Veneto: a land of a thousand flavours to discover

The most iconic dishes of each province

There is a reason why so many Italian and foreign tourists  from all over the world choose the Veneto region as a destination for their holidays. In fact, Veneto is a unique region that offers variety and quality to tourists, with many emerging destinations that contribute to affirm it internationally. However, this region does not only boast landscapes, history and nature, it also includesan enogastronomic tradition that makes it a real paradise for those who love good food and good wine. The fine wines of our territory are renowned worldwide, as do some recipes that are envied all over the world.In addition to the beautiful cities, cultural wonders and breathtaking landscapes, here you can discover an extraordinarily wide range of flavours, from the dishes inspired by the Adriatic sea to the typical dishes of the hilly areas and the high mountains. On this short gastronomic trip, we want to give you a small taste of the good food you can try in Veneto and lead you through a tour of the most iconic dishes of each province of the region, inviting you to fully immerse yourself in the culinary tradition of this unique land.

Bigoli in sauce (Venice)

Let’s start our tour from Venice, the city on the water, one of the most evocative and magical places in the world, as well as the capital of the Region. The dish we are about to discover is a poor dish, linked to the maritime culture of the place, but very tasty and of great effect.
It is Bigoli in sauce, a type of fresh pasta similar to spaghetti, but usually thicker, made with durum wheat flour and water. A fundamental element of the dish, however, is the sauce that accompanies the bigoli, a dense and tasty sauce, prepared with onion, anchovies, olive oil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and, in some versions, tomatoes. Sometimes it can also include sardines or other fatty fish. The preparation of the sauce begins by frying onions (abundant) and garlic in olive oil, then adding anchovies (many of them) until they melt and mix in with the other flavors. The sauce is then seasoned with black pepper and left to simmer until it reaches a creamy consistency. Once the bigoli have been cooked al dente, they are drained and seasoned with the prepared sauce, absorbing all its flavours.

Bigoli in sauce is a dish rich in flavors, with a balance between the sweetness of the onions, the saltiness of the anchovies and the creaminess of the olive oil, which goes perfectly with the rustic texture of the bigoli.

Amarone risotto (Verona)

From Venice we travel west up to Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, the Scala noble family and the famous Arena. The dish that was chosen to represent Verona is a refined and delicious dish that combines the creaminess of risotto with the richness and unique flavor of another typical product of Veneto, the Amarone wine. Produced in the Valpolicella region, in the Verona hinterland, Amarone is a complex and full-bodied red wine obtained mainly from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, left to wither naturally after the harvest.
To prepare the Amarone risotto, a shallot or onion is finely chopped and sauteed in a pan with a little butter over medium heat. Add the rice and lightly roast it, then add a glass of Amarone and let the alcohol evaporate. Hot broth is gradually poured, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until the rice is al dente and has reached a creamy consistency. After turning off the heat, a dollop of butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is added, and everything is mixed well.
The result is an extraordinarily creamy risotto, with the complex and enveloping flavour of the Amarone. This dish is a real delight for lovers of risotto and good wine, perfect to be enjoyed on special occasions or as a main course during an elegant lunch or dinner.

Salted cod Vicenza style (Vicenza)

From Verona we head east towards the nearby city of Vicenza, a UNESCO heritage site and home to Palladio.
  Although it is not very close to the sea, the dish we are going to talk about features “baccalà”, i.e. salted and dried cod. Salted cod is traditionally made using mainly cod, although this term can sometimes be used more generically to refer to various species of fish that are subjected to the same preparation.
  Salted cod Vicenza style is a specialty of the Venetian cuisine, particularly popular in the city of Vicenza and surrounding areas. A salted cod-based dish that is cooked over low heat with ingredients such as milk, onions, olive oil, flour, butter, grated Grana cheese, and often flavoured with garlic and anchovies. Its preparation is quite laborious, but the result is a rich and tasty dish, with a creamy texture and a delicate taste. The salted cod is first left to soak for several hours to desalinate, then cut into pieces and slowly cooked in a pot with the other ingredients until it reaches a soft consistency and forms a sort of cream. Traditionally served with polenta, salted cod Vicenza style is a dish that combines simple flavors, but very rich.

Dolce del Santo – Padua

Let’s continue our journey to Padua, the city of Saint Anthony, an incredible place rich in history and culture. Padua is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, as well as of countless historical UNESCO heritage sites, such as the Scrovegni Chapel and the cycle of frescoes by Giotto.
  The local specialty we selected is a typical dessert associated with the celebration of the patron saint of the city, Saint Anthony, and is called “Torta del Santo”, or Cake of the Saint.
It is a traditional dessert, usually prepared on June 13. The Cake of the Saint is a rich and delicious cake made with leavened dough, stuffed with a mixture of almonds, sugar, eggs, cocoa and often enriched with candied fruit and liquor (typically rum). It’s usually shaped like a star or an eight-pointed figure, to represent the traditional shape of the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua. The preparation of the Cake of the Saint requires a certain mastery and time, since the dough must rise twice before being cooked, and the filling must be prepared with care to ensure the right consistency and flavor balance. Once baked, the Cake of the Saint is often decorated with icing sugar and served as a traditional dessert during the celebrations in honor of Saint Anthony. It is a decadent and aromatic dessert, which celebrates the rich culinary and religious tradition of the city of Padua.

Tiramisù – Treviso

Treviso, the city of art, is just a few kilometres to the east. A collected city centre but full of hidden treasures to be discovered through alleys, characteristic squares and canals that offer extraordinary views. Treviso is home to one of the most famous desserts ever, imitated all over the world: Tiramisu. Its undoubtedly curious name literally means “pull me up” or “lift me up” and it wants to reflect its energizing effect thanks to its caffeine and sugar content.
Its traditional recipe involves the use of simple but delicious ingredients, which combine to create an extraordinary dessert. The main ingredients of Tiramisu include savoiardi (lady’s finger cookies), eggs, sugar, mascarpone (a type of cream cheese), espresso coffee and cocoa powder. The final result is an irresistibly creamy dessert, with the perfect contrast between the robust taste of coffee, the sweetness of the savoiardi and the softness of the mascarpone. Tiramisu is an excellent symbol of the Treviso and Italy.

Risotto alla pilota – Rovigo

Our journey then takes us to Rovigo, the capital of the province of the same name. Although it is a lesser-known city compared to more renowned tourist destinations, Rovigo has a fascinating history and offers visitors several attractions and interesting features, as well as really tasty dishes.
In particular, a creamy and tasty risotto, enriched with local sausage and often accompanied by a touch of red wine. The preparation of Risotto alla Pilota, typical of Rovigo, involves the use of Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice, a type of rice commonly used in the Veneto region for the preparation of risotto. Local sausage, usually called “rovigotta sausage”, is an essential part of the dish, along with onions, beef stock, red wine, butter and Parmigiano Reggiano. The sausage is first sautéed in a pan to develop its flavours, then onions are added to it and pan-fried. Then the rice is added, which is toasted slightly before adding some the red wine. Finally, butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese complete the dish, which is served hot. Risotto alla Pilota is a rich dish full of taste, which reflects the essence of the culinary tradition of Rovigo and its surrounding territory.

Pasta with lamon beans (Belluno)

Our journey among Venetian specialties can only end in Belluno, the gateway to the Dolomites, one of the most beautiful mountain chains in the world characterized by deep valleys, crystal clear lakes, lush forests and majestic snow-capped rocky peaks.
Looking at the breathtaking views, in Belluno you can enjoy a very simple but incredibly tasty dish: pasta with Lamon beans.

Venetian pasta and beans is a traditional and appreciated Italian dish, particularly rooted in the Veneto region: a real comfort food, rich in flavor and nutrition. Lamon Beans are a particularly valuable variety grown in the Lamon area, located in the Venetian Pre-Alps, known for their superior quality, delicate flavour and creamy texture.
To prepare the Venetian pasta and beans, sautée some onions and, sometimes, bacon or guanciale, which gives a smoky and tasty taste to the dish. Next, add the beans and let them cook slowly with beef or vegetable stock, fresh or crushed tomatoes, and herbs such as rosemary and sage. When the beans are soft and creamy, add the pasta. Generally, pasta formats such as ditalini, mezze maniche or tubetti are used. The pasta is cooked directly in the bean sauce until it is al dente, absorbing all the flavours. Venetian pasta and beans is often served with a drizzle of raw olive oil and a little grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. It is a substantial and complete dish, perfect to warm the heart on cold winter days or to be enjoyed at any time of the year for a comforting and delicious meal.

The incredible variety of flavours and ingredients, the careful preparation and the passion for tradition make the Venetian cuisine an authentic gastronomic experience. Whether it is a seafood dish, a mountain specialty or a decadent dessert, every taste is a journey into the hidden treasures of this region, which continues to surprise the palates of anyone lucky enough to taste them. Are you ready to try all the specialties of this extraordinary region? Your trip to Veneto awaits you.

The specialties of the Venetian culinary tradition and much more await you at the Villaggio San Francesco in Caorle!
A stone’s throw from Venice and directly overlooking the Adriatic Sea, our 5-star holiday resort is the perfect setting to try delicious seafood and more!
The Tukan Beach is a modern beachfront restaurant, where the food is simply delicious and the cocktails are spectacular. You can choose from many appetizers, meat and fish entrees, from great classics to innovative reinterpretations and international dishes! On the other hand, if you are looking for something lighter and faster, you can opt for the Italian Street Food Restaurant “Al Volo”, the perfect place to relax while enjoying typical Italian products by the pool!

In addition, thanks to its privileged location on the Venetian coast, the Villaggio San Francesco is the ideal destination to move easily within the region and quickly reach many other wonderful cities, from Venice to Padua, from Treviso to Verona.
Are you ready to leave? Your unforgettable holiday in Veneto awaits you!

The summer holidays of the digital natives

(by Ally&Aury)

Summer Holidays: a highly anticipated moment!

Summer holidays” are two words that, at our age, take on a particular meaning. In fact, after spending months in school preparing a for thousand tests and quizzes, summer holidays are the prize that every student deserves, also because let’s face it: a little rest never hurts anyone, especially at the end of a year that seemed to last an eternity.
June is, therefore, the time to forget about books and school desks to regroup and recharge in anticipation of the next school year (yes, sooner or later September arrives for everyone).
And, although students almost always have to do some kind of homework in the summer, if they get organized they can also find moments of healthy relaxation and fun with their friends and family.
June, July and August also mean something essential: holidays of any kind, in the mountains or at the seaside, in art cities or in small medieval villages perched on a hill. In any case, one of our priorities undoubtedly includes the search for so-called “instagrammable” destinations, that is, places to photograph and share with all our friends on social media: of course, that requires an excellent internet connection available where we are staying, so that we can make a daily dump of our fantastic days every night.

Wi-Fi is also very important, because it allows us to keep in touch with our friends and family who aren’t spending their holidays with us, but, above all, it allows us to send beautiful photos to our grandmothers, who particularly care about being updated on what we are doing.
The holidays, however, are not only about internet and social media: although we are a hyper-connected generation, for many of us the holidays represent the perfect time to take a break from the digital world and our smartphones.
Therefore, in addition to well-deserved relaxation, we want to be able to choose from many different activities every day: excursions, sports, experiences and games with friends are all options that can make our holidays exciting and stimulating.

