1. Where do you live? Oakdale, Conn.
2. How did you become interested in Italy? I had the opportunity to study at Trinity College’s Rome Campus. I’d never been to Italy and didn’t speak a word of the language but the minute I stepped out of the taxi in the heart of the Eternal City, I fell completely in love.
3. What will you talk about Tuesday? It will be a cultural journey through the country. I’ll discuss the historic, culinary and cultural differences from one region to the next and share my observations of Italy and Italians from a non-Italian perspective. The backdrop will be a slideshow of magnificent images, a virtual tour through this very special country.
4. Do you have a favorite story about your Italian travels? My most recent trip brought me to a balsamic vinegar producer, a family business, and the matriarch spent hours talking about the operations, how the vinegar was made and the history of the farm. She had tears in her eyes as she explained that each barrel was named for a deceased family member so she could feel like they were always with her. We shared a beautiful lunch in the courtyard with the rest of the family. Moments like these are unplanned but so memorable.
5. Favorite menu in Italy? It depends on the region. In Rome, a plate of cacio e pepe at Roscioli is a must, as is gelato, of course.