In the beautiful setting of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in a rural and rich in history setting, there are two of the best examples of the Italian community-based tourism, a new way to offer hospitality, which recovers its ancient meaning and aims at sustainable development of the territory, in full compliance with environment and traditions. Let’s find them out together!
What is community-based tourism
The community-based tourism involves the entire community in the tourist offer. The inhabitants of a village or a valley commit together to creating opportunities to meet and share with tourists, accompanying them in the discovery of traditions and landscapes, culture, and agriculture. There, where commercialization is still far away and the environment and traditional values have been preserved, from the bottom new tourist reality comes to life, offering the possibility to live deeper holidays, which are transformed into a journey of discovery. And the new travelers, avoiding hit-and-run holidays where destinations look the same and craving authenticity, find in this kind of hospitality what they need.
I Briganti di Cerreto
In 2003 a group of young people, residents in Cerreto Alpi, founded the Cooperative “I Briganti di Cerreto”, with the desire to continue to live where they grew up and enhance the environment and the local community. We are in the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in a medieval village, built of sandstone and chestnut wood, immersed in an extraordinary landscape, which has entirely maintained its values and traditions. The services that the community offers are many: educational activities for schools, environmental education, guided tours, hiking on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike, Nordic walking instructors, rental of snow shoes and bicycles. All while staying in a rural accommodation between the old mill and the barn converted into a lovely apartment.
Valle dei Cavalieri
Succiso is a small village at 980 meters above sea level with only 65 inhabitants, and yet it attracts researchers from around the world, from Japan to Canada, that want to study what is perhaps the first community cooperative born in Italy. It all started 25 years ago when the only bar in the village closed. And for wanting to save their village 9 friends formed the Cooperative Valle dei Cavalieri. They opened a bar and a food shop in the old abandoned school, they started to sell the bread that they themselves produced, and then they opens a restaurant with 220 seats and a farmhouse with twenty beds, and recently also a small spa. Now the association involves 33 members, all volunteers, who during a single day change jobs, they accompany the children to school and then make the cheese, cut wood, and in the evening make pizza. And so tourists visiting Succiso have become 14,000 per year.
Info:Valle dei Cavalieri