Overtourism has been a pressing issue in Italy for years, especially in iconic cities like Rome and Venice and picturesque regions like Tuscany.

While these destinations are undeniably beautiful and rich in culture, the sheer volume of tourists is causing significant environmental and social problems.

From the erosion of historical sites to the displacement of local communities, the consequences of overtourism are far-reaching and damaging.

In parallel, there’s been a growing discourse among travellers and event planners on sustainability and fighting overtourism.

Yet, the reality is that most event planning requests we receive at Italian Special Occasions DMC still focus on these overcrowded hotspots.

As a Destination Management Company (DMC) committed to promoting sustainable tourism and events, we strive to propose lesser-known destinations to alleviate the pressure on these heavily visited sites.

Deseasonalisation and delocalisation

Since our foundation in 2013, we have focused on authentic, seasonal activities that align with the local communities’ natural rhythms and cultural practices. This approach supports sustainability and offers visitors a richer, more genuine experience.

To address the issues of overtourism, we champion the concepts of deseasonalisation and delocalisation.

This means encouraging travel outside of peak seasons and directing tourists to lesser-known yet equally enchanting destinations.

Our goal is to emphasise quality over quantity, highlighting the true essence of Italy beyond the tourist traps and commercialised attractions.

A case in point: exploring lesser-known Italian destinations

There are many beautiful places off the beaten path for you to explore, where the local community would profit from the economic benefits and cultural exchange of tourism.

Is Tuscany your desired destination? Instead of the sold-out areas of Florence, Chianti, and the seaside Costa d’Argento, we suggest you head over to Maremma, a rural destination.

This lesser-known part of Italy’s most famous region will surprise you in every way, from its original artistic parks like the “Tarot Garden” to the breathtaking beauty of the villages on a dramatic tufa cliff.

tarot garden in maremma tuscany

Want to organise an event in an Italian art city? Consider Turin. You can explore it on foot or e-bikes and wander in spectacular palaces like the Reggia di Venaria Reale and the world’s oldest Egyptian museum.

Between Turin and Val d’Aosta is the beautiful historic territory known as Canavese, where you can explore numerous castles of medieval origin, such as those of Ivrea, Parella and Agliè.

Not only places: it’s also about people and experiences

To stop overtourism, we must adopt a new travel style and mentality aimed at respecting local communities and resources differently.

For example, artisans should not be tourist attractions. Instead, we should focus on learning the value of manual work, the history behind authentic “Made in Italy,” and the people who have preserved the traditions for centuries.

That’s why we founded the Creative Italy project, which proposes experiences that allow leisure and business travellers to actively learn about ancient trades. The hands-on artisan experiences can be booked exclusively through direct contact according to the artisan’s availability and the destination’s seasonality.

creative italy travel

What about you?

Our commitment to sustainable tourism and events is about creating meaningful connections between visitors and the true essence of Italy.

Please contact us if you care about sustainability and CSR and need help planning your special event in Italy. We will be delighted to assist you in selecting the ideal season, destination, and activities for your corporate event or private tour!

In case you’ve missed it

“Crowded Out: The Story of Overtourism” is a powerful short documentary by Responsible Travel featuring interviews with residents and global experts. It is a stark reality check for everyone who travels for pleasure and business.

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