differ in their skill sets, but they all have well-deserved fame and solid experience in corporate dinners and events and, more importantly, in food in general.

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HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice

More specifically, we asked Chef Ernst Knam (aka The King of Chocolate), who is specialised in pastry-making and is a famous Italian television personality and author of multiple books, and Chef Davide Oldani, owner of the renowned Michelinstarred restaurant D’O in Cornaredo (Milan), a leading chef on the international gastronomic scene and Ambassador of Italian Cuisine at Expo 2015. Both chefs handle all aspects of food service and often cater a wide range of corporate events. Speaking of catering, we also interviewed three caterers from different Italian regions: Luca Legnani, owner of Papillon 1990, an important player in Milan and beyond for almost 30 years, Mauro Salvatori, co-owner (together with his partner Enrico Caldesi) of La Fenice Catering (Faenza), and Silvia Sperduti, co-owner (with her partner Michele Pepponi) of Enoteca La Torre Group (Rome), who offers exceptional food service and also owns a restaurant of the same name, headed up by Domenico Stile, the youngest starred chef in Rome! EXPERT ADVICE We asked Davide Oldani, Ambassador of Italian Cuisine for Expo 2015, to provide some general advice for foreign event organisers planning a gala dinner in Italy. Here is his answer: «There are many possibilities, but it is best to start from the key elements of modern Italian cuisine: the chefs and current trends. Being led by chefs who know the quality and variety of Italian products is fundamental». As for the menu, pastry chef Ernst Knam has no doubts: «Simplicity and immediacy are rewarding. I would not introduce overly elaborate dishes, especially if the guests are not familiar with the country’s culinary culture. That said, Italy is a special case because the country’s relationship with food is highly developed and diversified

from region to region». For both Chef Knam and Chef Oldani, the most important recommendation is to speak with or rely on local professionals as far as meals are concerned in order to «Offer guests a range of dishes that are truly able to meet their tastes», Mr Knam explained. Similarly, Mauro Salvatori (La Fenice) suggests offering a fun variant to the diktat of territorial gastronomy: «A practical suggestion I give to begin planning is to introduce dishes from “our area” (meaning Romagna cuisine, ed). Then, depending on the region the event is being held in, create “menu challenges” such as Emilia Romagna vs Lombardy». The territorial aspect of food is also fundamental for Silvia Sperduti (Enoteca La Torre Group): «We are Italians and the food speaks for us. Our philosophy, expressed by both our chef, Domenico Stile (1 Michelin star), and our executive chef, Francesco Rivoglia, is to showcase local raw ingredients, which is especially important when serving foreign guests. Our spaghetti with five tomatoes and risotto with Sicilian citrus fruit convey how simple dishes evoke the aromas and flavours of our land. Another example? Last October, 300 Russian guests at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence enjoyed a “surrealist dinner” created under the direction of designer Charles Kaisin. They were truly delighted by our tomato soup». Luca Legnani (Papillon 1990) has a different opinion. He suggests planners take a risk and go beyond the classics: «In addition to relying on a serious catering company with quality certifications, I suggest offering guests Italian cuisine that goes beyond what is perceived as classic. That is, leave the stereotypical pasta and pizza menus behind and introduce dishes stemming from our tradition and our culture that best represent us, but are perhaps less known to a broad international audience. In short,

ERNST KNAM The King of Chocolate «When I design a dessert, I always try to interpret the mood of the evening, taking into account the choice of dishes offered beforehand. I am convinced that a good dessert can save a dinner, and that a bad dessert can equally spoil it, so evaluating the combinations and ingredients to create harmony is of fundamental importance».

DAVIDE OLDANI Michelin-starred Chef «The taste is now light; before it was something more substantial, heavy. This difference is due to new cooking methods, the use of little fat, and adding flavour through herbs and spices. All these elements have lightened and flavoured dishes».

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hot topics

Italy: some advice

LUCA LEGNANI owner of Papillon 1990 «Leave the stereotypical pasta and pizza menus behind and introduce dishes stemming from our tradition and our culture that best represent us, but are perhaps less known to a broad international audience. In short, all the dishes that represent us in the world, like lasagne or veal with tuna sauce, are to be avoided».

all the dishes that represent us in the world, like lasagne or veal with tuna sauce, are to be avoided». CLASSICS IN EVOLUTION So, we should offer typical dishes that are from the area where the event is being held, but we also need to introduce a sort of evolution. Yes, because the regional dishes in Italy have changed over time in some way. Or rather, as Chef Knam says: «They evolve with people’s tastes, and why shouldn’t they? We follow trends. A perfect example is pizza, the typical Italian dish par excellence. In recent years, we have looked more and more at the origin and quality of the ingredients. For example, gourmet pizza has boomed, introducing unprecedented tastes that are increasingly sophisticated. The same goes for other traditional Italian dishes that have adapted to meet the evolution of people’s tastes, refining and changing depending on the context – starred restaurant or trattoria, informal lunch or gala dinner – but always maintaining their (Italian) identity». Indeed, more than any other aspect, cooking techniques have changed with the advent of new technologies (one above all: sous-vide) leading to lighter traditional dishes. Chef Oldani commented: «The taste is now light; before it was something more substantial, heavy. This difference is due to new cooking methods, the use of little fat, and adding flavour through herbs and spices. All these elements have lightened and flavoured dishes. Food is prepared without necessarily frying and using a lot of fat». A couple of examples? «The first is Milanese risotto, which I changed for the Expo (according to the concept “less is more”, ed): I removed the mirepoix, I added

the saffron in a separate infusion, and I did not use onions or broth. The other dish that comes to mind, changing regions now, is spaghetti with cacio e pepe from Lazio, which I prepare with an extra grating of horseradish and the essential oils of lemon peel to make it lighter». Silvia Sperduti agrees with this line of thought: «All Italian cuisine has adapted to nutritional values that are more suited to our current standard of living. For example, traditional Roman cuisine is known for its use of “strong” fats and raw ingredients, but it has become much lighter nowadays, without losing any of its well-known characteristics. Foreign guests who are less accustomed to strong flavours appreciated this novelty». Luca Legnani believes that traditional Italian dishes are now not only lighter, but are truly different in a move towards greater sophistication: «Over the years, Italian cuisine has placed greater value in all of the ingredients. Today, dishes are generally well-made. Techniques and awareness have led us to transform even the heaviest recipes and the items least suited to a gala dinner into creative, appetizing dishes». TRADITIONAL OR CREATIVE? Setting aside the current trends of Italian cuisine for a moment, let’s discuss the proper menu for a gala dinner or a business lunch. According to Mauro Salvatori, the best solution is a compromise between tradition and the evolution of regional cuisine: «Regional dishes have evolved and been enriched, but they have not lost the character of the taste, the product and the union between the strong cultural element – so to speak – of the area and the impetus of the person interpreting it. The dishes are

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HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (+ ONE) FOR THE PERFECT ITALIAN-STYLE GALA DINNER 1) Stay local: choose typical dishes deriving from the event location chosen for the gala dinner. 2) Classic, but not too classic: don’t be afraid to take a small risk to go beyond the great clichés of Italian cuisine known world-wide, and try genuine, traditional flavours that may be less known. 3) Creativity? As needed: excessively elaborate dishes may not satisfy all your guests or meet all the expectations. 4) Go light: don’t be frightened by the most demanding dishes of Italian tradition ‒ the new cooking techniques and wellness trends have made them lighter, but just as tasty. 5) Respect seasonality: get used to it, certain raw ingredients cannot be found all year round! Or rather, they can be found in supermarkets but are not in season and are most likely not ripe or rich in taste. 6) Respect the seasonality of traditions too: there’s probably a

reason why we don’t eat polenta and braised meat in July! 7) Attention to allergies: celiac disease is especially on the rise and the queen of Italian cuisine, pasta, is rich in gluten. 8) The right menu for the right event: choose the menu based on the number of guests expected. Dishes that are difficult to serve and require a long time to plate, dishes that risk getting cold or overcooked while waiting to be brought to the table, must be avoided at largescale banquets. 9) Find a common thread: choose a leitmotif for the menu (meat or fish dishes, for example) and rigorously follow it in all the dishes. 10) Calculate the service times and set them with wait staff management: incorrect timing can ruin even the most delicious dinner. 11) Do not underestimate the role of dessert: it can save or ruin a dinner! merely “enhanced” with garnishes and a stylistic touch to please the eye. Thus, they have also become a bit lighter, but not enough to take anything away from the quality of the regional dish. I always think of the pasta dishes from Emilia Romagna: tortelli, lasagne, tortellini. They can be “lightened”, but the flavours of the area certainly cannot be removed». Mr Salvatori added: «Then there are the starred chefs who create very interesting,

wonderful interpretations like Davide Oldani’s Milanese risotto. But here we enter a highly scientific field in my opinion, because you must have very clear concepts regarding the raw ingredients, “thinking before cooking”, as Chef Oldani says. In other words, you need to decide what to do and how to do it even before you buy any ingredients, so you have to think long before you cook. And this is an innate gift that not all chefs possess». So, it is better to avoid excessively creative “digressions” at your event, unless you are confident in the talent of the chef leading the kitchen brigade. IN SEASON? YES, PLEASE! There is another element that should be considered but with the current globalisation of markets, it risks falling into the background to the detriment of taste. Mauro Salvatori said: «We have to eat different things, but in a seasonal way. It’s about establishing a cultural identity that we may be losing a little bit. Eating tomatoes in winter is fine, but if you eat them in summer, they are much better». “Our” two chefs categorically confirm this: «The important thing is to follow the traceability of products and their seasonality, which is fundamental for Italian cuisine», said Chef Oldani. Chef Knam echoed this thought, saying: «It is always a good idea to consider the seasonality of the ingredients,

SILVIA SPERDUTI co-owner of Enoteca La Torre Group «All Italian cuisine has adapted to nutritional values that are more suited to our current standard of living. For example, traditional Roman cuisine is known for its use of “strong” fats and raw ingredients, but it has become much lighter nowadays, without losing any of its well-known characteristics».

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HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice

offering dishes made with fresh products that are therefore more genuine and so much tastier».

MAURO SALVATORI co-owner of La Fenice Catering «Knowing how to follow set times like a metronome is essential to prevent guests from getting bored at the table. We have to establish the floor plan of the location and event timing beforehand, developing a schedule with any speeches or entertainment the clients want to include in the event so that we can create the service plan

SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE Summing up, it is better to focus on simplicity, avoid the obvious and respect traditions, but with an eye to the evolution (and appearance) of typical dishes, as well as the seasonality of raw ingredients. How can a planner avoid making serious mistakes during a business dinner with foreign guests in our country? The advice is varied and focuses on different elements from increasingly more widespread allergies to the number of guests - but it is all vitally important for the success of a dinner. For example, Chef Knam warns: «Be careful of food intolerances and allergies. It is best to ask whether any guests have particular problems in advance, providing an alternative menu for guests with specific needs». This is especially true in Italy, where pasta – which is very harmful to celiacs – reigns supreme. Ms Sperduti,


In the 2019 firmament of stars in the 64th edition of the Michelin Guide, there are 10 restaurants with three stars in Italy (+1 compared to 2018), 39 two-star restaurants (-1 compared to 2018), 318 one-star restaurants (+12 compared to 2018), for a total of 367 starred restaurants. Here are some “starry” fun facts: ■ The province with the most stars for 2019 is Naples (24 restaurants). ■ The top five most-starred regions are: ✓ 1st Lombardy (60 restaurants) ✓ 2nd Piedmont (45 restaurants) ✓ 3rd Campania (43 restaurants) ✓ 4th Veneto (39 restaurants) ✓ 5th Tuscany (36 restaurants). ■ Youth triumph among the 30 new Michelin stars: young talents aged

35 years or less earned stars in 15 restaurants, and 10 of them are 30 years old or less. Curious to find out which 10 restaurants have three stars? Here they are: ✓ Uliassi in Senigallia (AN) ✓ Da Vittorio in Brusaporto (BG) ✓ Piazza Duomo d’Alba in Alba (CN) ✓ St. Hubertus in San Cassiano in Badia (BZ) ✓ Dal Pescatore in Canneto sull’Oglio (MN) ✓ Le Calandre in Sarmeola di Rubano (PD) ✓ Osteria Francescana in Modena ✓ Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence ✓ Reale in Castel di Sangro (AQ) ✓ La Pergola in Rome.

on the other hand, warns against delicate preparations that cool too quickly or risk being overcooked: «First of all, the menu must be selected according to the number of guests. Personally, I never recommend certain dishes to those organising largescale events given the timing and plating would compromise the quality of the dish. I suggest choosing dishes with flavours that are easily recognised by all the guests and that immediately evoke the Italian spirit. A good cacio e pepe pasta is always satisfying, is easy to plate and can be served quickly», unlike a more complicated risotto, which requires at least twenty minutes to cook (do not dare ask if it can be pre-cooked!). Another important element is to establish a common thread that links the different courses. Luca Legnani explained: «It’s best to offer either a meat or a fish menu in which the ingredients are exploited, and to find a common thread that is evident among the different plates». According to Mr Salvatori: «The choice of dishes is important, but also what is inside the dishes. For example, a business lunch during a congress should have just a few light and functional dishes so that the delegates don’t fall asleep during the afternoon meeting because we insisted on making fried schnitzel. At the same time, however, it must have adequate energy content. Another good practice is to take into account what the participants will be doing after the meal when suggesting dishes to the client». TIMING IS EVERYTHING Lastly, service is also of great importance. Mr Salvatori describes it as: «A dance on tiptoes: service must be of the highest quality because a successful gala dinner is not only based on what you eat, but also how you eat it. Knowing how to follow set times like a metronome is essential to prevent guests from getting bored at the table. It takes time and resources to understand the art of perfect timing, and it also requires testing and a training session for the specific programme. We have to establish the floor plan of the location and event timing beforehand, developing a schedule with any speeches or entertainment the clients want to include in the event so that we can create the service plan. The plan includes the time needed to consume each course, the time of the service itself and clearing the tables, which enables organising the rest, such as the next course, the various breaks, and so on». This task is anything but easy, also because anything can happen during table service. Indeed, Mauro Salvatori had a fun anecdote to share in this regard: «Recently, at a gala dinner for a major car manufacturer, it came time to unveil the latest car model to the entire world press. The curtains were supposed to go up, the spotlights were supposed to turn on and a

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DOUBLETREE BY HILTON VENICE NORTH Via Bonfaldini 1, Mogliano Veneto, 31021, Italia T +39 (0) 041 5977401 F +39 (0)041 5977400 venicenorth.events@hilton.com venicenorth.doubletree.com

HOT TOPICS Italy: some advice


For some time now, Italy has featured haute cuisine on TV cooking shows: talent shows, competitions and even a tinge of cooking on other types of programs. Thus, chefs have become true media “Stars”. MasterChef Italy, Kitchen Nightmares Italy, Hell’s Kitchen, Bake Off Italy (starring Ernst Knam), Prova del Cuoco [Test Kitchen] and Detto Fatto [No Sooner Said Than Done] are some of the most popular programs. This passion is inevitably also reflected in events, where chefs like Oldani, Cracco, Knam, Bottura and Borghese are asked to host cooking shows or

serve as spokespeople. Cooking is also a classic team-building activity, in its various forms: re-enacting the different TV formats, preparing lunch or dinner together, making creative finger food for aperitifs, trying out cake designing and the magical experience of making pizza or pasta by hand. These activities are obviously combined with team building activities related to beverages, from tastings to producing wine, or even spending the day as a barman or barwoman with a full immersion into the world of mixology. toast was to be held; however, no curtains rose, no lights were turned on, and we stood there trying to keep the corks on the bottles of champagne in our hands for another 15 minutes. We continued to smile in an effort to offer the best service possible, hoping no one noticed the discrepancy». Often things are complicated by the unusual requests clients make. Smiling, Mr Salvatori recounted: «Once I was asked to hire waiters who were identical: same height, same hair (dark brown, brown or blonde, but all the same), beardless, sans hair gel. They would also have settled for identical women or young ladies who were the same height and body measurements. While this may not be difficult to find, the selection is challenging because the goal is to maintain a high level of service». And speaking of unusual requests, especially by foreign clients, Mr Legnani also had a story to share: «I was asked to serve a plate of overcooked spaghetti. Those who, like me, are professionals know that it cannot be served like that, not even to meet the tastes of the client, and for an Italian,

overcooked pasta is true sacrilege. It was us who exported the term “al dente” all over the world! And another time I was asked to prepare a fish tartare in July when it was 40 degrees outside, running the risk of making all the guests sick». AND DESSERT? Last but not least, a perfect dinner ends appropriately with “dulcis in fundo”: the dessert. What do the chefs recommend? Chef Oldani said: «An intelligent menu should have desserts with little sugar content. The typical Italian desserts that are very caloric – I’m thinking of the Sicilian cannoli and cassata, or the Milanese panettone or the Piedmontese bonnet – would be best enjoyed in the middle of the afternoon or in the morning». The King of Chocolate Knam, on the other hand, offers an important suggestion in terms of organisation and planning: «First look at the dinner menu to conceptualise and recommend a dessert that is an exaltation and perfect closure. When I design a dessert, I always try to interpret the mood of the evening, taking into account the choice of dishes offered beforehand. I am convinced that a good dessert can save a dinner, and that a bad dessert can equally spoil it, so evaluating the combinations and ingredients to create harmony is of fundamental importance».

