When picking incentive destinations, most companies find themselves having to choose between nature resorts and city breaks. The former category is a summer favourite and mostly includes charming, exotic locations and incentive travel programs that feature outdoor sports or photographic safaris. The latter tends to be a winter and autumn favourite and to focus on destinations in continental Europe or North America, on luxury accommodation, and on the cultural and entertainment value of staying in a big city. We are here to tell you that you don’t have to choose: you can have the best of both worlds. And the answer is – you guessed – Italy. Here’s how you can go from the pleasures of a sophisticated metropolitan environment to the joy of communing with nature while staying in the same region. These are 3 classic summer incentive destinations in Italy everyone should visit at least once .
Focusing on nature: Tuscany will make your hot summer a lot cooler
The Tuscan countryside, with its charming hills and tiny, undiscovered medieval hamlets, is the perfect destination for those who like to stay cool during the hot Italian summer. The hills around Siena are a treasure trove of surprising beauty, with spectacular landscapes that can be explored at leisure. Book your stay in one of the many luxury resorts on the hills and go for a hiking trip or a cycling excursion in the surroundings, through the woods on mount Amiata or up and down the hills, taking in a few villages and sampling the local wine, cheese or slow-cooked meats. When you have had your fill of the rural beauty of this region, head into Siena and spend the day exploring its artistic and architectural beauty, dine in the finest restaurants on a delicate fusion of local tradition and international innovation and immerse yourself in the local nightlife, before returning to your relaxing, natural retreat.
Focusing on culture: unlock the secrets of Milan
Where business travel is concerned, Milan is a popular destination for trade-show visitors and for anyone wishing to do business in Italy. Its nightlife is legendary, its fashion district is every shopaholic’s secret dream, and its restaurants offer one of the most varied and sophisticated selections of cuisines in the world. What’s not to love? Chances are, if the recipients of your incentive gifts like fashion, opera, art, culture or shopping, Milan is where they want to go. And yet, when browsing for incentive destinations in the summer, many have second thoughts about picking a major city. What if the heat gets unbearable? What if your team starts regretting not being able to swim, go on a boat trip or go hiking? The answer to all of your doubts is… still Milan. While in the city, you will be able to indulge in all the refined pleasures of metropolitan life. And yet, at any given time, you will never be farther than an hour away from some of the most amazing naturalistic destinations in the Country. Visit the northern lakes for a boat trip or a refreshing swim or go hiking on the Alpine trails in the nearby valleys.
Rome in the summer? Really?
Yes, really. And not only because you will be able to enjoy its historical and architectural wonders at a more leisurely pace, but because it offers a variety of naturalistic options that many (even the Romans, occasionally) ignore. Rome in the summer has a unique and magical atmosphere. With most of the local residents away on their holidays or retreating to the coast, it is much easier to explore the city centre, without having to queue for hours or elbow your way through a crowd of tourists. The local cuisine is as delicious as ever, and you will be able to experience one of the most sublime pleasures known to man: sipping white wine, in the cool breeze, on a rooftop terrace, looking over the river or the rooftops of the most beautiful city in the world. Romantic moments aside, the city also offers unparalleled cultural and artistic attractions and wild nightlife. And when you need to take a break from the overload of culture and the summer heat, you could head for the luxury seaside resorts of Circeo or drive to the inland and explore the towns on Rome’s famous hills, or you could stay in the city and go on a cycling excursion on the Via Appia Antica: you will hardly believe you are still in Rome.