The Borgias, the Medicis, Machiavelli, da Vinci, great feasts, fabulous food and wine art and architecture and the sea. Be our guest.
Emilia–Romagna is a two part state. Emilia is at the West, near the mountains and Lombardy - Romagna is in the East near the hills and the sea.
In the 1960’s as tourism was developing in Italy. Emilia Romagna’s tourist board made a decision (I think!) about what to promote.
Seaside tourism was to be Romagna - big modern resorts such as Cesenatico, Cattolica, Rimini, Riccione and Milano Marittima. Art, history food and wine tourism was to be Emilia - Parma and Modena with a little bit of Bologna and a tiny bit of Ravenna (in Romagna)
So when I arrived in Romagna and saw the hills and the castles and the cities of art and the food and the wine and the cultural heritage and the no tourists I was flabbergasted.
Soon, I realised that, in the heart of Italy, Romagna had astonishing food, unbelievable wine, great cities of art, few tourists and a very colourful history. Plus it was close to the Adriatic Sea and to both Venice and Florence. A tourist paradise that was almost totally undiscovered by international tourists. And there was more.
The story so far: Into action – creating a sustainable tourism offer in Romagna
read about it and MUCH MUCH MORE in ‘You Lucky People’
[STOP PRESS - If you are a Travel Agent, tour operator - come and visit - uncrowded Romagna is the perfect post-COVID destination - 2021 FAM trips and special deals unveiled HERE]
Developing this Shangri La sustainably
For a travel professional this was an amazing opportunity - a virgin destination chock full of good things. We set to work immediately. The idea was simple, we chose such brilliant co-operators with such brilliant products and services and full of such passion for what they did that what we created with them would shine out as the real Best of Romagna, the best of this incredible place. Naturally we chose people that we liked and could have fun with too. After all what we did had to be happy and it had to infect our clients with joy or it wouldn’t work.
Creating a professional local team
Finally, we had our initial team of 20 – all people we really liked and that were full of passion and professionalism. And they were full of fun. Our dream team in fact.We had three great vineyard owners: one historic, one organic and one biodynamic. We had five great restaurateurs, all offering different twists on great Romagnolo cuisine and all making their pasta fresh by hand every day. We had five hoteliers all with different styles of hotel but all giving warm hospitality with superb service, we had a master cheese affineur, an olive grove owner and oil producer whose family had been doing the same thing in the same place, wonderfully, for seventeen generations.
As this is the land of Federico Fellini we had a couple of great film- makers and philosophers. Naturally we had an organic piadina maker. We had a bunch of artists in metal and fire and other unusual stuff.
Above all Casa Artusi had become a partner too – here our clients could experience the culture of Romagnolo food started by the “Father of Italian Home Cooking” – Pellegrino Artusi. MEET Our team HERE:
Putting together and marketing a curated tour
Then we put our first curated tour together which we thought showed the very best of the best. Have a look at “The Best of Romagna” in all its glory.
And we welcomed our first travel agents on FAM inspection trips from the USA. Obviously they had a fab time just like Paula! https://youtu.be/5UbHQC1zgaQ
Having seen that it was amazing, they all brought their first small groups who had superb 100% satisfied visits on our first tour.
Food and wine galore
And participating on one group there was a well known USA chef who had written cookery books and was principal of a cookery school. He was so impressed that he asked if we could create a special culinary tour for his students and friends. And here it is: Our fabulous full on culinary adventure.
And then we realised that every step we made in Romagna was dogged by a bunch of medieval barons. These barons were rich beyond understanding because they were usually paid in plunder. That’s why there were so many amazing hilltop castles, so much art, so much architecture, so many feasts and parties!
Here were the Sforzas, The Estes, the Malatestas, the Montefeltros., above all the Borgias and nearby Florence the Medicis. All with their artists, like Leonardo da Vinci, their diplomats like Niccolo Machiavelli, their women like the amazing Lucrecia Borgia, brave Catarina Sforza and determined Clarice Orsini Medici. enforcers, their armies and their great wealth and their patronage of the Renaissance arts..
And, in particular homage to Cesare Borgia master of Romagna and Lorenzo the Magnificent Medici of Florence both intelligent, sophisticated, educated, charismatic and handsome. Both involved with Nicolo Macchiavelli - Cesare as the subject for his book 'The Prince' and Lorenzo as its dedicatee.
So here is our fascinating tribute to the Borgias and the Medicis and the rest who made Romagna their treasure chest and their playground.
Why not come and have a look at these interesting offers - it will certainly be to your advantage. And your clients will have a WONDERFUL TIME http://www.totemtourism.com/agent-fam-visits.html
Our FAM/INSPECTION trips are always organised to appeal to each small group of FAM participants - and to take advantage of any special events - so each one is different, like rhe meals - local, seasonal, fresh. This is the story of just one of our FAM trips...
Everywhere you go in Romagna you tread in the footsteps of extraordinarily wealthy Renaissance and pre Renaissance robber barons, dukes and lords and their retinues of brave, powerful ladies architects and artists.
The immense wealth garnered by robbery, plunder and extortion was spent on art.
Of course the most famous Romagna nobility are the Borgias but there were many more including the Sforzas, the Malatestas, the Montefeltros, the Estes, and of course their bankers the Medicis. All have left their massive treasure chests of castles and palaces stuffed with great art including works by da Vinci, della Francesca, Titian, Botticelli, Correggio and Parmigianino, Carracciwho and many, many more.
All this culinary wealth, all this visual and environmental wealth, and all this wealth or art and architecture is here for you to see. Why not start 2021 with a celebration of an amazing place.
And enjoy it like Paula Preview YouTube video Best of Romagna | Episode 01 | 4K
Valere Tjolle is the travel and tourism insider. An entrepreneur, consultant, developer and journalist, he has been in at the beginning of almost every tourism development for the last sixty years. There is no one better placed to expose the seedy side of tourism nor its enormous opportunities to unite people across the globe.