Reviews and Testimonials
Here's what people are saying about
the Espressino Travel experience!
Puglia, "Espressino Style" - Simply the Best!
We just returned from what I would call a trip of a Lifetime with Espressino Travel.
Over the past 15 years our group of friends, 5-7 couples have travelled together to many destinations - Italy being the most visited country. We decided to research the Puglia region and I took on the role to find us the best itinerary there was. I had always used only the top tour companies to organize custom private tours for our group. After reviewing all their offers and itineraries, I was not impressed. I continued my search on the internet. I happened upon the website of Espressino Travel. A new company receiving great reviews by their first travelers. I contacted Robert and Lili and the rest is history.
What they offered us was not the usual tour but the experience of being someone's guest in Puglia. From the moment they pick you up to the moment your journey has ended, you are their guests. This is a mindless trip - everything top notch has been carefully planned and executed to deliver you the best there is to offer in Puglia. All inclusive beyond what any other companies offer. Just relax and follow what they have planned for you.
Their partners in this journey, from the hotels, restaurants, cooking school, pizza making, excursions, etc. are the best and you will not feel like a tourist but part of their family. Each day when you think it was the best, it was only followed by another that surpassed the day before.
Move over Perillo, Tauck, Kensington, etc. - you have a long way to go to fill Espressino's shoes.
Thank you Robert and Lili for giving us memories of a lifetime and making this our best journey ever . We are anxiously awaiting your next region to experience it with you.
- Diane P, New York
One Of The Best Tour Experiences in Italy!
It is rare that I leave a tour not exhausted and almost needing another vacation, this was definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had in Italy. My few days in the lively Salento region of Puglia, were further highlighted by Lili and Robert, who remained professional and friendly, ensuring that me and the other girls on the trip were comfortable and happy the entire time. I have been on many tours in Italy because of my job in journalism and blogging, and this one blew me away. I had such a wonderful time seeing areas of Italy that I probably would have missed without their help.
It seemed like nothing seemed 'too much' for them to do. Our hotel in Lecce was boutique perfection, something I would have personally sought on a weekend away, and we spent each day savoring different dishes, wines and (of course shopping) in the beautiful town centers of Gallipoli and Otranto, both charming and utterly historical.
We made pizza with the coolest guys in Lecce, had an amazing dance party after rolling pasta a few hours before, every morning there was a sumptuous banquet of local breakfast foods. It was the perfect blend of relax and discovery, which most tour companies in Italy (my experience) can't really manage.
They truly stand out as a tour company and I left feeling like I spent these days with new friends, Lili and Robert really love Italy and it shows. I highly recommend using them for your next trip to Italy.
- Georgette J, Florence, editor of Italy Magazine and award-winning blogger, GirlinFlorence
Best Week Ever!
Our guides were Robert and Lili which couldn't have been better host as well as friends. Accommodations were first class, we were kept busy seeing different sights and having new experience every day. The food we ate was extraordinary.If you have been wanting to tour Italy Espressino Travel is the way to go.
- Nancy J, Seattle
10 out of 10 for Espressino Travel's week long tour in Puglia!
I have just returned from a week long tour in the Salento region of Puglia with Robert and Lili of Espressino Travel. They are a very professional couple, yet so congenial and an awful lot of fun. I felt like the town of Lecce, our base for the week, was their home, and I had been invited in and introduced to all of their friends. Robert and Lili kept us informed about the history of the places we visited while making sure we were comfortable and extremely well fed! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone.
- Meg O, Guelph, Ontario
Our 8 day tour of the Lecce region with Espressino Travel was an unforgettable experience! From the moment our group of 10 arrived, Robert and Lili had our exciting itinerary set and every day was better than the one before. Our hotels were first class and situated perfectly. The cooking classes were loads of fun and we even learned some new recipes along the way. Every restaurant that Robert and Lili took us to were top notch; not the usual "touristy" ones that you might get into if you weren't with them. Their knowledge of Lecce, its culture and history is great and they made sure that we came away from our trip learning about the area. We had a blast with them and they were very accepting of our crazy group - even took our good-natured ribbing all in perfect stride. 8 of the 10 in our group had been to other areas of Italy before, using different tour groups. We all agree that by far this was our best trip to Italy and it was because of Robert and Lili. I can't say enough good things about them and Espressino Travel!
- Laurie V, New Jersey
Best trip EVER!!!!!! I loved every minute of this tour.
