Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

The “Front Office and Booking Department” is one of the first “contacts” with tourists from all over the world arriving in the Chianti territory.

Fabio Baroncelli, 36, Venetian by birth, “chiantigiano” by adoption, is in charge of this office at the Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa in Tavarnelle, where he has been working since 2006.

“I came from Rome – he remembers – I was looking for work in the area due to logistical needs and my adventure started here “.

Like many in the Castle, Fabio has grown within the organisation: “I joined as a receptionist, from 2009 I was promoted to Front Office manager and then to Booking manager”.

His is therefore a great perspective on incoming tourists : “Everything has moved to digital – he explains – Booking, Expedia, super user-friendly portals. We are very well positioned in the market, we have a lot of advanced reservations; then there are the last minute bookings, which, for example, increase around holidays and festivals”.

Fabio Baroncelli, Front Office and Booking Department Castello del Nero

Where do they come from? “The majority are Americans, English and Italian. Also Brazilians, South Americans. Russians, Chinese, and a small number of Indians”.

The duration of stay? “The three night stay is typical, even if that trend is changing and stays are getting longer, especially in the summer. Over the years, the minimum stay has lengthened. Then there are the big events, not necessarily close by, which move people from all over the world. An example? The concert at the “Teatro del Silenzio” by Andrea Bocelli, in August in Lajatico, attracts lots of people”.

Over the years there has also been a great opportunity for offering experiences once the guests have arrived: “What do they ask? The greatest interest is for food and wine tastings, but also horse riding, balloon rides, Vespa tours. When we send a booking confirmation we always enclose a notice of all the internal and external services that we organize. From helicopter flights to bespoke shoes”.

Finally, in a sector that offers everything … how can we distinguish ourselves? “For us the difference is made by the structure, the history, the beauty and our past. Here we feel very much at home, and we do our best to make our guests feel at home too”.

Matteo Pucci