First of all, what kind of summer would it be without loungers, beach umbrellas and the sun?

Beach umbrellas and sunbeds are, in fact, our favourite way to take shelter in the shade, listen to our favourite music, or read a beautiful book that was on your bedside table for months and we never read because we didn’t even have time to breathe during the school year. Or a novel assigned by a teacher that at first glance may not be to our taste, but which eventually becomes one of our favorites to be read over and over again.
However, the beach also makes you hungry, the bars by the sea are perfect for having some frozen drinks or a delicious ice cream, and maybe for posting some nice stories on social media.

For those who love sports, summer is the perfect time to engage in numerous outdoor activities that in the previous months were impossible to do: we love snorkelling, cycling during sunset along the seafront, playing beach volleyball with our friends and much more!
(P.S. summer sports >>>> winter sports, and we will never change our minds about that.)
Finally, let’s talk about evening activities, such as parties and music, which are essential to make our summer unforgettable.
Summer evenings offer numerous opportunities to have fun and socialize outdoors with friends and, why not? Maybe with other people you will meet during the holidays.
Parties on the beach or by the pool are a requirement, with lots of loud music, games and food, so as to spend a fun evening with our friends.
Of course, we can’t miss themed dinners or outdoor barbecues, which turn into a perfect opportunity to experiment with new recipes and hang out with friends!
These are our secrets for a perfect and unforgettable summer: always keep an eye on September and on the homework to be done before school starts, without giving up the relaxation and the vibes that only summer is able to give us.

Overlooking the crystal clear sea of Croatia, the BiVillage of Fazana is the perfect location for an exciting holiday in the name of relaxation, fun and adventure!

For lovers of adrenaline and fun, the BiVillage offers the Trampoline Park and the Adventure Park, two parks where you can test your acrobatic skills and experience exciting adventures between jumps and air routes in unspoilt nature! 

The resort also features a brand new state-of-the-art Gaming Room, the perfect place for tech and video game lovers to live immersive digital experiences and challenge friends to a vast selection of games!

Our animation is designed to offer an engaging experience for children, thanks to many activities, games and shows throughout the day!

An unmissable opportunity to have fun and make lots of new friends. 

Lovers of sports and physical activity will find an incredible range of possibilities at BiVillage: from football matches to volleyball matches, from tennis to ping pong, to swimming and sailing and windsurfing lessons on the beautiful waters of Istria! 

Between one adventure and the next you will be able to enjoy the well-deserved relaxation on our Blue Flag beach: almost 1 km long, it is located in front of the Brijuni Islands National Park! 

Your unforgettable summer in Croatia awaits!

The author

We are ALLY&AURY, two sisters aged 18 and 21

from Verona: Aury is attending the last year of her three-year University degree in Economics in Milan, while Ally is attending the last year of classical high school. In the content we create, we talk about our daily lives, school and university organisation, lifestyle and much more!

A thousand experiences in a single summer: your next holiday between culture and nature

Today’s tourism is constantly evolving, in line with the increasingly changing needs and expectations of contemporary tourists. Nowadays, tourists are more and more informed, connected and demanding, looking not only for a simple holiday, but also for a full travel experience, complete and complex. This translates into the desire to integrate different elements into a single trip: relaxation, well-being, sports, fun and culture, allas a part of asingle, unforgettable experience.

Although holidays are the most awaited period of theyear for everyone, organising them isn’t always easy. Beach or mountain? Relax or adventures? Art or nature?
Deciding is not always easy, but, fortunately, there are tourist destinations that do not force us to do so: on the contrary, they encourage us to live experiences that can be defined as multipurpose, able to offer us many possibilities and different scenarios.
Why should we choose, when it is possible to experience a thousand holidays in a single summer?

Of course, tourist destinations capable of reconciling all these elements are few and precious, characterized by a unique set of factors that can hardly be replicated anywhere.
The strategic position of a destination, for example, is very important: destinations that are located in easily accessible places and that offer a variety of attractions and activities nearby have an undeniable advantage, because they allow tourists to make different experiences in a short time without travelling long distances.
Another determining factor is, undoubtedly, the geographical conformation of the territory. In fact, there are places that offer an incredible variety of landscapes and natural environments and that are able to satisfy a wider range of interests and preferences.
Also to be considered is theorganization of different activities by tourist resorts, a fundamental aspect to ensure a complete and satisfactory travel experience. Destinations that invest in the planning and strategic management of tourism, promoting an integrated offer of services and attractions, are able to offer tourists a wider range of experiences and facilitate their participation in different activities. Good destination management can also help preserve the natural and cultural environment of the destination, ensuring that it remains an attractive and welcoming place for visitors in the long term.

The Veneto region is certainly one of the rare territories that offer a complete and diverse experience to travellers.Thanks to its wealth of landscapes, its cultural heritage, its millenary history and the many opportunities for relaxation and leisure, Veneto is certainly the perfect destination to satisfy the desire for unforgettable experiences of contemporary tourists. It is no coincidence that it is confirmed as the first tourist region in Italy, with a total of 21.1 million arrivals and almost 72 million visitors in 2023.

First of all, Veneto can boast a variety of natural environments of extraordinary beauty, ranging from the wide golden beaches of the Adriatic coast, to the Prosecco Hills, a UNESCO heritage site famous all over the world, to the breathtaking views of thehigh mountains of the Dolomites. This diversity offers nature lovers the opportunity to practice a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, trekking, cycling, skiing and water sports. In particular, thanks to its 158 kilometres of coastline, Veneto is the ideal destination for sea lovers and can welcome tourists looking for beaches equipped with all kinds of comforts, as well as those who love of the most “wild” and unspoilt beaches.

From a cultural point of view, the region is a veritable mine of historical and artistic treasures. Venice, Padua, Verona, are all UNESCO World Heritage cities and gather an extraordinary concentration of artistic and architectural masterpieces, famous museums and monuments that tell centuries of history and culture.

La regione è inoltre rinomata in tutta Italia per la sua eccellente cucina e i suoi vini pregiati. In Veneto è possibile gustare specialità locali, dai sapori di mare a quelli di montagna, accompagnando ogni pietanza con vini rinomati a livello internazionale come il Prosecco DOCG, il Soave, oppure il Valpolicella.

The region is also renowned throughout Italy for its excellent cuisine and fine wines. In Veneto it is possible to taste local specialities, from sea to mountain flavours, accompanying each dish with internationally renowned wines such as Prosecco DOCG, Soave, or Valpolicella.

Veneto is also ready to welcome tourists looking for relaxation and well-being with a wide range of spa resorts and luxury spas immersed in idyllic settings where you can take a break and regenerate your mind and body.

Finally, it is also an ideal destination for fun and entertainment. The largest cities offer a lively nightlife, with a wide selection of restaurants, bars, clubs and trendy spots, while throughout the year festivals and cultural events enliven the streets and squares of the cities, from the most famous to the most hidden.

In conclusion, it is a perfect destination to meet all the needs of contemporary tourists, thanks to the unique combination of nature, culture, food and wine, relaxation, sport and fun, all very important elements to spend a memorable holiday. 

Looking east on the opposite shore of the Adriatic Sea is Istria, a long peninsula located at the northern end of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Gulf of Kvarner, straddling Slovenia and Croatia. 

The Istrian territory also offers many holiday opportunities, thanks to its incredible strategic position and its rich heritage of natural and cultural beauties.
Its crystal-clear sea is famous throughout Europe,as are its equipped beaches alternated with hidden and mysterious coves. It is a perfect seaside paradise for adults and children, for those who want to relax in the sun or practice water sports such as snorkelling, windsurfing and kayaking.

However, Istria is also rich in history and culture, with its fascinating cities such as Rijeka, an ancient town characterized by a historic and precious center that “clashes” with the architecture and decadent charm of its great port, or Pula, a city where you can admire ancient Roman sites, centuries-old churches and museums rich in treasures. 

Istria does not disappoint even those looking for authentic culinary experiences, since it’s famous for its typically Mediterranean cuisine characterized by an infinite  variety of dishes based on fresh fish, truffle, extra virgin olive oil, local cheeses and fine wines to be tasted in the many restaurants, trattorias and traditional konoba scattered throughout the territory.

Istria is also a paradise for nature lovers, with a varied landscape to explore. Starting from the hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, passing through the vast forests of oak and chestnut trees, up to the highest peaks of the Dinaric Alps there are perfect landscapes for hiking, trekking, hiking and outdoor adventures.

Even those looking for relaxation and well-being can choose Istria as a destination for their regenerating holiday. The peninsula offers a selection of luxury resorts and spas perfect for a peaceful and regenerating experience. Travellers from all over Europe go there to enjoy relaxing massages, beauty treatments and yoga sessions immersed in the unspoilt nature of Istria.

Finally, the peninsula is also known for its lively social life: outdoor activities, parties, events, discos and clubs enliven the Istrian evenings with music and lights, with a suggestive view of the sea at night. 

Fun, Culture, Sport, Nature and Relaxation in a single unforgettable experience: discover the Villaggio San Francesco and the BiVillage, the two BiHoliday owned resorts ideal for your multipurpose holiday!

Villaggio San Francesco is a 5-star holiday resort on the shores of Caorle, located a few steps from the magical city  of Venice and awarded the Blue Flag! Enjoy its wide equipped and Pet Friendly beach, explore the surroundings by cycling along the many cycle paths and discover the art cities and hidden villages nearby! 

Even the Bivillage of Fazana awaits you for many adrenaline-filled adventures on the shore of a crystal clear sea or for a regenerating holiday in contact with nature. Overlooking the Brijuni Islands National Park, the resort is very close to Pula and Rijeka, two historic cities on the Istrian peninsula where you can discover the local culture and traditions!

The author:

Giorgio Monticelli leads Nexia, the company that owns the renowned Yallers and Borghi Italiani brands, with passion and innovation.

For over a decade, Giorgio has been a reference point in digital tourism, specialising in building bridges between online travellers and the most beautiful but also hidden destinations of Italy.

With a dynamic and creative approach, he coordinates a series of initiatives on the Instagram profiles of Yallers Italia and Borghi Italiani, as well as leading a lively online community on Facebook. These platforms are the scene of exclusive events, photowalk, and influencer tours that celebrate and highlight the cultural richness and intrinsic beauty of Italian destinations.

In addition to his professional commitment, Giorgio is also a talented amateur photographer, whose lens is constantly looking for the most breathtaking views and the most secret corners of Italy and the world, trying to capture the authentic essence of each place.

Eurovelo 8,

the mediterranean route

A bicycle trip to discover countries and traditions

Cycle tourism: a growing trend

Reflecting on his travelling experience, Ernest Hemingway said that “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best”, to highlight how that allows us to experience places in a truer and deeper way. In recent years, the advice of the famous American author seems to have reached many people who have chosen a bicycle as a means to travel and explore. In particular, since 2022 the success of cycle tourism has increased exponentially, both at Italian and European level. Driven by the growing awareness of the importance of physical and mental well-being, as well as the search for new and authentic experiences, more and more people rely on cycling to experience breathtaking landscapes, historic cities and scenic itineraries. The current climate crisis and increased attention to environmental sustainability have also contributed to the growth of cycle tourism, prompting many people and cities to adopt sustainable policies for travelling, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. In this context, the bicycle has established itself as one of the most sustainable means of transport with low environmental impact, offering numerous advantages over other means of transport.