If you love good food, this is the trip for you!! Espressino Travel takes you on a trip to remember. You will only experience the best of the best of what the Salento has to offer. I loved the intimate, hands on setting of the cooking lessons and pizza making. Meeting different locals and having them share their passions was another highlight to the trip. We were welcomed so warmly everywhere we went, I didn't feel like a pesky tourist. This is a testament to not only the people of the Salento but also about the relationships Lili and Robert have established there. The accommodations are stellar and relaxing. Bring your appetite and everything else is taken care of. Lili and Robert ensure your experience in the Salento will be filled with lasting memories and full bellies. I had the most amazing, spectacular experience!
- Charissa C., Port Moody, Canada
Outstanding - really outstanding.
Every so often you meet people that leave such a good impression on you, that it shapes your whole perspective on a place. Robert and Lili did this for us. Solento is an incredible place, and so much more so, thanks to the fantastic hospitality this couple shared with us. They are fun, knowledgeable, considerate and kind. Their friends in Leece reflect the same values and made our stay in Puglia really, really special. Few people speak English in Solento, so having such well connected and specialised guides, oozing passion about the culture, history and people of Solento is invaluable. Even better, they showed a genuine interest in who we were as people. I consider them friends and recommend their guided tours as an excellent way to experience this wonderful region of Italy.
- Ropata T, Motueka, New Zealand
Espressino Travel and its operators, Robert and Lili were over the top outstanding. I cannot express enough how comfortable, and inspired I was. I experienced several of their excursions which included cooking classes, day trips to neighboring towns, and even my first "Sagra/Festival". They are knowledgeable, witty, engaging and somehow know all the hidden gems throughout the Salento region that many locals are surprised by. They surpassed all my expectations and then some. The best money I have ever spent on a vacation. Simply Fantastic. Grazie Robert and Lili!
- Lisa S, Toronto
A Highly Recommended Experience in Puglia
Early June 2015 the wife, and teens and I arrived in Puglia for our first visit to the region - naive to the area and it's cuisine we were put in touch with Rob & Lilli (Espressino founders) who suggested a visit to the regional city of Lecce for a street food tour of this historical and architecturally stunning city.
The welcoming smiles of Rob and Lilli greeted us on the steps of the Roman Amphitheatre on the main square, within 5 minutes we were sat down devouring local delicacies which included Arancini (Fried rice balls), Pasticiotto (Local custard tart, with a short lard based pastry) and Pittule (Deep fried savoury dough balls), Il Rustico (Puff pastry tartlets with Mozzarella and Bechamel).
It was instantly evident that our hosts were both extremely knowledgeable of the language , its historical sights and had a fantastic rapport with the local food heroes. During the course of the next 4 hours we enjoyed a comfortable well-paced tour of the established and perhaps off beaten tracks of the city, interspersed with plenty of pit stops at small Artisanal eateries where we enjoyed fabulous local wines, cheeses and meats... oh and pasta, sour dough pizza, ice creams, iced coffee with Almond syrup......
Rob and Lilli are in short, bloody great, very personable, passionate and know their onions, it was like catching up with good friends., so informal and relaxed.
I've been fortunate enough to travel to many of the worlds regions, enjoying amazing food and local culture - to anyone who is considering an Espressino tour I can assure you that you are in for a unique experience and a real treat.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that we returned three days later to do it all again (different eateries and watering holes of course).
Rob, Lilli you are a credit to the region - thanks so much - see you guys next year.
- Noel, Coco, Wendy and Savannah, London, UK
Traveling with Insiders in Puglia!
My husband and I spent three days in the Salento region of Puglia with Espressino Travel in October 2015. We've self-guided ourselves throughout Italy for years, but what a difference with Espressino Travel. We could do as much or as little as we pleased. So we wandered through groves of olive trees (with the owner narrating); ate and drank well at every stop, usually with captivating sea views; melded with the very local crowd in the tiniest town in the Salento under the hypnotic spell of the Pizzica dancer and band; and fell in love with Lecce. Lili and Robert are charming and accommodating, knowledgable about Italian history, art and architecture, music and food. We had a blast. And when we left Lecce, they drove us to the car rental agency to make sure everything went smoothly. We even got an upgrade because they knew the operator!
- Anita D, Seattle
I've been back a few weeks already but i'm still thinking about what an amazing week I had in Puglia.
