12 gennaio 2023
by Guendalina Dainelli

Wonderful Italy

Salt pans of Marsala, island of Mozia 
Salt pans of Marsala, island of Mozia 

Seasonally adjusted. Experiential. In support of local communities. Italian. I mean, even by the sea (sure, why not?). Discovering local traditions to be “experienced” as well as observed. And to rediscover the best that the wealth of Italian culture can offer, in every corner of the country. This is the holiday of 2023.

According to Wonderful Italy, the largest Italian hospitality company – founded in 2017 with the aim of developing the country through tourism – more than 50% of overnight stays in Italy are concentrated in just a few cities and regions, leaving untouched the rich potential of “minor” locations, which are such only in their inferior structural capacity for tourism.

In Italy, more than 50 per cent of presences are concentrated in a few cities and regions

The online booking platform (which promises to be much more than that) connects the dots of the Italian landscape by revealing pearls unknown to mass tourism, such as the 7 km on the outskirts of Genoa along the 'crêuza', the typical Ligurian lane, discovering the colourful houses of Boccadasse to Vernazzola, Quarto, Quinto and Nervi. Savouring the focaccia of Priaruggia or taking winter snaps on the Anita Garibaldi panoramic walk.

It offers decidedly new experiences, such as cooking classes in Palermo, with a tour of the market to pick up the ingredients at the colorful stalls, and lunch with the chef sampling the great classics, such as pasta with sardines and panelle. Because sometimes, what is missing on vacation, to quote Loredana Berte', is a “volo planare” (gliding flight), perhaps aboard a single-engine four-seater over the Itria Valley, following the ancient Roman aqueduct up to Locorotondo, passing through Ostuni, Alberobello, Polignano a Mare and Torre Guaceto.

Wonderful Italy is funded by Oltre Impact, the first impact fund in Italy, financed by institutional investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Banca Intesasanpaolo and a number of Italian family offices. Scouting, selecting and carefully managing authentic experiential products are the distinguishing feature of the company, which invites you to enjoy a hands-on experience of lesser-known Italian locations and traditions, in close contact with the territory thanks to local experts and people.

The presence of micro-enterprise suppliers is in fact one of the primary objectives of Wonderful Italy, for whom 76% of suppliers have fewer than 5 employees.

Preventing tourist flows from being concentrated exclusively in the high season benefits both the economy of local communities and the territory

“The rediscovery of summer destinations in winter is proof that seasonal adjustment is possible,” points out Michele Ridolfo, CEO and co-founder of Wonderful Italy. “Preventing tourist flows from being concentrated exclusively in the high season benefits both the economy of the local communities and the region. Because it means keeping the tourism industry active even in the winter months on the one hand and preventing the region from being subjected to mass arrivals concentrated in just a few weeks on the other.”

Meanwhile, holiday homes are fully booked for New Year's Eve in Italy, with 50% more bookings than in December 2021. On the Wonderful Italy website, visitors staying in Naples can even book private yoga lessons at home. Perhaps to be recommended after a tour of the nativity scenes in San Gregorio Armeno?

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