Traveling from the comfort of your couch with Loquis
We know that there are different activities to escape from everyday life, activities that can teleport us to a parallel world, such as reading and watching films. The cultural richness given by human interaction with a person from another place, however, can hardly be replicated while staying in our living room. But Loquis gets very close.
It is a made in Italy app that collects over 100 thousand travel stories, 70 thousand of which talk about Italian places and the other 30 thousand tell of places outside the Italian peninsula. The app uses geolocation to recommend audio guides on sightseeing places nearby. It is a collection of tourism related podcasts in which the narrating voices are guides in the flesh, each with their own way of talking and interacting.
The idea for Loquis was actually born in 2018, but it only came to life towards the end of 2019, just before the outbreak of the pandemic that freezed the tourism sector. In fact, due to the forced isolation, the app had a boom in the period that went between March and November, registering a growth of 100%.
The founder of the start-up is Bruno Pellegrini who, thanks to the investments of Feltrinelli, Digital Magics and other small investors who participated in a 2020 crowdfunding on MamaCrowd, gave life to the project. Pellegrini says that the idea came “during a road trip, while I was returning home and crossing central Italy on the E45”. His intent was to create “a service that would organize for me everything there was to know about a place, collected from different sources, and that read me what could interest me, just like brief podcasts”.
Initially the app was designed to get to know the places where you traveled, but due to the pandemic, it has turned into a fun escape route towards ancient villages and distant landscapes, to be discovered while sitting comfortably on the sofa. There are “stories of all kinds: there are channels dedicated to film tourism and the places where the most famous films were shot, channels about the noir events that took place there, about street art and restaurants, about the places of resistance and the great war, on fantastic and esoteric places, on artists and famous people who have lived there”, and also “channels on the neighborhoods that are narrated every day, such as Pigneto and Tufello in Rome, and many personal but super exciting channels”.
Stories are created and told by hundreds of users, who are no more than ordinary people and travel enthusiasts. There are also some famous faces of the Italian scene such as Stefano Fresi and Carlo Infante among the narrators.