The sustainability, promotion and accessibility of the cultural and regional heritage of “secret” Italy are the principles that underpin the new partnership launched between Costa Cruises and Associazione de I Borghi più belli d’Italia, which was presented today at the head offices of the National Tourism Agency in Rome.
With the initiative “The Towns, a heritage to discover and promote”, the Italian cruise company and the association that showcases small yet fascinating Italian towns intend to promote as-yet unexplored Italian artistic and cultural heritage of great value and interest to a broad international public. In fact, ten of the most stunning small towns will become the destinations of new excursions proposed to passengers arriving in Italian ports on Costa ships.
The project is in line with the 2017-2021 Strategic Tourism Plan drawn up by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism whose guiding principles are sustainability, innovation and accessibility and which has dedicated 2017 to the promotion of Italian towns. To this end, the excursions to the towns will take the form of walking tours with the active involvement of the local communities, and will seek to propose truly unique alternative tourist itineraries that can contribute to making these precious locations part of Italy’s tourism industry.
The ten Towns forming part of the programme (nine of which belong to the Association) were selected on the basis of their proximity to Costa ports, their accessibility and ability to host visitors, and the uniqueness of the tourist experience: Seborga and Montemarcello in Liguria; Arquà Petrarca in Veneto; Orvieto in Umbria; Civita di Bagnoregio in Lazio; Locorotondo in Puglia; Castiglione di Sicilia, Montalbano Elicona and Salemi in Sicily; Atrani in Campania.
The new programme of excursions involves transfers by bus from the port at which the Costa ship is docked to the town, with the assistance of the company’s onboard staff. Local reps will welcome passengers and provide support during the activities to discover the site. The walking tours of the towns, planned with the local councils, will focus on introducing visitors to the finest local artistic heritage and panoramas. Passengers will be accompanied by local guides who will tell them about local history and traditions, promoting the local craft activities and cuisine.
The first excursions will be organised in mid-November during stops in Savona, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Venice, Bari and Messina by Costa Diadema, Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa. The new tours will be promoted, both in Italy and abroad, via all of the company’s communication channels and also directly on board the ships, thus guaranteeing the international visibility of the ten Italian towns.