About Us

Vince Mottola, Founder

Vince Mottola has always been attached to his Italian heritage. The son of immigrants from Naples, Mottola grew up surrounded by his parents’ culture. In 1957 his parents opened their own restaurant to celebrate their passion for the food of their hometown. Vince’s Italian Restaurant has since expanded to three locations and is still family owned and operated today by Mottola, his wife Carla, and their children Gabriela, Juliana, and Vincent.

In 2003, Mottola founded Vince’s Italian Tours, escorting luxury tours to Italy, allowing himself to bring his guests along for the ride as they become immersed in his cultural heritage. Proud of his 100% Italian origins, Mottola is a humble and gracious, well respected member of the community. With the opening of Pizzeria Pulcinella, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, Mottola continues to delight in bringing the Italian experience to his community.



Douglass Merrell, Host

Douglass Merrell is a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate with a PhD in History who has been teaching about the history of Rome, Venice, Florence, Padua and other sites in Italy since 1995. His courses in Italy introduced the students, as first-time visitors to Italy, to the unique legacy of Italian history and culture through daily site visits to its monuments, piazzas, museums, and incomparable cuisine.

For the past 17 years, he has explored the major tourist destinations as well as many lesser-known attractions, and his greatest enjoyment is to share this experience with fellow travelers to Italy. Since retiring from the University of Washington, he still lectures on occasion, most recently at the University of Puget Sound on Renaissance humanism, and at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon on art history. And he is pleased to finally have the opportunity to share with the clients of Vince Mottola, a longtime friend, the wonders and pleasures of Bella Italia.

Gabriela Mottola, Director of Tours

Gabriela Mottola is proud to continue the legacy of her family by following her father’s footsteps into the family business.  Vince’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria as well as Pizzeria Pucinella have been institutions of the Greater Seattle area since her grandparents first opened their doors in 1957.  

Overwhelmed with the same love and admiration for her Italian heritage as her father Vince, Gabriela has partnered with him to create Mottola Italian Tours, a luxury guided tour company with planned tours throughout the Italian countryside.  A graduate of Seattle University, Gabriela Mottola is eager and excited to serve as both a manager of the family restaurants and Director of Tours, bringing the delicious food of Italy to the people of Seattle, and bringing all those who wish for an unforgettable experience to the beauty of Italy. 


Tours designed by Vince Mottola owner of Vince’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria and Pizzeria Pulcinella. As an Italian-American with immigrant parents from Naples, your tour host, restaurateur Vince Mottola, will share his perspective on the Italian way of life.

The traveling between cities and guided tours will be at a leisurely pace. Please expect a significant amount of walking during most of the group sightseeing events. There will be a generous amount of free time where you’ll be encouraged to explore and connect with the local people. For the group meals, you will eat where, when and what the locals eat.

Join Vince and his team to experience “la dolce vita”

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