Espressino Travel was the perfect way to see and experience an area of Italy I'd never been before. We stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel just a few minutes walk from the centre of Lecce. The breakfast including freshly baked cakes was delicious. Lecce itself was lovely and the home to some of the best pizza ever, which we made with the very skilled teaching of Maurizio who insisted on us having wine at 11am - which is definitely the way to make a pizza! This was just the start of our eating and wine drinking fiestas that we had on a daily basis. Amazing restaurants, amazing wines and amazing settings, all in the company of a great bunch of people! My particular favourite restaurant was in Gallipoli overlooking the sea which was so beautiful and like something out of a movie. We had a brilliant group of people who were all so fun and easy to get on with.
Robert and Lili were fantastic, being friendly and welcoming from the outset and making us all feel at ease throughout. The trip was brilliantly organised but still had enough flexibility for people to join in or not join in as they wished. They also made sure my dietary requirements were met with no fuss or attention drawn to it. If you like food and you like Italy, you'll love Espressino Travel. I can't stop recommending it to people.
- Lauren C, London, UK
I traveled on Espressino's one week tour in September. Puglia is a beautiful place and Lili and Robert did an outstanding job - everything was perfectly planned and executed - incredible visits to gorgeous towns and villages and wonderful food. Great cooking classes, a pizza lesson and even a lesson at an incredible gelato maker. Lecce is lovely - the architecture is amazing and the people are warm and friendly. The accommodations were superb. I highly recommend working with Lili and Robert and Espressino Travel's one week Puglia tour.
- Marla R, Boston
Authentic, unique and highly memorable.
I spent several days exploring Lecce and the surrounding Salento region with kind, charming and hilarious Lili & Robert. Immediately I felt like I was getting the insider's scope and being taken to perfectly Italian spots that i would never have found on my own or in a guide book. They tailored the experience to my interests and let me explore at my own pace. Espressino Travel was the perfect match maker that helped me fall in love with the charm and beauty of Puglia.
I will tell everyone I know to look up these special people.
- Robin B, Vancouver
Espressino Travel is Top Notch.
Words alone cannot express my gratitude to Robert and Lily for the time we spent in Puglia, Italy with our group of 10. Their knowledge of the area and history as well as the places to see and go (restaurants, wineries, Masserias) is un-matched in my extensive travelling experience. We stayed one night in Ostuni and six in Lecce. Every moment was one to remember. By the end of the first day, Rob and Lily felt like a part of our family. Their total concern for our well-being and in ensuring we had the best of times was nothing less than anyone could have hoped for. I would recommend Espressino to anyone wanting to travel to the beautiful region of Puglia. I would have to say that this vacation rates right up there with the best I have ever had and likely THE best.
- Tony A, New Jersey
This is the way everyone should get to experience Italy. Robert and Lili take you to all the best places, best food, and look after you as if you were family. You couldn't ask for a better travel spot, but Espressino Travel provides the best immersion into the Italian culture and people.
When a trip makes you want to pack up and move there, you know things are being done exquisitely. Do you want to enjoy amazing meals every day? Take this tour. Do you want to walk along beautiful beaches? Take this tour. Do you want to eat gelato every day, drink amazing wines, meet wonderful locals, and be surrounded by history and culture at every turn??? Take. This. Tour.
My Espressino Travel tour was the best gift I could have given myself.
Laura J, Vancouver, Canada
I just wanted to thank you both so much for a really wonderful, memorable trip. It definitely exceeded my expectations, which are very high! The trip was so well organised and your personal touches made it so special. Nothing was ever too much trouble. Where we stayed, Mantatelure, and all the restaurants we went to were amazing, and of course all the locals we met! I am missing everyone already!
- Annabel H, London, UK
Travelling with Lili and Robert from Espressino Travel was pure perfection. I love finding spots off the beaten track, and with these two as your guides you’ll see the most magical hidden corners of Italy. Not only will they find the most amazing restaurants and cafes, they know the owners and staff personally, and you’ll be welcomed with the warmest of arms. They are both so passionate about travel in Italy that every minute or our trip was coloured with laughter, love, and history. Robert always had an amazing fact about some statue or historical road, and Lili was always ready with her map of the best cafes when you needed a history break and were ready for a mach attack (our name for caffe macchiatos). Yum!
These two truly take you on a journey you will never forget. They seek out the best, and know how to enjoy it when they find it. I feel so lucky to have travelled with them as I now have the most magic memories of Italy.
- Roselle H, Vancouver, BC, Canada
I thoroughly enjoyed every day – the activities organised and the food!! Probably the most outstanding part was the service we received, not only from the individuals we met but also from Robert and Lili. You were both incredibly accommodating to everyone's needs, going over and above and ensuring we were all happy and comfortable at all times. You both really made the trip.
