Antimo is a passionate and multi-faceted Italian born and raised in Puglia. He moved to the USA to pursue an education in International Studies in 1996. He holds a masters degree in Intercultural Relations and speaks six languages fluently. Cimino is proud to have left the corporate world behind to follow his passion for intercultural communication and travel. His dream is to have his own travel show and to educate tourists to take a leap of faith and to adventure more off the tourist circuit in order to discover the real and authentic culture of the places and people they visit. Antimo loves to introduce travelers to the variety of lifestyles the locals have so they can have an up and close experience of what it is like to be an Italian. In his travels, Antimo practices and shares his passion for wellness. He is a firm believer that travel should be a multi-sensory experience with three necessary elements: people, food, and wine.
How do the experiences you offer at VoomaGo give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of the regions where you travel?
The goal of our experiences is a multi-sensory one. Instead of learning about Italian culture through the arts, architecture and visits to touristy places such as Florence, Venice, or Rome, we provide authentic opportunities for travelers to mingle with locals away from the usual tourist circuit. We visit humble homes of farmers, artists, chefs, wine makers, and cheese makers so that people experience Italy through a series of In-the-Life-of.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
At the beginning, for the most part we sought out regular people, friends and family willing to share their lifestyle and culture, and were willing to invite people into their homes, country side, studios, and kitchens. What has evolved is the comfort of the locals who at first felt nervous about the service they were providing. Now, after working with me for a while, they simply have fun and make new friends who live on the other side of the planet from them.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Time and time again, guests love the experiences and can see how deep my ties with the locals are, they witness how much respect they have for me. What is not evident to guests is the hidden sense of obligation that locals feel toward me, and which, in turn, makes the experience magical. That sense of obligation is a cultural relational value of close friendship and family in Italy.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in a trip with VoomaGo?
Guest should know that they are in for a lot more than they can possibly imagine. They are going to broaden their friendship circle, the memories they will be building will last forever, the emotional pay back is beyond their expectations and that it will touch them deeply.
What is one piece of clothing or equipment guests should have to maximize their enjoyment of the experiences you offer?
Well, experience so far has shown that every single guest ends up buying one or two suitcases. Not just because of the personal shopping in Italy but because our locals give them things like food, olive oil, and limoncello as a sign of gratitude. And, if not that, an old pair of tennis shoes you don’t mind leaving behind after helping out in the grape harvest!
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
I am excited by the desire of travelers to delve deeper into a country/culture. The active participatory aspect of experiencing a different culture, instead of passively watching on the sidelines or from a bus.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
It is very, very simple: be humble, be an empty canvas, don’t have preconceived ideas, observe and learn from the locals, let travel be a teacher.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Presenting on the topic of experiential travel, speaking authenticity about why I like to share this way of traveling and in particular, Italy. People find my passion infectious and they refer me to others. Additionally, I ask past clients if they want to be my champions and offer them very good rewards when they find friends who want to go on experiential trips to Italy with me.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
If resilience is a habit, that is it. When I clicked with what was my passion (experiential travel) I put all I had into it to make it work and to express that passion every day with joy.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
I can’t possibly ever forget and I am glad it happens almost every single time. After guest have spent 3 to 4 days in my hometown or with close friends and family learning how to make pasta, wine, cheese and share meals together, the goodbyes are very emotional. The biggest smiles come out, tears flow freely, laughter and invitations to visit them to the USA always take place. It gives me chills along my spine to see such an authentic expression affection and gratitude. It pleases me immensely to see that these humble poor locals are traveling vicariously through my clients. This only fuels me to continue to this for the rest of my life!