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HOT TOPICS Italy and Italians

Italian gestures: instructions for use There are several elements that make Italy unique, but there is one above others that strikes foreigners visiting the country: Italians’ habit of using gestures while talking. Here is a short “compendium” to learn how to interpret them GAETANO VIRGALLITO

Video-maker and photographer Gaetano Virgallito – shown in the photos –, in 2015 made a video on Italians’ gestures that immediately went viral and was shared by the biggest international and Italian media, totalling hundreds of thousands of interactions. Here is the CNN link, for example: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/ tv/2015/05/28/italian-gesturesexplained-orig.cnn


hose who work in the M ice sector have most likely already organised an event in I taly and have therefore already collaborated with I talian professionals, who definitely k now how to best enter tain their guests, spoiling them with excellent food – not to mention wine – between one site inspection and the next. Indeed, hospitality is an ar t in the “Bel Paese”, and business relationships easily and quick ly make room for a bit of informality, bringing people together and letting them become familiar even with their customers and collaborators. Affectionate greetings with energetic hugs and “cheek-tocheek ” k isses are cer tainly not just a commonplace even among those who have met just minutes before, perhaps at a coffee break or a conference’s gala dinner. But the “physicality ” of interpersonal relationships is not the only element that surprises – and often also embarrasses – foreigners, if it is true that Italians are a people of saints, poets, navigators and ... “gesturers!” Yes, this last element is still quite present in the countr y and often

What are you talking about?!

makes Italians instantly recognisable in conversations, even if what they are saying cannot be heard. We have no idea why the Italians use gestures so abundantly compared to other populations, but we can make a guess: not ever yone knows that Italy is a fairly young countr y, as it was united just under 160 years ago, and the unification process put people that had previously belonged to other states in contact with languages and traditions that were at times ver y different from each other. So let ’s imagine neo-Italians of the past who had to interact with their new compatriots while knowing almost nothing or nothing at all of the other dialects... they cer tainly realised the need to add figurative gestures to their conversations to better express concepts and be understood. Thus over the course of time an integrative language was developed alongside the official one which still ser ves to reinforce concepts today as well as to express others that are more difficult to pronounce. Will you be visiting Italy soon for a conference, or perhaps you’ll have to deal with Italians in the near future? To avoid misunderstandings – but also to give you a bit of a chuckle – we have created a small “compensium” of the most common gestures that you will surely come across. Enjoy!

I don’t want to/I don’t care Used above all when a person does not agree with the other person speaking. How to do it: put all your fingertips together and move your forearm up and down. You can use both arms to add emphasis.

When you want to express the desire not to carry out a task or when you are not interested in the subject in question. How to do it: forcefully push the back of your fingers towards your chin with a movement that starts from the neck and goes outwards, once or twice.

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HOT TOPICS Italy and Italians

You weigh me down (I don’t like you)

Look at this guy!/Who does he think he/she is?! When you want to express dislike towards a person.

This gesture is used to criticise the speech or actions of another person. It is usually used against those expressing superiority.

How to do it: hold up your forearm as in the picture and lightly hit your stomach with it repeatedly.

What do I care?

How to do it: hold your hand flat and upwards with your arm bent forward.

I don’t know/It’s not my fault!

To demonstrate disinterest in a person or an event.

When you want to communicate that you know nothing about the matter.

How to do it: move your arm from a resting position upwards, bringing your hand almost behind your head while simultaneusly turning your head in the opposite direction, often accompanied by the sound “eeeeh!”.

How to do it: raise the palms of your hands and push your arms back along with your head.

It’s time to go/It’s time for you to go

They are together/They are in a relationship/They are in cahoots When you want to indicate or insinuate a relationship.

How to do it: stretch out your fingers and vertically place one hand over the other. The lower hand moves back and forth against the upper hand.

Keep bad luck away (“corna”, or horns) This gesture of making devil horns with your hands is used to keep bad luck away.

How to do it: put your two index fingers together and lightly tap them together.

NO (‘ntze) Widespread in Southern Italy, this gesture is another way to say no. How to do it: move your head upwards from a lowered position while clicking your tongue against your teeth to make a characteristic sound.

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HOT TOPICS Unusual Italy

Off the beaten track Apart from the great classics chosen by the international meeting industry for events in Italy, there are also new, rapidly growing destinations that are gaining ground on the Mice scene. Let’s discover (some of) them! SIMONA P.K. DAVIDDI

On the opposite page, above FICO, the new, large culinary theme park created by Oscar Farinetti (the founder of Eataly) in Bologna. Bottom, Bologna’s charming city centre


taly, iconic, charming, diverse and in constant evolution, needs no introduction as a go-to destination for events, and, in addition to the classic spots loved by the international meeting industry, the “Belpaese” is currently experiencing a significant increase in areas and districts discovering their Mice vocation. They are currently approaching the global market with a well-structured, highly professional offer. This phenomenon, concerns both the events and congress industry, as well as leisure tourism. This is demonstrated by the focus that the foreign press has given to the Peninsula over the past few years; always on the “lookout” for some lesser-visited Italian destinations to add to their bucket-lists of best hotspots. An example? Thanks to its appealing and diverse offer, Lonely Planet named Emilia Romagna a number one destination on its “Best in Europe 2018” list: “The best food in the world - with its quartet of ragù, Parma ham, balsamic vinegar

and Parmesan cheese, best – preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture, and most worshipped sports cars (two names: Ferrari and Lamborghini)”. Milan, in continuous evolution and transformation after Expo 2015, is often described as “the place to be”, and this phenomenon shows no signs of abating, with the result that among its various accolades, British magazine Wallpaper crowned Milan “City of the Year 2019”, explaining that “Milan is experiencing an exciting Renaissance”. The New York Times, on the other hand, ranked Matera third on its annual list of places to visit in 2018: “Matera is Italy’s best-kept secret, visit it before the rest of the world catches on”; and in 2019, the American newspaper dedicated a documentary to the “City of Stones”, and one to Bologna. The list could go on indefinitely, with Puglia and Liguria ranked in 18th and 25th place amongst places recommended by the paper for 2019. Piedmont was named the world’s number one region to visit this year, according to Lonely Planet’s annual “Best in Travel 2019”. And, the Times rechristened Le Marche “the New Tuscany”, describing it as a hidden region waiting to be discovered. In addition to the above, the Lake Garda area was listed among the top, must-see wine regions in the world.

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If the focus of the foreign press is on leisure destinations, we’ve tried to outline a map of emerging Mice destinations; bearing in mind that this is an evolutionary process, likely to encompass several interesting surprises over the next few years, with an increasing number of destinations gearing up to welcome events and congresses. This was acknowledged by Carlotta Ferrari, manager of Convention Bureau Italia(CBItalia): «Over the past few years, we have witnessed a general improvement in the Mice offer, due to better coordination on the part of local convention bureaus, and, obviously to CBItalia. As a result, there are destinations, which despite already offering top-level services, have decided to organize themselves even more efficiently; for example, Milan, Florence and Sicily, as well those who, thanks to the establishment of a local CB, have finally equipped themselves with Mice-compliant structures as is the case of Naples, Bologna and, naturally, Rome». The president of CB Italia has another suggestions for those

considering venturing “off the beaten track”: «Organised, efficient CBs are no longer just an illusion in Italy. Their support, and the choice of working with other top-level Italian operators, is what I would suggest for starters. This is an excellent way of achieving the most from lesser-known destinations». BOLOGNA: BARYCENTRIC AND SURPRISING Our tour starts in Bologna. Though not exactly an emerging destination, Bologna is a rapidly evolving city that is gradually acquiring a lead role internationally, and attracting foreign attention. In addition to the above mentioned accolades by Lonely Planet and the New York Times, and the creation of a local CB, new attractions, including the opening of FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina) also deserve a mention. Besides paying tribute to Italian food and being a location for original events, FICO, the brainchild of Eataly’s owner Oscar Farinetti, has been described as the world’s largest culinary theme park. It is therefore


hot topics

Unusual Italy

context, beginning with its famous Food Valley and Motor Valley».

Above Matera, a jewel-city in Basilicata, and centre Matera’s Casa Cava, a location carved out in the rock. Below, fascinating Palermo

not surprising that the first educational event organized by CBItalia for foreign buyers was held in Bologna. «We couldn’t have hoped for a better destination for the first edition of Italy at Hand», says Carlotta Ferrari. «Thanks to its history, culture and cuisine, Bologna is already well and truly on the international traveller’s radar. Likewise, this city is a rising star in the meeting industry, and one that has all the requisites to become a lead player. Plus points include improved accessibility, the presence of a young, well-established CB, a large local scientific community, and an offer of top-quality venues and experiences. Bologna is a medium-sized city, making it easy to get around, and it’s endowed with a youthful vibrancy. Nicknamed “La Dotta” (The Learned), its university is the oldest in the world. Bologna is also an incubator for ambassadors who attract events, and boasts an extremely strong entrepreneurial fabric. All of the above is set within a unique

MATERA: BEFORE THE REST OF THE WORLD CATCHES ON But any discussion regarding new Italian destinations that wish to attract the attention of operators from the international Mice industry must also make mention of Matera, the city in the Basilicata region that has been crowned European City of Culture 2019. Matera – and of course its famous Sassi – is a unique city of astonishing charm and full of splendid sights. It has already proven itself in a number of areas such as cinematography: to name just one, it was the setting of the Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ. The inauguration of Matera as the European City of Culture 2019 officially took place with a grand ceremony on 19 January, attended by representatives from the entire Basilicata region and from the other European capitals of culture, accompanied by their marching bands. Matera is set to mark “its” year with a host of initiatives and events – the precise scheduling is still a work in progress – and has already attracted luxury hotel groups. The five-star Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & Spa, for example, owned by the Greenblu Hotels & Resorts group, was officially inaugurated last July, and was built to reflect the spirit of the city. This hotel village is perched on a ridge in the Sasso Caveoso district in the heart of the most spectacular part of Matera. Dating back to the thirteenth century, it is just a stone’s throw from the most important square in the city and boasts 35 rooms with tuff rock walls. The locations that Matera offers the Mice industry are also particularly noteworthy, and include subterranean spaces and rooms carved out in the rocks; two such examples are the Casa Cava and Doms. THE OTHER SICILY If you mention Sicily, you generally think of Taormina, the region’s most glamorous representative, infused with a heady international vibe. And yet, the island is a treasure trove of inestimable beauty – it is Southern Italy’s region with the highest number of Unesco World Heritage sites (nine in all). Although it’s been the go-to destination for the international leisure tourism industry for some time now, the Mice industry has also begun focusing on Sicily. Congress tourism in the region has grown by 700% in only one year, and, according to the Sicilian Congress Observatory, coordinated by the Sicilia Convention Bureau , requests for events have doubled between 2015 and 2016. While Palermo has increased its role as magnetic attraction, other “smaller” destinations have made headlines after hosting prominent international events. One example is Sciacca, a magnificent

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HOT TOPICS Unusual Italy


Above, the beach of Marina di Pescoluse, aka the Maldives of Italy. Below Cortina, glamorous and... Olympic

the wow effect of the locations for social occasions, where Google’s staff have organised truly magical events in unique venues. These include banquets hosted in the Temples of Agrigento and the more intimate Temples of Selinunte (both Unesco World Heritage sites), gala dinners organised in Sciacca’s main square, resembling an elegant balcony overlooking the sea, that is cordoned off for private occasions, and intimate evenings in one of the “Bagli” – archaic rural houses – scattered throughout the area.

seaside town with a Baroque soul on the Agrigento coast, which has hosted Google Camps, the and exclusive, elite meetings, attended by VIPs from the world of showbiz, politics and the international jet-set for the past few years. One of the main reasons for Google choosing repeatedly Sciacca as destination for its Camps is the five-star luxury Verdura Resort – a Rocco Forte hotel with a Spa and two 18-hole golf courses, which becomes the retreat of actors, singers and crowned heads during the oneweek Google event. «We always protect the privacy of our guests – explain the resort’s staff – a fact that is widely appreciated by the Google entourage». Likewise, the decision to return to the same place year after year is dictated by the opportunities offered by the area, both in terms of itineraries to discover the area’s spectacular natural and architectural beauties, and

SALENTO: THE NEW PLACE TO BE Undoubtedly, the presence of VIPs, who have chosen Salento for birthdays, weddings and holidays, has contributed to its fame (we’re talking about Apulia, between the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce). However, it is thanks in no small part, to the determination of the operators in the area that Salento was transformed into a real brand. They promoted and publicised its numerous natural beauties and architectural treasures. In addition to the above, Salento is home to the beach of Marina di Pescoluse, known as the Maldives of Italy due to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear sea. The ability to adopt a systematic approach, together with the expansion of the Brindisi airport, and increased flight connections, also fostered the culture of blockbuster exhibitions, which included the “multivenue” Picasso exhibition, The Other Half of the Sky, hosted simultaneously, in 2018, in three different venues: Palazzo Ducale in Martina Franca, the Castle of Mesagne and Palazzo Tanzarella in Ostuni. These, plus the profusion of “Masserie” (farmhouses) converted into luxurious hotels as well as other unique locations, like the region’s “Trulli” and “Cummerse”, can be used for Mice events. CORTINA: OLYMPIC BEAUTY Cortina, is well-known to lovers of winter sports. Enhanced with a touch of sophistication, glamour and luxury, it is the true pearl of the Dolomites. However, there’s now another reason to focus the spotlight on its snowy slopes in winter or its flowerfilled meadows in spring. In addition to hosting the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2021, it recently submitted its bid – together with Milan – to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, and you can be certain that it will get a fabulous makeover to mark the occasion, enhancing those special features for which it is already renowned. The town boasts approximately 13 locations that are suitable for Mice events, including several venues of Olympic memory, such as the Olympic Ice Stadium, created as an ice rink for the 1956 Olympics. Renovated in wood and copper, this venue is able to host up to 2,700 people.

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asililieboas eboassa.co eboas sa.co om

Coffee break at Lu’ Hotel.

Lu Hotel Hotel is justeasituato few minutes away from Il nostro al centro di uno deistunning paesaggi

naturalilike e umani più miles straordinari selvaggi d’Italia, places this one, of wildecoastline outside il Sulcis. Da noi troverete 66 66 stanze dotate di rooms, ogni of the usual tourist routes. comfortable un attrezzato centro meeting con sala acomfort, fully equipped meeting centre seating upuna to 300 congressi di 150 posti e due salette modulabili participants, a swimming pool immersed in a per


incontri fino a 25 posti, una cucina distarred altissimo livello Mediterranean garden, a Michelin Chef e unaraffinato benessere con gli esclusivi and relaxing centro wellness centre offering exclusive trattamenti viso e corpo dell’innovativa linea and innovative treatments. Whether you arediacosmesi BJVTMVY[aVULD manager on a business trip, an enthusiast of trekking Il Lu’ Hotel an è qui per voi, potreste trovare luogo or surfing, expert of non gastronomy, a scholar piùancient adatto or dove organizzare il vostroorcongresso of industrial archeology, if you areo just le silence vostre vacanze. atrascorrere lover of the of a magical land away from Vi aspettiamo, e come amici. the chaos, you come mightospiti not find a most suitable place for your holidays or meetings.

Lu’ Hotel Carbonia - Sardegna Via Costituente 09013 Carbonia (CI) Tel. + 39 0781 665020 Fax +.39 0781 674240 info@luhotel.it

HOT TOPICS glamorous Italy

The hotels of VIPs

But which hotels have seen their image, reputation and fame grow after having welcomed famous people? Let’s take a look at them together in this overview passing from the north to the south of Italy.

