Imagine a world without Italy: Painting without Leonardo. Sculpture without Michelangelo. Literature without Dante. No Verdi choruses or Puccini arias. No Fellini films or Ferrari roar. Heavens uncharted, vines unplanted, tables bereft of pasta, pizza, and a Sicilian cake so divine that its bakers swore it could make the dead breathe again.

Western civilization would surely have sprouted elsewhere, but the planet would have been a paler place, a rainbow stripped of its most vibrant hues. More than a country, Italy embodies a culture that has transformed art and architecture, language and music, food and fashion.

Italy and Italians inspired me to write three books: La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language; La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World; and Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered. This website provides links and background information on all three as well as the Italian version of La Bella Lingua: La mia storia d’amore con l’italiano.

You can download my free e-book, “A” Is for Amore, a whimsical letter-by-letter journey through the Italian ABCs, written during the pandemic. You’ll also find my most recent newsletter and an archive of my blogs, dating back to 2009.

I hope you enjoy this digital tour of Italy’s history, language, arts and culture. Buon viaggio!

New York Times

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An Italian translation
from Treccani

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“marvelously entertaining
and enlightening”

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An Amazon best book
Translated into six languages

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Here are some recent interviews, videos and podcasts:

The Italian American Commitee on Education (IACE) in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of New York City hosted a fun webinar on my new book, “A” Is for Amore. You can listen to the lively conversation with Maria Teresa Cometto and IACE students above.

I presented this YouTube video on Leonardo da Vinci in collaboration with the London-based Corona Crisis Collective.