The year is barely over and already travel websites are bombarding us with suggestions for 2020 incentive travel destinations. How will you choose the perfect one for your team? A good rule of thumb, when considering a destination, is to take a look at where everyone else is heading and then head in the opposite direction. This will save you from having to contend for high-season slots in over-crowded destinations and from falling into tourist traps that destroy the authenticity of your travel experience. If you are considering Italy for your 2020 incentive travel plan, we have three suggestions that you might want to consider: get the very best of Italian nature, culture, and food, at the best price and at your own pace.
Top 3 Italian destinations to visit in 2020
Walk the path of gods
If your coworkers and employees love hiking, you should treat them to a trip to the Amalfi Coast, which – unbeknownst to most tourists – is home to one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. The Path of the Gods stretches between Positano and the small town of Agerola and it measures just under eight kilometres in length. It is not a particularly hard path and it is safe and easy to walk even by absolute beginners, although it is not suitable for those who are afraid of heights. The view you will enjoy from the Path of Gods is among the most breath-taking in the world. Your gaze will embrace the mountain on one side and the sea on the other, with Capri in the distance and the lush Mediterranean bushland covering the slopes all the way down to the deep blue water. It takes approximately two hours to walk the whole path from Agerola to Positano – which is the easier direction, as it presents a slight downward slope and it is not too taxing, even to first-time hikers and to those who don’t lead an active lifestyle. And afterward, of course, you can look forward to a delicious meal in Positano, Amalfi or Capri – all of which are much coveted destinations in their own right.
Explore the Prosecco hills
We often incorporate wine tasting experiences into our incentive travel plans, and there is no better place to do that than the sub-region of Veneto known as the “Prosecco hills”. As the name suggests, this is the birthplace of one of the most famous and widely appreciated Italian wines. From vineyard to bottle, this is where the magic happens for hundreds of local producers. If you want to include a high-quality wine tasting experience into your 2020 incentive travel plans, chose the surroundings of Conegliano Valdobbiadene and explore the “wine trail”. Not only will you get to sample some of the most prized vintages in Italy, but you will also learn about the delicate process that goes into producing them, about the differences between local varieties, about the recipes that match each wine and about local history and traditions. If you visit in spring or summer, you could take your team for a panoramic hike through the beautiful green hills of this region. In winter, on the other hand, you could head straight for Cortina for a skiing holiday. And, if you seek to please your more adventurous colleagues, you could try paragliding off nearby Monte Grappa: a unique and adrenaline-packed experience, not for the faint-hearted!
The Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands are a Unesco heritage site. Known for their unique geological conformation, these seven volcanic islands, roughly halfway between the coasts of Sicily and Campania, can be considered as one, gigantic archaeological site, as well as one of the most beautiful natural destinations in the Mediterranean. Italian Cinema lovers are particularly drawn to the island of Salina, where Massimo Troisi shot his masterpiece The Postman, with Philippe Noiret. If you want to offer your team a truly unique experience, as part of your 2020 incentive travel plans, make sure you include an excursion on the island of Vulcano, with a hiking trip to the mouth of the volcano itself. The climb is not particularly steep: you can reach the summit in about an hour and take a narrow path directly into the large crater of this dormant giant. The path is absolutely safe, although tourists are advised against to walk upwind, so as to avoid the volcanic exhalations that come up from the fissures, which can be dangerous if inhaled directly. Always work with experienced guides to avoid all possible risks. If you want a truly authentic (and somewhat extreme) “volcano experience”, however, you should visit Stromboli. This is the only island with permanent volcanic activity and the local administration has gone to great lengths to avoid altering its natural outlook to please the tourism industry. There is no public illumination in Stromboli: the streets are lit by starlight and by the volcano. This island is also home to the village of Ginostra, which can only be reached by boat and contains no motor vehicles: mules are still the only form of transportation.