Not just beautiful rooms: the more and more frequent visits of famous personalities to hotels are an added value in terms of media coverage. Here are a few tips... taken directly from the VIP handbook CRISTINA MACCARRONE


hen famous personalities, royalty, Hollywood stars - but also those from Cinecittà – politicians and singers travel, go on holiday or celebrate a birthday or anniversary, it clearly gets people talking. And if it was once up to the paparazzi to track them down in the most exclusive hotels or the most isolated resorts, nowadays in the era where social media prevails, it is now the VIPs who often let the whole world know where they are, often tagging themselves in their profiles right at the hotel where they are staying. Thus putting the hotel in the spotlight: all it takes is a single story on Instagram to be “seen” by millions of followers or a geotag on Facebook or Twitter to end up in a post that will be highly shared.

IN MILAN WITH SHAKIRA, LADY GAGA AND “FERRAGNEZ” Let’s start in Milan, which was recently presented as the Italian city with the highest quality of life in the ranking published by the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. This could be one reason that more and more celebrities are choosing the city, perhaps also because it has always been the city of fashion. The music divas Shakira and Lady Gaga prefer the Park Hyatt Hotel when they come to Milan: a five-star hotel just a stone’s throw from the Cathedral, more specifically in a prestigious 19th-century building in Via Tommaso Grossi. The hotel has a luxury spa and restaurant with two Michelin stars, as well as several halls for meetings and corporate events and private dining rooms for up to 10 people; it has been the backdrop in several of Shakira’s photos while signing autographs and in various videos. The fans know: whenever the Colombian singer and actress is in Milan, she is very likely to stay there. There’s no denying that being the preferred hotel of a star of such calibre is an amazing showcase for this hotel that already on its own has nothing to envy

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the hotel is also ideal for other types of clientele: with its Sala dei Giardini Hall of well over 300 square metres, and more private rooms such as the 45 square metre reading room, it is perfect for conventions, meetings and more “intimate” encounters. Our tour in the shadow of the Cathedral’s Madonnina could only end with Armani Hotel Milano, a reference point for several international celebrities arriving directly from Hollywood. A few names? Tom Cruise, a friend of the Milanese designer, but also Leonardo Di Caprio, Glenn Close, Olivia Palermo, and staying on this side of the Alps, our Sofia Loren, still charming at 83 years old, caught by paparazzi in front of the hotel last May together with Roberta Armani and her partner Giuseppe Vicino. Numerous photos captured the diva as she left the hotel, helping to make it a favourite among movie stars. A hotel that is not only ideal for celebrities, but is also perfect from a Mice perspective thanks to the spacious Armani Business Centre extending over 200

When in Milan, Lady Gaga (left) and Shakira (above) prefer the Park Hyatt Hotel, while Tom Cruise (below in the picture together with Roberta Armani) stays at the Armani Hotel

in other Milanese hotels. Still in Milan but in another area, in Corso di Porta Nuova to be precise, the Palazzo Parigi Hotel and Gran Spa has definitely basked in the popularity of the blogger and entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni and the musician Fedez, as it was the location for the couple’s #ItalianDays, including a brunch with other VIPs, a spa treatment and one of the many selfies the couple snaps in lifts. If it seems absurd, just search the hashtag on Instagram to catch one of the photos of Chiara and her blonde hair, while wearing an unlikely sweatshirt with shorts on a hot May day, or getting around the city with her baby. On the other hand, their Italian Days at the hotel lasted a full month: they were “forced” to stay there for 30 days because their family home wasn’t ready yet, and the days were widely reported on social media. Famous for the extended stay of “Ferragnez”,

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Hotels often become the protagonists of different types of films, with real sets built within them, as is the case with Hotel Danieli in Venice, where the main scenes of “The Tourist” (2010) were shot with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Again in the city of the lagoon, but years before, Hotel Cipriani was the backdrop for some scenes of “Casino Royale” in 2006, the 21st James Bond film, starring Daniel Craig, but also several Italian actors like Giancarlo Giannini, Claudio Santamaria and Caterina Murino. All it takes is a visit to Cip’s Bar for proof: you can enjoy a famous vodka Martini while reading the plaque commemorating the fact that it was once Bond’s Bar. And still in the Veneto region, but travelling further back in time with another 007: “For Your Eyes Only” was filmed in Cortina with Roger Moore (above in the picture) staying at the Miramonti Hotel, no less. square metres and with rooms that adapt to the type of event, whether worldly or more business-related.

Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney chose the venetian Belmond Hotel Cipriani for their wedding reception

VENICE: AMONG THE FILM STARS OF THE PAST AND PRESENT Still in the north, but moving further to the east, Venice is our next mandatory stop: a destination, among other things, during one of the most important events for cinema with its International Film Festival. Here the hotels of the Grand Canal or Giudecca district, for example the Cipriani, are often the destination for stars of the big screen.

Only four years ago the beautiful bachelor George Clooney finally gave in and got married to Amal Alamuddin, and in fact the two organised their reception to celebrate the wonderful event precisely at the fabulous Belmond Hotel Cipriani. The bride was taken to the hotel on the water taxi “Amore”, stepping out onto the dock like a modern Cinderella with shoes in hand to meet the groom waiting for her along with many other celebrities such as Matt Damon and Cindy Crawford. And the hotel which has just turned 60 has hosted many celebrities, including heads of state, royal families and actors. To offer its guests an “exclusive” Venice experience, it takes them to visit the Lagoon on Edipo Re, the boat of Pierpaolo Pasolini and Maria Callas. Just think, the oldest part of the hotel dates back to the fifteenth century. Beyond VIPs, the hotel is perfect for incentive trips: tours of the bacari (typical Venetian bars where you can taste cicchetti (small samples) of local delicacies while sipping “un’ombra de vin” (a glass of wine) or the exclusive perfume museum of Palazzo Mocenigo start from here. But there are many other hotels whose popularity has increased thanks to stars: the JW Marriott on the Island of Roses, where Robert Redford and Jane Fonda were spotted when they returned to act in “Our Souls at Night” together, or the Excelsior, the heart of the Exhibition, with guests like Vincent Cassel and Claudia Cardinale or other celebrities such as Susan Sarandon and Sophie Turner during the KinèòDiamanti del Cinema Award. Of course, the most unforgettable of all was the charming Paul Newman, who went to a party at the Excelsior in 1963 right after having been the star of a shot that immortalised him while he crossed St Mark’s Basin on a water taxi. How can we forget his

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mysterious look, his elegant tuxedo and his arm gently resting on the boat? The black and white photo has been replicated many times, Photoshopped, shared on social networks and greatly loved. Just like the actor who made both the city and many films unique. Last but not least, the most recent news: just as 2019 rolled around, Lady Gaga announced she will wed in Venice this year. The location has not yet been announced, but one thing is certain: the wedding will be held in a building by the Grand Canal! MICHAEL BUBLÉ AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICIANS ARE AT HOME IN ROME Rome is certainly not to be outdone by Milan or Venice. One of the hotels where it’s easier to run into stars in the capital is definitely the Hassler Hotel overlooking Piazza Trinità dei Monti. A perfect accommodation for conventions, press conferences and various types of events (it offers so-called “meeting packages”), it is also ideal for stars from all walks of life: just a few examples are David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow. Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa is equally famous: it features no fewer than 18 meeting rooms, and is where Michael Bublé comes every time he visits the city. It also seems that his two sons were conceived between these luxurious walls. And not just actors and music stars: the Grand Hotel & Spa is also a destination for international politicians, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US Senator John Kerry. In the ultra-central Via del Babuino, on the other hand, the five-star luxury Hotel de Russie of Rocco Forte is a preferred

destination for singers on tour in the Eternal City: Bono Vox with U2 and Bruce Springsteen are some of the regular customers who seem to particularly appreciate the scenographic Le Jardin de Russie, the hotel’s splendid terrace restaurant. The hotel also has amazingly elegant spaces for Mice: four rooms lit by natural light with up to 90 seats, in addition to the open-air Giardino Segreto, or “Secret Garden”.

Above, two legends: the Excelsior Lido and charming Paul Newman onboard a water taxi. Below, Madonna celebrating her birthday in Borgo Egnazia

FASANO FOR FABULOUS BIRTHDAYS AND WEDDINGS What can we say about the splendid Borgo Egnazia? Now we’ve journeyed down to Apulia, in Savelletri di Fasano (in the province of Brindisi), where no less

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Angel Merkel has chosen Ischia and the Miramare Sea Resort for her summer holidays for years

than pop star Madonna has been a guest several times, and even celebrated her 59th birthday last year. With 29 villas in total, each spread over 250 square metres with a garden and private pool, the hotel has been exalted several times by the singer of “Like a virgin”, who openly declared that she had fallen in love with the hotel in 2016 with the photo of a sunset taken from there. What did she write? “Stairway to heaven… the evidence of its brilliance”. The presence of this calibre of VIPs surely benefited Borgo Egnazia, which won the Virtuoso award in the “Best hotel of the year” category a year later. The accommodation was also chosen by tennis champion Maria Sharapova while she visited the region for a wedding. Just take a peek at her Instagram profile during the summer to see numerous photos of the area. Borgo Egnazia also hosted the founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, along with all the guests who celebrated the wedding of Renee Sutton, daughter of an American billionaire, to Eliot Cohen in 2017. Another wedding which was perhaps even more famous and even more private was that celebrated at the resort by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in 2012. It seems that the VIPs and the hotel have brought each other luck: Justin and Jessica’s relationship is still flourishing, while the hotel still enjoys the fame of those days, or rather has seen it grow significantly over the years.

CAPRI AND ISCHIA: ESSENTIAL DESTINATIONS FOR ROYALTY, FOOTBALLERS AND POLITICIANS From east to west, directly to the island of the VIPs: Capri. If you stop at Capri Palace Hotel & Spa in Anacapri during a company convention or one of the many team-building incentives organised here in contact with nature, perhaps for a fishing trip or a cooking class with Michelin-starred chefs, you might bump into other stars like Princess Caroline of Monaco and Charlotte Casiraghi. Francesco Totti and Ilary Blasi instead chose the Grand Hotel Quisisana in the centre of Capri to celebrate the showgirl’s birthday. Last summer, the current coach of the Naples football team Carlo Ancelotti also chose to stay here. Angela Merkel instead prefers the Miramare Sea Resort in Ischia. The German chancellor has chosen the resort for her summer holidays for years. It is located in the fishing village of Sant’Angelo, is equipped with meeting rooms and is a preferred destination for those looking to hold team-building activities while enjoying a beautiful view. PORTO CERVO AND COSTA SMERALDA Porto Cervo in Sardinia clearly couldn’t be missing from the list: it is a mandatory stop for VIPs during the summer and is proud to have hosted Elton John, who played here at the concert organised for the 50th anniversary of the Costa Smeralda, attended by famous people from all over the world. It was held six years ago, but the singer was caught here by paparazzi in 2017 as well, at Hotel Cala di Volpe to be exact, proving that certain moments are indelible and contribute to creating real legends.

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SITE INSPECTION destinations

The beauty of a network Sardinia Mice Network is a network of hotels, convention centres, historic villas and service companies that all operate in the events sector. The goal? To guarantee the island’s promotion and coordinate its offer ANTONELLA ANDRETTA


t is impossible not to love Sardinia, and not only for its sea that has been immortalised by millions of photos on Instagram: there is so very much more and it all deserves to be included in an incentive or post-conference offering. The best way to do so is to entrust the organisation of such events to those who really know the territory and its services, such as Sardinia Mice Network, which unites 36 companies belonging to different segments of Mice. We discussed the network with Nicola Pala, its co-founder and director. Let’s start from a planning perspective: why organise an event in Sardinia in 2019? «Because Sardinia is home to excellent hotels, efficient conference centres and well-run services. But above all because it is unique in its year-round mild climate and its thousand-year-old culture, without forgetting its beaches as an ideal setting for team building sessions or memorable parties».

Sardinia Mice Network

Nicola Pala: Tel. + 39 347 9580283 Emanuele Cabras: Tel. + 39 348 7301560 retemicesardegna@gmail.com www.micesardinia.it www.facebook.com/micesardinia

Opportunities not to be missed? «Here are just some of the many: in October Cagliari will host the America’s Cup World Series, a competition leading up to the Prada Cup, whose winner will take part in the America’s Cup. The festival of Sant’Efisio is quite

different but also can’t be missed: it has been celebrated for 358 years and manages to bind the many territories of our region with the threads of tradition. The unique event Girotonno will be held from 30 May to 2 June on the island of San Pietro, where the finest tuna are caught». Can you tell us about the most recent events you have brought to Sardinia as a network? «The European Athletics Championships for Transplant and Dialysis Patients, the Italian Youth Fencing Championships, the CEI Convention (Italian Episcopal Conference) with over 1,200 delegates and the European Implantology Conference. In this regard, the most fundamental aspect is maintaining dialogue with institutions, from the Sardinia Region’s Tourism Department onwards: major events can only be successful when intentions are shared». How do you promote the destination? «We participate in the main international fairs and workshops. In 2018 the network also organised six educational trips dedicated to the following themes: villages, culture and archaeology, food and wine, sailing and golf, active tourism, and trekking paths, attended by buyers from the most important European markets. This was all part of the Call 2 Action project organised by Geasar Airport of Olbia and financed by the Sardinia Region’s Tourism Department. The project is also scheduled for 2019».

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SITE INSPECTION chains & clubs

Three Florentine locations with a different identity and style to satisfy any hospitality need. Not just hotels, they are spaces for business meetings, gala evenings, smaller meetings and events for large groups as well. The brand? To Florence Hotels

Relive the Florentine Renaissance SABRINA PIACENZA

To Florence Hotels

Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 38 50122 Florence Tel. +39 055 26236 Fax +39 055 2480921 events@toflorence.it www.toflorencehotels.com


ased in the extraordinary Tuscan capital, To Florence Hotels has a complete offer for the meeting industry that integrates hospitality, catering and the organisation of high-level events through three Superior four-star hotels, three restaurants and a functional space, letting everyone find the right combination for their event. Hotel Mulino di Firenze is an enchanting fourteenth-century building, while Villa Olmi Firenze is a prestigious eighteenthcentury country estate and Plaza Hotel Lucchesi overlooks the Lungarno Promenade in the historic city centre: all perfect locations for the business segment, in addition to the restaurants Il Cavaliere, Il Grano dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Oro and Empireo. Joining these flexible and welcoming hotels and restaurants is a multifunctional space built using the containment tanks of an old mill located on the banks of the Arno: Officine Condotte is a perfect space for hosting conferences, meetings, seminars, receptions or product presentations and is just a few minutes from the centre of Florence. Consisting of a reserved, external amphitheatre and a spacious and modular interior room, the space has been designed and equipped to adapt to every need. Its

minimal chic atmosphere is the underlying theme behind every event, from the most cultured to the most formal business meeting, all characterised by maximum customisation. To Florence Hotels matches the expertise and professionalism of its highly qualified staff with the specificity of each unique space, supporting organisers and customers at any stage of every event. Hotel Mulino di Firenze and Villa Olmi Firenze have large rooms illuminated by natural light and equipped with the latest audio/video technologies. Yet the real added value of the To Florence Hotels offering lies above all in the combination of the Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different facets. For corporate entertainment events such as cocktails or aperitifs, Plaza Hotel Lucchesi offers its Empireo Rooftop, a terrace with swimming pool offering a 360-degree view of the Cathedral, Santa Croce and the splendid hills surrounding Florence. The pursuit of excellence in every aspect and unique management based on quality, passion and knowledge are the distinctive traits of To Florence, which has distinguished itself in Florence for years through its impeccable value and organisation.

