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A step back in the past, a whirlwind of emotions: the Steam Train takes you back in time with its completely original centoporte (multi-door) carriages, and the rural events encountered along the way.

There are many itineraries, all unusual and irresistible due to the beauty of the Tuscan landscapes crossed and also because some of the views and perspectives can be enjoyed only from the train. You will be able to leave the train at romantic stations and then venture along foot trails, to reach churches, towns and castles, stop at a farm for a tasting or seize the opportunity to take part in special events, village fêtes and festivals.

Each itinerary, in fact, is combined with fairs, festivals, exhibitions, markets and initiatives, which aim to make you discover the excellent local foods and the extraordinary artistic and cultural heritage of the region.03.24.19 San Giovanni d’Asso – Treno del Tartufo Marzuolo |Truffle fest
The first trip takes you to San Giovanni d’Asso where you can visit the castle, the truffle museum and the truffle market.
04.22.19 Buonconvento – Fiera Antiquaria “Cose del Passato” |Antique fair
A journey that crosses the Val d’Orcia, the hills of the Brunello di Montalcino wine and the Crete Senesi. Arriving to Buonconvento you can enjoy the antiques market throughout the streets. 
04.25.19 Castiglione d’Orcia Primavera in Val d’Orcia |Spring festival
The vintage steam train, which leaves from Siena, will take you on a wonderful trip into history and typical local products. It will stop at Monte Antico and will reach Castiglione d’Orcia, where you will discover a beautiful fortress, the old market and a breathtaking vista.
04.28.19 San Quirico d’Orcia – Orcia |Wine Festival
The journey will take you to Monte Antico and  San Quirico d’Orcia where you can enjoy the Orcia Wine Festival.
05.01.19 Sant’Angelo Scalo – La Maggiolata |Traditional festival
You can spend a very pleasant labor day at the traditional festival of Sant’Angelo Scalo, surrounded by music, market stands and good food. Folk bands will perform in the afternoon along the streets, where an outdoor country market will be set up.
05.12.19 Asciano – Crete Senesi: cacio e baccelli |Gastronomic experience
You’ll visit the places which are famous for the Brunello di Montalcino wine. The tour will bring you to a special event with food specialities like the pecorino cheese from the Crete and the precious local honey. Stands will display the renowned typical products along the main street in a special edition of the Crete’s market. There you can also visit the Museo di Arte Sacra, the Museo Etrusco and the Museo Cassioli.
05.26.19 Chiusi – Il Treno degli Etruschi |Etruscan and Roman city
The steam train goes from Siena to Chiusi, crossing the Valdichiana, the plain that spans in the southern part of Tuscany. Once in the Etruscan town of Chiusi you’ll be free to stroll freely around the narrow streets and discover all of its sights. In the afternoon you can also visit the Porsenna Natural Market.
06.02.19 Asciano – Crete Senesi |Senese Clays ‘s history and landscapes
Journey between the history and the landscapes of the Crete Senesi through the arts and crafts fair and the demonstrations of the processing of the terra-cotta.
09.29.19 Buonconvento – Sagra della Val d’Arbia |Traditional tuscan festival
Crossing the Crete Senesi, the Val d’Orcia Park and the areas of Brunello di Montalcino, the train will arrive in Monte Antico. Short stop for shunting locomotive, it continues through the Ombrone valley and arrives in Buonconvento, ancient village in the heart of the Val d’Arbia. You will visit the Festival of Valdarbia with food stands which takes place along the streets of the village and next to the medieval walls, under the creativity of exhibitors. There are food stands. 
10.12.19 Abbadia San Salvatore – Festa d’autunno |Autumn festival
A village autumn-themed-festival in the charm of the old village. You will also have the possibility to visit the San Salvatore Abbey and the mines´museum.
10.13.19 Vivo e Castiglione d’Orcia – Sagra del Porcino | Porcini mushrooms festival
The train will take you to discover the flavor and scents of the woods of Mount Amiata and its unique porcini mushrooms. You will have the possibility to visit the ancient castle and to a guided excursion in the wood.
10.20.19 Trequanda – Festa dell’Olio Novo |New Oil festival
Ancient flavors and crockeries in Trequanda accompanied with folk dance and songs. gastronomic stands with Chianina beef and new oil tasting.
10.27.19 Montalcino – Sagra del Tordo |Thrush gastronomic fest
Celebration of the ancient hunting tradition in the lands of the Brunello wine. You will have the chance to taste fresh thrush meat accompanied with the famous Brunello di Montalcino wine.
11.10.19 San Giovanni D’asso – Mostra del Tartufo Bianco | White Truffle exhibition
Everyone at the court of his majesty The Truffle! The train will take you to S. Giovanni d’Asso where you could visit the ancient castle and the exhibition.

