After many failed plans of touring India, it was work that finally brought Italian couple Giorgio and Martina (@inviaggiocoltubo) to the country. The duo’s adventures in the lanes of Old Delhi, the city of Agra, and the wilderness of Jim Corbett National Park won the hearts of their ever-growing Instagram followers. And now, they can’t wait to return and explore some more. By Adila Matra
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is the story behind ‘inviaggiocoltubo’?
We’re an Italian travel couple. In 2013, we decided to leave Italy for a year, to travel around Australia. That trip made us realise that we wanted to make a living out of travel, so we began sharing our adventures through videos and photos. Eventually, it became our full-time job. ‘In Viaggio col Tubo’ means ‘travelling with the tube’; the tube refers to YouTube since that is the platform we began with.
What prompted you to travel to India?
It was for a job! We were very curious about India, but for one reason or another, we couldn’t organise a trip. So, when this opportunity came, we were very happy. The goal was to tell the story of a trip to Delhi for Alitalia, but since visiting the Taj Mahal had been on our bucket list, we dropped by Agra as well.
What was your first impression of India?
The first impression was overwhelming: we arrived early in the morning and couldn’t find a driver willing to take us to the hotel that we booked. So, we decided to go back to the airport, waited for our local SIM card to activate, booked another hotel, and asked them to send their driver. It was probably the most stressful morning of all our journeys, but things got better. Really better.
Which places did you visit in the country? And which one turned out to be your favourite?
We spent four days in Delhi, between the old and new city, and one day in Agra. We also visited the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. The Taj Mahal and Red Fort turned out to be amazing.
Can you narrate one experience that stands out from your trip?
Our sweetest memory is an intimate tour with a local guide in Old Delhi. His name was Dhruv, and he took us to some places that tourists don’t know exist: we went to the flower market [in Old Delhi], where thousands of flower petals were scattered on the floor to dry; we went up to one of the roofs and witnessed a pigeon-flying competition, and we had a meal at Dhruv’s home.
A word of advice to international travellers visiting India for the first time.
Organise your trip well, but be prepared to change plans on the go. Traffic in Delhi is something else, and moving around the city can take a lot of time.
How do you suggest international travellers plan their visit?
We had a plan and we wanted to do everything by ourselves, but we quickly understood that it would be better to ask for help from guides like Dhruv who, other than the Old Delhi tour, also helped us plan the trip to Agra. But if it’s your first time in India and you want to have a relaxed experience, we recommend [going with] a travel agency.
What’s next on your Indian bucket list?
Our next choice will be Jaipur and other regions in Rajasthan, or the far north of the country. We also want to organise an Indian wedding for ourselves— we like to get married in different ceremonies around the world!
Top five travel essentials while moving around in India.
A bottle of water, shoes that are easy to remove if you want to visit temples, a pashmina to cover your head, cash, and a camera.