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Villa Ca’ Vendri Quinto Valpantena (VR) Total number of bedrooms: 12 | Dining hall: 1 | Seats: 200 | Meeting rooms: 4 | Main room maximum capacity: 160 seats | Smallest room capacity: 50 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 180 sqm inside + 150 sqm outside but covered + wide outdoor park | Post congress organization

Villa Ca’ Vendri is a magnificent 16th century complex six kilometres from the centre of Verona. This renowned tourist destination is one of the favourite Italian places of choice for northern and eastern European companies


Villa Ca’ Vendri

Quinto Valpantena 37142 Verona Tel. +39 335 6366959 info@villacavendri.it www.villacavendri.it


t is no surprise that individuals, companies, film directors and advertising agencies choose this unique location as a setting for their events. While strolling along its cypress-lined driveway, visitors will feel they’ve stepped back in time. Though gently entrenched in the 21st century, this charming villa – designed by Sammicheli, an architect who, even before Palladio, made classicism his hallmark feature – has kept its beauty intact. One of Ca’ Vendri’s most notable architectural features is its exquisite facade, a perfect balance of lines and proportions, serving as an ideal backdrop for top-level events. After passing through its loggia and piano nobile, guests will find themselves in a spacious drawing room. Spread over 180 square metres, with a sevenmetre-high ceiling, it is designed to accommodate up to 160 delegates. An additional three spaces, lying adjacent to the main room, can be used to increase the seating capacity, for cocktails, coffee breaks or private meetings. On the second floor, another beautiful room, boasting an imposing 16th-century trussed ceiling, can accommodate up to 90 people. In addition to meeting spaces, the villa

and its annexes offer delegates several stylishly furnished bedrooms, equipped with all modern comforts. Other amenities include a beautiful indoor swimming pool and a sauna located on the ground floor. From spring onwards, visitors can enjoy Ca’ Vendri’s numerous outdoor amenities. These include a six-hectare park, a 150-square metre portico and a courtyard which can be decorated to surprise and delight guests, thanks to the impeccable taste of architect, Alessandra Pesavento and her skilful use of lights, candles, flowers and fabrics. Management of the Ca’ Vendri complex is entrusted to Alessandro Melloni, whose years of experience in the industry (first as a company manager and then as an events planner) guarantee that no detail, including the relationships with service suppliers (catering, technical support, etc.) is left to chance. The villa is also an ideal spot to host postcongress activities. The property’s private driving range, located at the edge of the villa, can be used for exciting team building activities, enhanced, at the end of the day, by lavish balls, performances and fireworks displays. A 16th century destination where dreams become true!

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The ideal venue for your successful meeting A unique setting, overlooking the sea, in a scenery of unparalleled beauty. For your next event choose Camogli, a dream destination where you can mix work and relax and taste the typical dishes of the Ligurian tradition expertly prepared by our Chefs.

Open all year round


A noble past and an extraordinary present in the name of excellence. The stunning spaces at Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais are now open for meetings and events so that guests can connect with a unique landscape, rich in history

An enchanting Venetian villa SABRINA PIACENZA


long avenue lined with tall cypress trees, a hamlet, a stately villa and a small church are all harmoniously immersed in the extraordinary natural beauty of the Villa Cordevigo estate, which communicates with the main building via an enchanting Italian garden. This is the scene that welcomes guests to the villa, now known as the Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, a five-star Luxury hotel in the magnificent Lake Garda region. This unique place somehow seems to be suspended in time, nestled in the quiet, peaceful environment that the current owners have succeeded in preserving and enhancing

through a major restoration project. This attention to detail has allowed the entire history of the villa to transition into the present, where a past characterised by great harmony and beauty has been brought back to life in a story that begins in the 16th century â&#x20AC;&#x201C; although the earliest traces of the building date back to Roman times. Villa Cordevigo was first built as a manor house, with a series of rustic outbuildings that were used for agricultural purposes. As early as the 18th century, however, and in the centuries that followed, the transformation of the orchard into a spectacular garden bore testament to the wealth and power of the families who resided here. For hundreds of years, the villa has been the noble residence of a series of aristocratic families who, over time, have made a number of interesting improvements to the building, enriching it with frescoes and works of art. Currently, Villa Cordevigo belongs to the Delibori and Cristoforetti families, who transformed it into a Wine Relais and fivestar Luxury hotel in 2011. It immediately became an exclusive destination for all those looking for supreme comfort paired with good food and fine wine. Indeed, in 2017, the villa was awarded the Tripadvisor Travelersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Choice Award

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Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais L Località Cordevigo Cavaion Veronese (VR) Total number of bedrooms: 33 | Restaurants: 2 | Seats: 30+35+100 | Meeting rooms: 2 | Main room maximum capacity: 70 seats | Smallest room capacity: 20 seats | Exhibition area: 100 sqm indoor + park, garden, terraces outdoor| Post congress organization

and named as one of the Top 10 hotels in Italy. That same year, it became part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association – further confirmation of the careful restoration work and the superlative quality of the spaces and services it offers. GREAT BEAUTY As one of the most magnificent hotels in Italy, the appeal of Villa Cordevigo is tangible and the entire complex radiates charm: every space is characterised by features and facilities that set it far above the norm. The hotel boasts 33 rooms and suites for guests, which are located both in the main villa and in the two side wings known as barchesse. Each room is different from the next and marries the refined style typical of the 19th century with the beauty of contemporary design. Villa Cordevigo provides top-class hospitality from every perspective. Gastronomic excellence is at its core and is guaranteed by the creative Mediterranean energy of Chef Giuseppe d’Aquino, the brain and brawn behind the Oseleta Restaurant, which has been awarded a much-coveted Michelin Star. Villa Cordevigo is also a warm refuge where guests can pamper both body and mind at the Essentia Spa, which offers a holistic wellness experience within a

luxurious space that includes a Finnish sauna, an infra-red sauna, a Turkish bath, jacuzzi tubs, sensory showers and much more besides. EXCLUSIVE MEETING SPACES At Villa Cordevigo, the areas reserved for relaxation complement the business facilities to perfection, with two spaces serving as ideal locations for hosting events that meet the exacting demands of the meeting industry. The De Moreschi Room spans 112 square metres and can accommodate up to 70 people theatre style. The ceiling in this elegant space is almost four metres high and there is plenty of natural light. It comes equipped with a screen, projector, microphone, sound system, wi-fi and flip chart. The Taverna Fracastoro, meanwhile, is a smaller room of just over 40 square metres and is altogether more intimate. It can accommodate around 20 people, making it ideal for business meetings with fewer participants. Boasting ancient charm, The Taverna is a small rustic dining room that owes its name to Girolamo Fracastoro, a renowned doctor, philosopher and poet who wrote a number of important literary texts on wine in the 16th century. He once lived at the villa.

Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais

Località Cordevigo 37010 Cavaion Veronese (VR) Tel. +39 045 7235287 info@villacordevigo.com www.villacordevigo.com

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Hotel Acquaviva del Garda of Terme di Sirmione offers a rich and customised offer entirely dedicated to the meeting industry, with exclusive packages tailored to the needs of each client

Relax your business SABRINA PIACENZA


he extraordinary scenery of Lake Garda confirms the region’s business vocation yet again, an extra plus beyond the already consolidated international leisure tourism target. The setting is a unique, priceless bonus in addition to the climate, which is mild yearround so that it is possible to enjoy open-air sports in all seasons, a benefit for both

tourists and businesspeople. Add to these the numerous historical and artistic beauties that enrich the incentive offer of highly appealing, tailor-made leisure programmes that the hotel organises for its clients. Furthermore, the hotel’s location is quite strategic, halfway between dynamic and industrious Milan and romantic Venice, as well as near the main Italian motorways. It is an ideal place for a holiday, organising a conference or a business meeting, or participating in an exclusive event since Lake Garda meets any requirement under the banner of beauty, relaxation, creativity and business. RELAXATION FOR EVERY TASTE Hotel Acquaviva del Garda is a four star hotel owned by Terme di Sirmione with an 800 square metre spa, an outdoor pool, an 8,000 square metre park, a large panoramic rooftop terrace and a private beach. Solid and well organised with a working team that sees to each client and a meeting designer who is ready to guide towards a successful event, the hotel – which is the area’s reference point for the meeting industry – offers diversified and therefore highly customisable solutions through

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Hotel Acquaviva del Garda  Desenzano del Garda (BS) Total number of bedrooms: 80 | Meeting rooms: 7 | Main room maximum capacity: 212 seats | Smallest room capacity: 15 seats | Restaurants: 3 | Seats: 120-145 | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 600 sqm | Post congress organization

synergy present on all levels. Hotel guests can also take advantage of the wellness areas, which include a heated indoor swimming pool with hydro-massage and effervescent beds, sauna, Turkish bath, sensory and solar shower, fitness room and beauty farm for treatments, as well as a relaxation area par excellence. The gastronomic offer is also of the utmost level, in line with the wellness objectives the entire hotel aspires to, with healthy cuisine able to satisfy the most demanding palates. CUSTOM BUSINESS OFFERS Hotel Acquaviva del Garda features a modern design and has seven flexible meeting rooms that make it possible to organise multiple events at the same time. The main hall has over 200 seats and there are three smaller rooms able to accommodate 50 people each, as well as another three smaller rooms with 12 seats overlooking the lake illuminated by natural light with soundproofing and advanced technological equipment. All the rooms are equipped with a video projector and screen, an audio/video system, wi-fi internet access and other useful equipment for a

stress-free working session. In addition to the more classic meeting rooms, there is also a pleasant winter garden that can be transformed into a meeting room for 180 people or for a refined gala dinner. The hotel is perfect for organising tailormade events and multi-day meetings given its diversified spaces. Exciting team building activities, dinners and cocktail parties, and memorable post-congress events can also be held here: visits to the nearby cities of art, boat trips and highly appreciated food and wine tours in the rich surrounding area. Always attentive to its customers with promotions and special offers, Hotel Acquaviva del Garda currently has a great opportunity for companies and event organisers through March. By booking at least 25 rooms, clients will be given a free meeting room to organise an event or business meetings. Clients can choose between the Desenzano, Sirmione or Catullo meeting rooms for a full day, from 9 am to 6 pm. But that’s not all: the hotel staff has created a rich booklet of additional services and personalised packages such as the Business & AperiSpa package, the Meeting&Wellness package and the Relax your Business package.

Hotel Acquaviva del Garda

Viale Francesco Agello, 84 25015 Desenzano del Garda (BS) Tel. +39 030 9901583 sales@termedisirmione.com www.termedisirmione.com

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Relais Villa Giulia Fano (PU) Total number of bedrooms: 13 rooms + 5 apartments | Restaurants: 1 | Seats: up to 120 | Meeting rooms: 2 | Main room maximum capacity: 120 seats | Smallest room capacity: 24 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 200 + 90 sqm | Post congress organization

Charming Relais Villa Giulia is designed to meet the corporate requirements of a discerning business clientele who understand the difference between a regular hotel room or staying in a functioning historical villa

A trip back in time ANTONELLA ANDRETTA

Relais Villa Giulia

Via di Villa Giulia 61032 Fano (PU) Tel. +39 0721 823159 info@relaisvillagiulia.com www.relaisvillagiulia.com


elais Villa Giulia is a residence that once belonged to Napoleon’s stepson Eugene di Beauharnais, viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy between 1805 and 1814. The residence retains the structural layout and attractive old world atmosphere of days gone by when the intelligentsia of that era patronised it. Guests who entrust their comfort to Camilla Ambrogi and Sara Conti, the property’s two events managers, will experience the same welcome received by 19th century poets, generals and grand dames, with the added plus of all modern comforts and state-ofthe art technology; an ideal combination to encourage creative thought and the sharing of ideas, proposals and objectives. Camilla and Sara boast years of experience in the events industry, and specialise in the coordination and management of every detail of business meetings, buffets, dinners and post-congress activities. Key features include the spaces used for meetings, which have hosted the corporate events of big-name brands including Kraft-Heinz and Mediolanum, as well as yoga seminars and gala dinners. These spaces include the striking 150-square metre Orangerie, a beautiful iron and glass structure, bathed in natural light which can be divided into two spaces. Another 30-square metre room, designed to host smaller, private events, is located inside the villa. Outside,

the villa’s beautiful panoramic terrace offers a breathtaking view over the surrounding landscape, framed on one side by the Adriatic Sea and, on the other, by the town of Fano, silhouetted against the rolling hills of the Marche region. The Orangerie also doubles as a restaurant and in summer guests can dine “al fresco” at the tables set up on the terrace, an ideal place to relax, commune with nature, and enjoy all the benefits of the estate’s idyllic lush green surroundings (the parkland of the estate is spread over three hectares). Villa Giulia is intimately connected to the land and its surrounding region, from which it sources the organic produce grown in its kitchen garden, parkland, and on the estate of its MarcheSana agricultural cooperative. It is no surprise that the creative gourmet cuisine prepared by chef Danilo Mariotti highlights these and other raw materials with a tantalizing array of meat and fish dishes, focusing on only the freshest, seasonal ingredients. The villa’s comfortable, stylishly furnished guest rooms are also noteworthy. In addition to the bedrooms located inside the villa, the property offers accommodation in four farmhouses located in the park, a detail that gives the Relais the appearance of a small village. The locale is completed by a large, panoramic swimming pool, a great place to enjoy a few hours of sheer relaxation.

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Kolbe Hotel Rome  Rome Total number of bedrooms: 72 | Restaurants: 1 | Seats: 120 | Meeting rooms: 19 | Main room maximum capacity: 150 seats | Smallest room capacity: 20 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 80 sqm | Post congress organization

The latest awards corroborating the excellence of the property, and the arrival of a new chef testify to the prestige of the Kolbe Hotel Rome, named among the top conference destinations by the international meeting industry

In the heart of ancient Rome SABRINA PIACENZA

Some of the top-level awards received by Kolbe Hotel Rome in 2018. Above right, Carlo Izzo, Kolbe’s Managing Director, during the Haute Grandeur Hotel Awards gala event in Dubai

Kolbe Hotel Rome

Via di S. Teodoro, 48 00186 Rome Tel.+39 06 6798866 www.kolbehotelrome.com


he Kolbe Hotel Rome continues to receive numerous top-level awards: two more prestigious ones were recently added to the array of commendable awards which bear witness to its ongoing success in the industry. At a gala event held in Dubai, in November last year, the Kolbe Hotel Rome received two Haute Grandeur Hotel Awards: the “Best Historical Hotel in Italy 2018” award, and the “Best Italian Cuisine 2018” award for its restaurant, the Unique Al Palatino Garden Restaurant. This success is based on several factors including its coveted position in the heart of the city’s most ancient urban fabric, and its proximity to the capital’s major historic and artistic landmarks. In spite of its enviable position in the heart of the city, the Kolbe Hotel Rome offers guests and delegates a tranquil, secluded ambience, beginning with its comfortable rooms and internal cloisters. It is an ideal place to relax and focus, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced metropolis. The locale is further enhanced by the superlative gastronomic offerings provided by the

Unique Al Palatino Garden Restaurant, a unique setting for gala lunches and dinners. The restaurant is helmed by chef Ciro Tiano, a recent addition to the staff, with years of experience at international restaurants. In addition to culinary excellence, the Kolbe Hotel Rome offers top-level services, focusing on added value. These include rooms and facilities dedicated to the families who often accompany delegates, and various amenities to suit all corporate needs. The hotel offers 19 versatile meeting rooms fitted with state-of-the art equipment, plus the Kolbe Library, now used as a plenary room. This unique venue, spread over 136 square metres, is designed to accommodate up to 150 delegates, and boasts a 7 meter high groin-vaulted ceiling. The property’s sleek, modern rooms, highly professional staff and meticulous attention to the specific requirements of every guest, have made the hotel a go-to destination for an elite clientele. For example, the embassies and delegations of the European Union, who have chosen the hotel and its restaurant as the location for their official meetings.