Come and have a look to our proposals or contact us for more information or a tailor-made proposal.

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Finally Emilia-Romagna steps onto the podium as Europe’s top tourist destination for 2018 according to Lonely Planet

Justice is done! Finally Lonely Planet named the Emilia-Romagna region first in the ranking “the essential destinations in Europe 2018”.  FICO Eataly has been doing a great marketing job for the region and the results are something to be proud of! There are a variety of reason why, come and discover yourself!

The Emilia-Romagna region is situated between the north and the centre of Italy and is without any doubt the pulsating heart of the country.
Foremost among the reasons is its age-old culinary tradition that is what makes it unique in the world. It’s not a case that the most well-known meals originate here: the most famous meat sauce in the world, ragù, commonly served with fresh home-made tagliatelle; but the masterpiece cannot be deemed complete without, on the top of it, Parmesan cheese. Don’t you feel the smell of it already? FICO Eataly has become mouthpiece of this culinary philosophy being the largest agri-food park in the world in the heart of Emilia-Romagna. Great job!

The region hides a wealth of architectural masterpieces most unknown to the beaten tracks, such as the monuments of Ferrara and Comacchio, the nearest town of Urbino, the world’s oldest Republic, San Marino or the medieval villages of Matilde di Canossa.

But there’s more! The enthusiasts will certainly know the passion for motoring of the region which has led to create the “land of motors” itinerary. The most prestigious car brands in the world meet the visitors: the Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani manufacturer’s open their doors and organize exiting guided visits.

Come with us and discover this land of richness! The highlights of our tours comprehend the cherries’  blossom’s festival in Vignola, the Carnival of Cento and tastings of the typical products.

DEUTSCHE VERSION

Emilia Romagna | Die italienische Region Emilia-Romagna wurde auf Platz 1 der Lonely-Planet-Liste der besten Orte Europas 2018 gewählt

Vor kurzem wurde die Region Emilia-Romagna von Lonely Planet, dem meist besuchten Reiseblog, mit dem ersten Preis der „Bucket-Liste in Europa“, ausgezeichnet. Die Emilia Romagna gilt als das Feinschmecker-Paradies schlechthin. Dafür gibt es verschiedene Gründe, finden wir sie heraus!

Emilia-Romagna liegt im Norden des stiefelförmigen Landes, hier pocht das kulinarische Herz des Landes. Ob Balsamico-Essig oder Parmesan, Lambrusco-Wein oder Parmaschinken, in keiner anderen Region Italiens gibt es so viele DOP-Produkte (geschütze Ursprungsbezeichnung) wie in der Emilia Romagna. Alte Kochrezepte werden von Generation zu Generation weitergegeben und Spezialitäten wie hausgemachte Tortellini, Tortelloni, Lasagne, Cappelletti oder Tagliatelle stehen auf dem Esstisch jeder Familie.  Nicht zuletzt wurde vor kurzem die Neuheit des Jahres, FICO Eataly in Bologna eröffnet, der größte Gastronomiepark der Welt, der die gesamte Lebensmittelkette unter einem Dach vereint und mit unzähligen Restaurants, Gastronomieständen und Events aufwartet.

Die Region birgt aber auch eine Reihe von kulturellen Schätzen. Neben den bekannten Städten wie Bologna, Parma oder Modena sollten Sie unbedingt auch einen Abstecher nach Ravenna, Comacchio oder San Marino, der ältesten Republik der Welt machen.

Das ist aber aber nicht alles! Auto- und Motorradliebhaber kennen die Region sicherlich als „Land der Motoren“: von hier stammen viele der berühmtesten Autos und Motorräder der Welt wie Lamborghini, Ducati, Ferrari, Maserati und Pagani. Auch einige private Autokollektionen öffnen auf Anmeldung ihre Türen.

