The best Italian tourist destination? Foreigners elect Cagliari, it keeps its promises

All of Italy from North to South is in the top ten of the 2016 Oscar for the best Italian tourist destination, the list compiled by CAST of the Università di Bologna (Rimini section) based on the evaluations of over 400,000 foreign tourists collected by the Banca d’Italia at the borders in the last 6 years.

The survey, which reflects the perception of foreigners compared to their expectations, was presented in Florence during the ninth edition of Buy Tourism On Line. The classification, limited only to the provinces for which at least 1,500 questionnaires were valid (51 Provinces), sees in first places Cagliari, Udine and Catania (in that order) as satisfaction of the visitors who visited them (staying at least one night in hotel) after having chosen them, perhaps online. In general the destinations that are traditionally less visited by foreigners take the highest places. Among the usually preferred destinations the first is Venice, which places only 31st, followed by Florence (33rd), whereas Rome places at the bottom of the list (47th) together with Bergamo, Olbia/Tempio and Syracuse (respectively 48th, 49th and 51st).

Andrea Guizzardi and Annalisa Stacchini, the curators of the survey, explain that: “The ranking, does not simply represent a direct evaluation of the value of the local tourist offer, but it reflects the matching between what is promised by the destination at international showcases and what the traveller effectively experienced”. “Cagliari, Udine or Catania beat more important destinations richer in attractions, such as Rome, even because they kept what they promised .” The total points, calculated for each province, is obtained from the elaboration of the perception of quality, as seen by foreign guests, and the different attributes of the local tourist offer, among which: quality and variety of products in the shops; hotels and lodgings in general; natural environment and landscape; art; courtesy and kindness of the locals; information and services for tourists; food and cuisine; prices; safety.

Cagliari, the winner of the Oscar for best Italian destination for 2015 and 2016, triumphs in many sectors, being perceived as the number one for shopping, hotel facilities, environment, art, courtesy, cuisine. Gorizia beat Milan (second) for the quality and variety of the products in the shops, taking advantage of its position at the border. After Cagliari, the best evaluations regarding the quality of lodgings were Bari and in the Sicilian provinces, where evidently the standard offered surpasses the expectations of the visitors. Sardinia triumphs for the beauty of its landscapes and nature. Naturally Rome, Venice, Padua and Florence are, in order, the favourite for local artistic and cultural heritage and works of art, even though they don’t manage to beat Cagliari’s record. 


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