One of the most well-known words associated with Italy, ‘ciao’, is an informal salutation often used for “hello” and “goodbye.” Did you know that although it’s associated with Italy, the word ciao has a Medieval Greek origin?
This famous greeting derives from the Venetian greeting s’ciàvo vostro (or s’ciàvo), meaning “(I am) your slave,” which people used to express respect at the time.
The Venetian word s’ciàvo vostro, or s’ciàvo, in turn, derives from the Medieval Latin word sclavus, which was merely a loanword from Medieval Greek Σκλάβος (skla.vos), which was used to indicate people of Slavic ethnicity. At the time, the majority of slaves were Slavic.
This greeting was eventually shortened to ciào, lost all its servile connotations, and came to be used as an informal salutation by speakers of all classes.
Northern Italian people adopted the Venetian ciào during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Later, the word (now spelled ciao) became common elsewhere in Italy, and it has since spread to many countries in Europe, along with other items of Italian culture.
In 1998, we launched Ciao Tours in Canada with a dream to provide unique, personalized, and independent Italian tours with local expertise. Ciao Tours was born thanks to an international friendship, and we have focused on providing our clients with the utmost care and attention, while respecting the traditions, cultures, people, and environments of the countries in which we live and work. We discovered an authentic and passionate way for our clients to experience a country and chose a niche in the market which the large tour companies were not meeting. (The age of following an umbrella with fifty people you didn’t know was coming to a well-deserved end).
We wanted clients to experience the small, family-run farms called Agriturismo, to learn from the local guides in Rome, Siena, Florence, and Venice, to enjoy a cooking lesson with an Italian family, and more. In short, we wanted to immerse our clients into the hospitality, culture, and beauty of our country—Italy!
Ciao Tours has grown to include a combination of international and local staff in Canada, Italy, and Greece, who combine their skills and cultural knowledge in a positive way. Our office is located in Calgary, AB Canada, and we have dedicated travel agents throughout North America. As a group of Canadians, Italians, and Greeks, Ciao Tours has vast talents in all areas of tourism and business, and we focus our various professional abilities on one common goal—ensuring that our clients’ customized Ciao Tours are their most memorable holidays!