Planen Sie Ihre Reise 2018 in die Emilia Romagna und kommen Sie mit auf eine Entdeckungsreise voller Überraschungen. Feiern Sie die Schönheit der in Blüte stehenden Kirschbäume in Vignola, der Karneval von Cento, und genießen Sie die typischen Produkte der Region bei exklusiven Besuchen und Verkostungen.

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UM DEN TEXT AUF DEUTSCH ZU LESEN, BITTE NACH UNTEN SCROLLEN

Anniversaries and special events always provide good reasons to travel to a town or region as the  resulting raised profile increases awareness and helps sales. Resorts and Regions tend to up their game and provide special offers or events to attract as many visitors as possible. New destinations then come under the tourist spotlight and more traditional destinations can benefit from the investment in their infrastructure. 

2019 sees two such events taking place in Italy. Why not use these to create special tours for your tour programmes? This is what next year has in store for you in Italy.

500 Years of Leonardo da Vinci

Few people in the course of human history can match the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. A man noted primarily as an artist, Leonardo was also a prominent architect, engineer and inventor. His revolutionary thinking was centuries ahead of his time. 2019 is the 500th anniversary of his death and this momentous milestone will be marked throughout the country by a range of events and exhibitions in his honour. In particular the City of Milan, where he spent many productive years, and the region of Tuscany, where he grew up, will be at the forefront of these celebrations. Plan a special Leonardo themed tour next year, taking in the key sites which shaped the life of this extraordinary individual, who became the embodiment of Renaissance Man.


Matera – European Capital of Culture 2019

The town of Matera  has been named European Capital of Culture  in 2019. Located in the Province of Basilicata in southern Italy, this town is the site of one of the longest continually inhabited human settlements in the world. The first sight of the many “Sassi” or cave dwellings is spellbinding for any visitor. Initial settlers colonised natural caves in the soft tufa limestone as long as 7000 years ago and later inhabitants cut their own dwellings into the rock face, creating an underground city over the millennia, complete with cave churches and shops, which transport astonished visitors back to biblical times. No wonder then that Matera is a World Heritage Site and has often been used as an ancient film set. Come with us to explore this fascinating relic of human habitation and culture.

Contact us for more information or a tailor-made proposal!

DEUTSCHE VERSION

Gruppen-Reiseideen fürs Jahr 2019

Spezielle Events und Jubiläen stellen immer eine gute Gelegenheit dar, um gewisse Destinationen zu bewerben und den Verkauf eines bestimmten Produktes anzukurbeln. In Italien gibt es im nächsten Jahr gleich zwei Gründe, um zu feiern: 500 Jahre nach Leonardo da Vinci und Matera – die Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2019.

Zu diesen beiden Anlässen werden an verschiedenen Schauplätzen eine Reihe von interessanten Veranstaltungen organisiert  – mit dem Ziel, so viele Besucher wie möglich anzuziehen, vor allem aber, um den Gästen unvergessliche Momente zu bieten.

Warum planen Sie nicht mit uns gemeinsam eine ganz besondere Tour für Ihre Gruppen? Hier unsere exklusiven Tipps für Sie:

500 Jahre nach Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci hat nicht nur als Maler große Berühmtheit erlangt, sondern aus als Bildhauer, Architekt, Ingenieur, Philosoph und Naturwissenschaftler. Seine vielfältigen Kunstwerke, Erfindungen und Erkenntnisse bereichern die Welt noch heute. Zum 500-jährigen Todestag von Da Vinci finden in Italien eine Reihe von Events und Ausstellungen statt, vor allem in der Stadt Mailand, in der diese große Persönlichkeit für lange Zeit gewirkt hat, sowie in seiner Heimat, der Toskana.

Planen Sie eine Reise „Auf den Spuren von Leonardo da Vinci“ und begeben Sie sich auf die Schauplätze, in der dieses Universalgenie gewirkt hat.

Matera – Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2019

Matera, zur Europäischen Kulturhauptstadt 2019 gewählt, liegt in der süditalienischen Region Basilicata und zählt zu den ältesten Siedlungen weltweit. Bis in die 50er Jahre hinein lebten Menschen hier zu Tausenden in den „Sassi“, in terrassenförmig aufsteigenden Höhlenwohnungen. Einst als Schandfleck Italiens verpönt, sind die „Sassi“ heute eine vielbesuchte Attraktion mit Galerien, Restaurants und Felsenhotels. Nicht zuletzt hat auch die Filmindustrie Matera entdeckt, so wurde z. B. Mel Gibsons „Passion Christi“ hier gedreht. Lassen Sie sich verzaubern von dieser einmaligen Stadt, seit 1993 Unesco Weltkulturerbe und sicherlich bald auch in Ihrem Herzen.