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Romeo is for those who believe that design is not the exclusive prerogative of Asian cities and northern European capitals, and for those who choose sophistication and design even while working

Far from commonplace ANTONELLA ANDRETTA


ike the most popular bestsellers, hotels also boast reviews that highlight their value: “One of the best hotels in the world” (Condé Nast Travel), “An oasis of tranquillity immersed in luxury” (New York Times), “ The best of contemporary metropolitan style” (Harper’s Bazaar). And if brands like Chanel and Dior chose Romeo as the location to present some of their product lines in 2018, it can only be further proof of this facility’s utmost quality levels. INSPIRATION COMES FROM AFAR Designed by the Japanese studio Kenzo Tange & Associates (Kenzo Tange unfortunately died in 2005, and was one of the icons of the world’s twentieth-century architecture), the five-star luxury hotel has been converted from the historic headquarters of the Flotta Lauro line and directly faces the Gulf of Naples. More than just a stretch of sea, the gulf is one of the symbols of the city and is reflected in the hotel’s glass façade. Crossing the threshold and leaving the historic centre behind along with Maschio Angioino and Molo Beverello (docks with ships heading to Capri,

Ischia, Amalfi and Positano), you enter the hall where the contrasts that are so inherent in Naples continue, but are instead enhanced in a combination of modernity and tradition converted into an art form. In fact, every element of this hotel is unique and designed to reflect its context: on the one hand the tradition of one of the most historic cities in the Mediterranean, on the other its genuine liveliness in eternal movement. This evolutionary movement also characterises the hotel: new types of rooms were inaugurated at the beginning of 2019 along with new suites, and the restaurants and bars will soon also undergo a transformation in terms of both structure and concept. The hotel now offers 79 rooms full of total comfort overlooking the gulf and the city; the rooms are divided into Superior, Deluxe Front, Deluxe Harbour View, Junior Corner Suite, Harbour View Junior Suite and Wellness Room (with private spa), while the suites include the Deluxe Suite Harbour View, Grand Suite Harbour View, Deluxe Suite Castle View, Two Bedroom Family Suite, Two Bedroom Suite with Zen Garden and the most exclusive Penthouse

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Romeo L Naples Total number of bedrooms: 79 | Restaurants: 3 | Seats: 40 + 50 + 100 | Meeting rooms: 4 | Main room maximum capacity: 100 seats | Smallest room capacity: 10 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 130 sqm | Post congress organization

Suite with precious furnishings and paintings, including works by Schifano and Hermés. ADDITIONAL NEW FEATURES The Meeting & Events halls will also undergo a change during the year, starting with a remodelling of the meeting rooms in order to meet the renewed demands of the market. The Meeting & Events facilities located on the first floor is currently composed of four different rooms with different characteristics and capacities and will soon host four with a maximum capacity of one hundred people. The Lauro Hall will maintain its role as the main hall with area of 130 square metres, a minimal-chic design, advanced equipment (including a production room) and an original artistic installation. The spectacular Beluga Hall occupying the entirety of the ninth floor is ideal for lunches, aperitifs and cocktails. There is a pool and a terrace overlooking the gulf right next to the hall. A team of young professionals is ready to satisfy any kind of request, dealing with the organisation of events and ensuring that everything about them

runs smoothly. In 2018 the hotel was proud to host both an Apple meeting and an incentive event for Toshiba. The destination is well suited as the ideal backdrop for groups looking to spend time together. The area has a near-infinite number of proposals, from museums to shopping to archaeological sites (Pompeii and Herculaneum are a short distance away) and much more: the hotel staff organises guided tours of the historic centre, tours of the islands, cooking and pizza lessons and guided tours of Mount Vesuvius. Romeo is well integrated with the territory and its team is accustomed to organising all kinds of activities in collaboration with local DMCs. Lastly, the dining options certainly deserve mention: the panoramic restaurant Il Comandante located on the tenth floor is led by Chef Salvatore Bianco and has been awarded a Michelin Star. It offers elaborate and extremely refined cuisine where every dish is an experience. Rounding out the hotel’s services are Dogana del Sale, a wellness centre of a thousand square metres (formed from the ancient salt customs office, hence its name) and a very well-equipped three hundred square metre gym.


Via Cristoforo Colombo, 45 80133 Naples Tel. +39 081 6041580 events@romeohotel.it www.romeohotel.it

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Grand, expansive spaces for major events, against a backdrop that is unique to say the least: the Reggia di Venaria, former royal residence of the House of Savoy, opens its doors, inviting guests into the heart of its historical splendour

A setting fit for royalty ANTONELLA ANDRETTA


ome places are so famous that they need no introduction: in Italy, La Venaria Reale is one of these – a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and a Unesco World Heritage site. This first structure in this majestic complex was erected in the mid-seventeenth century, and the Venaria now consists of 80,000 square metres of grand historical buildings and 50 hectares of Gardens; the palace and its grounds were opened to the public in 2007 after a series of major restorations. Once the exclusive domain of nobles and aristocrats, it is now possible to organise exclusive events – including those on a larger scale – in the heart of this awe-inspiring grandeur and beauty, enabling guests to enjoy both the sumptuous rooms of the palace and its spectacular outdoor spaces, with fabulous views of the Gardens.

GRAND, EXPANSIVE SPACES FOR MAJOR EVENTS A number of important events have recently been held at the Venaria Reale, including the G7 Innovation Week, dedicated to the themes of work and employment, science and industry; the week saw the participation of ministers and delegates from all over the world, who came together to discuss the future and innovation. Sessions were held in the magnificent Sala di Diana, decorated with ornate stucco, frescoes and allegorical depictions and a glorious view stretching out over the Gardens, and in the Galleria Grande, the symbol of the Reggia di Venaria; with a striking black and white chequered floor, the room spans 80 metres in length and 12 in width, with ceilings 15 metres high. The Galleria, a singularly evocative setting,

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La Venaria Reale Venaria Reale (TO) Meeting rooms: 3 | Main room maximum capacity: 350 seats | Smallest room capacity: 99 seats | Exhibition area: 100,000 sqm | Banqueting Hall: 3 | Maximum capacity for standing receptions: 800 guests | Maximum capacity for seated receptions: 600 guests | Post congress organization can accommodate up to 600 people seated and 850 standing, making it perfect not only for presentations, conferences, cocktail parties and gala events, but also for performances, or for use as a film set. Continuing deeper into the heart of the palace along the ceremonial route, we come to the Rondò Alfieriano, a delightful space that can accommodate up to 180 people seated and 350 standing. Last but certainly not least of the indoor spaces is the picturesque Cappella di Sant’Uberto, the work of great architect Filippo Juvarra, which can host 300 people seated and 450 standing – perfect for all manner of events, including unforgettable weddings. While the interior spaces are capacious as well as majestic, the outdoor areas of the palace are perhaps even more so. The Gardens of the Reggia, for example, were used to host the final of the Parco Valentino Grand Prix in 2018, the concluding moment of the Parco Valentino Car Show (an open-air exhibition of over 40 vehicle brands held every year in Turin, which attracted 600,000 people last year – in 2019, it is scheduled to take place between 19 to 23 June). The outdoor spaces that can be used to host events at the palace include the Corte d’Onore(for up to 2,000 people), with the Fontana del Cervo and its spectacular water displays; the Gran Parterre, a stunning geometric garden (up to 20,000 seats); the breathtaking Terrazza della Regina, which overlooks the Gardens (up to 350 seats) and the elegant Giardino delle Rose (2,000 seats). The Cascina Medici del Vascello is also located in the Gardens, and features a 99-seat conference hall and a multi-purpose space which can seat 100. THE AREA: A WEALTH OF CULTURE AND FINE FOOD The Venaria Reale is just 10 kilometres from the heart of Turin, a city that not only boasts high-level tourist accommodation, but is also one of the most dynamic destinations in Italy (it was nominated Best in Travel 2019 by Lonely Planet), thanks to its rich cultural heritage and excellent food and wine. For sports-related incentives in the Parco

della Mandria, which borders the Reggia di Venaria, there are also two prestigious golf clubs that are used to host international events: the Circolo Golf Torino and the Royal Park Golf I Roveri. But even without leaving the confines of the Venaria Reale, there is the possibility to combine events with an exclusive visit to the royal palace, or to the temporary exhibitions that are held throughout the year. The coming months offer a particularly interesting selection; Elliott Erwitt Personae, a retrospective featuring 170 works by the great American photographer (until March 17), Easy Rider - Il mito della motocicletta come arte («The myth of the motorcycle as art»), an exhibition which offers a glimpse into the magical world of motorcycles (until 5 May), and Cani in posa («Posing dogs»), the first major exhibition in Italy on the theme of dogs in art, a collection of sculptures and paintings by some of the greatest artists of all time, from ancient times to today.

La Venaria Reale

Piazza della Repubblica, 4 Venaria Reale (TO) Tel. +39 011 4992333 – +39 011 4992416 Fax +39 011 4322228 ilmiospazio@lavenariareale.it www.lavenaria.it

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Nuvola Lavazza Turin Meeting rooms: 4 | Main room maximum capacity: 1,000 seats | Smallest room capacity: 30 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 1,300 sqm | Banqueting Hall + restaurant | Maximum capacity for standing receptions: 1,000 guests | Maximum capacity for seated receptions: 400 guests | Post congress organization

A new multifunctional space which also includes a museum and a restaurant: the Nuvola Lavazza has become the prime location for private events and a new city hub for sharing ideas, food and culture

Under the Turin sky SABRINA PIACENZA

Nuvola Lavazza

Via Bologna 32 10152 Turin Tel. +39 011 2348317 www.lavazza.it/nuvola


his brand known worldwide, famous for the excellence of its coffee production for over one hundred and twenty years, has celebrated its history by inaugurating a new and modern headquarters: a space open to the city, a place for meetings, culture and innovation. The Nuvola Lavazza in Turin is a project that has made possible to redevelop the a portion of the city urban area – Aurora – and give it new life with a structure capable of attracting a wide range of target audiences in a series of environments and functions that speak of value and passion. The total space extends over 30,000 square metres, where past, present and future meet and merge into the wellconserved recovered archaeological area, in contemporary and welcoming environments dedicated to exhibition and in functional areas dedicated to conferences, congresses and events in general. The skilful recovery intervention has allowed the creation of a functional complex that preserves the memory and identity of the location through the reuse of a former power station from the late 19th century. It has now been transformed into an area of over 4,500 square metres equipped to host cultural, entertainment, food and business events which includes a large central space that is ideal for large-scale events, a conference room and an indoor terrace located on the second floor and overlooking the main body, an independent environment that can accommodate up to 150 people. Without forgetting that meetings and

exchanges also, and above all, involve food. The restaurant Condividere (which means “sharing” in English) located inside Nuvola Lavazza offers a gastronomic proposal based on a new taste philosophy where guests informally taste creative and innovative recipes. The concept by Ferran Adrià, the decorations by Dante Ferretti and the cuisine of Chef Federico Zanasi all meet in this location with a magical flavour that also underlines the project’s excellence in this regard: a place where guests can enjoy an experience in which an excellent coffee is the sublime final act.

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09010 Località Forte Village (Cagliari) Sardegna, Italia Tel +39 070 9218003 Fax +39 070 921113 mice@fortevillage.com www.fortevillage.com


Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum is an iconic, multifunctional place dedicated to the memory of the brilliant entrepreneur from Emilia Romagna. The original spaces are perfect to add a touch of myth to exclusive events

Welcome to the legend LUCREZIA NUBIANI


he Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum was founded in 2014 in Funo di Argelato, a few kilometres from downtown Bologna, in the heart of Motor Valley, by Ferruccio’s son, Tonino Lamborghini, entrepreneur in the sectors of accessories, hospitality projects and luxury real estate.

Tonino Lamborghini personally conceived the Museum to celebrate the history of Ferruccio and his genius in the mechanics, engineering, and industrial design world. The permanent exhibition includes several special vehicles: from the first Carioca tractor – with which Ferruccio started his industrial group in 1947 –, with models of tractors of the ‘70s; prototypes of the 350GTV and 400GT; Ferruccio’s own epic MiuraSV and the futuristic Countach; prototypes of Jalpa and Jarama; examples Urraco, and the Espada; the offshore Fast 45 Diablo Class 1 of 13.5 metres with Lamborghini engines, 11 times world champions; Lamborghini helicopter; burners, heaters and cooling systems. The museum also exhibits models that have made the history of motoring. The reconstruction of Ferruccio’s first office at the Lamborghini Tractor’s Company with his personal effects. Official documents and photos of the period will help visitors discovering not only Ferruccio’s life, but also the story of his family and of the people who worked for his companies during the Italian economic boom in the late ’50s and ‘60s.

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Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum Funo di Argelato (Bo) Total number meeting rooms: 5 | Main room maximum capacity: 600 seats | Smallest room capacity: 100 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 946 sqm | Banqueting hall: 3 | Maximum capacity for standing receptions: 1,000 guests| Maximum capacity for seated receptions: 600 guests | Post congress organization

FROM TRACTORS TO SPORT CARS With its 9,000 square metres the museum represents an evocative and exciting place, an innovative area ideal to organize exhibitions, special events, cat-walks, business meetings, cultural shows, photo shootings, after-hour meetings, private parties, conventions, musical events and gala dinners. A unique experience is proposed to customers who will find a place surrounded by creativity, innovation and technology. The Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum exhibition rooms are available for any kind of events that can be enriched with different tailored services and collateral original activities, like guided tours or the exclusive use of the museum for the entire duration of the event. The location has five meeting and event rooms, where the attendees can admire the entire museum collection among lightening effects and emotional scenographies: The Miura Room, 241 square metres, with a capacity to accommodate up to 200 people. From the main glass façade it is possible to admire the shining legendary Miura belonged to Ferruccio Lamborghini. The area is ideal for cocktails, lunches, refreshments, coffee break and dinners. The Countach Room, an area of 136 square metres that can hold up to 100 people. From the glass façade in the front of room, the futuristic Countach and the impressive offshore can been seen. This room is a perfect space to host meetings, buffets and small refreshments.

The Helicopter Room, around 946 square metres and a capacity to accommodate up to 600 people. The name of this room is inspired by the only exemplar of Lamborghini helicopter in the world. This flexible area is the ultimate place for gala dinners and exhibition area. The Historical Icons Room, of 620 square metres, can house up to 150-500 people, and it’s dedicated to historical vehicles and motorcycles of other brands. It is ideal for press conferences, conventions, presentations, sales meetings, workshops. The room is equipped with basic technical equipment, both audio and video and it can be implemented upon request. The Memorial Room, of 317 square metres and a capacity up to 250 people. The wide room next to the store is full of historical pictures of Ferruccio and of his several companies. This space is suitable for caterings, round tables and special events. Booking the whole museum space guarantees the entire place available for private events, with tailor-made guided tours or dedicated cadeaux. Moreover, a custom- tailored concept can be developed for all kind of events with relative personalized services. A special setting can be arranged for sophisticated galas capable of offering customers an experience very closed to the myth and rich in creativity and art. This location provides an absolutely unique ambience for special events. Maximum flexibility combined with the inimitable Lamborghini atmosphere allows any event to become memorable.

Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum

Strada Provinciale 4 Galliera, 319 Funo di Argelato (BO) Tel. +39 051.863366 / mob. +39 345 2637045 Fax: +39 051 864956 event@museolamborghini.com www.museolamborghini.com

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Antico Casale La Carovana Rome

Event venues for large gatherings all year round in the centre of Rome. Unique settings and cutting-edge technology, sharing top-level quality. This is the Antico Casale La Carovana

Meeting rooms: 3 | Main room maximum capacity: 850 seats | Smallest room capacity: 80 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 2,000 sqm | Banqueting hall: 1, Ristorante La Carovana | Maximum capacity for standing receptions: 1,800 guests| Post congress organization

A return to ancient Rome FRANCESCA L. REBONATO

Antico Casale La Carovana

viale di Vigna Pia, 33 00149 Rome Tel. +39 06 5577758 alfredo@lacarovana.info www.ristorantelacarovana.it


he ideal location for high-impact events, the Antico Casale La Carovana is a unique Mice destination featuring a magnificent park enhanced by a Roman necropolis. Other highlights include terraces built into the Mediterranean undergrowth, defined by waterfalls that meander gently among the various levels and converge in a small lake. The restaurant business and hospitality are a part of the Zaccardi family’s DNA. Renowned hoteliers, they host intimate meetings at Villa Zaccardi and at the Zaccardi Roof Garden. And there’s more. During the winter of 20182019, Villa Zaccardi will undergo a renovation. Its accommodation capacity will be doubled with the addition of 16 guest rooms, with the spotlight on a unique, innovative fish bar. The fish bar is set to open in spring, and will also be accessible to outside guests. BETWEEN MEETINGS AND CATERING The Antico Casale La Carovana guarantees success for important lunches, gala dinners, team-building activities, and cooking contests organized by the meeting industry; strategic events that require space, suitable décor, top-notch cuisine and maximum attention to detail. The Antico Casale La Carovana, a property owned and run by the Zaccardi family, is set against a stunning backdrop, in which the “Casale” with its garden and ageold olive trees take centre stage.

The Antico Casale La Carovana is a great choice for intimate, atmospheric meetings, or large-scale events. Its indoor rooms are designed to accommodate up to 1,000 delegates, plus another thousand in its outdoor spaces. Considered among one of Italy’s top destinations by the meeting industry, the space is ideal for product launches, film shoots or post productions, fashion shows and customized themed events. Other highlights include team-building events in the kitchen, a great way to bond and create a spirit of teamwork while learning the secrets of the chef during cookery classes or fun-filled cookery contests. Fine dining is the jewel in the crown at this historic location. Offerings include recipes inspired by the Mediterranean tradition handed down by the Zaccardi family for three generations, now also available thanks to an on-demand catering service.

