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our story: a passion for puglia
Our passion for Puglia began several years ago. After countless trips to Italy, we had experienced the wonders of Rome, driven through the undulating hills of Tuscany, dined on truffles in Umbria, and waded through the tourist crowds in Venice and Florence. We wanted to discover a new region that offered fantastic food – somewhere we could engage with locals as travellers rather than tourists, and practice our rudimentary Italian. An English foodie friend was writing a book on Puglia and she couldn't recommend it highly enough. We booked our flights, packed our bags and arrived in the bustling city of Bari amidst palm trees, turquoise water, golden stone architecture and soft Adriatic breeze – and fell in love. The deal was sealed the moment we savoured the amazing, fresh cuisine. The fascinating culture and the warm, friendly people we encountered were the icing on the pasticiotto.
Since then, we have returned to Puglia many times. And it keeps getting better. After a summer living and studying Italian in Lecce at the wonderful Scuola di Italiano per Stranieri, we became addicted to the relaxed lifestyle, enchanting evenings, baroque architecture, coffee (hence the name Espressino Travel), hearty pastas and glorious gelato. But the most amazing part was that, after mere weeks, we became part of a community. We forged genuine friendships. We laughed, we learned, and we loved.
When we returned to our home in Vancouver, Canada, inspired more than ever by our travels, we had an epiphany. What if we could share the magic of this experience with others, bring joy to the lives of fellow travellers, and have the opportunity to return to our favourite place time and time again? Espressino Travel was born, and we began to create the “dream Puglia holiday” that would show travellers the best of the region, give them a life-changing travel experience, and make them fall in love with the Salento just like we did.
We look forward to meeting you on our Puglia Tour and welcoming you in our home-away-from-home.
- Robert Collins and Lili Okuyama, Founders, Espressino Travel
Why are we called Espressino Travel?
The Espressino is an Italian coffee unique to Puglia, midway between an espresso and a cappuccino. Its espresso component makes it concentrated and exhilarating, while its cappuccino half ensures it’s relaxing and comforting. It’s that combination that makes the Espressino the perfect package that you can only find in Puglia - just like our Tours.