Kontaktieren Sie uns fur mehr Informationen!
Sie finden unsere Reise here https://goo.gl/huY899

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A Fam Trip to one of Italy’s lesser-known regions Friuli Venezia Giulia

Educational tours not only broaden our view of the ins and outs of travel, but also provide the best possible destination training enabling us to better advise our clients in the field of group travel.

The latest Michelangelo staff fam trip took us to Friuli Venezia Giulia, a somewhat overlooked region which encompasses Italy’s far northeastern border with Austria and Slovenia. You can find it all here, amazing landscapes with a stunning Alpine scenery, lovely rolling hills on which world-famous wines are cultivated and the beautiful Adriatic coastline dotted with lagoons and small islands. On top of that you can’t fail to be impressed by the area’s interesting cultural diversity and distinctive local cuisine.

We recently wrote about this Italian region in our article “Friuli Venezia Giulia – Living history, hiddentreasures & unique nature” where we introduced some of the highlights, we now want to present some must-sees and dos we left out last time.

Our tour first took us to the region’s capital Trieste, an elegant and cosmopolitan city framed by green hills and white limestone cliffs on one side and the Adriatic on the other. Built by the Austrians to be the Empire’s only port, the Habsburg influence can still be felt today. From the grand architecture lining the main squares and boulevards to the distinctive coffee culture the Austro-Hungarian heritage is remarkably present in Trieste’s glorious architectural and ethnic pot-pourri.
The city’s landmark, the Piazza dell’Unità, surely ranks among the world’s largest and most impressive squares set right on the waterfront.

Upon arrival around lunchtime we enjoyed a light lunch in the historic coffeehouse L’Antico Caffè San Marco. Founded in 1914, the cafè was known for having always been one of the city’s main meeting places for intellectuals. Destroyed during the WW1 hostilities, it remained in decline until the end of WW2 when it was restored. It earned the status of “Historic Italian Cafè”  in 1989 and is now a café, cultural centre  and library.

After a nice stroll through the city centre we headed just 10 km out of town to another of Trieste’s juwels:

Miramare Castle

The  Castello Miramare is an extremly picturesque castle with obvious Habsburg roots, which was built on a rocky cliff from 1860-1865 by the Austrian Archduke Maximilian. Although he was only able to enjoy it briefly with his wife Charlotte (he was killed by Mexican republicans just two years after it was completed), the castle remained as a testimony to both their love and sadness. The castle park is filled with rare and precious trees, which the archduke, and self-proclaimed Emperor of Mexico, had selected himself. Visit the small swans’ lake, lotus pond and the castelletto (a small, somewhat secluded castle) and enjoy the marvellous flora.

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To read the text in English, please scroll down

Vom 02. bis 06. Dezember durfte Michelangelo Int. Travel die jährliche Incentive Reise der Wirtschaftskammer Oberösterreich, der Sektion Bus Luft Schiff, organisiert vom Präsidenten Herrn Josef Weiermair, Geschäftsführer von Weiermair Reisen, bei der Reisorganisation unterstützen.

Die Teilnahme am Incentive ist ausschließlich Unternehmern der Sparte vorbehalten und hat das Ziel eine Destination kennenzulernen, um sie dementsprechend zu bewerben, aber gleichzeitig dient es auch den Austausch zwischen den Mitbewerbern und dem unbeschwerten Beisammensein.

Von unserem Team waren vor Ort, unser Head of Contract & Product Manager der Region Claudio Peluso und die Marketing & Sales Mitarbeiterin Astrid Schilcher, um den 46 Teilnehmern bei Fragen und Informationen für zukünftige Gruppenplanungen für diese Destination zur Verfügung zu stehen und für einen reibungslosen Ablauf zu sorgen.

Nach Ankunft der Gäste am Flughafen von Neapel am späten Vormittag,  ging es mit dem Bus und unserem örtlichen Reiseleiter Antonio ins Stadtzentrum zum Mittagessen in ein charakteristisches Restaurant in der Nähe des weltberühmten Theaters San Carlo, wo ein typisches Pastagericht mit Kirschtomaten vom Vesuv und Bauchspeck aus Caserta vor unseren Augen und mit Mithilfe des Präsidenten Herrn Weiermair zubereitet wurde.

