A completely different way of getting to know a destination

A completely different way of getting to know a destination

My Joinbed experience in Sergio’s house by Raffaella Catania.

The concept of travel and tourism has changed a lot in recent years; once upon a time, it was thought of as a holiday from work or study, whereas today it is a considered a break, a way to escape from the daily routine and a chance to live a different, more profound experience.

This new trend, with its emphasis on experience, is the core business of Joinbed, the first Italian portal devoted to experiential tourism.

I too wanted to live an experience with Joinbed and last weekend I was in Agrigento as a guest of Sergio, a highly cultured architect and a very kind, hospitable man who acted as my guide to his city, following the themes of art and craftsmanship to discover museums, workshops and art studios.

It was a completely different way of getting to know a destination, first and foremost because you are a guest in his house, among his belongings, his paintings and his rather particular furnishings. Also because, being in close contact with the host, you get to the heart of city life, you get to know traditions and customs, you taste the typical local food and you get to know the people, the ones who can really give you a glimpse of reality.

This is how I met Giuseppe Agozzino and had the pleasure of entering his workshop. He is a true artist and with his pictorial art he tells of colourful, dreamlike worlds. His works seem to have a life of their own, often being inspired by listening to a song or reinterpreting a classic piece of literature.

I visited an ancient monastery and ate the sweets prepared by the expert hands of the cloistered nuns, including a sweet version of couscous!

I entered the fantastic world of Sicilian puppets made entirely by hand by Carmelo Guarnieri. It takes months of work just to make one, slices of life that tell another sort of existence, stories of knights, damsels and eternal love.

I also climbed onto the stage of one of the most beautiful theatres in Sicily, the Pirandello Theatre, built in 1870. The theatre is accessed through the beautiful cloister of the Palazzo dei Giganti, the seat of local government. And it is from the theatre that one then enters the hypogeum, or underground vaults, of the Acqua Amara, so called because the water that flowed in the bowels of the earth was evidently not very pleasant. It is part of a complex system of tunnels that provided the city’s water supply. It is thought that these tunnels carried water even as far as the Valley of the Temples.

I visited excavations that are still in progress, bringing to light an ancient Roman spa. It was fascinating to find out how archaeologists investigate what they dig up and give answers to puzzles by studying the types of stone used or the shape of the building.

Sergio really managed to convey the authenticity of the area and the historical traditions of the place in a simple, natural and uncontrived way. It made me live the experience without making me feel like an outsider.

I find Joinbed a very modern and highly effective idea that plays to the traveller’s emotions, because a tourist product can easily be bought, but it is the personal experience that we remember over time.

Articolo realizzato in collaborazione con Raffaella Catania, 34 anni, siciliana, addetto stampa e lifestyle blogger; appassionata d’arte, cucina e di fotografia.

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