I re-stumbled upon an old article from the newspaper il Sole 24Ore, which talked about the tourism low season, or better, how it was still difficult in Italy to attract tourists outside the usual period between June and July (which by itself accounted for 49% of arrivals and 61% of presence of tourists). It was October of 2012 and, at the same time, the team of the rising FindYourItaly, took its first steps, believing that one of the founding principles of the future tour operator should be “diversification”, not only of destinations, outside of mass circuits, but also of reservations besides the usual peak season.
It is true that it is still difficult to deal with a low season, however Italy has what it takes to proudly feature catwalk of the favourite destinations with its head held high of the autumn/winter season!
Even if we know that we have some among the largest and most beautiful ski areas in Europe (if not even in the world), it would be reductive to stake everything on the classic “winter holiday week”. We should think, however, about how many experiences our “Bel paese” has to offer, by focusing on promoting local products and encouraging a direct contact with nature (by following its life cycles without “stressing” our territory, to stay in a “responsible” and “sustainable” ambit).
We must consider, for example, the opportunity to attend the harvest in September, and to taste the Novello (young wine just made), and to visit in the first days of Novemberone of the many wineries spread in wine-producing areas of Veneto, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Sicily, Tuscany and Apulia…
If you want to remain within this area, between October and November, you can join the olive harvestin Salento (a destination which, according to a recent survey by Bankitalia, already in high season it is collecting favours of travelers from all over the world: in 2015, overnight stays doubled compared to the previous, passing from 1,47 to beyond 2,5 millions).
Other typical products are a pole of attraction for many travelers during autumn and winter months, the outstanding one, and maybe the finest, is the truffle. To search for the precious tubers you must rely on an expert quarryman and on his dog, who during regulated periods and usually between December and March, will accompany you to visit natural truffle grounds of areas such as Monferrato, Langhe and Roero, Oltrepò Pavese (Oltrepò Pavese is an area of the Province of Pavia, in the north-west Italian region of Lombardy, which lies to the south of the Po river) and Sibillini Mountains.
Finally, we shouldn’t forget that, besides the international Fairs of White Truffle and of Salone del Gusto of Turin, just to mention a couple, during autumn and winter months there are many calendar high profile events that can be “exploited” to let foreign tourists know about the Italian Folklore: from Christmas market stalls of Trentino, up to the traditional Christmas cribs and Nativity scenes of Apulia and Campania traditions, where for two months the glittering light installations of Luci d’Artista make the city of Salerno sparkling.
So why not make the most out of the low season? I see only benefit: savings for the traveller due many offers, less crowd, easier traffic and transports, and a pleasant climate. And you, how do you deal with the low season?