Mit vollem Magen folgte eine kurze Altstadtbesichtigung durch die Einkaufspassage Galerie Umberto mit der großen Glaskuppel, vorbei an der Pizzeria wo die berühmte Pizza Margherita erfunden wurde zum größten Platz der Stadt Piazza Plebiscito, wo sich der Königspalast befindet.

Nach diesem Ausflug in die Geschichte der Stadt am Vesuv, ging die Fahrt ins Hotel Antiche Mura im Zentrum von Sorrent. Die authentische Stadt wurde schon von vielen Berühmtheiten als Sommerdomizil gewählt, darunter Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Charles Dickens und viele andere. Ein Abendspaziergang genügt, um zu verstehen warum sie sich an diesem Ort so wohl fühlten.

Am nächsten Morgen erwartete uns die Amalfiküste, einer der schönsten Küstenstraßen der Welt. Obwohl das Wetter nicht mit Sonnenschein gesegnet war, haben uns Orte wie Amalfi, wo wir zum Mittagessen einkehrten mit seiner Schönheit, dem eleganten Dom und den engen Gassen verzaubert.

Die traumhafte Insel Capri darf in keinem Reiseprogramm zu dieser Destination fehlen. Vom Hafen von Sorrent erreichten wir die Insel mit dem Boot. Die Sonne strahlte und mit Minibussen begaben wir uns hinauf nach Anacapri. Aufgrund des Regens am Vortag war die Sicht wunderbar klar und wir fuhren mit dem Sessellift auf den Monte Solaro, von wo man ein atemberaubendes Rundum-Panorama genießen kann.
Nach dem Mittagessen spazierten wir zu den Gärten von Augustus, bestaunten die Faraglioni und die historische Serpentinenpfad Via Krupp.  Als Abschluss durfte ein Café an der berühmten Piazzetta nicht fehlen.

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The world’s largest permanent agri-food park Um den Text in Deutsch zu lesen, bitte nach unten scrollen It’s unfortunate and unmerited that the city of Bologna has not been at the top of the list of popular Italian holiday destinations. This is all the more surprising when you learn that this university city lies in the heart of Italy’s beating culinary heart of Emilia Romagna in a country which is so passionate about its food and wonderful fresh ingredients. This location  was therefore key when making the decision to embark on such an ambitious project like this. Our Product Managers Jolanda and Mirko went along to the Grand Opening celebrations in November and let you know what is so fico about FICO.

The Italian word fico has a number of different meanings  but in colloquial speak means ‘‘cool“. The FICO , that we are talking about here refers to Fabbrica Italiana Contadina, or an Italian Farm Factory or perhaps better said a special Theme Park dedicated to the wonders of Italian cuisine. The mission statement of the park is to ‘‘evangelise about the excellence of Italian food and wines to the whole world“

Of course the world already knows all about the wonders and excellence of Italian cuisine, but no where else on the planet will you get to learn all about the production of practically every Italian dish and ingredient imaginable in one place! Here, just as you enter Bologna, you will find 2 hectares of fields and and stables housing some 200 different animals, and all manner of famous and not so famous producers of all sizes present their wares. You find a visit to Eataly World educational, as you will be able to see how fresh cows milk is turned into delicious parmesan cheese or how meat is transformed into tasty salami.

In total no fewer than 40 farm producers show how meat, fish, milk, grain and a host of other raw ingredients are turned into fine wines, beers, oil, sweets, cheeses and pasta . The fascinating processes behind the production of the wide range of wines and fruit varieties in Italy are brought to life in the small outdoor section around the main centre. A guided tour is available at a supplement to provide an initial orientation to this large area.

Clearly all this worthy information about food and drink is of little use without it being converted into actual tastes, and this most important task is addressed by the 45 Trattorias, Michelin starred restaurants, Bistros and Street food stands  on the site. They use the freshest of ‘‘zero-mile‘‘ ingredients grown within the confines of the park itself and cater for every taste and budget.

Whilst entry to the Eataly World FICO is free of charge, the average price of the food on offer is in the medium- upper price bracket. Considering the really first class quality of the meals on offer, this is absolutely justified, but should be borne in mind by visitors to the park.

