Wait, is this a post about Christmas markets… in August? Yes. Yes it is. And the reason we are writing about Christmas markets in Italy right now is that we want to help you plan your travel incentives in advance. Italy is one of the most sought after incentive destinations in Europe, particularly during high season. This means that there are several financial and practical benefits to securing transport and accommodation for your team right now. Lower fares are the most obvious, but price is not going to be the only issue if you book at the height of the season: hotels, restaurants, entertainment options and local transport should all be booked in advance, particularly if you require specific venues for corporate events. Now we have your attention, we’d like to focus on our favourite facts about Christmas markets in Italy.
Christmas markets in Italy: start planning your incentive now!
Christmas markets as travel incentives
Are you looking for something unusual to offer your team or your clients as a travel incentive? Try exploring Christmas markets in Italy! Thousands of tourists are drawn to them every year, as they offer one of the most authentic experiences of Italian culture. Planning in advance will allow you to think big: Christmas markets usually go hand in hand with all manners of events, in which local folklore and cuisine meet modern entertainment. Reaching out to local event organisers is an excellent way to secure exclusive deals or even partnerships in the event itself, so that your brand name is linked to a unique experience for your partners, customers and employees.
Incentive packages: what to include
Christmas markets are particularly popular in northern Italy, but they are held all over the Country and each town has its own unique tradition when it comes to arts, crafts and street-food. While the north-east is heavily influenced by the German and Austrian tradition of mulled wine and wooden toys, the south has its own take on Christmas markets. Papier-mâché nativity figures and almond-paste sweets, for instance, are part of Apulia’s tradition. If you plan your winter incentive in Sicily and you are particularly lucky, you might even get to spend Christmas at the beach, in which case your Christmas market drink of choice might be a cold mojito, rather than a glass of mulled wine. Whatever destination you choose, planning ahead will allow you to compose attractive incentive packages for your team. Make sure you include a trip to the local Christmas market, but also book seats for special events in the area, such as concerts or sporting events. You might even considering partnering with the event planners to turn your trip into a unique occasion for networking. When it comes to choosing a restaurant, don’t forget to book important dates straightaway: you will have no chance of booking a good restaurant for a large team if you start looking in early December.
Incentive destinations: where to find the best Christmas markets
Bolzano has the oldest tradition in Italy when it comes to Christmas markets and it has recently converted all of them into “green” events, offering local products and aiming for zero waste. In the same region, Trento is another excellent choice, if what you expect from a Christmas market is a traditional German vibe. Rome and Florence also have large and exciting Christmas markets and, while the goods on sale tend to be more global and less traditional, you will have the unique opportunity of offering your team the ultimate traveling experience. Large group bookings for attractions such as the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel or the Uffizi should be made in advance. Choose southern cities like Naples or Lecce for a warmer and equally intense experience, in which the traditional Christmas spirit mingles uniquely with a strong Mediterranean vibe.