Australians really do love Italy. That’s a fact. So we checked in with Emanuele Attanasio from the Italian National Tourist Board to chat about all things Italy, including the international #ArrivalRevival and its bellissimo podcast, featuring Tina Arena.
With international borders reopening in November, now is the perfect time to make those Italian dreams a reality.
To inspire you with wanderlust, and tell you more about the stupefacente (that’d be amazing!) new web-radio program (aka podcast) ‘Australians Love Italy’ we chatted with Emanuele Attanasio, Manager of the Italian National Tourist Board for Australia and New Zealand.
Tell us a little bit about your web-radio program, Australians Love Italy. What was the inspiration behind it?
This year our head office launched the very first radio station entirely dedicated to Italian tourism “Visit Italy Web Radio” which is broadcast all around the world.
We were fortunate to secure a 30-minute weekly timeslot and we came up with a radio show called “Australians love Italy” is in English featuring mostly new Australian music while discussing all things Italy with our weekly guests.
Italy is the number one European destination for Australian travellers, so it’s fascinating to hear the different perspectives of what Australians love about Italy.
Why exactly do Australians have such an affinity with Italy? What is it that we can’t get enough of?
There seems to be a list of reasons.
Food is definitely one of them but also the Italian lifestyle, the warmth of the people, the art cities and the fact that the country is so diverse from north to south thanks to its mountains, lakes, beaches, hilltop towns, and the countryside.
Have you seen positive signs of an #ArrivalRevival in Australian bookings for 2022 and beyond?
I think that after almost two years of lockdowns, Australians cannot wait to start travelling again.
It seems to be a priority to get back to visit favourite destinations as well as reconnecting with family and friends.
Although we are still in lockdown, bookings for 2022 have already begun and it seems that many have used this time to plan their next trip.
Italy was hit hard with COVID-19 last year, what would you say to those who are perhaps a little uneasy about visiting once borders reopen?
Italy has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and from October 15, it will be compulsory for all workers to have a Covid “green pass” proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from the virus.
Anyone without a pass will face suspension from work. The measures are a first for Europe and some of the strictest in the world.
Green pass certificates for COVID-19 are already required to access Italian train stations, cinemas, restaurants, gyms and swimming pools.
Which spots would you recommend for travellers who wish to get off the beaten path and explore?
There are so many.
Italy now has 58 Unesco world heritage sites making it the number 1 country in the world with the most sites.
Recent inclusions include Padua’s 14th-century fresco cycles and the Porticoes of Bologna.
Matera also seems to be gaining attention at the moment thanks to the yet to be released new James Bond movie and Australians are also discovering regions such as Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia.
Australians Love Italy features special guests and up-and-coming Australian music. Can you share with us some of the voices we can expect to be hearing on the show?
We have recently featured people from the Australian tourism industry as well as Australian journalist Julia Zaetta, and Soul singer Lisa Hunt.
Our next guest, on Tuesday 12 October, will be Tina Arena, who will be sharing some insights into her Italian origins and favourite Italian destinations.
Where can listeners find your show?
The show runs on Tuesdays at 7pm each week and is repeated Wednesdays at 11am, Saturdays at 9pm and Sundays at 1pm (AEST).
You can listen on-demand to the show on the official website of Italy or the local Visit Italy website, as well as the Apple App Store, Google Play, The Huawei App Gallery, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home.
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