Christmas is almost upon us. Yes, there’s still over a month to go, but in terms of incentive travel planning that’s really not a long time. If you are considering rewarding your team for their achievement and dedication this year, a Christmas incentive might be just the gift you have been looking for. And if you are browsing for the perfect destination, we have a few tips for you. Here’s why you should consider Italy for your next Christmas incentive.
1. Because there’s something for everyone
Let’s face it: a Christmas incentive trip is not going to be about work, ever. It’s going to be about relaxation and free time and it’s likely to include family members as well as colleagues. Choosing a destination based on one single attraction is likely to disappoint at least part of your team. If, say, you book a trip to a famous skiing resort, those who are not particularly interested in winter sports might not have a good time. If, on the other hand, you go for a quaint village with traditional Christmas markets and ancient castles, some of your younger guests run the risk of growing bored pretty quickly. Most Italian destinations will offer you plenty of options to keep everyone happy. The city of Merano, for instance, has one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the country, specialising in handcrafted goods and organic food. Those who are more into sightseeing and history than shopping will be more attracted to its museums and castles, while sports fans will find plenty of facilities for skiing and snowboarding in the area. And those whose idea of a holiday is non-stop relaxation will enjoy the local thermal waters, together with a luxury spa treatment.
2. Because you don’t have to feel cold at Christmas
… and you don’t have to go to the southern hemisphere to experience a warm and almost “summery” Christmas either. In 2017, many celebrated Christmas on the beach and even went for a swim in Sicily, particularly in Cefalù (close to Palermo) and Lipari. If you are travelling with children, you might arrange for a “summer Santa” to swim ashore and deliver their presents. While the water will still probably be cold and best left to those who take part in the traditional “Christmas swim”, the weather might still be warm enough for a Christmas picnic on the beach and a cool aperitivo of white wine and seafood, rather than eggnog and chestnuts.
3. Because you will eat the best Christmas dinner of your life
We love Italian food. Let’s be honest: everyone loves Italian food, and for good reason. Italy has perhaps the richest and most diverse culinary tradition in the world. Each region, province, city and town have their own history when it comes to ingredients and preparations. Sharing a meal inevitably means sharing and making history, taking part in a ritual that comes from a long time ago and yet never ceases to surprise and amaze. While certain typical Christmas recipes from Italy – such as the famous Panettone – are well known worldwide, others are rather obscure and surprising. When planning your Christmas dinner in Italy, we suggest you don’t go for the options you have already heard of, but explore the local traditions. If you are spending your holidays in Emilia Romagna, for instance, you might want to try the famous Cappelletti in brodo, whereas in Naples you can’t miss the delicious, sticky Struffoli.