Discovering Eurovelo 8

Not only people, but also cities and countries have begun to adopt sustainable policies for travelling, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and promoting less environmentally impactful tourism. The European Union has been working for some time to increase travelling by bicycle, promoting the use of bicycles even on holiday. Today we will talk about EuroVelo, the European network of long-distance cycle paths, a project started in 1995 by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and which, once completed, will cover about 90,000 kilometres of cycle paths. To date, it is developing 17 routes that connect every part of the continent, coordinated and managed at European level.

Among these, one of the most interesting is certainly Eurovelo8, the route dedicated to the exploration of the northern Mediterranean area. Starting from the Strait of Gibraltar, in fact, you can cross Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece, and finally reach Cyprus.One of the most fascinating views of this wonderful cycling route extends from Venice, the magical capital of the Veneto region, to Fazana, a picturesque Croatian village very close to the town of Pula that enchants visitors thanks to its authentic Mediterranean charm. A route that crosses the sea with sparkling waters, kilometers of golden sand, mysterious islands, exceptional food and ancient cities!

From Venice to Pula by bike

Let’s start from Venice, the city on the water that enchants and fascinates everybody with its timeless beauty and its unique atmosphere. Getting lost in its streets and canals is like traveling back in time, among majestic palaces, monumental churches and characteristic bridges that reflect on the water to witness the past greatness of the Venetian capital.A few kilometers from the “Serenissima” is Caorle, nicknamed “little Venice”: a gem on the Venetian coast, famous for its golden beaches, picturesque canals and peaceful atmosphere. The narrow cobbled streets of this ancient village tell stories of fishermen and centuries-old traditions, the bright colours of the houses overlooking the sea create an unforgettable picture, while the scent of local restaurants invites you to enjoy the delicacies of Venetian seafood cuisine. In Caorle you will be spoilt for choice, as it is the perfect place for cyclists of all ages! All you have to do is decide whether to cycle along the routes that lead to the discovery of the surrounding lagoon, whether to skirt the sea, or follow the many cycling routes inland.

Moving from Veneto to Friuli, cycling along the coast, you’ll reach Grado, a characteristic Adriatic town overlooking a lagoon that reveals its true treasure: an unique ecosystem rich in biodiversity and protected wildlife.
  Getting away from such a landscape is difficult, but it is worth getting back in the saddle and cycling inland to visit the nearby city of Aquileia, a UNESCO site since 1998 that has preserved a very rich heritage as a tangible testimony of a place that used to be one of the richest capitals of the Roman Empire.

Continuing the journey to the east it will be impossible not to fall in love with Trieste, a true gem in North-East Italy, a place that enchants with its rich history, its elegant architecture and its suggestive location on the beautiful Gulf. Located at the crossroads of cultures and traditions, this cosmopolitan city offers a unique experience that blends Central European elegance with the liveliness of the Mediterranean. A must-see is the Miramare Castle, a historic building located on a panoramic cliff a few kilometres from the city centre that

is the symbol of the city as well as a testimony of its aristocratic past. The city also offers many cycle paths that make it possible to discover this enchanting part of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, nestled between the blue of the Adriatic Sea and the green of the Karst woods.

Once back in the saddle, shortly after crossing the border with Slovenia you will cross Koper, one of the oldest cities in the country, founded in ancient times as an important commercial centre and port. It boasts an exceptional cultural heritage that is reflected in its imposing palaces, ancient churches and picturesque and lively squares. A few minutes away by bike is Portorož, a city famous for its thermal baths where you can regenerate before continuing your journey. Although it is famous as a place for relaxation and well-being, Portorose is also a destination where you can look for culture and fun thanks to the lively art scene, numerous cultural events and a varied offer for entertainment. In addition, its classy restaurants, trendy bars and elegant casinos add a touch of glamour to its atmosphere that can also attract nightlife lovers.

Immediately after entering Croatia Rovinj and Poreč are waiting for us, two beautiful towns in Istria renowned not only for their seafaring tradition that characterizes port cities but also for the beautiful beaches, the clean sea and the numerous opportunities to practice water sports and many other outdoor activities.The final stop on our two-wheeled tour is the nearby city of Pula, located at the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula and famous for its extraordinary Roman heritage, crystal-clear sea and lively atmosphere. The most emblematic symbol of Pula is undoubtedly the Arena, one of the largest Roman amphitheatres still preserved in the world. This magnificent building, built in the first century AD, dominates the historic centre of the city and hosts numerous cultural events and shows throughout the year. Pula, however, is not only an ancient city; it is also a modern coastal city, surrounded by beautiful sandy and rocky beaches, hidden bays and crystal clear waters that invite relaxation and fun. Its historic centre is lively and offers tourists plenty of markets, restaurants where you can taste Croatian specialities, trendy bars and clubs for lovers of nightlife and music.

  Eurovelo8 is an experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the natural and cultural beauty that characterises the Mediterranean basin, crossing countries, landscapes and traditions.
  It is also an opportunity to experience “slow tourism” by bicycle, a means of reconnecting with nature and the landscape, perhaps outside the usual routes, to live an experience different from usual.
Extraordinary places await you, are you ready to leave?

Cycling tourism is an opportunity to fully enjoy your trip: it means coming into direct contact with the territory, noticing the details, rediscovering the pleasure of travelling slowly and sustainably. 

If a cycling holiday intrigues you, the BiHoliday resorts are the ideal destination. Eurovelo8 – the Mediterranean route – connects the San Francesco Village in Caorle and the BiVillage in Fažana, two resorts equipped with all the comforts and services for your slow holiday! 

The San Francesco Village is located on the shores of Caorle, the city nicknamed “little Venice”, a stone’s throw from the Venetian capital, which offers a network of cycling routes that allow you to explore the natural and cultural beauty of the area in a sustainable and relaxing way. The routes extend along the coast and towards the countryside, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding area.

The BiVillage is located in Fažana, near the natural wonders of the Brijuni Islands and the Croatian city of Pula, a place capable of offering spectacular views of the crystal-clear sea and from which cycling routes depart inland among olive groves, vineyards and ancient medieval villages, to discover the history and culture of Istria.

We look forward to welcoming you, are you ready to leave?

The author:

Evelyn Lamberto was born in Bergamo on 1 June 1991. Curious and always on the move, she tries practicing a few disciplines, from classical dance to volleyball. However, in 2020 cycling becomes her favourite sport. Riding her first racing bike, she discovers a love for two wheels and cycling becomes the means to express, know and measure herself in a succession of increasingly intense personal challenges. The passion for mountain biking leads her to the top of the most coveted destinations including the Stelvio Pass but the destinations that steal hera heart are those in her hometown, in the province of Bergamo. 

From one climb to the next, every ride is packed with emotions and the discovery of new and evocative places, on a journey through the wonders of our country. 

Evelyn is a triathlete today but one thing is certain: the biking portion will always be her favourite.

PADEL

An emerging sports phenomenon

Sports, like tourism, are constantly evolving. Sports enthusiasts are always looking for new experiences and holidays are perfect to discover and experience new ways of having fun.

Among the many emerging activities, in recent years one in particular has been able to excite and involve an increasing number of sportspeople all over the world: Padel. In this new article we will explore the universe of padel and discover how and why this sport activity has managed to win over millions of new fans in a short time!

History

Padel is a sport that combines elements of tennis and squash, and is played in a smaller field surrounded by glass walls. Invented in Mexico in the 60s, its history is really curious.

In 1969, Mexican patron Enrique Corcuera wanted to build a tennis court within his luxurious residence in Acapulco, but the measurements were off; therefore, he decided to consider the walls as an integral part of the playing field. He began to call this strange sport he just invented “padel”, and he also wrote its first rules, which have remained mostly the same.

Subsequently, he introduced his invention to an acquaintance in Marbella, who was so impressed with it that he decided to bring the game to Spain in 1974. Shortly after, in 1975, millionaire Julio Menditengui introduced the new sport to the people of his country,Argentina: here too the success was extraordinary and, in a short time Padel was played by a few million of people in thousands of fields,becoming one of the most practiced sports in theentire nation.

The success of padel is certainly due to its dynamic nature, but also to its easy rules and social aspect: all these elements make the game perfect for those seeking a fun and accessible sport challenge. In Italy it began to spread in the early 2000s, but its popularity increased exponentially during the pandemic period, since, being a dynamic andoutdoor sport, many decided to try it as an alternative to indoor sports.

The Rules

Its ability to adapt to different levels of skill and the friendly atmosphere it creates, make Padel is the perfect sport to try while on holiday. But how is it played? A padel court is similar to a tennis court, but smaller: it is 10 meters wide and 20 meters long. It is enclosed by 4 walls that are three meters high and transparent, while the rackets are about 45 cm long, 25 wide and 3.5 thick. Unlike tennis rackets, they do not have ropes but the so-called “full plate“, very often equipped with holes to make them aerodynamic. The balls, on the other hand, are similar to tennis balls but lighter and inflated with less pressure. The net is also slightly lower, at 92 centimetres at the ends and 88 in the centre. The ball must be served from below and hit with the racket above the pelvis, after it’s made to bounce. If the ball bounces after being thrown, it can touch the walls and be hit; the important thing is that it is not thrown directly at the walls without first bouncing on the floor. The ball can be hit on the fly, except for the return of serve. Padel is mainly played in pairs and only in the most important events is it played in singles, that is, one versus one. The point is scored when the opponents allow the ball to bounce twice, if it’s thrown directly against the walls or if it ends up in the net. The score is calculated like in tennis: 15 points for one, 30 for two and 40 for three. In the case of a 40-40 tie, one of the pairs must score two points more than the opponent to win the game. The victory of a set is attributed to those who win 6 games first, unless the score is 5-5 or 6-6: in the first scenario, it is necessary to obtain a gap of two games to win 7-5; in the second case, the match continues with the tie-break, where each point is worth one and the victory is assigned to those who reach at least 7 points with a gap of at least 2 points from the opponent. Who wins two sets, wins the game.

Precisely because of its simplicity, Padel involves and excites many people who, after trying it, can no longer do without it. It is a fun and accessible sport that is perfect to practice even in summer, to keep fit while on vacation, thanks to exciting challenges it poses! Have you ever tried Padel? The Sport of the moment awaits you!

Sports holidays at Villaggio San Francesco

The San Francesco Village is the ideal destination for your sports holiday just a stone’s throw from Venice!

Immersed in the nature of Caorle, overlooking the Adriatic Sea with its award-winning Blue Flag beach, it is renowned for being one of the best sports resorts in Italy, where adults, children and families can choose every day from many sports activities. 

An exclusive new feature of the 5-star resort are the 2 brand new padel courts, to challenge friends and family and have fun all together. Open daily from 7am to 1pm and from 3pm to midnight, they are perfect for exciting 2 vs 2 or 1 vs 1 matches!

