Special Edition:  Reporting from Le Langhe

Dear Friends – It’s been an interesting year so far, to say the least! Slowly but steadily things have gotten back to normal here in Piemonte and in Italy. As we write, the Italian Government just decided for the next few months’ health policies to keep us all safe and healthy, but we just could not sit around and wait any longer! With such beautiful weather, the flexibility of health emergency rules, and vicinity to the beloved destination of Langhe and Roero, this past weekend we went to visit some of our local friends and run a test-tour for you!

First and foremost: people are as welcoming as we remembered, even more actually: whoever works in the wine, food and travel industry is really looking forward to receiving customers and get back to the social life that is such an important part of what they do every day!

We socialized, ate, and drank, went for walks, relaxed, took naps, and looked at the beautiful scenery. Breathtaking views over the Barolo hills for breakfast, sunset over a wonderful dinner, terraces in Verduno and La Morra that have the most amazing views of the prized vineyards, and a quick pick at the Cappella del Barolo – nothing was missing! We tested it all for you and we are 101% sure now you will have the most wonderful time when you’ll join Via Vitae Travels in 2021 for our Passion for Piemonte Tour!

Here are some pictures of our mini-vacation (by Vanda Z. C. – all rights reserved). Thanks mom for the pics! See it with your own eyes what awaits for you next year. Enjoy!!


About Le Langhe and Roero

The Langhe and Roero district of Italy is famous for being one of the most charming landscapes in the Region of Piedmont, and Italy. Rolling hills, quaint villages atop of cliffs,  prized vineyards, and long gastronomic traditions. For food and wine lovers, this area is the height of excellence, ideal for relaxing and enjoying the good life along with nature and art.

About Via Vitae Travels

Via Vita Travels specializes in customized wine, culinary and cultural vacations highlighting specific regions in Italy. Through the years we have established solid local relationships, in many regions of Italy as Piemonte, Veneto, and Puglia. Each package we offer allows you to experience the region as a local instead of as a tourist and it’s crafted for intimate groups, never more than 12 people, to enhance the overall experience. See, do, and taste things most tourists never have the opportunity to experience! We invite you to take this journey of life with us!


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In early June, Italy began reopening to tourists. Here’s what US travelers need to know about traveling to Italy.  read more –>

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The Italian wine initiative to cheer us up!

Luca Balbiano and Father in their vineyard ‘Villa della Regina’ overlooking Torino.

We constantly work to keep you updated on all-Italian things: life, Holidays, recurrences, and news. Our BLOG and NEWSLETTER are your best option to stay up to date with what is happening in the country of La Dolce Vita!

Read about the initiative Stappatincasa in our latest newsletter.

Via Vitae Travels is working already to get things set up for you and your group with customized tours in Italy for the year 2021.

See all our 2021 tour dates and information.


Contact us at 269-317-2239 to schedule today your journey of a lifetime!


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Special Edition: Stappatincasa – The Italian wine Initiative to cheer us up

As we all have been under lockdown rules, with some differences depending on location but in essence we could not meet face to face, initiatives to keep the connection alive between humans started all around the world and in many creative ways. We have all heard of live happy hours, and Zoom calls popped up right and left into our agendas!

The Cantina Italia bulletin published by the Ministry of Agriculture, revealed that in the first 2 weeks of April, wine stocks were not noticeably decreasing and sales had fallen 50% compared to the same period last year. Some of these effects include also the repercussions due to postponing and cancelling events such as ProWein and Vinitaly that generate the possibility to increase business.

So what can a small wine producer in the hills of the Chieri area, in the outskirts of Torino, Italy do to keep the interest high during these challenging times? We asked this question to Luca Balbiano, a dear friend of Via Vitae Travels and one of the wine producers our customers meet in person during our Passion for Piemonte tours.

“Stappatincasa” is a catchy name with a double meaning: it works both as for “being stuck inside your home” and for “bottles to open in your own home” and is Luca’s response to the health emergency. “While I am not a doctor, I cannot help by saving lives so I asked myself what I can do to help to keep the conversation going about wine. This usually happens during wine tastings, face to face, and we could not do it this way anymore. The name Stappatincasa popped to mind when I wanted to create a hashtag for our Facebook page. It started in a very simple way with me telling the story of a wine of my choosing during Facebook live broadcasts. Obviously, I started with some of the wines we produce like the different types of Freisa, and Cari [another local and still almost unknown red grape]. Then I wanted to involve people in my conversations but I did not want them to be expert of the industry. I am convinced that conversation about wine is usually too technical. Therefore, I invited producers, chefs, journalists, sportsmen, astronauts, musicians, singers, writers. You name it. I wanted to make it informal and approachable, simple but not ordinary, a conversation between people that enjoy wine and share the passion. All this to light up the atmosphere with the global situation we all live in.”

We asked Luca about the future of Stappatincasa. He wants the conversation to keep going beyond the health crisis and quarantine, and he is thinking to add some content in English, starting probably with subtitles and adding content in original language.

If you have not been able to follow the live broadcasts yet, all the recorded videos and conversations are also available on the Stappatincasa YouTube channel.

Stay tuned for more to come in the future!

About Cantine Balbiano

Cantine Balbiano has a long history of wine making, going back to 1941 to Luca’s grandfather. Freisa is the local red grape, and a complex one to vinify, with very pronounced tannins and high acidity. In the 90’s a great qualitative revolution of Freisa di Chieri has come to a turning point. The experience that Cantine Balbiano has had with Freisa through the years made them the ideal candidate in the early 2000’s to be the pioneer in the project of replanting the Royal Vineyard at Villa della Regina in Turin with the autochthonous Freisa clone. Villa della Regina is one of the few urban vineyards in the world. You can taste the Villa della Regina Freisa wine during a private visit to the Villa della Regina with Luca, visit that is part of Via Vitae Travels Passion for Piemonte tours. We look forward to having you join us next year for this wonderful experience!


