If there’s anything Stanley Tucci’s latest food and travel show Searching for Italy teaches us, it’s that Italy captivates audiences with its food, culture, and charm. It also happens to be one of KI Concerts’ most popular destinations for both festival and custom performance tours. If you intend to tour in 2023 or later, you should start thinking about your destination now. We’ve put together a list of the top three reasons you should choose Italy.
Sit back with your espresso and read on for a glimpse into why this country is a top destination for concerts!
Rome is one of our most popular cities for directors, and with good reason. Ensembles can fly into Rome, adventure through the city, then extend to other places of wonder like Florence and Venice.
On a KI Concerts Rome tour, ensembles are often invited to sing mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Known around the world as the best example of Renaissance architecture, this astounding opportunity combines the essence of emotion, drama, and complexity. In the historic center of Rome, you’ll find an array of powerful art and architecture, like the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Campo de Fiori and the Pantheon. Guided tours also include the Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and the Colosseum.
In the summer of 2023, instrumental ensembles will travel with KI Concerts to participate in the Viva Italia Rome Band Festival led by world-renowned composer Frank Ticheli. The festival will feature a gala concert staged at the historic amphitheater in Ostia Antica.
Concurrently, choral ensembles will also travel to Rome for the Passion of Italy Rome Choir Festival with Director Dominick DiOrio. A first for KI Concerts, Dr. DiOrio will honor the participating choristers by composing a new piece for the combined choir to premiere at the gala festival concert.
Abundant Venue Options
The architecture and resounding acoustic thoughtfulness of Italy’s churches and amphitheaters are unmatched. After all, the style of venue where your ensemble performs is such a fundamental element of your performance tour. Think outside of the box and you might just be blown away by what you find.
Beyond the more iconic attractions are lesser-known venues that are transformational in both space and time. Imagine performing in the Sant’Agnese in Agone directly in the middle of Rome’s Piazza Navona. This venue is notable for its curves, domes, and classical Renaissance distinctions, but travelers sometimes overlook the venue for the more familiar attractions in the city center.
Additionally, inland from the gondola-gliding city of Venice is the excellent option of Padua. A sacred and historically rich space is the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Over the centuries, additions have been made to this venue, making it extraordinarily unique and lacking one true architectural style. This church abounds with color, art, acoustic brilliance, and treasures.
This past fall, the KI concerts team traveled to Rome, Sorrento, and Pompeii on a site inspection for a 2022 Italian performance tour. With safety and flexibility in mind as the pillars of the KI promise, the team on this site inspection was particularly tuned into things like mask protocols, required COVID testing, and social distancing best practices.
“While circumstances are continually evolving with COVID-19 protocols around Europe, when our team visited Italy we found that masks, testing, and screening for proof of vaccination have become a part of daily life. The tour guides, historic sites, and venues are excited for travelers to return, so Italy is ready for us!”, said Jennifer Huntzinger, Director of Operations for KI Concerts.
This site inspection also presented an opportunity for creativity and innovation. One goal was to find outdoor, open-air venues, so the team explored one of the oldest surviving Roman amphitheaters. The director decided on the Amphitheater of Pompeii as the venue for a pop-up concert during their tour. This venue has also been the stage for talents like Pink Floyd and Frank Sinatra.
While Italy’s food is famous for being exceptional, restaurants are still an important consideration for an Italian performance tour. Close connections with local experts who live and eat in these cities are invaluable when looking for the best group dining experiences.
In Rome, we absolutely love Romolo E Remo. After a day performing at St. Peter’s Basilica, nothing is better than the convenience and comfort of their delicious Italian favorites. Ensembles can enjoy an array of options like focaccia (flatbreads), pastas, pizzas, seafood, steaks, sides, and dessert. Romolo E Remo is a crowd-pleaser every time! Speaking of crowds, not all restaurants in Italy can accommodate hot meals for large groups. That’s not the case here, and it’s one of many reasons we keep coming back.
We trust our local travel experts to give us the scoop on the best authentic fare. In coastal towns like Sorrento, seafood and citrus-based sauces are abundant on restaurant menus. Ristorante Tasso shines bright with dishes featuring fresh rockfish, clams, and shrimp. Not into seafood? No problem! This elegant yet simple restaurant offers plenty of vegetarian options like eggplant ravioli and baked potato pie with truffles! Upon opening the menu, guests are greeted by a quote from Virginia Wolf, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Well Virginia, we agree!
At KI Concerts, we look for dining experiences encompassing four main pillars: proximity, capacity, authenticity, and comfort. When a restaurant checks all these boxes and a local expert vets it, it becomes part of an ensemble’s tour itinerary.
There you have it, the top three reasons we at KI Concerts continue to return to Italy with our clients. There are many more reasons Italy is a top tour destination, but we’d rather let this lovely destination speak for itself the next time you’re on a KI Concerts Italian tour!
If you’d like to learn more about Italy or other top performance tour destinations, let us know!
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