When they ask me how “Travel with Gianni” was born I pause for a moment and think back to when it all started. This takes me back a long way.
For me “Travel with Gianni” means a dream come true. It is the baby of Giambattista Comes, known by everyone as “Gianni“.
The dream was to return home! Right here, where it all began. In that old town whose smells I knew so well. In the narrow alleys that I used to run along reaching my brother in the warehouse where he repaired his fishing nets. The promenade where I used to walk to watch the waves crashing on the rocks and from which I would come home happy with my face wet from the seasalt. That blue sea of early mornings so calm before everyone woke up.
Already as a child I felt that there was something special about my hometown. Playing in the narrow alleys I could feel the energy of the past imprinted on every stone by all the conquerors who reached our shores. Cultures that have left us their heritage: from the Greeks to the Normans, from the Byzantines to the Staufers, the Spanish, the Habsburger and the Bourbons. Thanks to this mix of civilizations my Monopoly was born in the beautiful region of Puglia. To be able to show it one day to all my guests has always been my dream; to be able to guide them through my old town and let them relive the same emotions that I had experienced in this small white village by the sea; to show everyone the white farmhouses of our ancestors in our countryside; to cook together the recipes of our Apulian tradition that I love so much.
The day came when I left my homeland like so many others to travel the world. Working in many different countries has been a blessing, it has allowed me to learn a lot. But I belong to this town and today I am happy to be back here and to welcome friends and visitors from all over the world who want to get to know my homeland.
Monopoli, Puglia. I am here to share the happiness and be happy.