Via is such a short word, and yet, it has a lot of bite. The basic translation of the noun via is "way." Concretely, it can refer to a street, road, or path. A road is a way to get somewhere if we want to think of it that way. Even in English, "way" can be used to describe a road, if we think of "parkway," "subway," "pathway," or "Broadway."
Sì, perché siamo ovviamente a Roma, su via Ostiense, una via molto antica di Roma.
Yes, because obviously we're in Rome, on the via Ostiense, a very old Roman road.
Captions 17-18, Anna e Marika Trattoria Al Biondo Tevere - Part 1Play Caption
A handy expression to know that uses via to mean "way," is una via di mezzo (halfway between, midway between, a middle ground, a compromise):
Diciamo che, eh... non è un azzurro, ma non è neanche un blu scuro, però una via di mezzo.
Let's say, uh... it's not a light blue, but neither is it a dark blue, but it's halfway between.
Captions 35-36, Anna e Marika Un negozio di scarpe - Part 2Play Caption
Note: Via can mean "way," but "way" doesn't always translate as via. When "way" means "manner," we have other Italian words that more commonly do the job: il modo (the way) la maniera (the manner), il mezzo (the means). We've provided links to WordReference so you can see all the translations of these words, as in some cases, there are numerous ones.
If you go to the doctor or pharmacy you might ask about some medicine and how to take it. Per via orale is "by mouth," literally, "by way of mouth."
Via is also an adverb. The most common expression that comes to mind might be Vai via (go away)!
La volpe, allora, triste e sottomessa, andò via.
The fox, then, sad and subdued, went away.
Caption 23, Adriano Fiaba - Part 2Play Caption
We can also use via when we are saying someone is away.
È via per lavoro (she's away on business).
When we want to say "etc." or "and so on," or "and so forth," one way is to use via.
La nota successiva, che si troverà attraverso il quinto rigo, si chiamerà La. E così via.
The next note, which will be found across the fifth line, will be called A, and so on.
Captions 12-14, A scuola di musica con Alessio - Part 3Play Caption
You might also hear variations on this: e via discorrendo and e via dicendo that mean the same thing.
We can use via via to mean little by little, gradually:
Alla torre fu affiancato via via un castello in posizione ardita sulle rocce che dominano la valle del Rio Secco.
A castle in a daring position was gradually added to the tower on the rocks that dominate the Rio Secco Valley.
Captions 12-13, Meraviglie S2EP1 - Part 9Play Caption
We use via as the starting signal.
Meno tre, due, uno, via. Guardami! Perfetto!
Countdown, three, two, one, go. Look at me! Perfect!
Caption 53, Corso base di snowboard SnowboardPlay Caption
And when we are talking about the start of something, we use the noun il via to mean "the start," "the lead-off."
Ti do il via (I'll give you the start-off).
We can also just say via to mean "let's go," "let's get going," or "you get going."
Operativi, occhio vivo, via!
On the job, eyes wide open, get going!Play Caption
We use via vai to indicate comings and goings, when, for example, a place gets crowded with activity.
Ragazzi, da un po' di tempo a questa parte c'è un via vai, qui.
Guys, for a while now, there's been [plenty of] coming and going here.Play Caption
Via is used as un intercalare (a filler word), much as we say, "you know," "yeah," "come on," "well," or "OK" in the middle of a sentence. You'll hear this primarily in Tuscany and Lazio.
Quindi c'abbiamo, via, un parco cavalli tra i più eterogenei che ci sono a Roma.
So we have, you know, one of the most heterogeneous horse parks that there are in Rome.
Caption 62, Francesca Cavalli - Part 1Play Caption
C'è qualche problema? -Lascia stare, è il mio ragazzo! -Bastava dirlo! -Via, si beve qualcosa, eh.
Is there some problem? -Leave him alone, he's my boyfriend! -You could have said so! -Come on, let's have something to drink, huh?
Captions 23-25, Il Commissario Manara S1EP7 - Sogni di Vetro - Part 13Play Caption
It's also a way of "that's it."
Una botta e via.
One blow and that's it.Play Caption
Via is often used to conclude a sentence or situation. It's not really translatable. It's another intercalare (filler word) and used primarily in Tuscany and Lazio.
Insomma, ci chiamiamo, via. -Sì.
In other words, we'll call each other, yeah. -Yes.Play Caption
And we also conclude this lesson about via. Via!