For lovers and connoisseurs of Italian cuisine, a wide range of courses, lectures and tastings are available. Interested parties are given insights into the deepest secrets about areas as diverse as cheese, pasta, pizza and even real Italian ice cream. If this wasn‘t enough, honey production, viticulture and gourmet chocolate and praline production are also on the extensive list of options available to visitors.

Both Jolanda and Mirko were impressed by the complexity and breadth of offer available to visitors. Their feeling was that a visit to the site would certainly be worthwhile for curious tourists and lovers of Italian cuisine alike.

For groups looking to visit Emilia Romagna or those which have a particular emphasis on culinary excursions, a visit to Eataly World FICO will provide customers with a modern and unique setting to experience the broad palette of Italian cuisine and its ingredients, a true Italian feast for the senses.

To answer the question ‚‘‘Is FICO really fico“? Our clear answer is YES!

Take a look here at our Emilia Romagna culinary GUSTO tour

Watch the official FICO Video on Youtube

Deutsche Version Eataly World FICO in Bologna Die größte, dauerhafte Landwirtschafts- und Lebensmittelausstellung der Welt Leider wird Bologna auf der touristischen Landkarte oftmals nicht die gebührende Bedeutung verliehen, doch dabei sollte diese bedeutende italienische  Universitätsstadt gerade in kulinarischen Reiseprogrammen nicht fehlen. Hier in der Region Emilia-Romagna schlägt Italiens gastronomisches Herz und dies ist genau der Grund, warum Bologna die perfekte Location für ein Projekt dieser Art ist. Jolanda und Mirko nahmen an der großen Eröffnungsfeier im November teil und erzählen uns, warum FICO fico ist.

Das italienische Wort fico hat mehrere Bedeutungen und kann von „Feige“ bis hin zu „attraktiv“ oder „cool“ (letztere zwei Wörter werden umgangssprachlich verwendet). Das FICO , über das wir berichten wollen, bezieht sich allerdings auf die Fabbrica Italiana Contadina, die italienische Bauernhof-Fabrik. Die Mission dieser weltgrößten Landwirtschafts- und Lebensmittel-Ausstellung wird auf der FICO Webseite wie folgt beschrieben: „… der Welt über die Exzellenz italienscher Speisen und Weine berichten“.

Natürlich weiß die Welt bereits über die Wunder und Großartigkeit der Italienischen Küche Bescheid. Doch nirgends sonst kann man an nur einem Ort Einblicke in die Herstellung in praktisch alle italienischen Produkte und Spezialitäten erhalten. Auf 2 Hektar Feldern und Stallanlagen kurz vor den Toren Bolognas stellen bekannte und weniger bekannte, kleinerer und mittlerer Größe, ihre Erzeugnisse vor. In Shops und Werkstätten kann man zuschauen, wie sich frische Kuhmilch in köstlichen Parmesan (Parmeggiano reggiano) verwandelt oder wie Fleisch zu leckerer Salami verarbeitet wird.

Insgesamt kann man in 40 landwirtschaftlichen Betrieben die Verarbeitung von Fleisch, Fisch, Milch, Getreide und vielen anderen Rohprodukten erleben und beobachten, wie Wein, Bier, Öl, Süßwaren, Käse, Pasta hergestellt werden. In einem kleinen Außenbereich, mit einigen Anbaufeldern erfährt man , welche Wein- und Obstsorten in Italien kultiviert werden und kann etwa 200 Zuchttiere bestaunen. Eine geführte Besichtigung (kostenpflichtig) sorgt für eine erste Orientierung auf diesem großen Gelände.

Doch was nützt all dieses Wissen über Essen und Trinken, wenn man diese visuellen Erfahrungen nicht in wunderbare Geschmackserlebnisse konvertieren kann? 45 Trattorie, Sternerestaurants, Bistros oder Street Food Stände verarbeiten frischeste Zutaten sowie „0-km-Produkte“ aus dem FICO-Anbau in köstlichste italienische Speisen, die keine Wünsche offen lassen.

Während der Eintritt in die FICO-Welt für alle Besucher frei ist, bewegt sich das Preisniveau des gastronomischen Angebots im mittleren bis höheren Niveau. In Anbetracht der wirklich ausgezeichneten Qualität der angebotenen Speisen ist jedoch durchaus gerechtfertigt, sollte allerdings bei einem geplanten Besuch berücksichtigt werden.

