Viaggi e Avventure nel Mondo (Travels and Adventures in the World) is an unusual entity in the world of travel companies in Italy. Founded in 1970 out of the initiative of two friends, for 50 years it has offered an alternative kind of travel, based on bringing together different people based on their interest for a destination, adopting a very adventurous and low cost approach.
Since its beginning, the very simple idea at the core of Viaggi e Avventure nel Mondo has accompanied generations of Italians in their travels around the world. Despite a number of technological advancements, it is still nowadays a popular approach. Over time, in fact, other kinds of similar companies, also based on the offer of specific itineraries to groups of strangers, were born. Yet, Avventure nel Mondo (AnM for short) is the oldest of the kind, and it is still a very popular one. Every year, about 50,000 participants take part in its travels.
The concept is simple and straightforward. On the website, the organization offers a list of available destinations, ordered by departure date. Each month, travelers can choose among dozens of destinations all around the world. Once they have selected a destination, they make an initial booking by transferring a first fee. Then, they wait to see whether the trip is confirmed. Each offer, in fact, requires a certain number of participants for the trip to be approved. Every journey is assigned a coordinator – another traveler who has already covered that destination or more generally who has experience traveling with AnM. Furthermore, during the trip one of the participants will voluntarily cover the role of treasurer, managing the fund that the group will put together in order to cover for local expenses. In fact, this is also part of the original concept of the agency: putting resources together to lower costs.
Avventure nel Mondo was born from the idea of Vittorio Kulczycki and Paolo Nugari, who studied tourism together and shared a passion for traveling – especially to distant and remote places. Their first trip – which was also the one that gave the idea for the name of the organization – took place in 1970 on the Elburz, a chain of mountains in the north of Iran. At the time, travelers would unite around one simple concept: to find affordable flights, then the rest of the organization would follow. While much more information about the world is accessible nowadays through the Internet (starting from bookings and the like), and improvisation is much less common, the spirit behind AnM travels today remains largely the same. Meaning, a genuine desire for adventure and discovery.
Once a trip is confirmed, participants pay the fee covering flights, local transport and travel insurance. The common fund will be used to cover for the accommodation and the meals, once the group has reached their destination. While the itinerary is more or less established beforehand, the organization of the trip is in the hands of the whole group, and the members (usually between 5 and 15 people) deliberate internally about potential modifications to the route.
There are different kinds of travel offers available. Next to the classic kind (named “Adventure”) there are the “Discovery” itineraries, which are meant for travelers between 18 and 40 years of age; then special offers for mountain experts, Family packages for those traveling with children, and shorter itineraries for those who have limited time for traveling. Very often, travel groups are formed even just a few weeks before the established date of departure: one of the advantages of traveling with AnM, in fact, is that the travel fee remains the same at every point before the departure date. Another aspect of AnM also appreciated by travelers is that it enables meetings between people of all ages and backgrounds, making encounters possible between people that otherwise would not have a chance to meet.
“Two words, tourism and traveling, will never be synonyms to us at Avventure nel mondo,” authors say in their publications. And while obviously the kinds of travels that AnM offer are to an extent very different from what they used to be (if back in the days a short trip would last for 25 days, now they are rarely longer than three weeks), the friendly and passionate approach remains. It is embedded in the travel articles that are collected and shared on the AnM Magazine, published twice per year, meant to inspire and motivate more travelers down the road. And it is in the accounts of those talking to others about their experiences.
The founders on the website are very resolute about it. “If you decide to travel with Adventures in the World forget that you are a customer, we provide you with the minimum tools to organise a trip and we invite you to a total sharing of the difficulties and the ways of achieving it, in the spirit of profound openness and collaboration both towards the coordinator and towards your fellow travellers, so that in addition to the travel adventure you can find the human adventure that enriches your experience.”