The restart of Salina: anti-waste breakfast and sustainable tourism – Italian Cuisine


The Caruso brothers of the Signum are focusing on a new à la carte service, more refined and ethical, and on associations with other operators on the island.

In times of crisis, you can surrender or take the moment to develop new opportunities. In the most difficult year for the Italian tourism sector (and not only), the brothers Luca and Martina Caruso – respectively director and 1 Michelin star chef ofHotel Signum in Salina – aim at relaunching the short but intense season of the Aeolian archipelago.

Luca and Martina Caruso

The staff – mainly made up of young people under 30 from the Sicilian territory – has been totally reconfirmed, while one of the main novelties of 2020 is the abolition of the breakfast buffet – as required by government provisions – to make room for a a la carte service personally supervised by Martina Caruso: "During the lockdown we decided to enhance the first meal of the day, too often overlooked by the hotel industry, with the desire to maintain this express breakfast formula for years to come".

Cannolo with Aeolian ricotta, granita with the blackberries of Vulcan, honey of Sicilian black bee, are just some of the specialties served on the Signum terrace, from which you can admire the profile of Panarea is Stromboli on the horizon. All very fresh products that risked a quick deterioration with the buffet mode: «In past years – adds Luca Caruso – we realized that this setting generated a lot of waste, especially in the height of summer with high temperatures; the formula at the table, on the other hand, allows to preserve the integrity and quality of the raw material. At the same time we wanted to give our guests an extra cuddle, inserting porcelain cups and plates that recall grandmother's service .

Photo by Davide Visiello

For those who choose one of the nine suites, there is also the possibility of having breakfast directly in the room (you order through a form to be filled out the night before), in the shade of the typical Aeolian beam that opens onto the sea. Starting this year, the Signum has adopted the policy of room only rate, in order to leave the customer even more free. A choice that wants to equate, for dignity and importance, all three meals of the day (breakfast / lunch / dinner), to be booked separately as extra costs to the stay.

"There is a great desire for Italy – concludes Luca – and for the South in general. The Aeolian Islands are ready to face this new challenge with their heads held high, comforted by the July and August reservations of Italians and Europeans, who have filled the void left by the American and other foreign countries. With the association Salina Isola Verde – which brings together the main hotels, including the Hotel Signum – we work in harmony to promote Salina as a destination. A virtuous example of synergy between entrepreneurs united by a green mentality, increasingly oriented towards a model of sustainable tourism. The first result came in 2018 when the Municipality of Malfa banned the use of plastic for glasses, plates, cutlery, straws and disposable bags, in favor of biodegradable or compostable materials. Among the next objectives is the intensification of the use of solar panels and electric motors – Salina is part of the six pilot islands (the only Italian one) of the European transition project for energy self-sufficiency "Clean Energy for EU Islands" – and then the adoption of even more restrictive measures for the protection of the wooded and marine areas of the island.

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