In addition, thanks to free group lessons or private individual lessons, young and old alike will be able to improve their skills in this new and engaging sport! 

What if you don’t have the equipment? Don’t worry, you can rent everything you need at the “Al Volo” snack bar, located at the entrance to the sports fields! 

Are you ready to discover Padel at the San Francesco Village? Your sporting holiday awaits!

The author:

Marta Conean is a former Italian professional tennis player originally from Treviso, who was part of the women’s national tennis team 6 times. She told us that she fell in love with this
sport 9 years ago:

I played it for the first time in Rome, and since then I have not been able to stop. It is a simple sport, which fascinates for its ability to involve and excite people. I immediately knew it would be a great success.

In 2018, FIT asked her to contribute to the development and spreading of this new discipline in the Veneto region and today she holds the role of FITP Regional Councillor for Padel. sports centre of the city of Treviso. In addition, Marta directs the “0422” Padel Club inside the Tennis Park
of Villorba, the historic sports centre of the city of Treviso.

Summer camps

Exciting experiences for the development and well-being of adults and children

Summer Camps: What are they?

In an age where people are increasingly immersed in technology and more and more sedentary, summer camps take on a fundamental importance in terms of health, development and entertainment.
They are programs organized during the summer,
mainly aimed at children and teenagers, but they have also become more and more popular among adults.

They offer a variety of educational, sporting and recreational activities and take place in locations such as tourist villages, amusement parks, sports centres or dedicated facilities. They usually last for a week.

Defining summer camps as mere outdoor activities is, however, wrong: they are full-on experiences, capable of promoting personal growth and social, mental and motor development.

Benefits

Summer camps are places where, first of all, it is possible to socialize, make friends and establish new relationships, perhaps even unexpected and long-lasting. Moreover, young people undoubtedly benefit from the physical activity, and the unforgettable experiences they make away from home lead them to love their favourite sports more and more.

The benefits are manifold, from the encouragement to do sports to the psycho-social aspects. For younger children in particular, making experiences outside the family environment and getting out of their “comfort zone” can teach them to take responsibility and develop socialization and autonomy. A week “alone” for younger children is an important growth step!

Camps can also increase self-confidence and self-esteem: learning new skills and overcoming challenges improves children’s perception of themselves, as well as increasing awareness and determination.

Being part of a “team” also helps to broaden the social horizon of adults and children. Thanks to team activities, they all learn to work together, as well as accept and respect each others’ differences, collaborate towards a common goal, create bonds with other people and improve communication skills. Summer camp programs include activities for the development of all the social skills that promote a climate of mutual respect, which eliminates exclusion and bullying. Another fundamental aspect is represented by the ability of summer camps to teach discipline and observance of the rules. Following the established rules is necessary for participating in holiday activities and sports, with subsequent growth, not only in sports, but also in personal life.

Finally, it should be noted that, at these Summer Camps there are no cultural boundaries. Participants potentially come from all over the world, and this makes it possible to meet people from all kinds of backgrounds! This exposure to diversity is culturally enriching and it opens the mind, as well as promoting inclusion.

The perfect Summer Camp

An experience of this type can certainly help with growth, and allows families to gift something very important to their children; in fact, they will spend an unforgettable summer and gain fundamental skills and learn values they will find useful throughout their lives!

For this to happen, however, this experience needs to be structured in the correct way. In fact, a well-organized camp must include a series of essential elements, starting with qualified and trained instructors and entertainers.The “campers” will be paired with staff that coaches our top youth volleyball teams, for a well-developed and engaging program that covers, in addition to basic events, a large number of activities, such as various sports, outdoor games, arts, excursions, educational workshops, obviously alternated with moments of relaxation and leisure.

The location and facilities available are also fundamental aspects for a high-level camp: large spaces and multifunctional facilities, as well as sports fields, are necessary to allow a variety of outdoor activities.

Particular attention is paid to the quality of the accommodations for the participants, which provide comfort and security for the tranquility of their families. All is combined with a catering service that offers lunches and dinners suitable for those who play sports and burn lots of calories, ensuring that special menus are available to the “campers” who suffer from allergies and documented intolerances.

Now you know all the benefits of our Summer camps!
If you have not yet decided what to do this summer, for yourself or your children, and you are looking for a constructive kind of holiday, consider summer camps among the various options to make exciting experiences of growth, learning and fun!

BiHoliday Summer Camps

BiHoliday villages are the perfect choice for organizing summer camps, whether they are intended for children, teenagers, or adults! Both include optimal facilities that make it possible to play a wide range of sports and conduct various recreational activities, providing a stimulating and safe environment for the physical and social development of the participants.

At the San Francesco Village, located in Caorle, there are tennis and padel courts, football and volleyball fields, also for beach volleyball, as well as a gym and so much more. Its quiet location and the presence of qualified instructors ensure a positive experience for the participants, with a balanced mix of fun and learning.

You can play all those sports also at the BiVillage in Fazana, Croatia, where, in addition, you can play many water sports, as well as try a gaming room, an Adventure park and a Trampoline park! The lively atmosphere and the unspoiled nature that surround it, make this place ideal for an unforgettable summer experience.

Both villages stand out for the high safety and the variety of activities they offer, providing a perfect environment for growing, socializing and playing different sports. Both villages also include comfortable bedrooms, adequate bathrooms and restaurants where you can try many local dishes! Last, but not least, is the possibility of organising excursions to discover the surrounding beauty.

Did you know that, by organizing a BiHoliday camp, families will also receive an additional perk? In fact, they will be able to take advantage of a discount up to 15% for the entire season, in both facilities!

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information: events@biholiday.com

The author:

Piero Garbellotto, president of Prosecco DOC Imoco Volley Conegliano, a women’s volleyball team who has won the Italian championship five times in a row .

Prosecco DOC Imoco Volley has been taking its brand around Italy for years and this year it’s also in Croatia. Thousands of young volleyball players attend its camps and summer centers, taking home an exceptional baggage of experiences with top coaches in high-level facilities.”

Info on the Imoco Volleyball camps www.imocovolley.it

BiHere – The Official BiHoliday Magazine

“A season full of novelties,
fun and new experiences
has come to an end, as
it does every year.

So what now?”

The 2023 Edition is now online!

BiHere is the BiHoliday magazine where we gather insights, thoughts, tips for more and more unique travel experiences, but it is also about news, sharing and inclusion.

The paperless choice

Our magazine is only available in a digital version.

We care about our planet’s resources and have chosen to limit the use of paper whenever possible.

Some previews on the upcoming season

A new holiday experience

Our goal is to always provide you with the best possible holiday: that is why we are constantly working on structural innovations, always keeping in mind the concepts of sustainability and inclusiveness that guide all our choices.

A dive into the 2023 season

During this season we have been facing different realities and philosophies.

From the artworks being installed in the villages (remember Monika Patrovic’s “Batana” at the San Francesco Village and Enrico Marcato’s “Briccole” at the BiVillage?), to discovering the seabed of Caorle and the stunning Brijuni Islands, to the Vanlife philosophy, coliving and coworking as well as meeting rainbow families.

Not forgetting sport, cooking, four-legged travel, and discovering the cities near our Villages.

It was an incredible season: relive it with us by flipping through the 2023 edition of the official BiHere magazine!

The artist

Enrico Marcato

Enrico Marcato, 47, lives between Padua and Venice, where he has his atelier. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.

He worked as an artisan and pursued his passion for painting.

Subsequently, he had an inspiration that led him to work on briccole. Among the first to believe in his artwork was Arrigo Ciprian, owner of Harry’s Bar.

Sport and well-being: a conversation with IMOCO volleyball player Vittoria Piani

Sport and well-being: a conversation with IMOCO volleyball player Vittoria Piani

My passion for volleyball started when I was just a child. Ever since I was a child, I have always loved moving and venting my energy through sport. When I watched my first volleyball game, I was fascinated by the dynamism of the game and the team working together to achieve a common goal. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be part of it.

Volleyball has been a key part of my growth. It taught me important life lessons, such as the importance of teamwork, perseverance and stress management. Ever since I was young, I have learnt to deal with defeats and to accept that you cannot always win. These experiences have strengthened me and taught me how to overcome obstacles in life.

Furthermore, volleyball has helped me develop personal discipline. I had to train constantly to improve my technical and physical skills. This taught me the value of hard work and determination, helping me to manage my time effectively, balancing training with my studying and other tasks.

The benefits of sporting activities

Practising sport is one of the healthiest activities a person can do. As a matter of fact, there are many benefits associated with regular physical activity, both for the body and the mind.

The first, and perhaps the most obvious, benefit of doing sport is the improvement of physical health.

Regular physical exercise can help prevent many diseases. This is because physical activity increases blood flow, improving metabolism and helping to keep our immune system strong.

In addition, sport can help increase muscle strength and flexibility, thus helping to prevent injuries and improve the overall quality of life. At the same time, exercise can help reduce stress on joints, thus improving their long-term health.

But the benefits of doing sport do not only involve our bodies. Physical exercise can also have a positive impact on our mental health.

For example, physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood and increase self-confidence. This is because it stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, which are the so-called “happiness hormones”.

Practising sport can also help us sleep better, regulating our body’s circadian rhythms, improving our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. Better quality sleep, in turn, can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration and memory, and increase our energy and ability to focus during the day.

Eventually, it can help improve socialisation and interpersonal relationships. Participating in sports activities or fitness groups allows you to meet new people and build positive relationships based on shared interests and activities, contributing to an individual’s mental health and sense of community.

In conclusion, there are many benefits associated with practising sports, both for our bodies and our minds. Regular physical exercise can help prevent disease, improve physical and mental health, increase socialisation and improve overall quality of life. Therefore, it is important to try to integrate physical activity into our daily routine, even if only with small changes such as walking instead of driving or using the stairs instead of the lift.

Meet the author

Vittoria Alice Piani

Hi, my name is Vittoria Alice Piani, I am 25 years old and I am a professional volleyball player.
I’m a player with the Imoco Volley Conegliano team, Italy and World Cup champion!

I started playing volleyball when I was only 14 years old, and I haven’t stopped since then.
In 2015 I won the gold medal in the Under-18 World Cup with the youth national team and in the following years I played with various teams in both the A2 and, especially, A1 leagues.

The San Francesco Village in Caorle is a magical place where sports enthusiasts can satisfy their every desire for physical activity and fun.

This charming resort located on the beautiful Adriatic coast offers a wide range of activities for all ages. Whether you are an enthusiast or simply want to spend some active time outdoors, you will certainly find something here to suit your taste.

  • Water and beach sports: Given the Village’s privileged location by the sea, water sports are a major attraction. You can try windsurfing and let yourself be carried away by the waves, or take up kayaking. On the other hand, if you’re not a sea lover, how about a nice match of beach volleyball?
  • Sport at the village: You can shoot around on our new padel courts, or try your hand at tennis, five-a-side football, archery, basketball and volleyball.
  • Cycling: Explore the surroundings of the village on two wheels with fascinating cycling routes that will take you to discover the beauty of the surrounding area.
  • Gymnastics and pool activities: The resort also offers water and pool activities, such as water aerobics and other types of gymnastics, to keep you fit and entertained at the same time.
  • Gym: Use our newly renovated fitness room, or try our cross-fit or pilates classes!