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IMAGINE YOUR EVENT IN SARDINIA The beaches, the climate, the environment along with culture DQGWUDGLWLRQVÄ&#x2021;H[LELOLW\ DQGSURIHVVLRQDOLVPDUHWKHH[WUD values that Sardinia offers. Imagine. We can.

www.micesardegna.it Congress / Conventions / Meetings Incentives Team Building and Active Events Culture and Traditions

SITE INSPECTIONS incentive resorts

ALMAR JESOLO RESORT & SPA  Lido di Jesolo (Ve) Total number of bedrooms: 197 | Restaurants: 1 – Mediterra Restaurant | Seats: up to 294 | Meeting rooms: 6 | Main room maximum capacity: 530 seats | Smallest room capacity: 14 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 250 sqm | Post congress organization

Business & wellness A five-star resort, featuring a multi-award winning Spa and customizable meeting rooms, the Almar Jesolo Resort & Spa is situated on a sandy beach, just a short distance from Venice SIMONA P.K. DAVIDDI

Almar Jesolo Resort & Spa

Via Dante Alighieri, 106 30016 Lido di Jesolo (Ve) Tel. +39 0421 388119 events@almarjesolo.com www.almarjesolo.com


n ambience of relaxation and wellbeing welcomes guests on their arrival at Almar Jesolo, and permeates all the spaces of the resort, including the elegant, contemporary lobby, and the airy, lightfilled rooms and suites. The deluxe rooms decorated in soothing shades of white and sand with private balconies are particularly noteworthy. They overlook both the sea, and the 70-meter long swimming pool, which is partially covered and heated at three different temperatures. The spacious locations used for incentives and meetings also feature a sleek, elegant design. The jewel in the crown is the Auditorium. This stylishly appointed space is flooded with natural light and designed to accommodate up to 530 delegates in its three spaces, the versatile Sala Almar and the two theatre-style galleries, which can be uniquely customized for different types of events. These include conventions, original

product launches (including car launches), glamorous fashion shows and concerts, all with state-of-the- art technology, attentive service and a focus on sustainability. The allotted foyer, a rich array of gastronomic offerings – served in the resort’s numerous hospitality spaces – and the vibrant atmosphere of this cool beach resort with its impressive sea views guarantee a wow effect. GLOBAL WELLBEING The concept of global wellbeing that pervades the structure is also embodied in the Mice offer thanks to several additional benefits, including an evening spa experience at the Almablu Spa – the winner of numerous awards, including the Best Luxury Spa in the World award in 2018 and several World Luxury Spa Awards –, or the option of gifting delegates with an energizing massage at the end of work sessions. The Spa’s 2,000 square metres features a whirlpool tub with a sea-front view, saunas, steam baths and a rain/storm shower experience, creating an ideal backdrop for a few hours of sheer relaxation. The Spa experience is further enhanced when coupled with a coffee break or detoxthemed lunches or dinners using quality products designed to guarantee the perfect balance of mind and body. In addition to a walk on the resort’s golden sandy beach, which stretches for 15 km along the Venetian coast and is a great way to relax and unwind, the destination offers numerous other activities for team building, or incentives including a game of golf, a visit to the romantic city of Venice, or bike rides to discover the breathtaking landscapes of the Northern Lagoon.

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SITE INSPECTION incentive resorts

Tailor-made events The exclusive Chervò Golf Hotel Spa & Resort San Vigilio on Lake Garda is the perfect place for events, boasting a host of benefits for Mice visitors, including a golf course ALESSANDRA BOIARDI


ith cool, restorative waters, pure air and lush green moraine hills, the resort lies just a short distance from some of the most appealing cities of art in the north of Italy. This is the Chervò Golf Hotel Spa & Resort San Vigilio, on the shores of stunning Lake Garda, one of the favourite Italian destinations for organisers of international events. The resort pledges to host high-level events set within a context which enables total relaxation and well-being, with a wide range of options for organising meetings and events: it is home to a structured system of meeting rooms in a selection of sizes and capacities, from 80 square metres right up to 250, all with plenty of natural light. The facilities boast the very latest in modern technology, making the process of organising meetings or conferences easy

and efficient. The Tasting Room is one of the real gems of the resort – spanning 164 square metres, it is the perfect place to enjoy a wine tasting or to host food-related events, a key ingredient of any occasion in Italy! TEAM BUILDING, SPORT AND EXCITEMENT The exclusive golf course designed by architect Kurt Rossknecht is the pride of the resort, and features 36 holes, including 9 executive and 27 championship ones. This is the icing on the cake of a comprehensive range of sports facilities, including tennis and beach volleyball courts and a five-a-side football pitch – all ideal spaces for team building exercises with a focus on physical activity and team games. But the authentic made in Italy flavour of the Chervò San Vigilio resort can also be savoured at higher speeds, with thrilling test drives along scenic roads with views over Lake Garda, perhaps ending in an exclusive pool party at the indoor salt water pool, another of the hotel’s unique facilities, set within the spa space – a thousand square metres dedicated to wellness.

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SITE INSPECTION incentive resorts

Chervò Golf Hotel Spa & Resort San Vigilio  Pozzolengo (BS) Total number of bedrooms: 133 | Restaurants: 1 | Seats: 550 | Meeting rooms: 5 | Main room maximum capacity: 230 seats | Smallest room capacity: 40 seats | Secretarial room | Exhibition area: 250 sqm | Post congress organization A STRATEGIC POSITION AND CENTURIES OF HISTORY The Chervò Golf Hotel Spa & Resort San Vigilio is located ten kilometres from Sirmione and Desenzano del Garda and around 14 from Peschiera del Garda. It is easily accessible from the main motorways of Northern Italy, just by the A4 exit, and near the major airports in this area. In addition, nearby Desenzano has a train station served by high-speed trains. The complex was built around a Benedictine abbey dating back to the twelfth century, at the historic heart of the 110 hectares of parkland which surround the structure: a setting which places guests in close contact with nature and blissful silence. However, this seclusion does not prevent the hotel from being appreciated for its privileged position, particularly as a location for events – the combination of the stunning surroundings and the accessibility of the resort make it especially popular. WELL-BEING TAILORED TO YOUR EVENT The hotel offers five room types – in each of these, even the finest details have been carefully considered, with luxury materials used for the furnishings alongside marble and other prestigious materials, lending them a sense of refined elegance. Comfort, too, has been given the utmost priority, along with technology, and each of the rooms and the rest of the property boasts a Wi-Fi connection. The warm welcome and the close attention paid to the needs of guests is perhaps the characteristic that best captures the style of the resort as a whole, providing congress participants with high-added-value spaces which offer excellent standards, as well as other congress-ready facilities in addition to the aforementioned sports centre and golf course – the San Vigilio Restaurant is of particular note, and respects authentic Italian regional tradition, serving seasonal cuisine paired with fine wines from a well-stocked cellar full of both national and international vintages. The style of the restaurant is in perfect harmony with

the rest of the resort, and demonstrates exceptional attention to detail and to holistic well-being, making it the perfect location for gala dinners or business lunches with a panoramic view of the golf course. And last but not least, the resort was named Italy’s Best Golf Hotel 2018 at the World Golf Awards last year.

Chervò Golf Hotel Spa & Resort San Vigilio

Località San Vigilio Pozzolengo 25010 (BS) info@chervogolfsanvigilio.it www.chervogolfsanvigilio.it

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SITE INSPECTION incentive resorts

Ambasciatori Luxury Resort Hotel S Riccione Total number of bedrooms: 72 | Restaurants: 1 | Seats: 250 | Meeting rooms: 1 | Main room maximum capacity: 100 seats | Smallest room capacity: 20 seats | Exhibition area: 60 sqm | Post congress organization

A 360-degree experience The Hotel Ambasciatori is a four-star Superior establishment in Riccione in Emilia-Romagna. It has been newly renovated with a wider offering of pre- and post-event services ALESSANDRA FAVARO

Hotel Ambasciatori Luxury Resort

Lungomare della Repubblica 47838 Riccione Tel. +39 0541 606517 Fax + 39 0541 606612 congressi@ambasciatorihotel.net www.ambasciatorihotel.net


he most successful conventions are those that manage to offer a 360-degree experience. This applies not only to the content delivered, but also to the hospitality and the ancillary services offered to guests. This concept serves as the basis for the mission of Hotel Ambasciatori in Riccione, which looks out over the beach and is just a stone’s throw from the famous Viale Ceccarini, centre of the Riviera Romagnola nightlife. The property boasts a four star Superior rating and recently underwent an extensive style overhaul, which included the suites, the event and meeting spaces and the wellness area. The result is a series of modern and highly functional spaces and an innovative wellness facility. For participants who wish to recharge their batteries after the conference, the relaxing spa area is the ideal place (and time) to unwind after a full schedule of work meetings and appointments. Indeed, the spa is one of the greatest draws of the hotel. It spans 500 square metres and is home to a variety of fully equipped areas dedicated to relaxation and body treatments.

The resort thus aims to provide business guests with a truly comprehensive experience, not only during the business event, but also for the entirety of their stay before and after the meetings. The hotel’s modular meeting room is at the heart of the business area and can be customised according to the specific needs of the client. Fully equipped with every detail taken care of, it has mobile and ceiling projectors, a PA system, microphones (both hand-held and lapel), black-out curtains to optimise projection quality, flip charts, wi-fi connection, a digital decoder and a system for DVD and CD playback. The renovation work also focussed on the sleeping rooms and common areas, including the luxury suites on the top floor — 50 square metres of the very best in comfort — however, the Ambasciatori Hotel has turned its attention to the business sector. To this aim, it has dedicated a number of specific initiatives, including the Business Fidelity Card, an exclusive loyalty card created by the hotel for its business customers, enabling them to enjoy a special discount on all listed prices. The Ambasciatori is located six kilometres from the Fellini international airport, one and a half kilometres from the train station, two kilometres from the A14 motorway exit and one and a half from the Palariccione Convention Centre.

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SITE INSPECTION incentive resorts

Eco-resort in Salento A relaxing oasis, ideal for meetings and incentives, Vivosa Apulia Resort offers the perfect combination of smart spaces and enchanting atmospheres to organise unforgettable events SABRINA PIACENZA


he exclusive setting, with qualified, attentive and friendly staff, alongside the enchanting location, make Vivosa Apulia Resort the ideal destination for business events. Immersed in the wonderful Litorale di Ugento Natural Park, on the worldrenowned Salento coast, one of the most popular destinations for both national and international tourism, Vivosa is a wellness oasis for body and soul that respects nature and protects the environment. Built in typical local stone, it blends perfectly into the landscape, offering guests an extraordinary feeling of hospitality in total harmony with nature. It is a perfect location for those in search of an original site for their events, with its crystal-clear sea, a beach of fine white sand, a marvellous climate and the aroma of the Mediterranean greenery. All of the 333 rooms (including four suites) are decorated in Mediterranean style and have either a balcony or garden with

sunbeds and chairs. The rooms are spacious and luminous and the quality of the indoor spaces together with the surrounding landscape truly make a difference. Vivosa Apulia Resort offers an innovative All Inclusive formula that truly includes everything one could wish for. Rich buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a superb Ă la carte restaurant that serves delicious traditional dishes, the pool and beach bars to enliven the daytime and the panoramic lounge bar to let the summer nights flow. An entire section of the buffet is dedicated to healthy food, created in new and exquisite ways, an art which can also be cultivated during the daily cooking lessons. Countless activities and sports are available, such as yoga, tennis, soccer, beachvolley, archery and water sports to name a few. Live music and shows entertain guests at night in the central piazza and in the amphitheater. Guests at Vivosa Apulia Resort can also enjoy the 800-square meter Spa complete with a hammam, sauna, bio sauna, kneipp path, sensory showers, gyms, an external heated pool with hydromassage as well as a wide variety of exclusive treatments and massages. No less spectacular is what

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SITE INSPECTION incentive resorts

Vivosa Apulia Resort  Ugento (LE) Total number of bedrooms: 333 | Restaurants: 2 | Seats: 900 | Meeting rooms: 12 | Main room maximum capacity: 500 seats | Smallest room capacity: 10 seats | Secretarial room | Post congress organization | Exhibition area

can be found in the nearby Salento area, such as the Baroque town of Lecce and the vivacious Gallipoli, along with Otranto and Santa Maria di Leuca, where the Ionic and Adriatic seas meet. MEETINGS IN NATURE Vivosa Apulia Resort’s Meeting Center has a plenary hall for business or private events that can hold up to 500 seated people, and offers natural light, air conditioning and the latest generation ICT and AV equipment for video projection, video conferencing and live streaming. Thanks to soundproof partition walls the room can be divided into four smaller independent congress rooms, all equally comfortable and fully equipped. Other four meeting rooms are available on site, with capacities ranging from 10 to 60 people. And for a truly unique experience, the new outdoor meeting rooms, set up in reserved areas of the natural park for open air meetings and workshops in the refreshing shade of the pine grove. Welcome cocktails and coffee breaks can

be organised in the Meeting Center’s own reception hall whilst the 350-seat amphitheater is ideal for awards ceremonies, private shows and closing events. The resort’s vast gardens, its restaurants and lounge bar with their wonderful terraces overlooking the magical landscape of lit swimming pools and paths winding through ancient olive trees and well-tended grounds, are the natural backdrop for unforgettable gala events. Vivosa’s innovative team building program is designed for participants to have fun together and improve the spirit of cohesion and productivity at work, decreasing stress levels and nurturing personal and group energy. Adventure park on the treetops, adventure golf on the beach and in the pinewood, dragon boat races, oriental arts, group activities and music therapy drummers are just some of the many team building activities offered. Seminars and activities related to wellbeing can also be organised with the support of the on site Antistress Academy.

Vivosa Apulia Resort

Via Vicinale Fontanelle 73059 Ugento (LE) Tel. +39 0833 931002 Fax +39 0833 933646 mice@vivosaresort.com info@vivosaresort.com www.vivosaresort.com

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Puglia. Where else?

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An intriguing location for any type of event, Puglia combines “doing business” with an extraordinary historical and architectural heritage, thanks to the innovative strategies of Pugliapromozione

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uthentic and spectacular, Puglia is a mosaic of culture, art, food and wine, nature and architecture, all of which are guaranteed to make a big impact on the visitor. The meeting industry here finds unique locations for important events, such as the UNESCO World Heritage “Trulli” (traditional conical stone houses) and the typical “Masserie” (country residences). Among the many distinctive characteristics of this

destination are a sense of continuity with the past and a strong local identity. BUSINESS? IT’S A PLEASURE Crystal clear waters and fine sandy bays, cliffs overlooking the sea and countryside dotted with vineyards, expanses of olive groves, cities with ancient traditions and UNESCO World Heritage sites, castles and cathedrals, dolmens and menhirs, historic villages, caves, manor houses, museums and icons of archeology: all of these combined with the lines of action identified

Above, Alberobello with its famous “trulli” On the opposite page, the emerald sea in Sant’Andrea, near Otranto

in the Pugliapromozione Puglia365 strategic plan, whose core business includes “Synergies 365 days a year” make Puglia a special location for your event. From Monte Sant’Angelo to Santa Maria di Leuca the all year round mild climate means that you can plan your event for any month or season. In Puglia, doing business is a pleasure: a welcoming, creative and dynamic destination, this is a region where tradition and authenticity are transformed into innovation, where well-being is valued and

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SEA AND SKY ROUTES Puglia is easily accessible by scheduled flights and low cost airlines. There are two international airports: Bari, which mainly serves central-northern Puglia, and Brindisi, for the the Valle d’Itria, Salento and Magna Grecia. The airports are in continuous evolution with new destinations constantly being added and infrastructures improved. The expansion of Brindisi airport and the widening of the runway in Bari have opened the market to a wide range of destinations, with over a hundred scheduled flights, 80 of which are

Below, Bari and its seafront

overlooking the sea, team building in contact with nature, business meetings in cities and historical towns, fantastic mediterranean food and lots of interesting things to see and do when the working day has come to an end.

