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Alitalia: Discover the best of Genoa

Alitalia: Discover the best of Genoa

A SURPRISING CITY, AN EXTRAORDINARY TRAVEL GOAL!
Genoa is certainly the urban destination of wonders. An authentic city full of surprises, all to be experienced. Discovering the Superba is much more than a journey, it is an experience that leaves its mark and makes you dream! Genoa is the ideal destination for adventurous spirits, open air lovers, art and culture lovers. From the UNESCO heritage palaces to the largest medieval historic center in Europe, from the charm of breathtaking sea views to the greenery of enchanted parks and gardens, exploring the city could not be easier and more evocative.

Typical Cuisine

To celebrate the whole of Liguria, we must of course start with basil, pesto and focaccia, symbols of our region and justly known as the standard bearer of the local cuisine. Delicious in all its forms (plain, with onion, rosemary, cheese, etc.), focaccia is an ambassador of Genoese cuisine, so much so that for the “festa di San giorgio” (St George's Day), the cultural association 'Genova World' has created a special version, known as 'Focaccia di San Giorgio'.

Villa Durazzo Pallavicini

Home to the Museum of Ligurian Archaeology and to the Botanical Garden established in 1794, the romantic park of the villa, located in western Genoa, is one of Europe's most important historical gardens. It was built by the marquis Ignazio Alessandro Pallavicini who entrusted its design and complete construction to Michele Canzio, the set designer of the Teatro Carlo Felice opera house.

The park and the wall and forts

Genoa is a city of sea and mountains, it takes very little to find yourself far from the noise and hectic life of the city, where you can enjoy the pleasure of immersing yourself completely in nature: a landscape of trees, alpine scents and a breathtaking panorama. This is the Parco delle Mura, an area that owes its name to the “New” Walls, built in the seventeenth century to defend the city and its port basin. With its 12 km, it is the longest city wall in Europe.

The panorama form Castelletto

From here visitors can admire the rooftops made of slate, a traditional local material, as well as mediaeval towers and Baroque domes; in the distance, the sea comes alive with both modern ships and ancient memories
The high grounds form a backdrop dotted with parks, villas and sanctuaries and crowned with the city’s forts. Until 1849, the fortress of Castelletto stood in the place of this magnificent overlook, before being razed to the ground by public demand, as it was deemed a menace to the city below in the event of enemy occupation.

Vertical Genoa

Genoa has a harsh territory and it always had to face a public transport issue. Many passengers have to be trasported to the top of steep hills around the city. There are many cableways, such as lifts and funiculars, that move through buildings and streets. These structures are fundamental but they also are admired for their architectural richness. The Zecca – Righi funicolar, together with the Granarolo rack railway, are the most interesting structures that move passengers away from the city centre to reach the hills in a couple.

Ducal Palace

Palazzo Ducale is one f the historic symbols of the city of Genoa: since 1339 it became the residence of the Doge and today it is the main cultural centre of the city. All year long Palazzo Ducale offers exhibitions, conferences, meetings, festivals, shows and educational activities. The palace was built in 1298, during a fortunate period for the Republic of Genoa, after the victory in the Battle of Meloria against the Pisa and the victory in the Battle of Curzola fought against Venezia.

Source from: www.visitgenoa.it

Aeroflot: Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria

Aeroflot: Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria

Nalchik is the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, a republic in the North Caucasus, Russia. It is renowned for its mineral springs and healthy mountain air. Along with spa resorts, Nalchik offers great opportunities for rafting, rock climbing, snowboarding and paragliding.

With its elegant arches and huge gilded domes, St. Mary Magdalene’s Orthodox Church is an epitome of Byzantine architectural traditions. St. Mary Magdalene was a patron saint of Kabardian Princess Maria Temryukovna who was wedded to Ivan the Terrible. Locals honour the princess as their patron. Her 15-metre-tall statue dominates the monument Forever With Russia. The pedestal’s bas-relief tells the history of the nation.

Atazhukinsky Garden connects the spa hub and the historical core. Don’t be misled by the word ‘Garden’, though. In all but the name, it is a forest area occupying 250 hectares.

