To think the founding Director of Vita Italian Tours, Mario Vitellone, found his calling when he took over the task of booking his son Gianni’s soccer trip to Italy in 2000. Two years later, Vita Italian Tours was born, a company where Mario has mixed his love for travel, Italy and history. Juggling a full-time job and family, Mario, together with his wife Viny, began working towards a touring company sharing places in Italy with their clientele.
Rewind, prior to 2000, where the love for travel & history blossomed
Born in 1949 in Larino, Italy, Mario moved to Australia with his family at the age of 10. Meeting Viny in 1969, their mutual love for travel saw the two pack up for 12 months in 1975, travelling extensively throughout Europe. There was even a return trip in 1976, but it was 1979 when Mario based himself in Milan studying Italian Literature and History.
With a number of holidays to and fro, and three children later (including twins), the Vitellone’s first family trip in 2000 was a long one, 6 months, which saw Nina, Gianni and Nadia enrolled in school in the seaside town of Pesaro. As you can see this family is worldly and well-travelled, introducing their children not only to the Italian culture but also education.
What makes Vita Italian Tours different to other tour companies?
With the travel experience between Mario and Viny, the foundation was rich and extensive enabling them to set up a company providing tours to Italy. Several trips were used as research and to establish relationships and partnerships with locals, ensuring Vita Italian Tours provided their clients the most authentic travel experience. Opera & Food was the first official tour in 2004, and 2005 marked the first Educational & Cultural tour for a School group.
Today, Vita Italian Tours has a portfolio of eleven annual Small Group Tours to Italy as well as countless private tours and itineraries. Mario has worked hard to create travel experiences which provide clients the most genuine Italian experience, as well as venturing off the beaten track. Not limiting themselves, Mario’s experience extends to the greater Europe and more, providing travel to countries outside of Italy.
Gianni joins the Vita Italian Tours family business
A proud moment came when Mario’s son Gianni joined the business in 2006. Gianni’s love for travel and Italy obviously runs in the genes, Vita Italian Tours officially became a small family business. With the company continuing to grow, the sister company, Pronto Travel, was established in 2013, which opened up the world to their clients, not just Italy.
A Milestone Worthy of a Celebration
In 2019, in November, we celebrated Mario’s milestone, his 70th birthday. Surrounded by family and friends, we celebrated not only the wonderful and generous man, but also the worldly and charismatic man Mario is. With clients that can vouch for this, he leads tours with grace, knowledge and expertise, all complimented with humour and a smile.
With no signs of retirement, Mario’s passion for travelling continues to grow, not just professionally, but personally. The last few years has seen trips with Viny to Israel, Portugal, Eastern Europe and greater Asia and most recently he has set his sights on some other roads less travelled, such as the regions along the Silk Road. Stay tuned, these destinations may join the Pronto Travel/Vita Italian Tours area of expertise in the near future, if Mario has any say…!