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slow rhythms improve the quality of life. Pugliapromozione, point of reference for the regional meeting industry, highlights five reasons why your business trip will be an unforgettable experience: events in locations

international. In Brindisi, new passenger areas have been inaugurated with additional operating spaces, significantly improving service levels, efficiency and safety. For cruise & ferry tourism, the ports of Bari and Brindisi are top-level stopovers for cruises and ferries with arrivals and departures from Croatia, Greece, Albania and Montenegro. Moreover, from Vieste to Taranto there are numerous locations equipped with marinas, docks and moorings.

WORK MEETINGS? SEA VIEWS One of the main attractions of Puglia is its eight hundred kilometres of coastline. In Bari the lights of the city are reflected in the waters of the Adriatic. Enjoy a walk through the vibrant Murat district, the refined Umbertino and the historic old town, Bari Vecchia, culminating at Castello Svevo, the NormanSwabian castle. In the 19th century Murattiana area of Bari, the Petruzzelli Theatre – which can accommodate 1,500 people – is the ideal location for high-impact events. Managed by the Petruzzelli Lirico-Sinfonica Foundation, it has a rich artistic programme of classical music and opera.

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Built in Trani stone, the skill of local stonemasons may be seen in the details carved on the capitals, in the doublearched windows and on the balconies. The history of the building is narrated by Duilio Cambellotti through a rich gallery of murals, sculptures, furniture and other artefacts.

Above, the elegant interiors of Petruzzelli Theatre, Bari Below, Polignano a Mare

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PALAZZO DELL’ACQUA In the centre of Bari stands the Palazzo dell’Acqua, headquarters of the Apulian Aqueduct. The style of the building is typical of local tradition in the numerous decorative and stylistic details, inspired by the most famous architectural monuments of the region.

TRANI AND THE SWABIAN CASTLE From Bari to Trani, a city which overlooks the Adriatic with the elegance of an amphitheatre of light coloured stone. The port of Trani is protected on one side by the Santa Lucia Quay and on the other by the Sant’Antonio Quay. This area is the heart of the nightlife scene, perfect for sipping a glass of Moscato Doc by the sea. Trani is famous all over the world for the Cathedral of San Nicola Pellegrino, a Romanesque treasure which seems to be suspended over the sea, with the two crypts of San Nicola and Santa Maria and the hypogeum of San Leucio. A few steps away is the Swabian Castle, built by Frederick II, here MICE participants find a well-equipped conference

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ph. Leonardo D’Angelo

room. Behind the port are the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter of Giudecca, with ancient synagogues and craft shops. Not far away is the Villa Comunale, a public park by the sea, ideal for taking a stroll between one work commitment and another.

Above, picturesque Monopoli Below the Aragonese Castle in Otranto

archways and narrow streets immortalised by various artists and poets through the years will make your visit here unforgettable. The event locations in Polignano have a strong ph. Giorgio Guarini

POLIGNANO AND MONOPOLI: NOT-TO-BE-MISSED DESTINATIONS The sea at Polignano will be the undisputed highlight in whatever season you choose to hold your meeting or event. The latest jewel in the crown of Polignano is the new international tourist port, which together with the old town and its

emotional impact: just looking out from the balconies over the sea onto the rocks below, that look like giants rising up out of the intense turquoise water, will take your breath away. Polignano is home to the only museum of contemporary art in Puglia: the Pino Pascali Museum Foundation is dedicated to the artist from Puglia, Pino Pascali, who was among the forerunners of Arte Povera, Body Art and Conceptual Art. In addition to the permanent collection – which includes many of Pascali’s most famous works – the Foundation is the location of international temporary exhibitions and home of the Pino Pascali Award. In the museum you can consult the immense Pascali archive, with memorabilia, drawings and

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ph. Samuele Gallini

Above, Taranto and its castle Below, the Swabian Castle in Brindisi

OTRANTO, MESSENGER OF PEACE It was UNESCO that gave the title of cultural heritage to the ancient village of Otranto, calling it “the messenger of peace” site. Business travellers enter the old city through Porta Alfonsina and can admire the Aragonese Castle and

the Cathedral, with the precious mosaic floor and the relics of the eight hundred martyrs. The castle, defensive stronghold of the city of Otranto, is today home to meeting rooms with a dense calendar of international events and exhibitions. Walking around inside its majestic walls, you ph. Carlos Solito

sculptures. Monopoli is another scenic and spectacular destination. Characterized by 99 districts, narrow alleys and picturesque squares and with its symbolic monument, the majestic Castle Carlo V, which rises in the heart of the old town on a small peninsula formerly called “Turris Paola”. A prestigious location for meetings and conferences, whose appearance has not altered since 1660, when the massive cylindrical tower, from which it is possible to gain access to the interior of the castle, was annexed. Put to various uses over the centuries, including being used as a prison in the early 1900s, the castle was restored in the ’70s and now houses the Municipal Archaeological Museum.

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can enjoy the Alfonsina, Duchessa and Ippolita towers, and the bastion called Punta di Diamante. For post-congress walks outside Otranto, there is the majestic lighthouse of Punta Palascìa, the easternmost point of Italy, famous for its spectacular sunrises, or a visit to the bauxite quarry with its emerald green lake surrounded by the coralcoloured hills of the quarry.

Above, Brindisi and its marina

ph. Vanda Biffani

Left, the crystal-clear water of the Tremiti Islands

TARANTO AND BRINDISI, TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE Taranto: the city nominated for the Mediterranean Games 2025 is characterised by the nineteenth-century revolving bridge, an engineering masterpiece that leads to the central streets of the city, where you will be met by noble and majestic architecture such as the Aragonese castle,

“PUGLIA 365” AND MICE TOURISM Puglia is the only region in Italy to have approved a tourism planning tool up to 2025, thanks to Pugliapromozione’s Puglia 365 strategic plan: a shared vision of tourism in Puglia of particular interest to the MICE sector, the key word of which is “synergies”. The plan is responsible for the introduction of numerous innovations, such as a new approach in welcoming visitors and more investment in promotion and in co-marketing with particular regard to foreign markets. Puglia is a very desirable destination for the foreign market – in the leisure context the number of foreign tourists visiting has grown by 154% in the last ten years. One

of the main reasons for this is low cost flights, the volume of which is constantly increasing as are the number of new routes. With events and activities taking place all over Puglia throughout the year, spring, summer, winter and autumn, it has become a sought after destination all year round. Alongside the high quality of services provided to MICE tourists the strategic plan provides for precise lines of action regarding food and wine and the ‘slow’ movement. A way of life which offers an alternative to global frenzy: in Puglia work means having respect for yourself, for your interlocutors and for the environment.

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ph. Vanda Biffani

Above, the relaxing landscape of the Alta Murgia National Park

Below, the imposing Castel del Monte

TEAM BUILDING AND INCENTIVES IN WONDERFUL NATURAL SURROUNDINGS Meetings and conferences are organised in woods, national parks, fascinating canyons, ravines, crypts and caves. The Gargano National Park covers 120 thousand hectares spread over 18 municipalities and features many interesting ph. Vanda Biffani

which hosts a number of conference rooms. Today the castle opens its doors to conferences and a wide variety of cultural events. The MarTA, National Archaeological Museum of Taranto, is one of the most important archaeological collections dating back to Magna Grecia, with over two hundred thousand finds and artifacts ranging from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. MarTA is a point of reference for the meeting industry, with its rich cultural program with a full calendar of events in every season of the year. Brindisi, also provides unique locations for the organisers of meetings and conferences such as the Aragonese Fort on the sea, with its flame red stone, and the Swabian Castle built by Frederick II.

places to visit: San Giovanni Rotondo and San Marco in Lamis, the Swabian castle of Monte Santâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Angelo, the castle of Manfredonia and the coastal towns of Peschici and Vieste. Added to this are several protected areas including the Marine Reserve of the Tremiti Islands, with backdrops of extraordinary beauty and intriguing natural caves. Within the national park on the promontory of the Gargano is the Umbra Forest, whose beech-woods have been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage since 2017. Lying between the territory of Vico del Gargano, Vieste and Monte Santâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Angelo, the forest is the largest deciduous forests in Italy and is one of the largest in Europe: its 10,500 hectares of surface is a perfect place for team building events.

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structure from all the other castles in Puglia. GRAVINA DI LATERZA AND THE ECOMUSEUM OF VALLE D’ITRIA The Gravina di Laterza (Laterza Ravine) is one of the largest canyons in Europe: 12 kilometres long by five hundred meters wide, with weather worn

Above, a typical masseria in the Valle d’Itria Below , the canyon of Gravina di Laterza

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ph. Carlo Elmiro Bevilacqua

ALTA MURGIA NATIONAL PARK Another record for Puglia: the Alta Murgia National Park – extending from the Adriatic coast to the Lucani hills – preserves the last example of Mediterranean steppe in Italy. Composed primarily of limestone, tuff and clay deposits, the plateau is rich in typical local vegetation, with lampascioni (an edible bulb), wild asparagus and cardoncelli mushrooms. The pride of the Park is Castel del Monte, built by Emperor Frederick II who was the “father” of Castel del Monte, it is an extraordinary fortress on top of a gentle hill twenty kilometres from Andria. The mysterious octagonal plan of the castle, perhaps used as an astronomical observatory or an imposing hunting lodge, differs significantly in its

rock cliffs and limestone walls that are more than two hundred metres high. Laterza is the heart of the Terre delle Gravine Regional Natural Park, about 50 kilometres from Taranto, nestled between the Murge di Santeramo and Altamura and the caves of Massafra and Mottola. The Valle d’Itria Ecomuseum offers a fascinating post-meeting visit: it is one of the most extensive ecomuseums in Europe spanning the towns of Alberobello, Cisternino, Fasano, Locorotondo, Martina Franca and Monopoli. An opportunity to discover, at the numerous local ‘sagre’ and events, the soul of the territory and its traditions, and the crafts of the artisans who work with stone, iron, wood, ceramics and terracotta.

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ph. Mirabilia Sistemi

Above, the De Falconibus Castle in Pulsano Below, Monte Sant’Angelo, fascinating village on the Gargano promontory

almonds and local honey. Near Monte Sant’Angelo, amid the many hermit caves dug into the rock, stands the ancient Abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano, perched on a spur overlooking the gulf. Managed by a community of monks, it is home to a printing

house and holds interesting iconography courses. FOGGIA AND BARLETTA, CITIES OF ART From total immersion in nature to specialist events, the ancient heart of Foggia offers elegant locations in the area surrounding ph. Vanda Biffani

MEETINGS IN CITIES OF ART AND ‘OLD TOWNS’ Puglia has an ancient and interesting history. Old mansions and noble residences host meetings and conferences in a perfect synergy between past and present, professionalism and culture, history and avantgarde. In addition to high quality accommodation scattered throughout the region, in Puglia, business meetings and events can be held in fortified farms (masserie) and castles, abbeys immersed in lush countryside or in the cloisters of ancient monasteries. The Sanctuary of San Michele in Monte Sant’Angelo is a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as an important testimony to Longobarda art in Italy. A staircase carved into the rock leads into the Sacred Cave, a mystical place where the Archangel is said to have appeared, it is a place of worship for the constant stream of pilgrims who visit each year. In the Junno district, the ‘old town’ of the Monte Sant’Angelo, the business traveller can have a relaxing stroll through the narrow streets with the typical low houses, tempted by the irresistible smell of the “stuffed hosts” emanating from the bakeries, these typical sweets are stuffed with

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ph. Claudia Amatruda

which was included by Frederick II among the “castles of the giustizierato” of the land of Bari. The castle of Barletta, built by the Normans in the second half of the twelfth century, preserves the history of the city and is where the famous “disfida” took place. Today home to events, exhibitions and more, the castle exudes history from every corner.

Above, the Giordano Theatre in Foggia Below, Palazzo Nuovo della Dogana in Foggia

ph. Mirabilia Sistemi

the Teatro Giordano, fine example of neoclassical architecture inaugurated in 1828. Initially called Reale Teatro Ferdinando, it then became Teatro Dauno and was finally dedicated to the Foggia born musician Umberto Giordano, who lived between 1867 and 1948. Barletta is home to the extraordinary collection of works by Giuseppe De Nittis, an impressionist painter who was born here in 1846 and who played an important role in the 19th century European artistic scene. In the rooms of Palazzo Della Marra, one can learn about the life of the painter from his Neapolitan period up to the time he lived in the suggestive metropolitan cities of Paris and London. As well as the museum collection, there are the meeting rooms of the Swabian castle of Barletta,

BOVINO AND DELICETO, CASTLES FOR MICE PARTICIPANTS In the suggestive Daunia area, in the Cervaro Valley, looking onto the Tavoliere delle Puglie, in the province of Foggia, lies the village of Bovino. Here, at its highest point, stands the Palazzo Ducale, also known as “the castle”, built by Drogone the Norman in 1045 on the ruins of an ancient Roman fortress, and later extended by Frederick II of Swabia during the thirteenth century. An ideal location for meetings in an atmosphere steeped in history. Every owner down through the centuries adapted it to suit their needs. Another castle with rooms for events and conferences is to be found in Deliceto, southern Daunia. Over

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UNESCO AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN ITALY In the trulli of Alberobello (province of Bari), the most famous Apulian UNESCO World Heritage site, there are up-to-theminute meeting locations. Less than ten kilometres from Alberobello is Locorotondo, perched on a plateau in the southeastern area of the Murge dei Trulli, in the heart of Valle d’Itria. Among the most beautiful villages in

Above, Bovino and its castle Below, the natural environment embracing Locorotondo

Italy and awarded with the Italian Touring Club ‘orange flag’, Locorotondo owes its name to the characteristic circular shape of the ‘old town’, built around the year one thousand, it is a wonderful mix of small houses built by farmers on the top of the hill and the

ph. Carlos Solito

ph. Carlos Solito

the centuries it has hosted Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese nobles, undergoing considerable transformation through the years. The castle was declared a national monument in 1902. The keep, known as “ the tower”, is the most impressive part of the building.

typical “cummerse”, sloping roofed houses. Among the all-white houses of the old town, the bell towers of the numerous churches stand out, the most well-known of which are the Church of the Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows), the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Churches of San Nicola and of San Rocco and of the Madonna della Catena (Our Lady of the Chains). Inside the Church of Santa Maria della Greca there is a Renaissance polyptych named after the Madonna delle Rose (Our Lady of the Roses) and the sculptural group of San Giorgio on horseback. Locorotondo is on the Valle d’Itria wine route and is home to an excellent Doc white wine, ideal for winetasting itineraries.

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CONVENTS AND MUSEUMS FOR MICE TOURISM The conference halls of the convent of San Benedetto of Conversano reveal the majesty of the complex, which includes a convent and a church. Mixing art with event spaces again in the Museum of Conversano, which includes the art gallery of the Aragonese Castle and the archaeological section which may be found in the rooms

Above, the ancient cathedral in Bitonto Below, the imposing castle in Conversano

BAROQUE LECCE AND DUCAL MARTINA FRANCA Baroque Lecce welcomes the business traveller with its stunning architecture which looks almost like embroidered white stone. An all-round destination, hub of taste and BienVivre, with high-end accommodation facilities for the meeting industry and the pleasure of a slow and yet dynamic location. Piazza Sant’Oronzo is the historic centre of the city, its Roman Amphitheatre is an exceptional stage for performances and shows, while the Palazzo del Seggio

ph. Gal-Seb

ph. Raffaella Fasano

BITONTO AND CONVERSANO, NEAR BARI Also in the province of Bari, there are ad hoc spaces for events and postconference evenings in Bitonto, in particular in the National Gallery of Puglia “Girolamo and Rosaria Devanna”, which houses a splendid collection of works of famous masters of art from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Since 2004 the valuable collection has included 229 paintings and 108 drawings, works by famous national and international artists such as Solimena and Luca Giordano, Poussin, Beatrice Wood and Joseph Stella, divided into five sections in the sixteenth-century halls of Palazzo Sylos Calò. Just ten kilometres from the sea and still in the Bari area is Conversano, with its imposing trapezoidal castle.

around the cloister of San Benedetto. In the rooms on the second floor conventions are held as well as fine temporary exhibitions, while in the archaeological section we can admire finds from Prehistory to the Roman age from the caves of Conversano and Monopoli.

