One of the many pleasures of travel is the ability to meet and get to know the locals — and that includes your tour guides. Puglia isn’t a destination very well known by many considering a trip to Italy, but it’s a beautiful one, with so many things to see and do (and eat!) Our travel coordinator Adrian Hall spent some time visiting the area with our partner and tour guide in Puglia, Augusto, and here Augusto shares a bit of his love of the region, and what he loves about introducing people to his part of the world. (Augusto is pictured on the right).
When did you become a tour guide? Why did you decide to work in the tourism industry?
It was back in 2009, when I founded my company, pushed by the desire to spread the voice about Puglia to the world!
How did you learn about the history and sites of Puglia?
Having always lived here, most of my background comes from having visited most of the region personally since I was young with my family, when I started also to learn the stories and the facts about this amazing land, today being able to pass this to enthusiastic visitors.
Check out a delicious Pugliese recipe for Mussels with Rice and Potatoes.
How do you get people interested in the places they see and visit?
This is the funniest part of this job: I introduce people into a town, a food market or a winery in the most natural and easy way. They feel like locals rather then tourists and this leaves them an unforgettable memory, which is the experience we all look for.
Where is your favorite place to bring guests, and why?
The ladies in the old town in Bari making fresh “orecchiette” pasta is always an iconic moment, there’s everything in there: the food, the heritage, the proudness of these simple people being there every day of the year to serve the hungry local (not only…) community in the most authentic way.
Why should people choose your tour/vacation over other trips to Italy?
A tour in Puglia is surprisingly different in many ways, as being an unspoilt and out of the mass tourism destinations. It will steal your heart with its great food, superb wines, rural landscapes and amazing culture and history, with a touch of authenticity and simplicity. And with us is much more fun!
Anything else you’d like to say about your background and your trip?
When guests arrive in Puglia they are a bit suspicious and take the trip as a sort of bet, most of them have never been here before and/or south of Rome. Each day during the tour I can see their faces more and more relaxed and happy for what they’re experiencing. At the end of the week, no one will leave without watery eyes and with no other words other then “thank you, we never expected anything close to this”, and this is the main reason why I keep doing tours in Puglia.
Augusto would love to welcome you to Puglia. His trip, with accommodations at a lovely and elegant masseria (working farm), includes five hands-on cooking classes, as well visits to local artisans, like an ancient oil mill. Weeks are available on request any time during the year (except July and August) for a minimum of two people.
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