Für Liebhaber und Kenner der italienischen Kost werden verschiedene Kurse, Vorträge und Verkostungen angeboten. Von Käse, Pasta, Pizza bis hin zu echtem italienischem Gelato werden die Teilnehmer in die tiefsten Geheimnisste der italienischen Küche eingeweiht. Honigproduktion, Weinerzeugung oder raffinierte Schokoladen- und Pralinenherstellung, es gibt kaum ein Produkt, das nicht auf dem Plan steht.

Jolanda und Mirko waren beeindruckt von der Komplexität und Vielfalt des Angebots und unser Fazit ist, dass sich ein Besuch in jedem Fall lohnt, sowohl für kulinarisch Interessierte als auch für Neugierige.

Für Gruppenreisen mit einem geplanten Stopover im Raum Bologna oder Programme mit enogastronomischen Schwerpunkt, im FICO erleben Ihre Gäste in einem modernen und einzigartigen Umfeld unvergessliche Momente, wie sie nur das Wunderland der italienischen Gastronomie bieten kann.

Ist FICO wirklich fico? Unsere Antwort ist JA!

Sehen Sie hier unsere Reiseangebote in die Emilia Romagna

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Friuli Venezia Giulia, located in the north-east of Italy, extends from the Adriatic Sea to Carinthia in Austria. It borders Slovenia to the east and the province of Veneto to the west. The region will win you over with the peaceful and inviting beauty of the mountainous and hilly landscape as well as the pure, endless sandy beaches of the Adriatic and offers everything that a holidaymaker could ever wish for. In the triple- barrelled area of Friuli Venezia Giulia, it is possible to take a hike in the mountains in the morning and take a swim off the long beaches of Lignano in the afternoon. A strong, autonomous culture has developed in this region over the course of the centuries. It finds its expression especially through the Friulian language and in the continuation of ethnic traditions.

Mirko, our Logistics & Service Manager took an interesting Educational Tour, organised by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Tourism Board.  The trip took in a selection of the region’s historic little towns, castles and villas and everyone was spoilt by the culinary delights of the area. Mirko was completely enthralled by the area and returned to the office with many exciting new developments for tours to this elaborate area. We hope you too will be inspired by his report.

Our starting point was the town of Gorizia, where one really got the feeling that you were in a border town, and its apparent noble past made it particularly attractive. We began with a sumptuous lunch in a characteristic local trattoria, laid out in typical local fashion with waiters wearing traditional Austrian style clothing. A post lunch guided tour detailing the history of the town was rounded off by a pleasant walk up to the medieval castle above.

After visiting the Castle and the town’s Fashion Museum we returned to the town centre where we passed the Cavour Square, various historical palaces and the Cathedral.

Our tour was completed with a visit to the Palazzo Lantieri, which had been visited by many famous people over the centuries, including the French royal family, Pope Pius VI., the Empress of Austria Maria Theresia, Napoleon, Goethe, and  Schiller to name  but a few. Then as now the Palazzo is a meeting point, where European cultural history can be experienced in both a traditional and contemporary setting. The elegant Palazzo also has a wonderful park for visitors to enjoy.

The following day saw us head over to Cividale del Friuli, where the town‘s long history was clear to see from the many sights. A visit to the Villa Russiz followed where long historical traditions and no lack of hard work has produced some excellent wines which we sampled with an enologist after a pleasant walk through the vineyards.

After lunch we visited Aquileia with its excavations which are on the UNESCO list. There is a good reason why this town has been called Rome #2 , as the excavations are spectacular.
Interesting was also meeting the persons responible for the Scriptorium Foroiuliense which has brought the ancient art of medieval scripture to extremely high levels. A visit at the  Opificium Librorum is perfect to discover the ability to pen on parchment with elegant and fluttering characters and all of the phases of creating books as occurred in the Middle Ages, from how the parchment was made, to the benches of the amanuenses, miniaturists and illustrators, to the book binder’s bench.

We then undertook a visit to the pleasant and historical old town of Grado with an unforgettable boat trip across the lagoon to the island of Santa Maria di Barbana, with its wonderful pilgrimage Church. The lagoon with its hundreds of small islets formed a wonderful natural backdrop.

Our third day of the educational tour began with a visit to the Castle of Strassoldo di Sopra e di Sotto. It is now in private hands and is not usually open to visitors . It was constructed along the former ancient Roman Road, the Via Julia Augusta, which linked  Aquileia with Norico.