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ph. Paolo Laku

Above, Lecce’s Piazza Sant’Oronzo Below, the Ducal Palace in Martina Franca

ideal location is Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace): with its simple and linear facade, the structure is emblematic of the typical architectural features of Renaissance art combined with baroque decorative

elements, built by skilled local stonemasons. Building work on the complex that dominates Piazza Roma was begun in 1668 by Petracone V Caracciolo, (it later became his residence), and continued up to the 20th century.

ph. Carlos Solito

is home to important art exhibitions. In Martina Franca – in the province of Taranto – the trail of event locations in historic buildings and fine examples of prestigious architecture continues. An

BUSINESS LUNCHES WITH AN AUTHENTIC FLAVOUR Forerunner of the concept of “zero kilometres”, Apulian food is a triumph of freshness, wholesomeness, colours and flavours. A wealth of tradition available for gala dinners and special business lunches. In Puglia, imagination and opportunities abound: cooking class to learn how to make orecchiette (local

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YOUR BIG DAY available to celebrate exclusive weddings and receptions. Celebrities from all over the world, as well as holidaying in Puglia, choose this region as the perfect place to celebrate a dream come true, where their wedding becomes an unforgettable event. The most popular area is the Valle d’Itria with its enviable location close to both airports.

ph. Ne_Cloud Adobe Stock

Culture, food and wine, nature, art and architecture: these are among the things that make Puglia attractive for the MICE & Wedding sector. Puglia has become a much sought after international wedding destination, dotted with stunning, top class locations which are sure to impress. Refined and elegant masserie, trulli, castles and historical homes are all

pasta), burrata tasting, and, for more classic post-conference activities, food and wine tours. It is the triumph of the Mediterranean, a heritage of inestimable value where the extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the green gold of Puglia. The typical wines of the region are Primitivo, Negroamaro and Aleatico. Its authenticity is what makes Puglia’s food and wine unique and each town boasts its own typical recipes, with menus

based on grilled meat or fish specialties, seasonal vegetables, dairy products, cheeses and a riot of baked

goods: focaccia, fried “pettole” (small fried pastry balls) and “pasticciotti” (sweet pastries filled with custard cream). In Puglia you can taste dishes which have been handed down through the generations: an extraordinary variety of delicacies whose genuineness is guaranteed by quality brands for example the bread from Altamura and Laterza and by the Slow Food mark of approval. Apulian gastronomic specialties bring the treasures of the sea and the generosity of the rich red soil to your table. POST CONFERENCE, OPEN-AIR EVENTS Any time of year is perfect for an event in Puglia, the Italian destination that allows you to experience tourism in an atmosphere of culture and art. Every month, foreign meeting planners are spoiled for choice among the

Above, the “orecchiette”, a handmade pasta typical from Bari Right, a concert during Bari in Jazz

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ph. Romina Amato

Above, Alessandro De Rose during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2016

Below, the “Focara” in Novoli

achievement. The Bari Metropolitan jazz festival will be held between June and August 2019, for some years now the warm sounds of Bari Jazz have spread from the capital of Puglia to the smaller towns and villages of the region. A symphony of the main contemporary trends with a series of free concerts in the most evocative locations

on a journey through art, history and nature. Concerts are planned in Puglia this year for world class music giants such as John Medeski, Billy Martin and Chris Wood. POLIGNANO, A SEA OF OPPORTUNIT Y Polignano a Mare, situated on the coast just south of Bari, is an all-time

ph. Giorgio Guarini

countless events. Among the numerous events on the calendar there is the Fiera del Levante in September, flanked by numerous postconference events. The “Bifest Bari International Film Festival”, for example, is now in its tenth edition and is scheduled from April 27th to May 4th 2019. This is an event with a rich programme of national and international premiers, retrospectives, short films, documentaries, exhibitions, seminars and a series of special events that celebrate cinema in all its forms of expression. Founded by Felice Laudadio, it is promoted by the Tourism Board and produced by the Puglian Film Commission with a jury of internationally renowned guests, which awards the “Federico Fellini Award” and numerous other recognitions of

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SURPRISING PUGLIA: CAVE DWELLINGS Puglia also knows how to surprise, offering MICE visitors the chance to relax post conference by visiting places of incomparable beauty. There are dozens of cave dwellings of extraordinary interest in Puglia such as Santa Candida in Bari, the Lama Antica in Fasano – which is one of the biggest, Torre Pinta in Otranto, and others in Alessano, Galatone and Neviano.

intellectuals interacting with an attentive and demanding public. Polignano is the birthplace of Domenico Modugno, much loved Italian singer, to which the city dedicates “Meraviglioso Modugno” in August. The “Pino Pascali Prize” an award of recognition given to an emerging artist, is held in September.

The big cryptopolis of Puglia are concentrated in the area stretching from Ginosa to Grottaglie including Castellaneta, Laterza, Mottola, Massafra, Palagianello and Statte. There is a major cryptopolis in Gravina, which was the crossroads and meeting place of various cultures down through the millennia.

Below, the Tournament of the Rioni in Oria

ph. Emanuele Bonelli

favourite destination. It is a medieval nucleus on the tufa cliffs overlooking the sea. The annual “Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series”, the exciting and adrenaline-pumping cliff diving international championship, takes place here. In May Polignano hosts “Cala Ponte Triweek”: open water swimming competitions and a triathlon race over an Olympic distance. This is a high-profile sporting event in which international champions participate and where food, wine, culture and folklore also play an important role. In July in the old town of Polignano the annual literary festival is held. “Il libro possibile” is a triumph of culture which fills the streets, squares and terraces with authors, writers and

WINTER OR SUMMER, IT’S ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME TO VISIT SALENTO Salento: a breathtaking territorial tapestry, two seas, more than eighty watchtowers, earth and stone creating extraordinary scenic beauty, transparent crystalline waves and biodiversity that reigns supreme. “La Fòcara” of Novoli, the Salento Fire Festival, is the scenographic start to the year in Puglia. It is one of the most popular winter events, steeped in folklore and religious traditions with an extraordinary setting of music, art, entertainment and food and wine. In Salento these celebrations of Novoli honouring the patron Sant’Antonio Abate are called “the days of fire” and culminate, in fact, with the lighting of the Fòcara, a large bonfire that has a base of twenty metres in

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SALENTO, INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION AND HOME TO GOOD TASTE For a week each year Tricase in Salento becomes the set of the “Salento International Film Festival”. This festival of independent cinema will take place

Above, an image of the Notte della Taranta in Melpignano Below, the Mercatino del Gusto, a food and wine festival held in Maglie

from 4th to 8th September 2019. It has become an international event because it is a roadshow festival. Starting from London at the Prince Charles Cinema in 2010, the SIFF World Tour has brought numerous independent films to cities all over the world, for example, Zurich, Moscow, Hong Kong, Santiago in

ph. Giorgio Guarini

ph. Carlo Elmiro Bevilacqua

diameter and a height of 25 metres, the largest in the Mediterranean. Because of its appealing choreography, “La Fòcara” was featured in a National Geographic documentary. Among the most evocative events of the Salento summer, there is the “Historical Parade of Frederick II and Neighbourhood Tournament”, scheduled in Oria – in the province of Lecce – on 10 and 11 August 2019. The beauty of the setting and the medieval costumes are enchanting.

Chile and Yerevan. As far as sport is concerned the “Trofeo del Ciolo” in Gagliano del Capo is a regional mountain running championship sponsored by Fidal, the Italian light athletics federation. This area, in fact, with its trails and rocks, is ideal terrain for climbing, trekking and mountain races. In August, Maglie hosts the “Mercatino del Gusto”: a food and wine festival in which food, wine, music and readings offer an exciting experience in the old town which becomes a large open-air market. MICE participants can go shopping in the streets for food, oil, wine and sweets, side by side with art and culture, including performances by dancers, literary readings and lots of music, from jazz to folk.

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a lively festival that hosts world-renowned musicians in Puglia during the wonderful summer nights. The festival is also held at Christmas time. SCORRANO AND MELPIGNANO, LIGHTS AND PIZZICA The ancient traditions that are the very soul of Puglia,

Above, the impressive Night of Lights in Scorrano

Below, charming Piazza Sant’Oronzo in Lecce

ph. Paolo Laku

ph. Helmut Berta

LECCE, CINEMA AND JAZZ Lecce is the place to be for the “European Film Festival” from 8th to 13th April 2019, with productions from all over the world it is among the most popular spring events, the triumph of European and Mediterranean culture. Every year the festival presents a hundred films, feature films, short films and documentaries from many European countries. Of great interest is the “Golden Olive Tree” Competition – focused on feature films – with special sections focussing on characters that have marked the history of Italian and European cinema. The festival is produced in collaboration with the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma. Between July and August, in Lecce, the “Locomotive Jazz Festival” is held annually,

and which are celebrated in such unforgettable festivals as “Notte delle Luci di Scorrano” (Night of Light Festival), leave their mark on the visitor. From 5th to 9th July 2019 in the town of Scorrano, Lecce, tradition and innovation synergise to produce light installations that are so beautiful they have been exported all over the world. Another not-to-be-missed event in Puglia is “La Notte della Taranta”. A festival of ‘pizzica’, traditional music and dance. It is held in August and is dedicated to the rediscovery and promotion of traditional music and its fusion with other musical genres. It starts at the beginning of August and there are shows in 14 different locations before the grand finale in Melpignano.

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ph. Giorgio Guarini

Two events held in Taranto: the Palio (above) and the Procession of Good Friday (below)

opportunities, a packed calendar of events is planned for this year. Finally, in September, the “Giovanni Paisiello Festival” is dedicated to the great composer from Taranto who wrote “The Barber of Seville” among numerous other operas.

EVENTS IN IMPERIAL PUGLIA AND THE GARGANO Further post conference activities are offered in the territory of Imperial Puglia, land of castles, cathedrals and cities of art. Here, in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Castel del Monte the magical octagonal castle is a

ph. Carmine La Fratta

TARANTO, REGATTA AND THE OPERA BY PAISIELLO The thirty third edition of the “Palio di Taranto” begins on 8th March 2019. This is a traditional regatta in period costume in which ten boats with wooden oars, each representing a different area of the city, participate. The two rowers in each boat row standing up. The palio begins the first day of the celebrations dedicated to the patron saint of the city – San Cataldo (Saint Cathal) –, while the second and decisive round takes place in June, as part of the “Festa del Mare”, “Festival of the Sea”. One of the biggest events in Taranto is Medimex which is scheduled from 6th to 9th June 2019: four days of concerts and exhibitions to discuss national and international business

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Above, the annual Gargano Running Week, with paths over stunning landscapes Below, Locus Fest, held in Locorotondo

Running Week” (27 and 28 April 2019) is a great running event, a unique moment that will allow you to choose your own route by the sea, in the countryside or through the forest. An added bonus are the numerous oil mills and farmhouses open for tastings of local produce, as well as numerous free activities.

ph. Umberto Lopez

ph. Vanda Biffani

must on any trip to Puglia. During late August and early September, the “Castles of the World International Festival” is held: ten days of theatre, music and art. The eighteenth edition of “Trani Dialogues” takes place in Trani from September 17th to 22nd, 2019. The festival was chosen by the Treccani Foundation as a “Reading outpost” as part of the project “I read you. A journey with Treccani through forms of reading “. The event is a passionate exchange of ideas and languages with film screenings, shows, exhibitions, historical and artistic itineraries and tastings of food and wine specialties of a Puglia that looks with curiosity and openness to the Mediterranean. Moving north, the “Gargano

VALLE D’ITRIA, TIMELESS CHARM Countryside covered in olive groves and vineyards and dotted with ‘masserie’, country residences or farmhouses, each with a story to tell and the typical conic shaped ‘trulli’, which are the traditional houses in the Valle d’Itria. The “Locus Festival” takes place from 26th July to 11th August 2019 in Locorotondo, in the heart of the Valle d’Itria. This unique festival mixes the magic of the territory with culture and music, a winning combination. More post conference ideas in Locorotondo with the “Viva Festival – Valle d’Itria International Music Festival” from 1st to 4th August 2019. Among the dry stone walls – declared ‘intangible cultural heritage of

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ph. Paolo Conserva

FOGGIA AND PROVINCE, MUSICAL EVENTS Houses perched almost on top of each other, an ancient centre with steep climbs, winding narrow streets and stately buildings are characteristic of Carpino, a hilltop town in the province

Above, the Festival of Valle d’Itria Below, the Carpino Folk Fest

of Foggia. Every year, in the month of August, Carpino is transformed into a city-theatre thanks to its “Carpino Folk Festival”, the great Puglian festival of popular music. The “FestambienteSud 2019”, staged between

ph. Angelo Tundis

humanity’ by UNESCO in December – ancient masserie, white cities and stretches of centuries-old olive trees, there is a heart which beats to the rhythm of electronic and avant garde music. And in July and August the opera and symphony “Festival of the Valle d’Itria” occurs. This festival welcomes music lovers from all parts of the world every year. A programme of excellence in the baroque setting of Martina Franca’s Ducal palace and a range of other enchanting locations, cloisters, churches and ancient masserie which all throw open their doors to host the grand musical, artistic and cultural event that is the Festival of the Valle d’Itria.

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ph. Francesco Liuzzi ph. Fondazione Carnevale di Putignano

July and August in Monte Sant’Angelo, combines music, theatre, dance and food and wine festivals. It is the national festival of Legambiente for southern Italy, with courses on everything from philosophy to “cultured” music, sustainable tourism,

Above, Battiti Live, one of the biggest travelling music show in Italy Below, the famous Mardi Gras Carnival in Putignano

rock, gastronomy and the Tarantella Gargano. LOTS OF NOT-TO-BE-MISSED EVENTS There are numerous events throughout Puglia which can be combined with a conference. We have chosen some of the most

well-known, starting with “Open Wineries 2019” between April and May, among the most important wine events in Italy. The Radionorba “Battiti Live” (Live Beat) roadshow, directed by Alan Palmieri, is a series of five concerts which are staged in splendid locations during the months of July and August. Again this year well-known musicians and also lots of new faces for the most acclaimed roadshow in Italy. From October to December “Anima Mea” featuring the Orfeo Futuro orchestra is set to delight audiences with the biggest baroque choir-orchestra ever staged in Puglia. The musical events will be flanked by ‘Passeggiate d’Arte’ (walking tours) guided by

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ph. WildRatFilm

architects, historians and town planners to discover historical architecture not usually open to the public. FIVE CONTINENTS IN PUGLIA The “Ghironda Summer Festival” started in Martina Franca and over the years has spread throughout Puglia. It is an international summer festival of folk art and culture from all five continents. Without boundaries and without borders, the Ghironda Summer Festival promotes the meeting of different civilizations through sounds and artistic expressions with international guests such as Earth, Wind and Fire and Goran Bregovic. A scintillating series of events allowing the business tourist well-

earned moments of leisure discovering other cultures and territories. CARNIVAL, EASTER AND CHRISTMAS These are periods in which it is a good idea to add a few extra carefree days to your business stay. The Carnival of Putignano, scheduled from 17th February to 5th March 2019, is the oldest in Europe and among the longest in the world, a triumph of folklore with allegorical floats and “papier-mâché giants”, true works of art created by papier-mâché masters. A suggestive atmosphere filled with pathos is without doubt what characterizes “Holy Week in Puglia”, this year scheduled from April 15th to 22nd. From the Gargano to the Magna

Above, the evocative Living Passion in Troia

Graecia and the Salento, in cities and towns the ancient rites that precede Easter are still practised. The Holy Thursday and Good Friday processions in Taranto are truly impressive as they wind along the paved streets of the old town and the city centre. At Christmas, the Nativity Plays are a must between December and January. A mix of faith and folklore, thousands of lights illuminate the caves and grottos, old towns, country ‘masserie’ and seaside locations where these surprising nativity plays are staged. In Canosa it is set in an area of archaeological interest, Monte Orco of Tricase hosts the biggest nativity play in Italy and Pezze di Greco the oldest in Puglia. Nativity plays with creative illuminations, music and Christmas delicacies are also staged in Mottola, Massafra and Sanarica.

Pugliapromozione - Headquarters Fiera del Levante, Hall 172 Lungomare Starita 70132 Bari Tel. + 39 080 5821411 Fax +39 080 5821429 promozione@viaggiareinpuglia.it www.viaggiareinpuglia.it

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Meeting e Congressi - International Edition 2019  

Meeting e Congressi is the most authoritative and recognized means of information in the Italian meetings and incentives industry. For 40 ye...

Meeting e Congressi - International Edition 2019  

Meeting e Congressi is the most authoritative and recognized means of information in the Italian meetings and incentives industry. For 40 ye...

Profile for ediman