These are just some of the many sports activities available at the Village. Regardless of your preferences, you will always find something exciting to do here.
Remember, sport is a great way to relax, socialise and take care of your physical and mental well-being. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing unforgettable moments of sport and fun with you.

Art 4 Tomorrow

The cultural project connecting San Francesco Village and BiVillage

We asked two artists to interpret this journey, drawing a path between Italy and Croatia

An invisible line that unites, through water, two nations and in particular two seaside towns.

Enrico Marcato and Monica Patrovic, are the artists who have been selected to draw this line between Italy and Croatia as part of the “Art 4 Tomorrow” project initiated by BiHoliday.

Venetian “briccole” at the BiVillage

Discover here Enrico Marcato’s project for the BiVillage, in Croatia.

From Croatia to Italy, by “boat”

We now move to Croatia where we meet Monica Petrovic.

A painter and restorer, working at the Archaeological Museum of Istria. In addition to this activity, she combines the creation of works of art, in particular through painting. She was asked to give new life to a “batana”.

What is a “batana”?

It is a small flat-bottomed boat characterised by very low banks. It is moved by rowing or by hoisting a mast with a so-called lug sail. It is typical for navigation in the northern Adriatic because its flat bottom enables it to navigate very shallow waters.

Painting has always fascinated me

explains the artist, emphasising that “working on the transformation of the boat was a great challenge”.

As a matter of fact, once the colours and shapes to be drawn were decided, the work was done with the boat upside down.

So it was necessary to imagine the end result “straight” and then put it on the upside-down “batana”.

The central element of this art project – as already emphasised – is cultural exchange: the boat built in Fažana is now in Caorle, at the San Francesco Village, and Marcato’s “briccole” in Fažana at the BiVillage.

A beautiful friendship, the one between Italy and Croatia: the sea connects us, but not only.

The Art-Activism of BiHoliday

Art, history and the concept of travel: a great cultural mix that finds its expression in this project: “BiHoliday embraces art,” explains Ilenia Cherubin, Bi-Holiday Group CEO, “as a language of values. As well as expressing the kind of Art-Activism that allows us to talk about socially important topics today“.

Among them BiHoliday emphasises the value of a territory and its respect with everything that is related to, for example, reuse“.

L’artista

Enrico Marcato

Enrico Marcato, 47 anni, vive tra Padova e Venezia, dove ha l’atelier. A Venezia ha studiato all’Accademia di Belle Arti.

Ha lavorato come artigiano e portato avanti la sua passione per la pittura.

Successivamente un’intuizione che lo ha portato a lavorare sulla briccole. Tra i primi a credere nelle sue opere Arrigo Cipriani dell’Harry’s Bar.

The tegnue

The astonishing seabed of Caorle

Tegnue are rocky formations rising upwards from the seabed, typical of some North Adriatic areas.

They can be seen in various shapes: sometimes alone, i.e. far apart from each other, or grouped together.

They are mainly formations of limestone origin, which can rise up to several metres and are very different from the classic “elevations“, which are largely composed of mud and sand.

Origin of the name

The name “tegnua” is mainly related to the words “hold” or “stop” and derives from the fact that fishermen’s nets are held by the roughness of the seabed.

In seafaring jargon, they are also called “tresse”, due to the intertwining of one with the other that characterises them.

To get a “tegnua”

Getting a tegnua, at least until a few years ago, very often meant damaging the fishing net even in a devastating way.

The arrival of high-tech equipment, initially the “Loran” and now the GPS, has ensured that over the years they have been almost entirely signposted, so currently, at least as far as trawling is concerned, they are secured from any danger.

Today, only divers approach these million-year-old sites, and they are the only beings, apart from the fish that live there, who can enjoy their spectacular beauty.

The Northern Adriatic, although small, is among the seas with the most of them in its shallow waters.

The “tegnua” is a heritage and a reservoir of marine life that has no equal, so if well managed and protected, lobsters, scorpion fish, conger eels and dozens of other fish species will be able to continue to inhabit the seabed for many years to come.

Discovering Caorle

Caorle is a picturesque village on the Venetian coast in the Veneto region.

This charming seaside resort boasts an historic centre characterised by narrow cobbled streets, colourful houses and an authentic atmosphere that embodies the essence of tradition.

The city centre is actually a real jewel that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Its origins date back to Roman times, when it was an important trading centre and a port of call for the Adriatic Sea routes.

Over the centuries, the city has been influenced by various civilizations, such as Byzantine, Lombard and Venetian, which have left an indelible imprint on its architecture and culture.

The city is dominated by charming, colourful houses with façades painted in vibrant shades such as pink, blue and yellow. These traditional houses, some of which date back to the 16th century, give the old town a picturesque and unique appearance.

The main square, called Piazza Vescovado, is the beating heart of the old town. Here you will find St Stephen’s Cathedral, an imposing Romanesque church dating back to the 11th century, with an onion-shaped bell tower rising above the cityscape.

The cathedral is a place of great historical and religious importance for the city, and its interior holds some very valuable artworks.

In addition, strolling through the narrow streets of the old town, visitors can discover old craft workshops and souvenir shops selling typical local products.

There are also cosy restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy delicacies typical of the Veneto region, such as the famous “cicchetti“, small appetisers accompanied by a glass of wine.

A visit to the old town would not be complete without a walk along the promenade. The golden beach stretches for several kilometres along the coast and offers the possibility of relaxing in the sun or taking a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

During summer, Caorle bustles with cultural and folklore events that attract tourists and locals alike. he most famous celebrations is the feast day of St Roch, the town’s patron saint, held on 16 August.

About the author

Vittorio Emanuele Dalla Bella is 61 years old and has been a fisherman for over 35 years. Amante del mare, è un profondo conoscitore dell’Alto Adriatico e delle sue tegnue.

Vanlife Philosophy

Embracing freedom to live life on the road

If you ask us, our friends or any other person living in a van what it means to live there, you will most likely get the same answer: freedom.

The vanlife philosophy is about exploring the world and embracing a nomadic lifestyle.

It is about living life on one’s own terms, without being tied to an eight-hour job or a specific location.

You can go wherever you want and still make a home wherever you end up.

This lifestyle is incredibly freeing and has been adopted by those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, like us!

It is a lifestyle that encourages personal growth, exploration and adventure, as most of the time we don’t know where we will end up and every day is a discovery, finding ourselves in new places and meeting people we have never met before.

We do not have to worry about the daily grind or the stress of everyday life as we can focus on what interests us, being free to explore the world at our own pace.

Taking your time

Vanlife encourages people to explore, always creating new memories, and to take their time, instead of always rushing.

It also encourages us to live a minimalist lifestyle, appreciating even the simple things that life has to offer, as a van like ours has only limited space available and you can only carry what is strictly necessary.

For example, before life in the van, we never expected that a washing machine and freshly laundered clothes could make us so happy!

The experience of living in a van is different for everyone, and there is no two people who can experience the same, but one thing we all have in common is the excitement that comes from being on the open road.

Many vanlifers find that they have a strong connection with the places they visit, the people they meet and the nature that surrounds them as they travel, and they seek out more and more destinations that can give them these feelings, and so do we.

The vanlife philosophy also involves a lot of do-it-yourself, in fact building your own van is an integral part of this lifestyle and also a great way to save money as well as to have the freedom to design your own home to your liking.

Building your own van

Building starts from the design of the interior to the customisation of the exterior, all the way to the installation of electrical and water systems, and that is exactly what we did!

After buying our empty T5, we created our own little home on four wheels.

There is everything we need: running water, electricity, a bed and space to store our luggage. We can even climb to the roof using a fixed ladder, on which we have installed another water tank with storage boxes and a solar panel for self-generating electricity.

The interior is designed to have a large seating area during the day, transforming into a bed during the night with a few simple steps.

It was also important to us that the design was photogenic, small details such as garlands and fairy lights make our van even cosier.

When arriving at a tourist destination such as a holiday village, van travellers must consider how to park and how to access services such as electricity, water and sewage. It is therefore important to find out about these aspects before arriving in order to ensure that your stay is as comfortable and trouble-free as possible.

Furthermore, it is essential to be aware of all local laws and regulations that may apply.

Life in a van becomes much easier when we choose a pitch in a holiday camp.

For example, since we do not have a toilet in our small van, we are grateful to have a toilet and shower, which are obviously available on the campsite.

Even cooking or washing dishes is more fun when you have hot running water at your disposal and do not have to worry about safety.

BiHoliday Villages

BiHoliday resorts are located in Caorle, Italy, and in Fazana, Croatia.

In addition to the availability of mobile homes, apartments and a hotellerie service, they have numerous pitches for tents, caravans and RVs, ideal for those wishing to spend a holiday in nature and relaxation.

Pitches are spacious and shady, with electricity connection and shared toilets and showers (also equipped with private bathrooms).

A service RV area, with black and grey water drainage, is also available.

The Villages offers a wide range of activities for their guests, including large swimming pools with slides, an aquapark, tennis courts, five-a-side football, beach volleyball, padel etc, a mini-club and an outdoor fitness area.

In addition, the villages organise animation for both adults and children, with games, tournaments and evening shows.

For those wishing to explore the surrounding area, San Francesco Village is strategically located close to Venice, Caorle and its beaches, the Livenza River and the many tourist attractions nearby.

The BiVillage is just minutes from Fažana and Pula, overlooking the beautiful Brijuni Islands archipelago.

Moreover, our staff is always available to provide information and assistance to guests, ensuring a pleasant and comfortable stay.

The authors

We are Annika and Mathias, German travel photographers.

We developed our passion for travel and photography over the last few years together and have travelled to all 7 continents ever since.

Photography has been our main job for the past year and half of it has been spent in our van.

Pula

A brief history of a city and what not to miss

Pula is one of the most dynamic Croatian centres in Istria, the small triangular peninsula bordering the northern waters of the Adriatic Sea, and is known, like the rest of the Istria region, for its mild climate, calm sea and unspoiled nature.

Like any seaside town, its history is a layering of different peoples, traditions, constructions and bombings, making it one of the most interesting centres in the entire area.

Pula and its Arena

Although a legend says that the first inhabitants of Pula were Jason and the Argonauts, the actual founding of the city took place thanks to the Romans, who conquered the area in 177 B.C. and built the city around 46 B.C. as a colony of Roman citizens (known then as Pietas Iulia).

The city’s glorious Roman past can still be felt as you stroll through its streets, dotted with emblematic monuments, first and foremost its amphitheatre, the best-preserved ancient monument in Croatia.

The amphitheatre, also known as the Arena of Pula, dominates the entire city centre and is its most iconic symbol. It is the sixth largest surviving amphitheatre and was built between 2 B.C. and 14 A.D. at the behest of the first emperor, Augustus.

However, the shape we see today is the result of an extension ordered by Vespasian, the same emperor who built the Colosseum. Vespasian wanted the Arena to host gladiator fights that could be admired by 23,000 spectators.

