Just got an email back from the Canadian Bianchi distributor who confirms that the Volpe is a Bianchi USA bike. The distributor gets its bikes from Italy, so no Volpe for me.
I'd actually consider a trip to the States for this purpose, but I'd hate to get there and find I don't like how it rides.
Any suggestions on alternative bikes? I'm an almost-40 year old with a bit of touring experience in my younger years. My last touring bike was a Miyata (stolen). I haven't ridden at all for about 5-6 years (took up running) and now want to get back into it. My immediate plans are to use the bike for long-ish weekend rides in and around the city (25-50 miles; would love to try a century eventually). A long-weekend camping jaunt or two in the fall are good possibilities, too. Next year, if all goes well, a week or longer fully loaded tour would be nice. Otherwise, the bike would be used for the odd commute/errand. (I live downtown and am carless).
I liked the Volpe because it'll handle the loaded touring but also serve as a nimble, zippy ride for my unloaded day trips. That, and it's reasonably priced and looks good to boot.
Should I just go with a dedicated tourer like the Trek 520 or Fuji Touring? Another possibility I've looked at is the the Specialized Sequoia, but I'm less confident about its loaded touring abilities.
All suggestions most welcome!