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Anniversaries and special events always provide good reasons to travel to a town or region as the  resulting raised profile increases awareness and helps sales. Resorts and Regions tend to up their game and provide special offers or events to attract as many visitors as possible. New destinations then come under the tourist spotlight and more traditional destinations can benefit from the investment in their infrastructure. 

2019 sees two such events taking place in Italy. Why not use these to create special tours for your tour programmes? This is what next year has in store for you in Italy.

500 Years of Leonardo da Vinci

Few people in the course of human history can match the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. A man noted primarily as an artist, Leonardo was also a prominent architect, engineer and inventor. His revolutionary thinking was centuries ahead of his time. 2019 is the 500th anniversary of his death and this momentous milestone will be marked throughout the country by a range of events and exhibitions in his honour. In particular the City of Milan, where he spent many productive years, and the region of Tuscany, where he grew up, will be at the forefront of these celebrations. Plan a special Leonardo themed tour next year, taking in the key sites which shaped the life of this extraordinary individual, who became the embodiment of Renaissance Man.


Matera – European Capital of Culture 2019

The town of Matera  has been named European Capital of Culture  in 2019. Located in the Province of Basilicata in southern Italy, this town is the site of one of the longest continually inhabited human settlements in the world. The first sight of the many “Sassi” or cave dwellings is spellbinding for any visitor. Initial settlers colonised natural caves in the soft tufa limestone as long as 7000 years ago and later inhabitants cut their own dwellings into the rock face, creating an underground city over the millennia, complete with cave churches and shops, which transport astonished visitors back to biblical times. No wonder then that Matera is a World Heritage Site and has often been used as an ancient film set. Come with us to explore this fascinating relic of human habitation and culture.

Contact us for more information or a tailor-made proposal!

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A Fam Trip to one of Italy’s lesser-known regions Friuli Venezia Giulia

Educational tours not only broaden our view of the ins and outs of travel, but also provide the best possible destination training enabling us to better advise our clients in the field of group travel.

The latest Michelangelo staff fam trip took us to Friuli Venezia Giulia, a somewhat overlooked region which encompasses Italy’s far northeastern border with Austria and Slovenia. You can find it all here, amazing landscapes with a stunning Alpine scenery, lovely  rolling hills on which world-famous wines are cultivated and the beautiful Adriatic coastline dotted with lagoons and small islands. On top of that you can’t fail to be impressed by the area’s interesting cultural diversity and distinctive local cuisine.

We recently wrote about this Italian region in our article “Friuli Venezia Giulia – Living history, hiddentreasures & unique nature” where we introduced some of the highlights, we now want to present some must-sees and dos we left out last time.

Our tour first took us to the region’s capital Trieste, an elegant and cosmopolitan city framed by green hills and white limestone cliffs on one side and the Adriatic on the other. Built by the Austrians to be the Empire’s only port, the Habsburg influence can still be felt today. From the grand architecture lining the main squares and boulevards to the distinctive coffee culture the Austro-Hungarian heritage is remarkably present in Trieste’s glorious architectural and ethnic pot-pourri.
The city’s landmark, the Piazza dell’Unità, surely ranks among the world’s largest and most impressive squares set right on the waterfront.

Upon arrival around lunchtime we enjoyed a light lunch in the historic coffeehouse L’Antico Caffè San Marco. Founded in 1914, the cafè was known for having always been one of the city’s main meeting places for intellectuals. Destroyed during the WW1 hostilities, it remained in decline until the end of WW2 when it was restored. It earned the status of “Historic Italian Cafè”  in 1989 and is now a café, cultural centre  and library.

After a nice stroll through the city centre we headed just 10 km out of town to another of Trieste’s juwels:

Miramare Castle

The  Castello Miramare is an extremly picturesque castle with obvious Habsburg roots, which was built on a rocky cliff from 1860-1865 by the Austrian Archduke Maximilian. Although he was only able to enjoy it briefly with his wife Charlotte (he was killed by Mexican republicans just two years after it was completed), the castle remained as a testimony to both their love and sadness. The castle park is filled with rare and precious trees, which the archduke, and self-proclaimed Emperor of Mexico, had selected himself. Visit the small swans’ lake, lotus pond and the castelletto (a small, somewhat secluded castle) and enjoy the marvellous flora.

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