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May Celebrations in Italy!

Now, more than ever, we can all appreciate just how small the world truly is, and the importance of coming together to stay safe and stay healthy. The month of May is full of reasons to celebrate family and the simple things of life – follow us as we show you how in Italy people apply this in their everyday life while waiting for life to go back to normal. And it will!

Photo by Valeria Zoncoll on Unsplash


See all May celebrations in our latest Newsletter by clicking here.

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Festa della Liberazione in Italy – April 25th, 2020

Italy’s Liberation Day, or Festa della Liberazione, is a national public holiday celebrated on April 25th and marked by ceremonies, historic re-enactments, public parades, waving the Italian flag, and an endless chorus of Italy’s beloved song of liberation, Bella Ciao, commemorating the end of World War II in Italy.

The date was chosen by convention in 1946. This  was the day of the year 1945 when the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale (CLN), a political umbrella organization and the main representative of the Italian resistance movement fighting against the German occupation of Italy, officially proclaimed the insurgency in a radio announcement, propounding the seizure of power by CLN and proclaiming the death sentence for all fascist leaders, including Benito Mussolini.

CLN coordinated and directed the Italian resistance. They were successful. Soon thereafter, the fascist usurpers were expelled from the Italian government, Nazi occupiers from the Italian mainland, and just and democratic rule established throughout the country.

Since then, Italians everywhere have celebrated April 25th as the Festa della Liberazione – Liberation Day – in commemoration of the new Italy that was birthed then. In doing so, they remember those brave freedom fighters who lost their lives struggling against the regime, and honor their courage.

This year 2020 the celebrations throughout the peninsula of Italy will be very different than usual. Because of the medical emergency known as COVID-19, Italy has activated strict measures to contain the spread of the virus, extended now through May 3rd.

Italians will still celebrate but with virtual initiatives and from their own houses. The traditional song Bella Ciao will be sang from Italian balconies. A song dedicated to all fighters against the Nazi and all authoritarian regimes. Fighters who believed in the high value of freedom to the point of losing their lives. And a song that is a warning to all of us, so we do not forget what a precious right is the one of freedom. Appointment is on Saturday April 25 at 3 PM CEST on your balcony. Join us!

Here is a link to the song with lyrics.


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How to thrive and not just survive while staying at home!

Ask any older Italian, or Italian-American, what their best memory of life as a child is and they will almost without exception talk about Easter Monday picnics. It was – and still is – one of the year’s best Easter treats for kids and adults alike.

Find the full article by reading our latest newsletter here.

With this edition we are hoping to bring you some creative ideas to enjoy at home, something to make you feel closer to Italy – making the most of this time until we are ready to travel to the Bel Paese again!

Culture never stops. Italian institutions, public and private museums, and art galleries are all united to provide their visitors with the chance to explore their collections, the featured exhibitions and even enjoy site-specific events and special activities by offering virtual tours, podcasts, videos, and playlists. And while we are all at home, with extra time at hand, and our loved ones with us, we have all the right ingredients to gather around the kitchen and challenge each other to cook some traditional Spring Italian recipes, while waiting to meet in person again soon!

Find our tips on how to make the best of your time at home here.

“We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” King T’Challa – from the Marvel movie Black Panther

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A Message of Hope from Italy

We are always hoping for change, something new to disrupt our day-to-day routine – but it’s in times like these that we consider very dear our normalcy and we wish it to come back soon.

This unprecedented situation has had many different challenges but we wanted to share a message of hope coming from Italy. When social distancing can create isolation and even more stress, even a song shouted out from the balconies can make us feel closer to each other. “Everything will go well” is the motto seen everywhere in Italy these days, from sticky notes left from passengers on doorbells to signs and paintings with big multicolored rainbows hanging out the windows, to lift up the spirit.

May the message from Italy reach everybody in need right now. We join the Italians in this message of hope to the World and everybody already affected!

“This Too Shall Pass.”

“If we are to have any hope for the future, those who have lanterns must pass them on to others. – Plato –

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Our Passion for Piemonte Shows!

Memories from our 2017 Fall Tour

Join us this Fall for your trip of a lifetime!

Discover all the flavors of Piemonte’s history, wines, and world-class cuisine. From historical estates in Barolo to fresh-handmade agnolotti and wine on the hills overlooking Torino, prepare to indulge in the best the region has to offer.

Via Vitae Travels will deliver
the most amazing experience!

 What are you waiting for?

Call us today: +1 269-317-2239

See our latest newsletter in full by clicking here.

See all Piemonte 2020 Tour information by clicking here.

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Special Coronavirus Edition – Understanding How It Could Affect Travel

There is a lot of contradicting news about Coronavirus, about its spread, and how it could affect your travel plans in Europe.
While it is too far to make predictions about traveling during the fall, we thought it would be helpful to put a blog together with some useful information from accredited websites across the web. This should help you stay informed and make more educated decisions regarding your plans.
Our travel planning for the fall is still moving forward as planned until we are advised otherwise by the Government and Health Organizations. We are confident the situation by then will be well taken under control and we will be able to enjoy some fun times traveling together.
If you have any other questions about your travels, we are here to help. We look forward to hearing from you!

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) website is updated regularly listing countries and regions with travel restrictions.

NPR is an independent, nonprofit media organization that was founded on a mission to create a more informed public. Every day, NPR connects with millions of Americans on the air, online, and in person.

All links and information were checked as of 03/08/2020

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