At Italian Special Occasions, we are firm supporters of Seasonality, something we believe should be more than a concept - it is an actual movement for a more educated tourism. Why?
Seasonal travel means that you take advantage of the best seasonal time to visit a destination in terms of local events, of traditional food and recipes that vary according to the time of year, of a place that escapes mass tourism and is off the beaten track. With this type of travel, more people are conscious about seasonal festivals and authentic local features that they previously did not know of.
Apart from growing your personal cultural and geographic knowledge, seasonality helps the local economy and community by moving resources in the times of the year when tourism is usually low, and helps the environment by limiting the hordes of visitors that tend to travel in the same periods.
Seasonality can improve your traveler experience by exposing you to the authentic side of a local culture, history and food, and by allowing you to interact a lot more with locals.
For example, tourism in the Marche is on the rise – as we have seen, for a good reason. If you choose to visit the region during August, you would certainly find great sunny weather, but – most probably – also sultry days, thousands of tourists (both foreign and Italians who move to their summer homes), standard tourist menus, and possible unfortunate tourist traps… By choosing a different season, you can capture the essence of what the Marche are all about, and feel more connected with what surrounds you.
Have a look at this video by La Tavola Marche farm & cooking school, about a group who visited during spring (notice the short sleeves… sunny, warm but breezy weather!). One of the authentic itineraries they enjoyed was to forage for wild greens under the expert guidance of the chef, who helped them identify dandelion greens, poppy greens, grispigno… which they then used in their hands-on cooking class to create a rustic tart with the fresh picked wild greens, ricotta & prosciutto. The culinary adventure ends at the table with a dinner filled with local seasonal dishes!
Join the Seasonality movement! For ideas on when and where to travel, and what to enjoy in your chosen destination, have a look at Italy’s Seasonality Map by Italian Special Occasions.