Experience Italy with Federal Way restaurateur

Vince Mottola of Vince’s Federal Way gears up for his annual Italy tour starting on Sept. 30.

Vince Mottola has worked hard to bring a little slice of Italy to Washington.

Federal Way’s Vince’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria is one of the most popular restaurants in the city for good reason. The food is reminiscent of world-famous Italian dishes, and that’s how Mottola likes it.

His family migrated to the United States in the 1940s from Naples, Italy, and his restaurants are one way for him to stay connected to his heritage.

His parents started the first Vince’s in 1957, and Mottola took over operations in 1983. “I was born into a restaurant family, very lucky that I was.” Mottola said. “I enjoy this business so much, I really love it.”

Mottola said they are one of the oldest restaurant companies in the Northwest. In fact, he said next year will mark the 40th year in business for the restaurant’s Federal Way location.

To share his culture, every year since 2003 he takes a group of clients with him to experience Italy.

But he doesn’t like to call it a tour.

Originally, he was approached by a company in Seattle to lead a tour to Italy, and Mottola said yes on one condition.

“If I can organize it the way I think you should travel.”

The company said yes, and Mottola created the itinerary for his first tour. However, he said he realized that the tour company he was working with didn’t have a lot of connections in Italy.

“Essentially, I knew more than they did,” he joked.

So he got a license to sell tours and started crafting his own.

It’s more relaxed, he said. It’s a chance to experience Italy like an Italian, taking time to sit and soak up the sites, good wine and great food it has to offer.

Departing Sept. 30 and returning Oct. 11, the 12-day trip spans over four different cities, an array of different restaurants and breathtaking views. The best part? It’s a fraction of the cost it would be if you booked the trip yourself; $500 will save you a place now when the group leaves in September.

Contact Vince Mottola to experience his Italy at mottolaitaliantours.com.