We’ve passed the phase where sustainable tourism only means eco-friendly and organic. Today our most important concern is protecting the local essence of destinations, the people, the traditions.
Luca Perfetto, co-founder and CEO
Travelers talk about ecotourism in Italy and agencies recommend green options. The web is crammed with eco-friendly hotels, sustainable travel options, genuine local fare and organic experiences.
Sustainable tourism is all the rage right now, but… at Florencetown we’ve been at it for a long time!
Among the very first tour operators worldwide to believe that sustainable tourism in Italy was the key to everyone’s well-being and happiness, we definitely set the trend when we started creating authentically Italian experiential activities and designing off-the-beaten-track itineraries in 2007.
Our Florence Cooking School, for instance, where foodies, and whole families, have been learning the secrets of making an Italian meal, or tasty pizza for over 12 years
Our Vespa tours and hiking escapades, scheduled on a daily basis to provide enjoyable insight on the Tuscan countryside
Our visits to artisan workshops, little-known Tuscan villages, local farms and boutique wineries.
All tours led by licensed, knowledgeable, courteous guides with extensive experience in their fields.
Yes, our clients can vouch for us, we’ve really been working on sustainability and quality for a while now, aiming to give our clients a genuine taste of our heritage, and continuously complying with standing legislation and insurance policies, to ensure flawless proceedings and full safety.
As time went by we perfected our vision and fine-tuned our activities, focusing on green tourism in Italy. We planted an organic vegetable garden - which we feed with compost, thus reducing waste - where our cooking class participants can pick the herbs and fresh produce to cook with. We supplied our headquarters and operational offices with water dispensers, so that staff and clients could avoid single use plastic bottles. We organized full waste recycling in our offices, and are planning to invest in a whole fleet of electric Vespas.
So…what now? What’s new?
What’s new is that we’ve had time to catch our breath, and grasp the full picture. When COVID-19 hit all of a sudden it wasn’t our “regular” springtime anymore. Life, and tourism, were suspended. Florence’s streets were deserted, as were the Chianti hills, and Venice’s squares.
But, we noticed from our kitchen windows, the sparrows were back. People were singing on the balconies. Country friends told us the fields were full of bees.
Forced to sit still we let far away memories in, and remembered how charming Florence was when the historic center housed locals’ homes, trattorias and authentic typical shops. We reminisced about the old times, when all tourists were guests, and as such treated to the best, not crammed into a noisy “playground-like” city.
We realized that sustainable tourism doesn’t just mean eco-friendly vehicles and less plastic, it means involving artisans and small local entities - so as to favor local income and create new opportunities within the territory - and offering qualified professionally handled high-quality hospitality services.
We decided that, as our CEO Luca Perfetto puts it
“We want to be key players, take action and welcome our guests to a friendlier, more natural, and more authentic environment”.
Every cloud has a silver lining, we resolved, Italy’s touristic blackout due to the pandemic and lockdowns is giving us the chance to rewrite our future proficiently, decently, sustainably, properly. Humanly. We want to help build a better Tuscany, and a better Italy. A lovelier, slower-paced and well-managed place that can dazzle and charm our guests with its sustainable travel offer and authenticity, whilst respecting nature and promoting local enterprises. What we aspire to do is create a brand-new sustainable scenario made of decency, propriety, respect and a trained, skilled and proficient touristic offer.
The means to do so?
For the joy and pleasure of all, locals and tourists.
As of today we are working with the local authorities and Visitors & Convention Bureau of Florence, where we are on the BoD, to create a network of Tour Operators and Travel Agents. Adherents, who will be certified as City of Florence Tour Operators - Qualified (all, necessarily, licensed Travel Agents) will be required to undersign the conditions of a pact which details their commitment to offering high standard quality services and sustainable tourism.
Safeguarding the environment, protecting our woods, fields, hills and the heavenly panoramas which have made Tuscany famous world-wide.
Supporting local artisans, preserving tradition, defending our heritage.
Redesigning the future, to provide our clients and guests with something real, worthwhile, magical and authentic.
A new Renaissance is at our door.
We’re ready to move on, and remodel the Tuscan, and Italian, travel landscape into high quality sustainable tourism.