A Letter From the Owners

Ciao Celebrates 10 Years

Tanti auguri to us! 🇮🇹🧡🥂

It is with great pride and emotion that, today, we officially mark Ciao Andiamo’s 10-year anniversary. Ten years curating insider Italian experiences for our travelers, from lifelong memories and shared moments to honeymoons, weddings, anniversaries and celebrations. Ten years working alongside our wonderful collection of local experts and collaborators who so passionately share their slice of Italy with our guests and make them feel like family. Ten years organizing tours and special events for best-in-class travel advisors and partners. And ten years being part of an incredible team — spanning Italy and the U.S. — without whom, none of this would be possible.

As we celebrate this milestone, our three co-owners reflect on all we’ve achieved, the road ahead, and why we love what we do.

Grazie to all of you who have been part of this journey.

– Jon, Max & Cristiana

 

Max, Cristiana, and Jon – Ciao Andiamo Co-owners – in Sardinia, Italy


I am lucky enough to do a job that I love and that allows me to travel, not just throughout Italy and the world, but also with my mind. Since my husband Max and I first met and partnered with Jon to help build Ciao Andiamo, my enthusiasm and passion has only grown.

We have given our all to Ciao Andiamo throughout the years, working to make the dream of visiting Italy come true in ways more special than ever imagined for our guests. We are never done searching for unique, authentic experiences that are never cookie cutter, always personalized and truly about our travelers. For us, this matters more than anything: to help people discover the real Italy–an Italy of small producers, winemakers, and hidden villages– and return home with a small treasure in their hearts. And those who travel with us start out as customers and leave as family.

This past year has been very difficult for all of us and for Ciao Andiamo. Suddenly, like so many other businesses, we had to stop everything due to the pandemic. I was afraid for our future. But we immediately responded — I began making videos from my kitchen to share with our friends and clients and stay connected. We learned to do things differently, launching our virtual classroom and teaching about Italian wine and cooking in a hands-on, intimate way even while thousands of miles away. This was a great resilience test on the part of the whole team, all of whom showed an incredible desire to move forward, and I am so proud. We could have disappeared like so many travel agencies and tour operators, but we are here, standing strong and eager to welcome our travelers to Italy once again, with open arms and a smile. This is Ciao Andiamo for me. A big, united family that looks to the future with positivity.

Here’s to our many years together and many more to come!

– Cristiana Chiacchierini, Chief Italy Officer


We don’t sell tours. We share emotions. This idea has always been a lighthouse for me personally in my years of experience as a tour operator. Working with Jon, Cristiana, our team, and our great collaborators over the last 10 years has been the most fascinating journey of my entire life. For sure the past 14 months of the pandemic has represented a tough time, but I like to think that a stone will never stop my journey, and we are more ready than ever to restart our adventures around Italy. Andiamo (let’s go)!

– Max Brunelli, Chief Italy Officer

 


Ciao Andiamo began in March 2011 as a passion project. It was sparked by a deep-seated love for all things Italian, and a desire to help others experience the real Italy, not simply as tourists, but as locals.

When I reflect on our roots, and the early days of Ciao Andiamo, I am overwhelmed by how far we have ventured along this journey. In Ciao Andiamo’s very first year, we organized a total of 8 trips to Italy, while hosting a few food & wine events and teaching some conversational Italian language classes in New York City. Today, we have curated over 1,000 Italy trips and events for our wonderful guests, and are as eager as ever to build on this number once global travel to Italy resumes.

But it’s not the scale of our small business that makes me most proud. It’s the way in which we have grown, always staying true to our roots and core mission of helping travelers experience Italy through the eyes of locals, helping them fall in love with this special country and culture. It hasn’t always been easy–and this last year has certainly been challenging unlike any other–but with our guiding north star, and an incredibly passionate and committed team who, even in the toughest of times, has shown remarkable integrity and the deepest of care for our clients, collaborators, and one another, I have no doubt that the best is still yet to come.

Thank you to all who have helped build, sustain and transform this passion project into the leading Italy travel company that it is today. Thank you to those who believed in and supported Ciao Andiamo along the way. You are a special part of our Ciao famiglia, and I am beyond grateful.

– Jon Pollock, Founder & CEO


 

Ciao travelers through the years

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