The hepatitis C virus (HCV) was discovered by the team of Michael Houghton at Chiron Corporation in 1989 and the first symposium on HCV and related viruses was held in Venice, Italy, shortly after, in 1992. This conference was organized to advance knowledge on what then was a mysterious virus responsible for most cases of «non-A, non-B» hepatitis. During the 20 years since the first conference, the scientific quality of presentations has steadily increased, together with the tremendous advances in basic and clinical research and epidemiology. What started as a small conference on a new virus, about which there were very few data, has today become a first-in-class congress: a meeting place for basic researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists, public health experts, and industry members to present the most important advances and their application to HCV treatment and control. The nineteenth HCV symposium was held in September 2012, once again in Venice.