A Shangri La in the midst of little castellated, vine-strewn hills beside the Adriatic Sea - uncrowded, peaceful, caring, healthy - ideal for post COVID-19 2021
Writes travel journalist Valere Tjolle: "I've been in the travel industry since the 1960's and I've been writing about it for over 20 years now - in all that time, I've never lost the belief in that perfect destination - that combination of food and wine, art, history and sights, accommodation and hospitality, accessibility, cleanliness and relaxed, fulfilling adventures, plus safe, wholesome hassle-free places to chill out.
So as I've travelled around the globe from Azerbajan to Zanzibar and in every continent I've searched for this perfect destination combination,
I first visited Romagna (the historic region of Italy between Venice and Florence, the Apennines and the Adriatic) in 1966 on an extremely boozy FAM trip, Later on, in the 1980's I had an office in Rimini but that was all about cheap coach holidays. Then in the spring of 2012 I discovered something very different - I'd gone then to write a story about the destination's green tourism opportunities. It was amazing, but I've been lucky enough to see many amazing places all over the world - why did I think that Romagna was so very special?
The fact is, I simply couldn't believe it - in a world of mass commodity tourism, here was a place that had escaped intact from tourist hordes - it was totally stunning - a real Shangri La! All of the values that I believed tourism could offer - and I felt were lost - were here in Romagna and thriving.
Everybody was more than just kind and courteous, they treasured their homeland and their heritage - a glorious history, stunningly beautiful countryside and cities of art. They treasured their massive harvests of food and drink and their superb culinary culture. Above all they took great pleasure in sharing it all with me.
So, naturally, I kept returning to check that this wonderful place wasn't a dream and every time I returned something very special happened.
Read just three of the stories I wrote:
TOTAL COMMITMENT EMILIA ROMAGNA... HERE
RASPONI REVELS HERE
THE HEART OF THE GREAT ROMAGNA TOURISM TRADITION HERE
Thinking that this amazing place deserved a much better showcase, I then researched and published three magazines about the area in 2013 and 2014 -I called them 'The Best of Romagna' you can download them here:
Issue number 1 DOWNLOAD HERE
Issue number 2 DOWNLOAD HERE
Issue number 3 DOWNLOAD HERE
Then, in 2016 with the help of some Romagnola friends we created a video about Romagna, see it HERE it's called 'Romagna Mia"
And then, because I STILL wasn't sure, we brought professional travel agents to Romagna to see what they think - see and hear what they said about it in the short video clip HERE:
The travel agents liked it so much that they organised the FIRST small groups of lovely, lively Americans visited Romagna.
This is what the travel agents said: "My clients they deserve to see this part of Italy that's not really known and its beautiful" "Breathtaking mosaics - something you just can't imagine" "On every corner of the street there's a story and someone wanting to tell it to you""After Rome it was so nice to be here without that craziness" "You see smiles, graciousness and you see fun - you want to be a part of it and its so easy because everyone welcomes you".
Then the first 3 small intimate groups of 12 visitors each arrived - lovely, interesting, interested people from all over the US, Alaska to Florida:
Care, security, life enhancing, fun, unique/different, simplicity, clarity, love - they just LOVED going back in time!
This is what they said: Thank you for all your knowledge and passion…thank you so much for a wonderful time… we so enjoyed this wonderful trip… a great experience… awesome… a fabulous journey… you are the best… a trip we will always remember… words cannot express our gratitude… thank you from my heart… thank you for wonderful memories… the best meal I've ever had!
Why don't YOU come and find out what it's all about?
If you are a travel agent or group organizer and want to be a part of something really special for the benefit of your clients, find out more about Best of Romagna Familiarization and Training program HERE
And more about HOW IT WORKS HERE
Want to read my book about the last 60 years of tourism click here
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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.