The Spirit of 'Arrivederci'

by Sunni Chapman

I am writing to you from St. Louis, Missouri. See Italy is here this week to meet with educational travel planners -- bringing the authentic Italy to their knowledge-hungry travelers. 

Every time I attend a travel show, I'm astounded by how everyone seems to know each other. You hear, over and over, "how good to see you again!" You see folks run up to each other and give big hugs. And, you know what, it's all sincere. Travel geeks like you and me love the world we work in. Why? It's the people in this industry that make us love travel so much.

Watching all these folks reconnect over has made me think about how Italians greet and say goodbye to one another . No matter where you go in Italy, you'll here the ubiquitous "ciao!" It's Italy's version of aloha -- meaning both "hello" and "goodbye." And, when Italians part ways, you'll also hear them say "arrivederci."

Many Americans think arrivederci means goodbye. But, the word's more nuanced than that. Literally, this phrase means "until we see each other again." It's a fitting goodbye whenever you send someone off who you care about. There's no definitive goodbye in Italy. Instead, you tell your friends that you hope to cross paths again soon.

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Over and over, this is what our clients tell us about visiting Italy with us. If they go once to Italy, they want to go back. Not just to see the sights. No, they want to return to Italy so they can reconnect with the locals who welcomed them there. So they might say -- and mean -- "arrivederci" once more.

When your travelers head abroad, why not say "arrivederci" instead of "bye?" After all, you've given them a trip that will make them want to see you again and again. This Italian spirit -- "until we see each other again" -- is how we treat travelers. We want to share our Italy with you over and over, welcoming you into our Italian family -- now and whenever you come back.

Ciao, ciao!

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