Interview with Claudia Bolognesi, Director, Consorzio Turistico Volterra Valdicecina
1. Tell us what makes your destinations unique and worth visiting?
Volterra and the Cecina Valley are ideal destinations for different types of tourists, and both are within an hour of Florence, Pisa, Siena, the coast, the main airports, and routes.
In a relatively small area they offer a range of experiences in distinctive environments. Volterra is an ancient city showcasing historical cultures from the Etruscans to the Romans, the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It is also the city of alabaster, with thousands of years of heritage in working the precious material found in the region. The Cecina Valley is rich in small villages surrounded by green hills, wild woods, natural parks, and rivers. It is also the “warm heart” of Tuscany, a global centre for geothermal energy, where geothermal natural phenomena create an unusual, fascinating and unique landscape.
2. Are there special initiatives you are proud to present to ETOA’s existing members?
Operators looking to offer sustainable product and distinctive experiences will be spoilt for choice, from health and well-being to cultural attractions. For example, see sustainability in action where the Cecina Valley’s geothermal expertise meets food culture: a consortium of local producers of cheese, beer, cured meats, and other foods use renewable energies only.
This year, for the first time, it will be possible to book activities and experiences on our website www.volterratur.it. Visitors can choose between the region’s villages, natural reserves, museums and tours. We want to work with the travel trade to connect travellers with locals through visits and experiences.
The small towns and natural reserves and quiet, uncrowded places allow us to deliver maximum safety as, like everywhere in Italy, effective anti-Covid measures are in place in hospitality, attractions and retail.
3. Which of your products you think will be more popular this summer and why?
This summer, excursions in nature, on foot and by e-bike, sports, outdoor activities, and on the rivers will be very popular due to the fact that people tend to feel safer being outdoors where physical distancing is easier to respect. These activities were also very popular last year – a chance to discover new places, have new experiences and “breathe” after an oppressing year characterised by restrictions. Cooking classes and tastings in small groups will also be popular because you can share experiences while having lots of fun. Guided visits at art cities and museums, can be organised for individuals and very small groups to reassure clients.
Whatever your clients choose to do, they will be assured of a very warm Tuscan welcome.