An exciting travel partnership opens the door to some of Italy’s most iconic luxury brands, writes Andrew Conway
Any trip to Italy is an experience in itself, but what if you could peel back the historic façades of Milan, Rome, Florence and Venice and go behind the scenes of some of the country’s best- known luxury brands?
An intimate fashion show at the house of Versace, perhaps; a private test drive at Alfa Romeo, Ferrari or Maserati; or a memorable lesson in bespoke tailoring in the atelier of Ermenegildo Zegna?
All this, and much more, is now a reality thanks to the recent partnership of leading Italian institutions Altagamma and IC Bellagio offering exclusive access to a blue-chip portfolio of the world’s most prestigious luxury marques.
Discerning visitors to Italy with a passion for cutting-edge style can transform their holidays into once-in-a-lifetime experiences with visits to top fashion and design houses, five-star hotels, gourmet food firms and wine producers, high-octane car and yacht companies, jewellers and perfumers – all renowned for their quality, innovation, creativity, handicraft and customer service.
IC Bellagio has been delivering tailor-made travel experiences to Italy since 1999, but its recent collaboration with the Altagamma Foundation – promoting leading luxury Italian brands worldwide – takes the concept to a new level.
The collection currently comprises about 30 major brands, including Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Pucci, Zegna, Fendi and Gucci; design icons Alessi and B&B Italia; premium car marques Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ducati and Lamborghini; yacht companies such as Benetti, Perini Navi and Riva; jewellers Bulgari and Bucatelli, and perfumers such as Acqua di Parma, among others.
Each brand offers a different behind-the-scenes experience, carefully tailored to each client’s preferences.
“Our experiences offer the possibility to go beyond what is normally visible of luxury Italian products,” says Paolo Zegna, vice president of the Altagamma Foundation on a recent visit to Australia. “You may think you know these brands, but behind-the-scenes experiences like ours have not been available to the public before.”
“One of the most fascinating things in life is looking behind the shop window and seeing how beautiful things are made,” he adds. “And all of our people are so incredible, so passionate. Each experience is very different and impactful.”
While Altagamma curates the brands and experiences, IC Bellagio delivers the bespoke itineraries.
“For high-end Australian travellers looking for life-changing experiences of authentic Italy, we can craft hassle-free and highly customised itineraries that are perfectly matched for each individual client,” says IC Bellagio CEO and founder Andrea Grisdale.
According to Zegna, Altagamma Italian Experiences allow guests to discover by whom, where and how the brands are conceived, designed and produced, and with what manufacturing skills and technologies.
“We’re confident our experiences will be enjoyed by Australian travellers because we know they have always admired and appreciated Italian products, and show a deep curiosity to know more about them,” he says.
“This is not just about promoting the individual companies, but Italy as a wonderful destination and the quality of our products. We’re offering the chance to add a little piece of the Italian culture and lifestyle to your itineraries.”