Enjoy its beautiful lakes, romantic gazebos and quiet alleys with a wide range of plants, from Japanese quince to ancient oaks to the Gingko tree. Here you can visit the amusement park and Nalchik Zoo. Green Theatre is the only open-air theatre in the North Caucasus. It can simultaneously seat 2,500 visitors.

Live well, travel better in Macau

Live well, travel better in Macau

Wellness tourism, one of the fastest growing tourism segments pre-Covid, is expected to flourish even more in the wake of the pandemic as people place more importance on safety and prioritise their personal health and well-being as a priority when they travel after months of limbo and uncertainty.

With travellers likely to slow down their pace and explore destinations in greater depth at their own pace, Macau, brimming with immersive and sustainable offerings, will make an ideal post-Covid wellness destination.

There are myriad ways that travel agents can plan and design a Macau itinerary towards health and well-being so that clients can look forward to a balanced mix of cultural immersion and restorative attractions in the dynamic city. Here’s a guide to a refreshing and revitalising experience in Macau.

1.    Conscious dining with Macanese flavours

With a culinary legacy dating back more than 400 years, Macau is often regarded as the birthplace of fusion food and was designated a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO. Its rich culinary scene is now ushering in a growing health movement that places equal emphasis on fresh produce and sustainable practices, as well as pandemic-related hygienic measures such as temperature checks and ubiquitous provision of hand sanitisers.

Sum Yuen, nestled in the Pou Tai Sin Un Buddhist Monastery, elevates vegetarian dining to new heights with its creative takes of humble dishes like mushroom, avocado and eggplant. Sightsee around the ornate prayer hall and sculptures-dotted pavilions at this picturesque temple, which is one of Macau’s biggest and oldest, while monks tend the vegetable plots that supply the fresh produce to the onsite vegetarian restaurant.

For vegan and health-conscious clients, agents should steer them to The Blissful Carrot, a bohemian-style outlet tucked amid the quaint lanes of Taipa Village. This small joint offers an eclectic array of tempting plant-based menu, spanning acai bowl, gluten-free pancakes as well as its much-raved Kombucha – all served in environmentally friendly tableware.

As the old Chinese saying goes, good medicine tastes bitter, the nourishing concoctions dispensed by Herbal Treasures at Studio City are anything but. Teaming up with the Chinese Medicine Association of Macau, the teahouse at Studio City serves up wellness-focused meals that harness the holistic healing power of food – think Chinese herbal jellies, herbal tonic teas, double-boiled soups and wholesome desserts.

IFTM Educational Restaurant’s commitment to sustainable gastronomy has led to its inaugural Michelin Green Star – the first for Macau. The much-loved institution not only devotes itself to training the next generation of hospitality and culinary students, it also employs practices such as turning food waste into fertiliser and growing its own greens.

2.    Holistic fun for all ages

Macau brims with offerings and activities that will guarantee wholesome fun for travellers of all types and ages. Parents – or in fact, anyone – can rest easy when visiting attractions, hotels and integrated resorts across Macau, as places of interest as well as public areas continue abiding by strict standards of cleanliness and sanitisation.

Aqua World at The Parisian Macao, with its abundance of water features, wading pool, pirate ship, water slides and more, will be a great pitstop for families to relax, recharge and bond over splashing fun. Inside Parisian Macao also sits the 1,900sqm Qube Kingdom which is a playground paradise for children and adults who love adventure.

Another strong pick for families – or curious minds – will be the Macau Science Center, a striking cone-shaped building the work of influential Chinese-American architect IM Pei. As much as an architectural masterpiece as it is an educational stop, the museum has over 20,000sqm of space devoted to exploring everything from robotics to space travel to extreme weather conditions across 12 permanent galleries, exhibits and a planetarium.

Nourish minds and bellies at Mighty Greens, Macau’s first and only urban farm nestled on a beautiful rooftop in Old Taipa. Here, visitors keen on conscious living and food education will get a hands-on opportunity on microgreen planting, while gaining more awareness of the environmental impacts of their food choices.

What’s a trip without some souvenirs and mementoes? In Taipa, O-Moon is a lifestyle souvenir shop that sells creative yet practical products that take inspiration from Macanese culture and way of life. Many items in this shop come artfully decorated with Azulejo patterns – painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework that can be seen adorning the walls of heritage buildings in Macau.