The reasons for the Arena’s renovation

However, the story goes that the intention to bribe the public was not the only reason behind this renovation; there was a very personal one: to pay homage to a woman, Cenis, a native of Pula and the emperor’s official mistress.

The Arena, named after the Latin word harena (the sand on which gladiators used to fight) is the only one surviving today to preserve the square corner towers that characterised this type of building.

Here, aromatic water was stored in special cisterns, two per tower, which was used to supply some fountains or to be sprayed on people during hot days.

The amphitheatre was located just outside the Roman walls, on sloping ground, an inconvenience overcome by its architects with a basement higher towards the sea, on whichtwo levels of round arches supported by massive pillars and, above these, an attic, pierced by quadrangular openings, still stand today.

The entire building was made of limestone, unfortunately partly used in later centuries to construct other buildings in the area.

An interesting fact

In the Renaissance period, when the city was under the rule of the Venetian Republic, known as La Serenissima, some nobles even suggested
dismantling the entire amphitheatre stone by stone in order to rebuild it in Venice.

Fortunately, the Venetian senator Gabriele Emo vigorously opposed this, and the inhabitants of Pula, in order to thank him, dedicated a statue to him, which can still be admired near this imposing monument.

The Temple of Augustus

The Arena is not the only evidence that Pula was a flourishing city of the Roman Empire, with its lively harbour and ancient forum. One of the most important buildings of this area still exists today: the Temple of Augustus.

This elegant monument of soaring dimensions was built between 2 B.C. and 14 A.D. at the behest of Octavian Augustus, who had already commissioned the Arena.

The sacred building, with its fine Corinthian columns, experienced similar vicissitudes to those of the Parthenon in Athens: transformed into a church and then into a granary, it was eventually damaged by the Allied bombing raids during the Second World War, a period when the city was in the hands of the German army.

Fortunately, a careful restoration has fully restored its beauty.

The atrocities of war only in very rare and fortunate circumstances can bring benefits: this is the case of an extensive floor mosaic, discovered by the very same Allied bombs that collapsed part of the forum temple.

Its decoration sees an orderly alternation of geometric motifs and natural elements belonging to flora and fauna; however, among these more common subjects, the central panel of the left-hand section stands out, depicting the punishment of Dirce, a subject that was not very common in ancient times.

The triumphal Arch of the Sergii

There is one last Roman monument that deserves to be seen for its incredible state of preservation and for how much it has been loved over the years by artists, among them the famous Michelangelo Buonarroti.

This is the triumphal Arch of the Sergii; the matron Salvia Postuma had it built in honour of her husband Lucius Sergius Lepidus next to one of the city gates between 25 and 10 B.C., as the dedication inscription on the attic reads erected.

It is a single-arched arch, framed by two pairs of elegant, slender columns of Corinthian style. Its decoration is much more refined than that of the contemporary Arch of Augustus in Rimini: quadrigas, putti holding festoons laden with flowers and fruit, and the ever-present winged Victories, which have always been essential elements of this type of monuments.

Not only treasures from Roman times

Pula does not only preserve artistic treasures from the Roman period. In the city centre, there are several monuments that testify to the Medieval period, Venetian rule, and later periods: Austro-Hungarian, Italian, Nazi and Yugoslav.

The Town hall and the Pula Cathedral

The Town hall, located in the Forum Square, which was repeatedly altered in the following centuries, and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was also enlarged and underwent several subsequent interventions, date back to the medieval period.

One of these, dated between 1671 and 1707, led to the construction of the bell tower, for which a large amount of material from the Roman Arena was used.

The Chapel of Santa Maria Formosa and the Monastery of St Francis

Two other sacred buildings should certainly be mentioned for their value: the first is the Chapel of Santa Maria Formosa, part of an abbey complex that was later demolished. It is one of the main early Christian monuments in Byzantine style in Istria, whose appearance was very similar to that of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna.

It was inspired by this small Italian masterpiece, with the difference that for the Pula Chapel, stone and not brick was used as a building material.

The interior must have been extremely majestic, decorated with precious mosaics, the remains of which can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Istria.

The second building worth mentioning is the Monastery of St Francis, whose church was built in the early 14th century and features the characteristic simple style of Franciscan complexes, with late Romanesque elements combined with Gothic decorative details.

The Castle and the Fortresses

Moving on to the period when Pula was under Venetian rule, it is worth mentioning one monument of great importance, from which one can enjoy a stunning view of the city: the Castle, a Venetian fortress located on the top of the main hill overlooking the harbour.

Its quadrangular shape surrounded by four pike-shaped bastions was designed around 1630 by the French architect Antoine De Ville, commissioned by the Venetian government, which was interested in defending Pula, a centre of fundamental importance for maritime traffic in the Northern Adriatic, from possible external attacks.

This is not the only military monument in the city, there are several fortresses dating back to the Austro-Hungarian period that can be visited today; they were part of an efficient and complex defensive network designed to protect the most important military harbour in the empire. These include the Varudella fortress, reconfigured to house the city’s aquarium, the largest in Croatia.

The statue of James Joyce

It is impossible to end this walk in search of the beauties of Pula without mentioning one of the last artistic masterpieces the city has endowed itself with. It is the bronze statue of James Joyce, placed between the tables of the café “Uliks” (Ulysses in Croatian) just like the title of his most famous novel.

The artwork, created by the famous Croatian sculptor Mate Čvrljak in 2003, pays tribute to the Irish writer who for a brief period of his life taught English just a few steps away from this café from which he continues to sip his coffee even today under the shadow of the Arena.

There would still be many details to be told about the city of Pula and its varied and unique heritage, but to really discover them, all you have to do is stroll through its streets, explore its museums, attend its events, and immerse yourself in its history.

BiVillage and the Brijuni Islands

The BiVillage, located in Fažana on the coast of Istria opposite the Brijuni Islands, is the ideal place for those who wish to explore this beautiful archipelago.

The village offers a wide range of tourist activities, including excursions to the Brijuni Islands.

This group of 14 islands was proclaimed a national park in 1983. Each island has its own natural beauty and the national park offers numerous activities for visitors, such as hiking, horseback riding, boat trips and scuba diving.

One of the most exciting attractions on the main island is the Safari Park, where visitors can see exotic animals such as zebras, elephants, etc.

In addition to nature and wildlife, the Brijuni Islands also offer a rich cultural history.

The first historical mention dates back to 384 AD and during the following centuries, the archipelago was inhabited by peoples such as the Romans and the Venetians. Throughout history, it was also used as a military base during World War I and as the summer residence of the Yugoslav President Tito in the 1950s and 1960s.

Today, the Brijuni Islands are an important tourist destination in Croatia, offering visitors an unparalleled experience of nature, culture and history.

The islands are easily accessible from the mainland and offer high-quality accommodation, restaurants and bars where you can enjoy local cuisine and fine Istria wines.

CHECK OUT THE BIVILLAGE

The author

Monika Petrović

Monika Petrović was born in 1979 in Pula.

She graduated in 2004 from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka and also at the Department of Art, specialising in Painting in the class of Marijan Pongrac.

She works at the Archaeological Museum of Istria as a restorer of glass, ceramics and metals.

She is a member of the HDLU (Croatian Association of Artists) of Istria.

Venetian “briccole” at the BiVillage

Artwork briccole by Enrico Marcato

The journey from Venice to Croatia of the artwork briccole by Enrico Marcato

In Munich, in the elegant surroundings of the Lodenfrey Park, the BiHoliday group presented the summer season 2023 to the foreign press.

To do so, they chose an original art project, entitled “I Say Art“: narrating a journey. The project involves the two villages managed by the group: BiVillage in Croatia and San Francesco Village in Caorle.

What are briccole?

Briccole are wooden poles – installed up to thousands already at the time of the Serenissima, on which the city physically stands. They characterise the Venetian lagoon and have many uses: they are precious “signposts” fundamental for finding one’s way among the shallows, they are instruments used to moor boats along the canals, they are also supports – they can be recognised by their T-shaped head – indispensable for holding up piers..

Three briccole, first exhibited in Venice on the occasion of the recent Biennale Arte exhibition, have been resettled from the atelier of the artist Enrico Marcato to a stretch of coastline in Croatia, at the BiVillage.

The artworks have been placed in such a place that guests of the village and anyone walking along the promenade will be able to admire them. In order to give the idea of the project, a smaller measuring briccola was brought to Munich and exhibited for presentation.

Once such wooden poles come to the end of their lives, Marcato initiates them for reuse, turning them into artworks.

I tried and experimented until I found something specific to Enrico: the Venetian briccole, depicted from 1500 onwards by any artist in their paintings: from Tintoretto to Canaletto, just to name a couple. They are the silent guardians of Venice.

Therefore, 15 years ago I started to retrieve them and apply strokes of colour to make them look alive again. If we talk about this BiHoliday-related project, the one thing that gratifies me, from the human point of view, is knowing that my artwork has travelled from Venice – the mother city – all the way to Croatia.

And the BiVillage in Fažana, where they are installed, is a mirror image of Venice.

Where else is it possible to see artwork briccole other than in Croatia?

Many of them are held in private collections. However, in Miami you can see them, standing outside the Cipriani Restaurant.

In Montreal, Canada, they are located at the Aldo Bensadoun Foundation. Then some are in Paris, in Ibiza. And now also in Croatia.

Art as a language of values

BiHoliday embraces Art as a language of values, as well as expressing that Art-Activism which today allows us to talk about socially significant issues.

These include BiHoliday emphasising the value of an area and its respect for everything that surrounds it, such as the reuse of materials (and the revival of the briccole is an actual example of this).

But the project does not end here. There is also a second part that will be revealed shortly, and that will complete the Italy-Croatia journey, in the opposite direction.

The artist

Enrico Marcato

Enrico Marcato, 47, lives between Padua and Venice, where he has his atelier. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.

He worked as an artisan and pursued his passion for painting.

Subsequently, he had an inspiration that led him to work on briccole. Among the first to believe in his artwork was Arrigo Ciprian, owner of Harry’s Bar.

Travelling on four legs

Practical tips for a holiday abroad with your dog

Travelling with your dog is an enjoyable and enriching experience, but it requires some attention and precautions.

In this article, I will explain what to do before leaving for a foreign destination, when travelling and how to behave at the beach and in the mountains, so that you and your four-legged friend can have one of the best holidays of your lives

Travelling with a dog abroad

Travelling with your four-legged friend in Italy is definitely easier than travelling abroad, but only in terms of documents and means of transport.

There are now many pet-friendly countries that welcome your furry friends with open arms, but you need to check and plan everything in advance to avoid wrong choices that would ruin the holiday for you and your pooch.

If you are planning a trip abroad, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the safety and comfort for your four-legged friend while travelling.

Here is some useful information on everything you need to know when travelling abroad with your dog:

Documents and vaccinations

Before leaving, make sure your dog has all the necessary documents and vaccinations for the destination country.

In general, most countries require the dog to have a European pet passport, certifying its identity, vaccines and anti-parasite treatment.

