Thursday 16.07.2020

Anger as easyJet describes Italian region as home to Mafia and quakes

Calabria, which forms the tip of Italy's boot, is home to the fearsome 'Ndrangheta Mafia.
An Airbus A319 of British low-cost airline Easyjet lands at Stuttgart Airport. Photo: Christoph Schmidt/dpa.
An Airbus A319 of British low-cost airline Easyjet lands at Stuttgart Airport. Photo: Christoph Schmidt/dpa.

Low-cost airline easyJet faced a barrage of criticism in Italy on Tuesday after its online travel guide described the southern region of Calabria in disparaging terms.

It said Calabria had few tourists "due to its history of mafia activity and earthquakes - and the lack of iconic cities such as Rome and Venice capable of attracting Instagram fans."

However, it added that "if you are looking for a little taste of the dolce vita, without too many tourists, then you are in the right place."

Calabria, which forms the tip of Italy's boot, is home to the fearsome 'Ndrangheta Mafia and last had a strong earthquake, of magnitude 5.7, in 1998.

Still, easyJet's language triggered angry reactions on social media, and the #easyjet hashtag was featuring among Italy's top twitter trends on Tuesday.

"#easyJet should apologize, to Calabria and Italy. There is nothing else to add," Peppe Provenzano, minister for Italy's southern regions, wrote.

Travel guided ammended

Opposition leader Matteo Salvini, from the nationalist League party, also called for an apology, labelling easyJet's description as "incredible and unacceptable."

easyJet, which flies to the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme, was not immediately available for comment, but its travel guide appeared to have been amended.

It now says: "while this coastal paradise has not yet been discovered by mass tourism, the Italians have long known of its unspoilt charms. Let’s just say if you’re after a taste of Italy as it has always been, then you can’t get much better than Calabria."

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