- Louise A, London, UK
How often do you get to actually know the local people in a foreign country? Not very. Everyone we met was delightful and eager to share themselves with us.
- Margaret J, Bellingham, USA
Lili and Robert are two of the most genuine, caring, and composed people I have been lucky enough to meet. Being around them in Lecce was always simply a pleasure. They are a part of what made our group feel like such a family in such a short time. Part of the reason I was so thrilled when I heard about Espressino Travel is because of the view they have of the Salento region. They know the true heart of the area, and I could not think of a better way to see Lecce than with their guidance.
- Brooke C., Columbus, USA
I am already recommending others to go on the trip...doesn't that say it all?
- Ken A, Coquitlam, Canada
The first time I met Lili and Robert of Espressino Travel was when we shared a table in a small Italian restaurant. Their enthusiasm for Italy was obvious. Lili's affability and organizational diligence, combined with Robert’s journalistic research skills, made them the perfect couple to road-test my book An Appetite for Puglia. They've spent a lot of time in the region since then, and I can confirm that they are observant and fun travelling companions whose meticulous organization makes spontaneous detours possible. Their skills, knowledge, address books and ability to find a good time around every corner are a winning combination.
- Christine Smallwood, Author and Puglia Expert, London, UK
The first time I ever toured around a country with someone else was when Robert and Lili led me across Italy. After spending years backpacking, exploring and adventuring across continents on my own, I was a little hesitant to put that responsibility in somebody else's hands. I’m glad I did. I never would have met the people we met, nor found the places they found, on my own. They are honorary Italians and are loved by the locals. They’re thoughtful, resourceful, and while we were travelling together they were always aware of how I was doing. I’d encourage anyone to jump on board one of their tours.
- Adam B., Vancouver, BC, Canada
I have travelled around Italy a lot but nothing compares to a trip with Lili and Robert from Espressino Travel. The accommodation they sourced was lovely and I have never eaten better. The most amazing restaurant I ever ate in was one they took us to. They seem to have some uncanny knack for uncovering magical gems of restaurants. Our trip was a great mix of relaxation, adventure and amazing food and wine. Lili and Robert themselves are the most gracious and entertaining hosts and wonderful travel guides! I had an amazing tour of Italy and left with memories I will treasure always.
- Sarah H, London, UK
If you've ever wanted to tour Italy properly - as in, soaking up the olive oil, vino, and basically tasting and seeing everything that is as indescribably delicious and divine as the best Italian gelato, then these are the people to book your holiday with! Not only will you see, sip and taste the very best...they are also lovely people to be around!
- Eve I, Paris, France
Mamma mia, what can I say about Lili and Robert (herein called Roberto, to give him that 'oh so local' flavor)? If it weren’t for their insight, information and integrity, I might still be wandering around Lecce, looking for that perfect plate of pasta, grand gelato or interesting interaction. If you don’t want to read the details, and just 'cut to the chase', I recommend that you use their services and you will be pleased beyond your expectations. Here are some highlights of my Lili and Roberto jaunts and adventures:
Beach trips that were fun and relaxing.
Exploring unusual, hidden corners of the city, wherein we had a good time interacting with the locals.
Friendly service at internationally known eateries, without waiting, and with special dishes prepared by 'Mamma' in the kitchen.
The best gelato ever.
Movies, walking-talking tours, shopping, adventures, café sitting with people watching, outdoor dining…
I have memories to last a lifetime, filled with laughter and good cheer. What else is there?
- Lea A., Chicago, USA
We were so impressed with Lili and Robert of Espressino Travel. They were with our group (5 couples/all friends) from beginning (Oct. 10) to end (Oct. 19). They were so accommodating. We laughed, we drank wine, we ate, we cooked, we walked through the most beautiful towns. We stayed at La Sommita. This was a beautiful place high on top of Ostuni. Then we stayed in La Mantatelure in Lecce (Gorgeous and Relaxing). We learned how to make pizza at Pizza & Co from Mauricio and Gianna taught us how to make so many wonderful Italian dishes and pick out fish at the fish market. We had a lesson in Gelato making and tasting (my personal favorite). We visited two wineries and two Olive Farms. We frequented a delicious coffee shop called Avia. All I can say is OMG!!! We did get an hour or so each day for a little rest back at the hotels.
This was definitely our best and most favorite vacations EVER. We made great friends with Lili and Robert and they now are La Familia. Miss You Guys!
- Nancy D, New York