Tourists can now shelter in place at a castle in Tuscany.
Torre Palazzone is an 11th-century castle owned by a British family for over a decade. The family has turned it into a luxury, private villa rental. While Tuscany is a tourist destination for travelers around the world, the pandemic has significantly slowed down visitors to Italy.
Owner Kitty Walsh believes Torre Palazzone is the perfect place to keep tourists safe while providing an enjoyable vacation.
“All of our staff are in full PPE whenever they come in and work here,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “But we’ve been very lucky because with a villa holiday it’s a much safer option for a bubble holiday than staying at a hotel for example. Really all of our guests are isolated in their own bubble and they’re very, very safe.”
The staff created a plethora of activities, while Walsh enlisted a private chef so that guests never have to venture off the property.
“We can have wine tastings on-site,” Walsh said. “Our chef is very happy to offer cookery classes which are great fun and also we can do things like art workshops on-site, you can do some abstract painting or do some painting en plein air (in the open air), we can send an instructor round to help you out with that.”
However, the biggest barrier for the hospitality industry is getting visitors into Italy during the outbreak. Walsh hopes international authorities will make it easier to safely travel.
“I think there really needs to be a consensus from the international community that international travel is something that is economically important and that needs to be made as safe as possible as soon as possible, so that people can go back to having holidays,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “And particularly holidays like this one where the risk of infection is so small because people are just here in their own space.”
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