When in Rome…..
According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin sons Romulus and Remus who were raised by a giant she-wolf. The symbol of the two boys kneeling under her belly suckling can be seen repeatedly when wondering the quaint cobble stoned streets. It’s history is rich in stories of struggle and triumph, from the Iron Age Hut Village from where it has its humble roots, through the rise and fall of the Roman republic then Empire, to where it is today… a beautifully Romantic bucket list destination boasting astounding architectural design with buildings dating back to the mid-15th century where for over 200 years, was embellished by the greatest artists of the Renaissance and the Baroque eras.
As an Incentive destination Rome flaunts a variety of superb hotels and must do activities. With some careful and personalised planning, early visits to the Vatican and Colosseum by-pass the regular tourist crowds providing a more exclusive insight into the depth of history and the influence of Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church. Vespa & Segway tours and Gelato making workshops indulge participants into the every-day life of the Italian culture engrossed by “la dolce vita”, a culture focused on high fashion, good fresh food and remarkable red wine.
On our second evening, participants were invited to take part in a pasta making workshop set under the shade of Olive trees in the family owned Santa Benedetta Wine Estate. A charismatic wine maker and his animated wife made for perfect ingredients to what can only be described as a comical, stomach crunching laughable experience. The evening ended with a mouth-watering display of traditional Italian food.
Peru has a complex and diverse history which is both difficult to understand and explain, dating back to 3000 years B.C. it’s history has a had a significant influence on its current way of life and culture.
Being in the Business Events Industry we often have the privilege and pleasure of visiting beautiful and historic destinations. Places that often don’t get featured on personal “bucket lists” as they seem unreachable or unaffordable. Peru is perhaps such a place that we have recently been able to experience and it has certainly lived up to its reputation as a “must see” destination. From the more recent mid 15th Century Spanish Christian and Jesuit architecture in Lima and Cusco a visitor can clearly see the impact of religion on a destination and how it has influenced and changed the people through the centuries.
It’s older history however is even more enlightening and curious with stories of the Norte Chico Civilisation (one of the six oldest in the world) and how they explored and concurred. Other highly established civilisations developed in Peru from around 3000 B.C. including the Chavin, Nazca, Moche, Chimu, Wari, Chachpoyas, Paracas and the most recent and more globally known the Inca’s.
Throughout the centuries many studies and theories have been developed around the Inca’s and most curiously around their architecture and construction methods. Buildings that even in today’s modern world with earth moving machinery would shave been highly challenging, the Inca’s seemed to achieve with mere muscle, stone and no mortar. Massive archaeological structures in Lima, Cusco and even more magical Machu Picchu have drawn students and tourists to seek out the hidden possible truths around how and why these sites had been built, and more mysteriously, abandoned.
Probably one of the most sought after Cities’ on the top of many travellers bucket list, New York lives up to all sorts of exciting expectations. From the hub which is a mix of a “Sandton City Mall” crossed with a first world underground train station, a visit to Grand Central makes for a great start to get you into the excited vibrant energy that exudes from the city’s core.
Even ordering a New York Bagel there is seemingly limitless choices always prepared to order extremely quickly, New Yorkers as friendly as they are, are in a hurry. It’s a fast paced city that looks like a scene from the latest Spiderman movie mixed with a designer fashion show. While Yellow cabs zoom past on the steamy streets, keep your eyes open for the latest blockbuster being filmed.
New York has always been home to many celebrities and any true New Yorker will be able to point out where a famous Sex In The City scene or Friends episode was shot, or that multi-million dollar apartment that Madonna once owned. A visit to Central Park is not complete without seeing Strawberry Fields a tribute to John Lennon while a busking entertainer performs some of his acclaimed songs.
A recent trip with an incentive group had us crossing all the highlights and included a brunch cruise on the Atlantica around Ellis and Liberty Islands with the magnificent backdrop being provided by Lady Liberty herself and the famous BMW bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg). Trips to Chelsea Piers, The Highline, The Intrepid Space Museum Aircraft Carrier, Theatre District and 911 Memorial made us realise that if there is one thing you will take home with you, is that Americans (and especially in New York) are a proud and very patriotic people. Almost every hotel, museum or building of significant history has a tapestry of the stars and stripes. Larger than life flags will leave no doubt of the destination and culture that you have come to experience.
New York is indeed a fascinating fast paced city. An eclectic blend of diverse cultures and a rich history of “rags to riches success stories” have created a buzz and vibe that truly sets it apart.
