Domenico, owner of the lake swimming resort, inviting travelers to explore Italian culture on the beaches near two most clear lakes in Italy.
What would you consider the top attraction driving tourists to Italy?
Where would you personally recommend getting to?
Certainly, North Italy for mountain, center and south for the sea, the culture and the people!
What is your favorite area to spend weekends at?
Orta Lake in Piedmont
Which adventures will you call the most popular —is it hiking, kayaking, camping?
Hiking, kayaking and swimming.
Which type of sports activities are the most popular? Any extreme sports worth noting?
Hiking is the most popular; rafting for the extreme sport.
What are the specialties of local cuisines? Which dishes would you recommend travelling for? Any restaurants you consider worth a recommendation?
The Lake Maggiore area is renowned in Italy and abroad for its wide range of products.
The local cheeses, like the celebrated Bettelmatt or the tasty Ossolano d’Alpe, are even more delicious eaten with the high quality honey produced in the area.
Speciality cured meats include the mortadella of the Ossola (under the protection of the Slow Food organisation), the raw ham and violini di capra (cured goat’s leg) of the Vigezzo Valley. To complement these delectable hams and salamis, the locally produced wines are perfect: full-bodied reds like Ghemme Docg and Nebbiolo from the Novara hills, Prunent and Neuv Bruschett from the Ossola valleys, or the wines of the Angera area.
Finally, the area surrounding the Lake Maggiore offers an equally diversified range of local speciality cakes and biscuits, such as the Fugascine of Mergozzo and the Margheritine of Stresa.
In addition, you will find numerous fish dishes and all the dishes of the Italian culinary tradition like delicious pastas and pizzas.
I recommend the Venus restaurant in the central Piazza Motta, with a wonderful terrace overlooking the island of San Giulio in Orta.
When would you recommend to go travel? What are the seasonal activities of the region?
The best time to visit the lakes area in northern Piedmont is from March to October.
Could you tell us more about your favorite adventure?
I'm nature guide, open water swimmer and triathlon passionate. I love all the outdoor activities, specially swimming in a wild and stunning place!
I also bike traveled a lot in the European trails and I wrote a photo book where I am telling my experience and my life path.
What is your most notable experience that you’ve ever planned?
I am launching a new activity "Swim Italy" to offer holidays & swimming tours in the most beautiful Italian lakes and seas and to give foreign tourist an immersive experience of Italian culture. Please do check our website for these amazing adventure - www.swimitaly.com.
I have organized a first tour in the clear waters of some of the cleanest and most romantic lakes in Italy: Orta Lake and Mergozzo Lake, two beautiful water mirrors located in the north of Piedmont near Maggiore Lake.
For our guests we also choose the Hotel San Rocco, the best 4-star superior hotel to guarantee an unforgettable stay with all the comforts - please look at the rooms and location up here - www.hotelsanrocco.it
We collaborate with "Verticalife", tour operator in Turin outdoor professionals, for technical support. www.verticalife.it
How long have you been a travel agent for? Why are you different from other travel agency out there?
"Swim Italy"/ "Verticalife" is a local italian tour operator, promoting outdoor travels and excursions in the most beautiful locations between Turin, Piedmont, Aosta Valley, Liguria, Sicily and Sardinia for more than 10 years already.
Thanks to the direct experiences in the destinations we offer personal deep connections with local guides, accommodations and transfer services, therefore it all ends up in high level services for outdoor tours in Italy.
Travels and excursions are suitable for any level, and you will always be guided by professionals of the outdoor activity chosen, leading you to the best trails according to experience and shape.
What areas of the business are performing well at the moment and why?
I noticed a growing interest in swimming holidays, because it is a relatively new proposal, offered just by a few agencies in the world.
What do you think is that aspect of your business that contributed to your success?
I think those are personal care and passion that we put in welcoming our guests, as well as sympathy and warmth that we are trying to transpire to live not only a sports holiday in contact with nature, but also an immersion in the Italian culture.
What travel trends did you notice recently?
I am noticing a growing interest in swimming holidays and trekking that allow us to discover local cultures and traditions.
What are the biggest challenges of working in an adventure travel field?
I think the greatest difficulty is always finding new customers to offer innovative and original products, in a market that has a huge offer and competition. But we are putting it all and we are satisfied with the results that are constantly showing.
What future do you think AREA travel agents will have, bearing in mind the growing
I think AREA travel agents will have a good future, specializing and researching in original activities that can mix more things together (outdoor and cultural activities, discovery of the country and culinary traditions, staying in comfortable and refined accommodation facilities, etc.) and create unique packages that differentiate them from competitors.
Surprisingly enough, when it comes to the most popular destinations for travelling, Bolivia is not a country on the list. Well, your loss. There are a few negative factors which keep on pushing the tourist away from the country, such as a lack of public transport and the necessity to get visa, which might set you back 150$ dollars. However, I dare say that the astounding scenery awaiting you will make amends for all inconveniences. The combination of high-rise mountains, jungles filled with wild life and the unfathomable variety of within a single country is what makes Bolivia so unique and irresistible to visit. Here are the top things not to miss out on.