Go Away With … Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri

John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino, HGTV hosts and licensed contractors.

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
September 15, 2015

Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri are the hosts of the HGTV television series “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens.” Based out of New Jersey, Carrino, 36, and Colaneri, 34, travel constantly for work. Despite this, they say that they still enjoy traveling for fun. Carrino just returned from a motorcycle trip around Italy. And Colaneri says he looks forward to taking another road trip, like the kind he took as a kid with his parents.

“Experience and do as much as you can while traveling,” Colaneri says. “This is the time to get adventurous and immerse in the culture.”

For more information on the cousins, check out their Facebook fan page.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. Colaneri: (It was a trip) with my parents, cross-country to 32 states. I was only 2 years old, so I do not remember a lot of it. But the pictures at the Grand Canyon, California and Texas are just priceless.

A. Carrino: The first trip I can remember was our annual camping trip up on Cape Cod in North Truro. My parents had an SUV so they would put the seats down, lay out sleeping bags and my brother and I would go to sleep at a normal bedtime in the back with all the gear packed around us. My dad would leave at 3 a.m. and we would sleep most of the way up. I would always wake up early and co-pilot with him for the last hour or so. Not only the first one, but all of these trips remain very close to my heart to this day. They were amazing trips spending quality time with family camping, fishing, going to beaches, bike-riding and four-wheeling. I still have my love of camping today because of these trips.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Carrino: Going to Italy is like going home for me. I grew up going there on business trips with my Dad, and even before that I learned to walk there as a baby when my parents were visiting friends. It is a very special place to me. The biggest thing I tell people is to not do too much. Embrace the culture, the people, the food, the city … let it engulf you. Italy is not a place you want to run through to just hit the sites, there is so much more to it. Do fewer cities and really dive into the culture.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

A. Carrino: People are people no matter where you go. You watch the news and there are always conflicts and countries on the danger travel list, but at the end of the day those are leaders who have problems with other leaders, for the most part. When you talk to people, they have the same fears, challenges, joys and families as we all do. Gaining that perspective is important to treat people with compassion and understanding. A perfect, simple example is when a tourist asks for directions in New York City. I always slow down and make sure to take the time to help them understand where they are going.

Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?

A. Carrino: I was in Istanbul two years ago and I have pulled a lot from that experience. Their use of pattern and textiles is incredible and some of their traditional shapes are quite different and very interesting.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. Colaneri: I would love to travel to Asia for a month. It is one part of the world I have never been to and I want to learn so much about. I feel like it would be an experience like no other.

A. Carrino: A one-year motorcycle trip around the world with no schedule, just a loose plan.

Q. What is your best vacation memory?

A. Colaneri: Driving along the Amalfi Coast with my wife and just taking in the amazing scenery all around us. At that moment, it felt like we were the only two people in the entire world.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Carrino: I just got back from Venice with my girlfriend, and there is simply nothing like this city. We both agreed it blows Paris away from a romantic perspective. I love Paris (and have) nothing against it!

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Colaneri: An island that many people do not know about is Anguilla. It is in the Eastern Caribbean and it has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. Carrino: I’m a dual citizen, so when I travel to Europe, my (European Union) passport is a must! I am permitted to enter the country as a local, so we avoid major lines at customs and our adventures start right away. The only other must for me are my cameras.

© 2015 JAE-HA KIM


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