The Macau government has since last year launched the Distinctive Shops programme, which aims at supporting small establishments with unique characteristics to the public and visitors. Travel agents should pencil in Rua 5 de Outubro in the itinerary for clients, as this heritage area has 50 local stores recognised for their uniqueness, including traditional teahouse Tai Long Fong, vegetarian café Vega Vega as well as Chinese wedding dress retailer Quinquilharia 168.

3.    Putting bodies and minds at ease

From partaking in cutting-edge spa treatments to destressing amid green enclaves tucked within the city, there are many ways travellers to Macau can soothe their minds and bodies during a visit to the destination.

At MGM Cotai, which was again named a five-star hotel by Forbes Travel Guide in 2021, Tria Spa’s tree-inspired art installations and tiny glass leaves dangling from the ceiling will soothe away any stress and kinks of travelling. The two-storey, forest-like wonderland features special offerings such as a sound therapy lounge, vitality pool and personalised therapies that span from Himalayan healing rituals to hot stone massages.

Spread over 6,000sqm on levels 15 and 16 of the Altira Macau complex, the award-winning Altira Spa – ranked five stars by Forbes Travel Guide for more than a decade – will quickly put your clients at ease with its expansive and luxurious set-up. The tranquil haven provides a multi-sensory therapeutic experience through its wet spa facilities, including crystal steam rooms, vitality pools and experience showers, accompanied by panoramic views of the Macau peninsula and South China Sea.

Senses – and views – are literally elevated at Iridium Spa, the sophisticated sanctuary perched 38 stories atop The St. Regis Macao. The city’s highest spa pampers guests by channeling the healing properties of gemstones into its signature treatments while also infusing reinvigorating scents into moisturising massage oils to offer pampering treatments customised to individual preferences.

Opportunities to relax and recharge can also be found among Macau’s untouched pockets of greenery and urban trails, with the 90m-high Guia Hill being one of the most accessible yet lesser explored spot among visitors. The park’s walking trails weave past a floral garden and lake in the lower area, a network of pre-war anti-air raid shelters and fitness training stations, plus up-close encounters with birds, spiders and other animal species that call this area home. At the summit, a fortress, lighthouse and bird’s eye view of the surroundings await.

While Coloane Village may be more frequented for its historic churches and established restaurants such as Lord Stow’s Bakery (birthplace of Macau’s egg tarts), anyone with an interest in ecosystem conservation should head to the Ecological Trail Garden of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and South China Medicinal Plants Garden tucked within the Seac Pai Van Park. Here, visitors can walk through canopied footpaths at their own pace to discover native species (think sweet Osmanthus, ivy tree and Chinese chrysanthemum) as well as their therapeutic effects and health benefits.

As the pandemic situation remains stable in Macau – in fact, the city has to date recorded Covid-19 cases in just double digits – it has reopened doors to travellers from mainland China and is gradually relaxing restrictions for foreigners entering the territory for business, studies or essential work purposes. Macau, with its strict epidemic prevention and control measures, remains a safe and welcome destination for all visitors.

Source: www.travelweekly-asia.com

 

Visit Maldives and Ministry of Tourism has Launched ‘I’m Vaccinated’ Campaign

Visit Maldives and Ministry of Tourism has Launched ‘I’m Vaccinated’ Campaign

Visit Maldives together with the Ministry of Tourism has launched "I'm Vaccinated" campaign in order to share a positive message regarding the vaccination of staff working in the tourism sector as well as promoting the initiatives undertaken to ensure the Maldives remains one of the safest destinations in the world for travelers.

Under this campaign, the ultimate target is to make Maldives the first fully vaccinated tourism sector in the world. Along with the unique geographical formation of the islands which offer natural physical distancing, and the stringent health and safety measures in place, a fully vaccinated tourism sector will become an added advantage in encouraging tourists to visit the destination.

The campaign was launched during a special press event held on 28th April 2021 organized by Visit Maldives and the Ministry of Tourism. The event was joined by the Minister of Tourism, Minister of State of the Ministry of Health, Secretary General of Guesthouse Association of Maldives and Vice Chairman of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry.