Some countries may require additional documents or vaccinations, such as the rabies vaccine or malaria prophylaxis. Always check the specific requirements of the country of destination by obtaining information either at your travel agency, embassy or by asking your veterinarian.

Dog transportation

When travelling, your dog must be transported safely and comfortably.

If you are travelling by plane, contact the airline to find out what their policies are for transporting pets and book a seat for your dog in advance, but be careful: not all of them allow dogs on board. The general rule is that only dogs weighing a maximum of 10 kg (including the carrier) may be transported in the cabin; bigger dogs are transported in the cargo hold with all that this entails.

Food and water

During the trip, make sure to bring enough food and water for your dog’s needs. In general, it is advisable to take the dog’s usual food to avoid stomach issues and diarrhoea. If you travel by plane, check the airline’s rules for transporting food and water for pets.

Transport of medicines and accessories

If your dog needs medication or special accessories, such as leashes or harnesses, be sure to take them with you on your trip. Check the local rules for importing medicines for pets, as some substances may be banned in some countries.

Local rules and restrictions

Before travelling, check the local rules and restrictions concerning dogs in the destination country. In some countries, dogs may not be allowed in certain areas, such as national parks or beaches.

In addition, some establishments, such as restaurants or hotels, may not accept dogs. Check carefully before making your reservation. You can contact the tourism authorities of the places that you plan to visit, they will provide you with all the information you need.

Dog care and hygiene

While travelling, be sure to take care of your dog, keeping it clean and hygienic. Have bags for faeces collection with you and behave as you would in Italy. Respect for others must always be at the top of your priorities.

Enjoy your travelling!

Pet-friendly villages

If you love the sea and don’t want to give up the company of your four-legged friend, BiHoliday villages are the ideal solution for the whole family’s holiday.

You will enjoy an unforgettable stay in a natural and welcoming setting, with many services dedicated to you and your pet.

BiHoliday facilities are the ideal place to experience the sea and nature with your faithful companion, in a relaxed family atmosphere.

Book your pet-friendly holiday now and get ready to have fun!

Our villages

The BiVillage (Fažana, Croatia) and the San Francesco Village (Caorle, Italy) are located within walking distance of beautiful beaches, both of which have been awarded the Blue Flag!

Each village has a portion of beach reserved for those travelling with their pet: the Bi Dog Beach and, at the San Francesco Village, you will also find
a dedicated agility area.

CHECK OUT THE SAN FRANCESCO VILLAGE CHECK OUT THE BIVILLAGE

Meet the author

Andrea Petroni

Andrea Petroni turned his passion into a job years ago. He is the creator of the vologratis.org project, which was launched at the end of 2009 and has quickly become one of Italy’s most important travel bloggers.

He loves travelling with his family: his wife Valentina, little Nicholas and Victoria and his basset hound Gastone.

Since 2017, he has also been an author of travel literature: through his books, he keeps advising travellers and tourists on hidden gems to visit in Italy and around the world.

Today he is a multi-million view travel content creator!

Amazing creativity: what will be your next journey?

The metaverse
as explained to my grandmother.

An interview with Giosuè and Simone

How would you explain the concept of the metaverse to your grandmother?

GIOSUÈ – Like a movie. I would tell her to close her eyes and think of herself right inside the TV box showing the movie. The advantage over the movie, however, is that this time she will be able to perform interactive actions: she will be able to walk, interact with actors, buy products, participate in conversations, and much more. All of this by means of visors (like glasses), which immerse her in this dimension, and joysticks, remote controls, with which she can actually perform those interactive actions mentioned before – shopping, conversations, participation in events…

If my grandmother had ever seen a video game, I would tell her to think of herself as the character I play with the joysticks, i.e. the remote control. What I do is move within a reconstructed world, where I meet other characters, enter houses, forests, eat virtual food, and wear clothes that I can change… Well, the metaverse allows this, but in an enhanced manner. While the video game is played within the TV frame, with the visors (glasses) in the metaverse the user will be able to turn 360° and see an entirely immersive world. There are metaverses that are even attempting to introduce smells, tastes and the senses, which the most common technologies simply lack.

I also believe that many grandmothers use video calls to see their children and grandchildren around the world. One of the limitations of these calls is that often, in order to see what is going on around the family members, it is necessary to turn the camera, rotate the mobile phone, and move around the room; with immersive realities, these operations are minimised and one can enjoy a round, panoramic, multisensory and immersive experience.

From the armchair at home, from the bed or from the wheelchair, these grandmothers (and not only!) will be able to take many journeys. It started with phone calls, then video calls, and who knows, maybe one day the metaverse will be the most used mode. I don’t think it will take long, in the meantime: buckle up!

SIMONE – If I had to explain the concept of the Metaverse to my grandmother, I would tell her that whenever we find ourselves interacting with something that is not only physical, we are in the Metaverse. People often associate the Metaverse with virtual reality, but this is only one aspect. One can speak of the Metaverse as the Extended Reality or, for a more academic definition, one can say that the Extended Reality is the gateway to the Metaverse. It can be anything from digital overlays in the physical world, like a simple Snapchat filter, to VR experiences or mixed reality games like Pokémon GO. To simplify, all technologically enhanced realities are, in fact, the Metaverse. Another way to understand the Metaverse is simply to see it as the next

evolutionary step of the Internet. The term may have been introduced for marketing purposes, but the technology behind the Metaverse is not necessarily innovative and will probably follow the same path as other past trends.

Let us use the analogy with the World Wide Web. Remember the 90s? Accessing the Internet then required a pro-active effort, like disconnecting the telephone line and connecting to a noisy 56k modem… With the spread of wearable devices, IoT and constant connectivity via smartphones, we are now always connected and no longer have to actively “enter” the Internet. The Metaverse will probably follow this trend and become an integral part of our daily lives, like our refrigerator or washing machine, without even having to think about accessing it. So, grandma: we will be in the Metaverse when we no longer think of the Metaverse….

What will be the greatest benefits of the metaverse for the public?

GIOSUÈ – As I mentioned in the previous question, we usually think of travel as something ordinary, predictable, almost natural. Yet, this is not the case. “Travelling” is not so democratic. It may be expensive, tiring, debilitating, or unthinkable for some people.

The metaverse can be used from home, from the wheelchair, from the remotest of municipalities and geographies; by now you know the necessary equipment: visors, joysticks and an internet connection. Not that this is affordable for everyone, but the speed with which these tools fall into out-datedness is such that the costs come down quickly.

Precisely because of its limited requirements, the metaverse is used in a variety of fields. There are universities that, for instance, hold dual lectures (in the classroom and in the metaverse), allowing students who do not live in the city to cut down on rent and relocation costs and enjoy an immersive, yet home-based lecture. This means that anyone, from anywhere, can attend (even) the best universities in the world, from home, thus cutting costs considerably.

Therefore, from tourism to education, rentals, transport and the environment, the metaverse presents itself as an interesting – and certainly improvable – opportunity for different fields, knowledge and industries.

SIMONE – This is an interesting question. We are already seeing the benefits of the so-called “Industrial Metaverse” in various sectors, including R&D, healthcare and automotive industry. I like to categorise the Metaverse into two types: self-referential and instrumental. The self-referential Metaverse refers to those use cases where the Metaverse is the ultimate goal rather than just a means to achieve it. For example, when playing a video game like Call of Duty, the experience and all related economic activities begin and end within the game. However, if we see the Metaverse as a tool or a medium, its potential becomes even more interesting. Simply put, the Metaverse can bring value if and when it solves real IRL problems. An example of the virtuous use of the Metaverse that I recently encountered comes from Italy, so I am

particularly proud of it. ourteen young patients at the Santobono Hospital in Naples were able to watch the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool through VR visors, feeling as if they were watching the match from the perspective of the players at the Stade de France stadium in Paris instead of from a hospital room. This was a brilliant social use of VR technology in a hospital setting, to make children smile and offer them a unique and memorable experience.

How long will it take this new high-tech frontier to become an integral part of our daily lives?

GIOSUÈ – In October 2021, Marck Zuckerberg announced that his group – which besides Facebook also includes Instagram and Whatsapp – would be called “Meta” – short for meta-verse. The announcement was followed by a video, which shows just how the technologies we are used to using – Whatsapp, Instagram and primarily Facebook – are intended to evolve and become immersive. Therefore, there are plans for our Facebook profiles to soon have an avatar – already many have created one by themselves – that will enter a world with services, activities, and events.

Although there are no already concrete and executive cases of this process of “meta-versalisation,” in some way, all of us are already actors in the waiting queue.

SIMONE – The answer is not clear-cut. Technologically speaking, we are getting there. However, we may still be a few decades away in terms of widespread techno-acceptance. Have you ever read anything by Douglas Adams? Besides being the author of the hilarious Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he was a great advocate of innovation. In a 1999 essay entitled “How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet“, published in the Sunday Times, Adams outlined some guidelines for our relationship with technology. He believed that anything that exists when one is born is considered normal, anything invented between the ages of 15 and 35 is seen as innovative and exciting and anything invented after the age of 35 is, well… unnatural! Do the math… For many people, the Metaverse might seem unusual and unnatural. However, having an open and receptive attitude towards technology is crucial if you do not want to be left behind.

Which points will we have to pay attention to?

GIOSUÈ – There have been situations in which avatars have carried out acts of violence and forcible touching towards other users… This may sound comical and perhaps surreal when put like that, but let us not forget that behind those avatars there is always a human being, and therefore victims and executioners. It is the same as with social media and the famous “keyboard lions” – it is true that we do not see them physically, but we still perceive their malicious intentions to insult us, expose us, and denigrate us publicly… Therefore,

it will be necessary for the postal police, our legislators and the digital communities themselves to denounce, report, formalise and control these worlds, which as such need rules, vigilance, ethics, deontology and social responsibility.

SIMONEInteroperability, no doubt. This is certainly a crucial aspect of the development of the Metaverse. Without it, investing in a particular metaversal platform may lead to disappointment, as there is a risk that it will become obsolete within a few years. To achieve a decentralised, open and cohesive Metaverse, it is crucial to ensure that digital assets, such as 3D environments, avatars, NFTs, terrains, avatar skins and other elements, can be seamlessly transferred between platforms.

This means, for example, playing a game, earning a digital good, selling it on a secondary market, receiving payment in crypto currency, buying an avatar skin in another game and wearing it in any virtual world one wishes. This interoperability is the very essence of decentralisation and the foundation of Web 3.0. Although we still have a long way to go before we reach this level of interoperability, it is a crucial step towards the development of the Metaverse.

What will not be replaced by the metaverse in our real world?

GIOSUÈ – I assure you that the metaverse will make us more and more passionate about our beloved (?) humanity. Those immersive sessions, gradually increasing in performance, efficiency and evolution, will entail, in addition to the many hours spent in those worlds, a parallel sense of saturation, claustrophobia and need for oxygenation, which we already experience when we enter other immersive dimensions; think about zoom calls, the hours spent in front of a video game, or simply in front of the TV. When we realise that we have spent hours in front of those screens, we long for fresh air, a walk, a real chat at the bar. Well, I believe that the metaverse will make that second phase more and more unique and rare, to the point where I believe “detox days“, i.e. technology detox days, will be instituted. So probably more metaverse, but also more humanity!

