Puglia: Eat, Create, Connect!May 24 to June 3, 2020


Get ready to dive into an ancient past. Still relatively undiscovered, Puglia is the last region of the Italian boot between the Adriatic and the Ionian sea. Its strategic position and the incredibly fertile soil made it very attractive to many colonizers and invaders who over the centuries left their cultural, language, artistic and gastronomic patrimony. This will be our backdrop and playground for a relaxing, stimulating, creative, and inspiring 10 days. 

We will be cooking with locals in their homes, staying in beautiful centuries old villas, taking day trips to charming old towns, tour thousands of years old olive trees, create along side of a professional artist in his villas, and much more for a total feast of the senses. 


Not your ordinary tourist vacation but an insightful experience accompanied by locals who bring narratives, historical and cultural context to what we see. Christine and Antimo will facilitate the creative dialogue, help with understanding and appreciating, as well as empathizing with other peoples’ perspectives. Understanding culture in its context empowers us to share our creativity and talents and it leads to a deeper connection with ourselves and what is most important in our lives. 

This trip will provide opportunities to experience and being inspired by the voice and creative expression of others including artists of various kinds. You will interact with Giuseppe Greco a dear friend of Antimo who worked on two commissions from the Vatican; musicians who maintain alive the Pizzica and Tarantella dance; ceramic artists, artisans, farmers, wine makers and of course ladies whose food will delight your palate. 




Antimo Cimino

Antimo is the founder of VoomaGo and a native of Manduria, Puglia. He will be your primary guide and driver during this trip, introducing you to family and friends as we travel through the region. Not only, on a couple of occasions he will be preparing breakfast or cook a meal for the group. Antimo is very passionate about food, wine, travel and culture and loves to share his knowledge with his clients. 

After graduating from culinary school, Antimo worked in Florence and then moved to Portland Oregon to complete his Master in Intercultural Relations. He is well travelled and speaks six languages. On his spare time Antimo enjoys painting, photography, drawing, hiking, practicing wellness and meditation, gardening and of course cooking. 

Christine Martell

Christine is a Teaching Artist whose greatest joy is facilitating creativity in others. During the trip she will facilitate the discovery process and offer suggestions on how you might use your senses to infuse your life with a little bit of Italy. You will be able to work with Christine to explore a variety of media in the present surroundings. Christine will help you bring out and express your creative side even when you don’t think you have one.


She has known Antimo for more than fifteen years and has worked with him on a few creative projects. She shares a love of cooking, food, and wine. When Antimo showed her the ancient olive trees in the region, she was immediately inspired and just had to join him. She is already working on translating some of Antimo’s photos into textile art. 


Christine holds a BFA from RISD and a Masters in Teaching. She brings creativity and art to a wide variety of settings and age groups. You can learn more about her at christinemartell.com 


Three ancient villas have been selected for this particular experience and where we will be staying at:

The first one from the early 1900s outside of Gallipoli. Located 15-20 minutes walk from the old town and just a short walk from beautiful beaches on the Ionian Sea.

The second one from the mid 1700s in the countryside outside Manduria. Situated in the middle of an olive grove with a beautiful swimming pool.

The last one from 1600s a short walk from the old town of Locorotondo, surrounded by a fairytale like landscape, you will be staying in a trulli house, reading, drawing, or just relaxing around the grounds or the swimming pool.


Four stars quality accommodations – Private transportation – Two meals per day – Guides – Cooking with locals – Visit and shopping to local markets – Sightseeing – Hiking – Private guided history and architecture walks – Visit to local wineries – Day trips and excursions – Meals with Locals – Organic seasonal produce –  Workshops with local artists, and much much more!

Note: You will be responsible for your airfare, hotel incidentals and additional libations, and airport to hotel transfers. Suggested Gratuity (5-8%) – Gratuity is a kind gesture expressing your gratitude for the efforts and the work that go into making your travels memorable. 


Start your travel from the US on May 23rd to arrive the following day in Brindisi (Airport Code BDS). 

If you plan to return home at the end of the trip, you should book your return flight on June 3rd.

Depending on your arrival time, group or individual transfers to the villa in Gallipoli can be arranged at a reasonable additional cost.

Note: Flying in and out of Rome FCO will likely be cheaper, however you will need to buy a separate Alitalia Ticket from Rome to Brindisi. This is particularly advisable should you plan to spend a few additional days on your own in Rome. If not you can certainly compare the cost of arriving in and departing from Brindisi. For your route, the best connecting flights are via Rome Fiumicino (FCO).

Support with booking your flights:

We highly recommend our agency partner for domestic and international flights and connections. They offer excellent Business Class rates (to all destinations), and competitive quotes on all coach seats. Finding the best flight times and minimum connections will bake a big difference in your travel experience. We want you to have peace of mind and agency support in case of the unexpected. ***Please note that discount internet fares are often mixed airlines, longer connections, highly restricted and non refundable, and do not provide support***

For quotes, questions, or advice, please contact: gene@surfcitytravel.com (Expect a reply within 24h during regular business hours).

Trip Insurance

Protecting your trip and vacation is very important as a variety of events could cause a financial loss before or during the trip. We require proof of Travel Insurance Coverage through our partners (Squaremouth) – their policies are built accordingly to your needs and concerns. The cost of a policy depends on: the cost of the trip, your age, the length of the trip, any pre-existing conditions, and the amount and type of coverage.

Flight Insurance

We recommend you buy travel insurance for your flight at the time you book your airfare as most coach class are non refundable but changeable with standard airline fees.

Please note, flight insurance is separate and only covers your flight. Let us know at the time of booking if you have any pre-existing conditions that may require better comprehensive coverage.



Per Person (Double Occupancy): $5,100

Per Person (Single Occupancy): $6,100

Early Bird Registration

Sign up between September-November 2019 to save $300.

To keep the group small and intimate, space is limited to 10 travelers. In order to book your spot a non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required. (Your deposit will apply toward the balance)

A basic or comprehensive Travel Insurance coverage through our partners (Squaremouth) is required. 

 FOR ANY QUESTIONS email Antimo OR CALL 503 7206214