The event commenced with opening remarks by the Minister of Tourism Honorable Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. The Minister remarked upon the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry during 2020 and emphasized the immense sacrifice, effort and hardwork invested by the health industry, tourism industry, and all members of the Maldivian society. In addition, the Minister stated that being able to provide vaccination to members in the tourism industry was a huge accomplishment. The Minister officially initiated the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign followed by a short video showcasing the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ logo.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of State of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Shah Abdulla Mahir stated that over 65% of the eligible Maldivian population have received the vaccine and over 90% of the eligible tourism industry is vaccinated. The Minister of State of the Ministry of Health placed importance on practicing health and safety measures regardless of the vaccination and placed emphasis on the importance of achieving herd immunity. He thanked MMPRC and the Ministry of Tourism for launching the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign as the campaign will promote the vaccination drive and motivate facilities in the tourism industry to vaccinate their staff.

Afterwards, MMPRC presented the esteemed delegation with a special ‘I’m Vaccinated’ badge. The badge will be presented to members of the tourism industry who have received the prescribed dose(s) of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Following the launch of the program, The Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed stated that the purpose of the ‘I’m Vaccination’ campaign is to promote vaccination for all members in the tourism industry and for Maldives to have the first fully-vaccinated tourism industry in the world. The Managing DIrector of MMPRC also unveiled a microsite that will be launched under the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ Campaign and social media activities that will be initiated alongside.

The microsite will display a counter displaying the number of tourist industry staff vaccination as well as information regarding registration for vaccination of employees and the latest HPA guidelines. Furthermore, the social media campaign component of the campaign will present images and videos of workers in the tourism industry with a pinned vaccination badge that will be presented to them by Visit Maldives once they receive the prescribed dose(s) of the COVID-19 vaccination. The social media campaign will further help advertise Maldives as a ‘safe haven’ destination across the globe.

Speaking at the conference, Secretary General of Guesthouse Association of Maldives, Saudhulla Ahmed Hassan Didi noted on the impact of COVID-19 on the guesthouse industry and island communities while Vice Chairman of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry, Mr. Salah Shihab recognized the sacrifice undertaken by members of the tourism industry as they had to stay apart from families during the pandemic, stating that the ‘I’m Vaccinated’ campaign gives hope to workers across the industry.

The campaign will uplift the destination's beautiful name in the global market and reassure travelers that Maldives will further remain as one of the safest destinations to travel to during this unprecedented time. In addition, the campaign will also ensure travelers from all over the world of the immense effort and investment into ensuring the safety of both the local population and travelers.

On 1st February 2021, Maldives initiated the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the government aims to provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens and residents of Maldives in the upcoming months. The initiation of the vaccination drive is bound to offer hope to the local population, as well as ensure the safety of tourists. This conveys the message that Maldives is a low-risk destination for travelers and will hopefully generate a surge in tourist arrival.

Europcar: Best Weekend Getaway in Belgium

Europcar: Best Weekend Getaway in Belgium

If you’re a bit clueless when it comes to what to see and do in this small yet fascinating European country, here’s a few of our top picks for a memorable long weekend in Belgium:

If you’re in need of some pampering, make your way to Spa

Guess what? Spa is the original spa town! Clue’s in the name, right? So, where to make the most of your time and get the authentic experience? The Thermes de Spa is the place to go. You’ll find 800 square metres of complete serenity, including hot springs and saunas as well as tranquil treatment rooms where you can indulge in a massage or facial.

Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts

Belgium’s capital has enough things to see and do to keep you entertained for days, but if you’re short on time just make sure you check out the Grand Place (the city’s major square), the elegant Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts and the hip independent shops and cafés in Marolles.

If you can’t resist a gorgeous beach, check out Ostend

Belgium may not be the first place that pops into your head for a beach getaway – but did you know it’s actually home to one of the top 50 beaches in Europe? Located on Belgium’s North Sea coast, the resort city of Ostend is blessed with a huge sandy beach and various amazing attractions along its shores.

If the mountains are calling you, strap on some skis in the Ardennes

Fancy hitting the slopes? It’s the mountainous Ardennes region on the German and Luxembourg borders for you then. It’s home to a handful of brilliant ski resorts, making it a wonderful option for a wintery long weekend in Belgium! Val de Wanne and Le Monty are popular picks for a snowy getaway, with the former being home to one of the longest ski slopes in Europe.

Explore Belgium by car and book your rental car with us at Europcar.