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The must visit destination of 2021 BIT Digital Edition

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Among the over 1,300 exhibitors at Bit Digital Edition, the Italian destinations stand out offering exclusive packages and free night stays, new itineraries at the discovery of ancient villages and open-air routes.

MILAN - All market research say the same thing: going on holiday or a trip is one of the very first expenses that consumers are ready to make again as soon as the situation allows. And, with vaccination programmes proceeding at different paces in different countries and still some likely complications to travel, many are looking closer to home.

So what are the "dream" proposals for a holiday not far from where we live? Have you ever thought of a stay in a lighthouse like the ones in the movies, for example? Thanks to the numerous transfers to private individuals by the State, this is now possible. 

Vast horizons and plenty of space for outdoor holidays represent the great demands of post-Covid travel. In Lombardy, after the pandemic break, the Mountain Refuges of Lombardy are once again offering the experience of Girarifugi & Alpeggi: a fun game that combines some of the most beautiful trekking routes in the Lombardy Alps with a virtual "passport" to be filled in with the stamps of the facilities visited to gain mountain-related prizes, such as typical food products.

In Piedmont, the Region has confirmed the availability of vouchers that allow tripling the stay by purchasing the first night only. In participating establishments (valid until the end of 2021) 2 nights out of 3 are free. 

Piedmont has also launched a “Holiday Working” initiative, an invitation to cold countries to “come and work here”. The invitation is particularly aimed at Northern European countries, but in times of smart working anyone could choose where to move to work. The idea of Holiday Working is catching on everywhere: Holiday Working is an invitation designed for guests from Northern Europe such as Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, France, England and Finland.

In addition, in northern Italy, this year Liguria is looking beyond its beaches to offer new and original experiences for open-air tourism. All to be discovered is the High Way of the Ligurian Mountains, a system of green itineraries (the complete network is 440 km long!) starting from its main route allows people to discover a widespread network of amazing mountain villages and connects Ventimiglia to the other end of the Region, above La Spezia. Meanwhile, future visitors can explore the Ligurian villages in advance through the Labirinti in Liguria, an interactive game to learn their secrets through an app.

In central Italy,Abruzzo is focusing on an alternative, modern and successful hospitality model thanks to the “Abruzzo bike friendly” network, Bike to coast, an over 100 km long bicycle route along the green routes of the Adriatic, that allowed the region to win the cycle tourism “Oscar” award. For the 2021 season, the region is organising a “Trekking Friendly” programme for trekking enthusiasts who wish to rediscover the great outdoors after the long lockdowns. Thus, in addition to the beaches, villages, hamlets and outdoor locations there are parks, mountains and countryside to visit that offer social distancing guaranteed.

And, after this long abstinence from travel (and consequent savings), there are many Italians who are thinking of taking a holiday this year to treat themselves to the luxury of "once in a lifetime" holiday with no expenses spared. A perfect destination for this purpose is Punta Tragara in Capri: a spectacular villa designed by Le Corbusier, which seems to emerge from the living rock from the promontory and has now been transformed into a five-star luxury hotel whose suites boast a unique view directly over the Faraglioni: twenty minutes from the Piazzetta, but immersed in the silence of nature. Worth a try.

Southern Italy offers a chance to "experience life as it used to be" by staying in a trullo in Apulia. There are numerous hotels for all budgets in the Alberobello area: from renovated farmhouses to entire villages that have been turned into resorts. In nearby Basilicata, another out-of-the-box accommodation experience is a stay in one of the many boutique hotels set in the Sassi of Matera. From five-star hotels such as the Quarry, Sant'Angel or Aquatio Cave, which combine luxury and experience, to charming B&Bs scattered throughout the old town.

Sicily has also launched the 1 free night promotion, for every 3 confirmed night stays, through its tourism promotion company "See Sicily". For food and wine tourism, why not trying a wine route among the lesser known ones off the beaten paths? Just like Sicily's 13 Wine and Food Trails, for example: from the Marsala Wine Trail to DOCs such as Alcamo and Erice. Another option could be combining the passion for good wine and good food with that for classic cars on the way to the Targa Florio.

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