The Author

IMG_0433So who am I? I am one of those Americans who fell in love with Italy at a tender age and had so much passion, and enough drive, that I made sure I got to Italy – first as an undergraduate, then as a grad student, and finally as a working adult. At this juncture, I have been living in Italy for a very long time, actually for more than half my life (although I’ve gotten to an age when I’d rather stop counting). Along the way, although I have a doctorate in International Relations (my thesis was on Italy’s decision in 1949 to join the NATO alliance), I became a reporter. This means that over the years I have covered just about every kind of story- economic, political and cultural – there is to cover in Italy, except for soccer games and fashion shows. I have covered government crises, health scandals, Mafia trials, terrorism, papal assassination attempts, bank mergers, political corruption, and business. In other words, I know a lot about Italy.

To be frank, over the years some of my initial enthusiasm about Italy has paled. Of course, there are some things I still adore: the country’s incredible beauty, it’s historical, archeological and artistic monuments, it’s food, and the warmth and kindness of it’s people (those whom you have gotten to know, not the perfect strangers who often suffer, alas, from what to my mind is a basic courtesy deficit). But I’m still here. I live in a wonderful neighborhood of Rome – Trastevere – where I have carved out a series of indelible friendships and where I have a lovely apartment with a terrace and three cats, Saffron and Batuffolo, both calicos, and Bigia. I am currently unattached – a long relationship ended after repeated cheating – some very close friends and two horses. Well, one and a half, as my colt, born of my beqautiful mare, Dorata, is still not two years old.

Just in case anyone is interested, I grew up in New York (Manhattan), got a B.A. in political science from Syracuse University (their semester abroad in Florence gave me my very first taste of Italy) and then got both an M.A. and a Ph.D from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. After getting my doctorate, I returned to Italy (by then it was my third or fourth prolonged visit here) with a grant and then ended up with an informal internship at the New York Times Rome bureau. That did it for me and I started writing for a variety of publications, eventually becoming the regularly accredited local-hire orrespondent first for Newsweek magazine and then for the Washington Post. Other news organs for which I worked in that period were CBS radio, the International Herald Tribune, and the Boston Globe. I also published articles in Institutional Investor, the travel magazine, Travel and Leisure and Signature, along with TV Guide, Nation, Penthouse, Financial Times, Macleans (Canada), Newsday, Connoisseur, Attenzione, and Business. In Italy, I wrote for Lombard, Il Secolo XIX, Il Messaggero and II Giornale and frequently conducted the Italian morning news review, Prima Pagina.In September, 1991, I decided to leave the varied but exhausting free-lance life behind and became a feature writer for a new (but short-lived) Italian daily called L’Indipendente. When that paper changed editors and took another direction, I left and was lucky enough to land a job at the prestigious economic-financial daily, Il Sole 24 Ore where for many year I wrote about politics, economic and social developments. I am co-author with my long-time friend, Michael Brouse ,of the National Geographic Traveler Guide to Rome. Along with horseback riding, and shmoozing with my Trastevere neighbors, my favorite hobbies are reading, listening to music, travel in other parts of Europe, particularly France, exercise, cooking and and following the stock market. and my CV is here

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