SIMONE – I just can’t think of anything… Most people seem to perceive reality as a binary concept, with the distinction between what is real and what is not. However, it is important to recognise that this perspective is limited and may soon become obsolete. In his book “Reality+”, the techno-philosopher David Chalmers proposes a new way of understanding reality, in which extended reality is considered as real as physical reality.

With technology progress, Chalmers predicts that the Metaverse will soon become so indistinguishable from our physical world that even trying to distinguish between the two will become meaningless. I call it the “Roblox Effect“: for my son, playing with an avatar in a virtual world 1,000 km away or with a friend in the physical world makes no difference. The boundaries between perceivable reality and virtual reality will blur and the distinction between the digital and physical worlds will be erased sooner than we think or want…

What are the major benefits of the metaverse within ART/ TOURISM?

GIOSUÈ – We’ve talked about this before, but I’ll give a few more concrete examples to understand this technology even better. A few months ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the state of Tuvalu, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, sent out a very strong message: during COP27, the international event to coordinate on the current and future environmental challenges, this politician, Simon Kofe, decided to deliver his speech from the ocean, pulling up his trousers to make visible the rising waters due to climate change.

In addition to this, Kofe announced that the entire state would be digitised (precisely mapped and digitised in its geography) and released into the metaverse. Because of the potential disappearance of the country, in fact, this technique, although contestable, will always make it possible to “visit” it. Thus, future citizens of Tuvalu will always be able to enjoy their country, the way it was, the way it looked… Although the case seems strange to us, imagine Italy: 7500 kilometres of coastline also threatened by these dangers. While the metaverse cannot save these “Atlantis-like” places of the world, it certainly provides a side solution, one of recovery and preservation.

SIMONE – There are many of them, actually! he Metaverse has several benefits for the tourism industry, such as enhancing direct booking experiences in virtual worlds with seamless graphical user interfaces, promoting urgency to purchase, providing immersive MICE experiences,attracting younger audiences through gamification, increasing direct sales, community engagement, AR overlays on historical real-world destinations, targeted advertising through data collection, overcoming the limitations of Web 2.0, DAOs, native advertising, travel experiences for those with mobility limitations, interactive staff training, improved levels of privacy through blockchain, and sustainable alternatives to mass travel, to name a few.

The Metaverse’s impact on tourism is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It will not completely replace the journey, but it will undoubtedly play a role, especially in the early stages of the traveller’s journey. Currently, we choose hotels based on photos, videos and reviews, but the Metaverse has the potential to provide a more immersive experience. We could get a “taste” of a destination and book a hotel room or a table in a restaurant, all from the comfort of our own home. This can be considered an advanced form of “try before you buy”. We are only beginning to discover what the Metaverse has to offer, and the potential of its impact on tourism is huge.

GIOSUÈ PREZIOSO

Giosuè Prezioso is a professor and researcher with international experience and currently Director of Studies at the Unicollege University of Turin – the youngest Academic Director in Italy. After his studies in America, he specialised at Christie’s – the world’s leading auction house – and then continued with a doctorate and postgraduate studies at the University of Reading and Harvard University’s Graduate School.

As a professor, Giosuè has lectured at prestigious international institutions, including the American University of Florence, the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, the Chamber of Deputies and John Cabot University.
He is the first lecturer in Italy to have imported crypto art into an academic context, and among the first researchers to have published articles, television interviews and industry reports on the subject. As a professor for the University of Bari, he was also the author of the launch of the first NFT library and auction in an academic context, as well as of the university within the metaverse – achieving reviews in Forbes, The Cryptonomist, Arizone State University and RAI, among others.

He is currently publishing a book with the prestigious Cambridge Scholars Publishing, where, as an author, he brings together some of the world’s leading figures of the contemporary art-tech scene.

SIMONE PUORTO

Simone Puorto is a visionary consultant and speaker with 25 years of experience in the industry.
He is a multi-published author and was crucial in organising the first travel and hospitality event in the metaverse, Polybius.
Simone is a sought-after MBA lecturer, and has taught at esteemed institutions such as ESSEC, Les Roches, 24Ore BS, University of Parma, Ca’ Foscari, Swiss Hotel Management School and IMHI.
He is a member of the advisory board of several leading companies, including BWG, RobosizeME, Vision, TelltheHotel, E23 Delivery, GAIN and PlayHotel.
As Metaverse Evangelist for Olimaint and Hospitality Net, Simone is dedicated to exploring the future of travel and hospitality. He is also the founder of the renowned consultancy firm Travel Singularity, based in Rome and Paris.
Simone is passionate about shaping the future of travel through innovative and sustainable solutions.

GAME ROOM – Bivillage

The BiVillage in Fažana, in Croatia, offers plenty of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed with the whole family, but since last year, there is something new for all those who love video games and wish to approach the metaverse: a new gaming room.

In the Meta Z game room, you will find the latest gaming equipment, including Playstation 5, gaming PCs, VR and accessories, to enjoy games of all kinds and difficulty.

The game room is open daily from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM by prior reservation and has 55″ and 75″ 4K screens available.

There are a lot of activities you can do inside: from participating in the many organised tournaments, to challenging your friends, or you can play or experience the thrill of virtual reality individually.

The BiVillage is the dream destination for sea lovers who don’t want to give up their passions even on holiday. You can challenge other guests staying at the village or make new friends in a cheerful and friendly atmosphere.

A rainbow holiday

Michela Bonafoni interviews Alessia Crocini, president of the organisation ‘Le Famiglie Arcobaleno’ (Rainbow Families)

Introduce us to your wonderful family

My name is ​​Alessia Crocini​, I’m 48 and I live in Rome. I work in the fields of communication, writing and teaching, but I am also a civil rights activist and for the past year I have been the president of ‘Famiglie Arcobaleno’, an association that brings together parents, would-be parents and supporters of the rights of families consisting of two mothers or two fathers or LGBTQI+ single parents.

I am the mother of an eight-and-a-half year old boy born from the relationship with my ex-partner thanks to a ​​MPA​ (medically assisted procreation) done in Spain.

We can say that ​every rainbow family​ begins with a journey​ because there is no law in Italy that allows two parents of the same gender to bring sons and daughters into the world, so ​​
most of us would-be mothers travel to Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, while fathers go through the process of surrogacy mostly in Canada or the USA. Our families begin on a journey and the hospitality of people working in the transport and tourism sector can really make a difference at such important times in our lives.

Currently, mine is an extended and recomposed family as my partner has three children (!) and when we go on holiday together, we are a team of two women and four children ranging
in age from 8 to 15, with different needs and interests.

What social constraints do you encounter in your daily lives?

The limitations encountered by a family with same-sex parents are sometimes the same as those encountered by any ‘sui generis’ family: I am thinking of single parents and adoptive parents, of recomposed, multi-ethnic or immigrant families, of very young or elderly couples. ​Every bearer of difference provokes in others a reaction of surprise and often inadequacy​, not out of bad faith, but often due to simple lack of knowledge and preparation. It would be enough not to assume that every child has two parents of different genders, that parents and children have the same geographical origin, the same skin colour, the same DNA, the same surname.

For rainbow families, things have ​definitely improved over the years compared to 5 or 10 years ago​​: the law on civil unions, the increase and greater visibility of same-sex couples with children generated a positive change that is still ongoing. ​The only negative factor remains the legal one​, as there is no law in Italy that allows both parents of a same-sex couple to recognise their sons and daughters at birth. Despite this, in everyday life, society’s acceptance and openness towards our families is definitely ahead of the laws.

The ​​lack of legal recognition for both parents can cause practical problems​​ because in my case, for example, only the mother who gave birth is the mother of our child and this obliges me to travel with proxies, photocopies of documents, and permits from the Police Headquarters to fly with a minor. And this can often lead to inappropriate and embarrassing questions for me and my child from the staff at the check-in or reception of a hotel.

What would you like to find as a mother in a touristic place?

I believe that in tourism, and particularly in an accommodation facility, ​​staff training is an important first step to welcome a rainbow family in the best possible way: not assuming the number and gender of parents, creating inclusive forms for example for mini clubs where instead of ‘mum/dad’ there is the more inclusive wording ‘parent or guardian’, welcoming customers by not assuming that a woman has a husband and vice versa.

What are the criteria for choosing your holiday?

A family with same-sex parents chooses a holiday according to their personal tastes (sea/mountain, village/camping) but in the case of a trip abroad they certainly do not neglect the situation regarding the LGBTQI+ rights of the country they are about to visit, with a goal of protecting minors first of all.

It is difficult for a family to know before they leave, except by word-of-mouth from other rainbow families, what the level of hospitality and preparation of the staff will be in a particular holiday village or family hotel, and in that case you either rely on luck or end up doing live training within the accommodation facility!

How important do you think inclusive education and appropriate training are for reception and training staff?

As a parent, ​​I would be happy to find staff prepared for every type of family​​, especially those who are in close contact with children and young people, so as not to put them in embarrassing or painful situations.

Do you think there are still many steps to be taken to achieve inclusive tourism?

Do you think that the ‘Famiglie Arcobaleno’ association can collaborate in recommending methods of communication and internal organisation in a tourist structure?

I think ​something is moving in Italy ​to create more inclusive environments in the tourism sector, but there is still much room for improvement.

The association ‘Famiglie Arcobaleno’ has always been involved in ​​training for the public administration, schools of all levels, and the health and legal professions​​, and I am sure it can contribute to improving the level of inclusiveness of tourist facilities. Prejudices usually arise from non-knowledge; instead, encounter and dialogue create virtuous circles that increase the level of well-being by creating open and welcoming environments.

Italy is still at the bottom of the list in Europe for LGBTQI+ rights, but it is also the country where
our boys and girls are always warmly welcomed
and I can say that when my son calls ‘MUM’ at the beach and two of us answer, the reactions of the people around are perhaps curious or surprised, but certainly not hostile.

The San Francesco Village in Caorle (Italy) and the BiVillage in Fažana (Croatia) are
excellent destinations for families seeking a relaxing and fun-filled holiday.

Bi-Village-in-Fažana-02032022

Both campsites offer many activities specially designed for children, such as ​​animation​​, ​games​​, ​​creative​​ ​workshops​ and ​water sports​​.

One of the main attractions offered by the villages are their ​swimming pools​​, both for adults and children, with water slides and hydromassage tub areas.

With ​direct access to the beach​, you can enjoy the sun and sea in a safe and controlled environment.

There are also special events organised for families, such as theme evenings and parties, where children can have fun together with their peers under the supervision of the campsite staff.

​For the little ones​, the villages also offer a ​mini-club​​, where they can participate in creative workshops and participating in games with qualified employees. This way, parents can enjoy some free time, knowing that their children are safe while having fun.

There are many dining options, including bars and restaurants, where you can enjoy Italian and international cuisine.

To summarise, the San Francesco Village in Caorle and the BiVillage in Fažana are ​​an excellent choice for those seeking a fun and relaxing holiday​.

With a wide range of activities for all ages, quality services and a welcoming atmosphere, they are able to meet the needs of all the families who choose them as their summer holiday destination.