WHY IT RATES: The new Costa Firenze's connection with the historic city of Florence, Italy, which informed the design of the ship's interior spaces, is being cemented with Costa Cruises' contribution to the restoration of Dante's plaques, which adorn key locations in the celebrated poet's native city. - Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
Today, in the port of Savona, Costa Cruises presented a preview of the Costa Firenze, the new ship in its fleet which will leave on July 4 for her maiden cruise.
Designed and built by Fincantieri at the Marghera shipyards, Costa Firenze is inspired by the Florentine Renaissance at its greatest glory and captures in detail the taste for beauty for which the city of Florence is known worldwide. The interior design reflects the harmony of a walk down a street or square in Florence, starting with the choice of colors, geometries and shapes of the interior design.
The charming atrium 'Piazza della Signoria' is symbolic and pays homage to the Florentine square. Part of the on-board offer is also characterized by the Florentine inspiration, as in the case of the Fiorentina Steak House, which offers some of the best Tuscan meats, and the Frescobaldi wine experience, where guests can experience the Cultivating Toscana Diversity, tasting the Marchesi Frescobaldi wines.
To seal the link with the city, Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti and the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, announced a cooperation agreement on board the Costa Firenze to promote tourism in the city, starting with Costa's contribution to the restoration of Dante's plaques on the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death.
There are a total of 33 stone plaques, placed in many places in the city, the result of a historical research project dating to the early 20th century. Each plaque bears a quotation from one of the three canticles of the Divina Commedia-nine from the Inferno, five from the Purgatorio and 19 from the Paradiso-in which reference is made to places, real events and illustrious citizens of the time. By following the plaques, which trace a poetic path, citizens and tourists can relive places and historical events in which the great poet was often a protagonist.
The preview of the Costa Firenze was also an opportunity for Costa to present its Manifesto for value-driven, sustainable and inclusive tourism: a decalogue summarizing the company's commitment to grow together with the territories visited by its ships. According to the Manifesto, destinations are not considered as a set of tourist attractions, but as communities to build together a model of tourism that generates greater economic and social value, inspiring a new "renaissance". With the presentation of the Manifesto, Costa will initiate a process of sharing with institutions, associations and stakeholders in the cities, regions and countries where the company is operating to develop a dialogue and a collaboration that follows the principles of the Manifesto, starting from the Costa Firenze itinerary.
Costa Firenze's first cruises, starting with the inaugural voyage on July 4, will allow guests to visit six different Italian destinations in a week's holiday: Savona, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Catania, Palermo and Cagliari, which can be explored in depth with dedicated excursions, with port calls lasting over 10 hours. From the end of July to the end of August, the itinerary will also allow guests to rediscover Malta, with a stop in Valletta, and, from September 12, also France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Ibiza), with departures from Italy.
During the winter of 2021-22, Costa Firenze will be positioned in Dubai to visit the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. The one-week itinerary includes Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat and a multi-day stop in Dubai, with specific packages for visiting Expo Dubai 2020. Costa Cruises is the Gold Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020.
"Costa Firenze's concept is inspired by an iconic city, which represents Italian art, taste and refinement in the world's collective imagination. We designed this ship to offer our guests a unique experience, especially for families and couples. The debut of Costa Firenze, as well as the restart of the three other Costa ships that have returned to cruising in recent weeks, is an opportunity for us to promote a new model of tourism, in which we strongly believe as a leading company in the sector. As we have made explicit in our manifesto, this model aims at the collaboration among different public and private entities to enhance the excellence of the territories in a sustainable way. The cooperation with the city of Florence is the first concrete manifestation of this approach: Costa Firenze will become a true platform for promoting the city of Florence around the world, particularly during Expo 2020 Dubai," said Mario Zanetti, Costa Cruises' President.
"Florence is a universal symbol that shapes everything with its beauty", said Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence. "Today, for the first time, the history of our city is enclosed in a jewel of technology with the new Costa Firenze. It is a tribute to the city, but also a concrete opportunity to promote Florence among all those who will come onboard this ship for an unforgettable cruise. It is also a great co-marketing operation between the historic Italian company and our city", added Nardella, "which comes at a time of greater commitment to relaunch European and international tourism in Florence. We are particularly pleased that the ship will call at Dubai for the Expo, where Florence, once again, will play a major role thanks to the most accurate reproduction ever of Michelangelo's David. More and more, our city is able to promote its own beauty with innovative, original and far-reaching projects".
"Savona welcomes Costa Firenze, a new ship celebrating the 25th year of Costa Cruises operations in the port. In this quarter of a century, Costa and the city have grown together. During the five years of my management as a Mayor of Savona, we developed a great collaboration on inclusion and sustainability projects and a great support for cultural initiatives. Furthermore, we are glad that the Costa Firenze, a ship dedicated to the city of Florence, arrives in Savona just when our city is celebrating the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death, with an exhibition in the Civic Art Gallery dedicated to the precious Dante volumes, normally kept in the Ancient Fund of the Civic Library," said Ilaria Caprioglio, Mayor of Savona.
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