Interview with Anna Paola Biagi, Destination Manager, Il Ciocco
1. Tells us about your estate and accommodation facilities and what’s unique about them?
Il Ciocco is a private estate that stretches over 600 hectares, situated in Barga (LU) in north western Tuscany in the fascinating and undiscovered Garfagnana and Serchio Valley, between the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Immersed in green and lush countryside, Il Ciocco embraces a numerous range of natural landscapes offering the visitor a unique backdrop of ever transforming chromatic displays with every change of season.
Our accommodation facilities are open all year round and are scattered around the estate offering privileged views of the surrounding valley, the picturesque borghi and the jagged profile of the Apuan Alps. There are three distinct hotels one of which a Boutique Hotel, 28 self serviced apartments and 12 chalets, each with its own personality and centralized services – reception, restaurant & bar and f&b services, sports facilities and activities. An ideal location for nature and sports lovers, mountain bike and hiking enthusiasts, for individual and leisure groups and incentive programs and events.
2. What would a typical day at the estate look like? Which activities do you offer?
In these places that hold ancient memories, where nature, art, legend and tradition blend wonderfully together, our guests chose to cycle or hike or wander in complete freedom and at their own pace through thick forests full of chestnut and beech trees and into villages and hamlets where it seems as if time has stood still.
Alternatively, we offer daily guided excursions and activities within our estate and in the surrounding destination, exploring the woodlands on a walking nature and botanical tour, discovering our Tuscany cuisine and traditions through a culinary walking or biking tour or cooking class, experiencing adrenaline filled emotions in our downhill and cross country mountain bike trails. For the less adventurous assisted pedalling electric mountain bikes are available to rent.
Our guests can enjoy a light lunch or dinner at our Locanda alla Posta Restaurant in between activities, an outdoor barbecue, or pick up a picnic hamper or order delivery service to their room.
3. How do you think ETOA membership will help you achieve your business objectives?
We look to ETOA to offer us a wide range of b2b opportunities through the events on offer and a matching system which we believe should facilitate and speed up our search for the right contact. We see belonging to an Association that liaises with operators that promote a wide range of segments and represent numerous global markets while having European destinations interests at its core as an opportunity to grow our business. We also look at ETOA to keep us continuously updated via their specialist events, webinars and insight hub on global and local trends in our industry, government policies and travel measures that could impact our operations and on receiving reports based on benchmarking activities and on referential facts and figures. Through ETOA we hope to expand our client and intermediary database, converse with our industry colleagues, and leverage on all the promotional opportunities the Association offers.