Center for International Education
December 2006

Gino Alibrio, Assistant Professor of Food Services Management, TSAS

Professor Gino Alibrio traveled to Italy in January 2006 to explore ways the New Hampshire tourism industry might benefit from understanding more about tourism in Tuscany, especially in the area or agritourism.

 

Gino Alibrio
Professor Gino Alibrio in Italy.

"The difference is that Italians work to live, but Americans live to work," said Gino Rosi, our tour guide at the Castello Verazzano wine estate in Tuscany. This region is a model of agritourism throughout the world. The Italians have managed to preserve their farms, vineyards and olive groves, resulting in many high-quality, world-famous products, and they have preserved their art and cultural treasures as well. However, what makes a vacation in Tuscany most memorable is the hospitality. In Gino's voice I can still hear the enthusiasm echo in the wine cellars when he said, "We do this for love, with a deep passion."

The purpose of my trip to Italy was to better understand tourism in Tuscany, to see how the New Hampshire tourism industry could borrow from the Italians, to visit a culinary school in Florence, and to develop a new course for the Thompson School based on the concept of agriturismo. From late March to early November, the Tuscan "farm holiday" attracts tourists from all over the world, who stay in farm houses as well as villas and hotels. They come to get away from city life; for the food, wine, art and the architecture, but it is my feeling they also come for the genuine and gracious human interaction. The agritourism business concepts found in Italy could be applied to New Hampshire with its comparable resources. For the full report, visit http://www.unh.edu/cie/faculty/faculty_travelrpts_index.html.