Sustainable Tourism

CICERONI Travel and Villa Farnesina in Rome:a partnership of goodwill and gratitude

CICERONI is a member of AITO - The Specialist Travel Association, and has been for many years. AITO encourages its member companies to support sustainable tourism practices in the places their clients visit via its PROTECT scheme. This is a pledge member companies take to support both sustainable tourism and, above all, conservation. 

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CICERONI Travel has visited Rome more than any other destination and has shared its extraordinary cultural heritage with our guests over many years and many escorted group tours. Its visual arts and architecture continue to inspire all that we do, wherever we are in the world. The Villa Farnesina (above) in the heart of Rome on the Tiber River is a beacon to that end. Built at the beginning of the sixteenth century by the Tuscan banker and Papal Treasurer Agostino Chigi, it is one of the most elegant statements of the entire Italian Renaissance. Though the first Renaissance villas with their formal gardens were built around Florence, the fashion for grand country villas then came to Rome, taking root in Northern Italy and the lands of the Venetian Republic via the revolution in classical architecture by Palladio. Many hands were involved in the building and decoration of Villa Farnesina, one of the first 'country villas' in Rome modelled on the great Imperial villas of Ancient Rome. One of those hands was Raphael whom the art world will celebrate in 2020 for the five hundredth anniversary of his passing.

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The Villa Farnesina is today a museum owned and managed by the distinguished Lincean Academy of Rome. The continued restoration of the villa has now moved from the building and gardens into the historic frescoed rooms. We have teamed up with LoveItaly, a Rome-based non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of Italy’s unique cultural heritage. The association is the first of its kind to support conservation projects throughout Italy. Our aim is to contribute to the cleaning and restoration of the 'Loggia of the Galatea', one of the principle rooms within the villa and partly frescoed by Raphael and other painters including Sebastiano del Piombo and Baldassare Peruzzi. Via direct support from Ciceroni Travel and from our individual guests, we intend to provide funding which will assist towards the restoration of the room’s frescoes. We aim to raise about three thousand pounds directly and involve our guests in the project with the aim of securing additional contributions. It is a small step in ensuring that this extraordinary building, which has influenced villa design and the decorative and fine arts from Italy to France, and from the United Kingdom to the United States of America, can be enjoyed by Romans and visitors alike for decades to come. Villa Farnesina is not only a remarkable window on a sophisticated way of life in sixteenth century Italy, but is for each one of us at Ciceroni a statement of thanks for all the pleasurable visits we have enjoyed to Villa Farnesina and to Rome in the past and for years to come”.

You can find out more about AITO's Ethos on Sustainable Tourism those by visiting their website here.  You can also read about AITO's Project Protect and see other AITO members pledges as well as our own pledge

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