A recent site inspection to this magnificent city spoiled us with visits to historical landmarks. A city where “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” can only be the platform for a spectacular incentive trip and with its vast variety of beautiful venues, leaving us in a difficult position of which venues “not to select” from the spectacular options on offer.
From an old banking hall with a superhero undertone in its name “Gotham Hall”, to restaurants overlooking the bustle of Grand Central Station, to “Top of the Rock” rooftop venues on the Rockefeller Centre, planning has commenced and the programme is shaping up for what we are sure will be a well received and fantastic reward for many of the already well travelled top achievers. “Lady Liberty” we are on our way!
With all that Southern Africa has to offer it’s not always easy to stand out as a top contender. If Zambia Victoria Falls with its natural heritage and spectacular landscapes, including one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, isn’t enough, some extraordinary activities and experiences should leave you with a lifetime of exceptional memories.
The Royal Livingstone Anatnara Hotel has easily got to have one of the best sun-set locations in the world, on the deck overlooking the top of the Victoria Falls. Guests gather as if in a spiritual ritual daily and sit memorized by its tranquil beauty.
If you prefer the sunset from different angle, we invite you to join us on the Royal Livingstone Express train onto the Victoria Falls bridge. The initial brain child of Cecil John Rhodes, the significance of visiting the bridge and the “Cape to Cairo railway scheme” will see you fulfil Rhodes dream of “crossing the Zambezi River on a train, where as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls”.
In an action packed “Escape to the Cape” incentive trip with one of our best clients started off in Johannesburg, meeting the attendees off their international flights and chartering 6 private flights with personalized event branding to fly them into Cape Town. First stop was Shamwari with 4 lodges all booked exclusively, we had amazing game drives, seeing amongst others, Lions mating, elephant herds and giraffes. We culminated our stay at Shamwari with an open fire bush dinner under the stars.
Our Cape Town leg of the programme included canapés on Table Mountain during check-in then a 45 Harley Davidson transfer to the One & Only Hotel. Our stay at the Cape Town Waterfront was made special by a troupe of Cape Town Minstrels who led the way to dinner at Sevruga Restaurant
Activities whilst in Cape Town included Shark Cage Diving in the Great White capital of the world, a dinner in a cave overlooking the ocean which included 9 helicopter rotations as well as a 16 vehicle transfer in classic cars to one of the most exclusive and luxurious villas in Clifton.
The program culminated with a private cheese, wine, biltong and beer tasting as well as farewell lunch at the prestigious Delaire Graff Wines estate
A few comments from our client and Shamwari:
Jan the head ranger at Shamwari said
“In the 7 years of being a ranger here I’ve never seen so many charters land in sequence and so professionally with-out a single hitch”
Rachel of Zibrant Live! said
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you again for all your hard work, dedication and professionalism which made this event such a success. The unforeseen challenges were handled so smoothly and quickly, and nothing was too much trouble. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you, and you are a credit to TIE. We love working with the team and look forward to bringing more groups in the not too distant future!
What we crammed into 4 days was unbelievable and the experiences were first-times for most, if not all, of the group. They were blown away by what we created, and I don’t think the programme could have been any better.”
– 85 pax
– Traveled 2016 (3 nights / 4 days)
Some activities included self-drive cabriolet vintage cars from Positano to Sorrento along the world-famous Amalfi Coastline, guided visits to the 2000 year old “buried cities” of Pompeii & Herculaneum, a day ferry trip to Capri Island and using the local 6 seater cabriolet “Capri taxis”, dinner at an interactive pizza and mozzarella cheese making farm/restaurant, walking tours & Limoncello tasting through the narrow romantic streets of Sorrento.
Making Pizza dough in Naples, Italy
A trip to any destination is never quite complete without taking in some of the historical, architectural and cultural highlights of the region. Sorrento and the Amalfi coastline are absolutely saturated with these boasting some of the most scenic (and hair-raising) drives along a jagged-edge coastline known to man. Celebrities like Sophia Loren and dating as far back as the Ancient Roman empire were only some of the eyes that have gazed upon this beauty and influenced the lifestyle and history of the area. Looking over the bay at Mt Vesuvius, it still lies high and dominant, a strong reminder of the power of nature having once buried two cities (Pompeii & Herculaneum) alive in its eruptive volcanic wake.
From the main shores of the coastline a day ferry trip to Capri Island will accentuate the romance and resilient Roman Catholic nature of this elegant European society. Well known for influencing modern day culinary trends, some of Italy’s more well-known dishes come from this region. Fresh produce lives in rich color with the infamous Limoncello being produced from lemons literally the size of small soccer balls, and tomato’s in deep red flavor (the Caprese salad having been born here).