Our Contributors

These are the wonderful and extremely knowledgeable people who have chosen to share their love for Italy on Italian Notebook.

Interested in being a contributor too? Click here and let us know!

  • GB

    - Chief, Cook, & Bottlewasher

    GB

    GB launched ItalianNotebook with the objective of taking his dual insider/outsider perspective on Italy to the web. He is honored to have so many great contributors on board (. . thank you all!), and is looking forward to adding exciting new features to the site. Born in Germany, raised in France and Italy, both a US and Italian citizen, he studied at Penn in Philadelphia, and now lives in Rome again.


  • Anita Iaconangelo

    - Tour planner, writer, plumber

    Anita Iaconangelo

    A resident in Italy since 1988, Anita spent many winters in Tuscany tinkering with malfunctioning heating systems and considers herself an expert on Italian furnace parts. In January 1992, a visit to Sicily with lunch outdoors was the spark to move south, and she now lives near Modica in the province of Ragusa.
    Anita organizes walking and culinary tours in many areas of Italy, with a special focus on Sicily, a place that still inspires a great sense of discovery. She loves long walks, eating good simple food, and passionate people. Anita is the owner of Italian Connection Tours and writes the blog Anita’s Italy.  She is currently at work on a book entitled Savoring Sicily: A Culinary Quest.


  • Anna Merulla

    - Liguria expert and tour planner

    Anna Merulla

    Anna is from Genoa and is the founder of Beautiful Liguria. Since 2009 she decided that she would love to share her personal knowledge of the beauty, the culture, and the history in which she’s immersed every day with anyone who loves Italy and wants to discover Liguria. So, she started Beautiful Liguria.

    She offers tour planning and travel concierge services to assist visitors to the region with both the practical aspects of their travels as well as with discovering the beauty, the culture, the cuisine and the ancient history of Liguria by offering her unique expertise and insight. www.beautiful-liguria.com


  • Anne Robichaud

    - Authorized Umbria Guide, Cooking Class Teacher

    Anne Robichaud

    An Umbrian tour guide in Italy most of the year, Anne also teaches Umbrian rural cuisine in private homes in the U.S. in February and March (see www.annesitaly.com/united-states-events/u-s-cooking-classes)... and lectures. Anne and her husband Pino worked the land for many years in the 1970's and rural life, rural people, rural cuisine are una passione for Anne. She writes frequently on Umbria and other areas of Italy. See www.annesitaly.com for more on her tours, cooking classes, lectures – and her blog! Do see www.stayassisi.com for news on the Assisi apartment - and Assisi countryside guest house - she and Pino now rent out!


  • Barbara Goldfield

    - Travel Consultant

    Barbara Goldfield

    Barbara came to Rome with her family in 1961 and in 1965 her parents opened the Economy Book Center, a new and used paperback bookstore on the Spanish Steps. She grew up in Italy, and worked for many years as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. From 1982 she worked as managing director of the family business until the end of 2004 when the bookstore closed definitevely. She now lives with her husband Federico and their german shepherd Sabra in Sant’Agata dei Goti where they run their travel consultancy www.savourthesannio.com


  • Barbara Zaragoza

    - Writer, Naples Expert

    Barbara is a freelance writer who lived in Naples, Italy for three years, uncovering every nook and cranny of this off-beat city. Mother of three children, fiction novelist, and globe trotter, Barbara has recently written an insider's guide to the city, called: The Espresso Break: Tours and Nooks of Naples, Italy and Beyond. You can also get more information about Naples at her website: www.NaplesNapoliGuide.com


  • Cherrye Moore

    - Tour Planner and Consulant, B&B Owner, Writer

    Cherrye Moore

    Cherrye Moore is an American writer and travel consultant who has lived in Calabria since 2006. Her business, My Bella Vita Travel, offers custom vacations to southern Italy and creates one-of-a-kind heritage tours of Calabria. You can join her in Calabria on the  Calabrian Table Tour, an 8-day cooking, food, wine and culture tour of Calabria or you can visit her at her bed and breakfast in Catanzaro.


  • Christine Mitchell

    - Restaurant owner, anchovy lover, blogger

    Christine Mitchell

    Christine Mitchell finished up her Master's Degree in Food Studies and Culture at New York University and packed up her city life for a little slice of paradise. Within a few months of moving to Monterosso al Mare, she saw the tiny seaside village destroyed in the devastating flood of October 25, 2011, then come together with an incredible determination and spirit to rebuild.  Having seen a village go through so much and a community come together in such a short period of time cemented her admiration and love of Monterosso al Mare and its residents.  Working at her boyfriend's restaurant, La Cantina Di Miky, she learns more about Ligurian cuisine every day (his father is Chef Miky, and his family has had Ristorante Miky in the village for over 30 years).  A certified Cicerone beer server, she loves trying new Italian craft beers and explaining Italy's other great beverage.  She also works for Bella Vita Italia (www.bellavitaitalia.com), a boutique tour company that designs tailor made vacations with an emphasis on food and culture in Italy.  You can follow her adventures on her blog, www.lifeinliguria.blogspot.com, and you can follow Monterosso's continued progress on www.rebuildmonterosso.com.


  • Colleen Simpson

    - Innkeeper, Storyteller, Vineyard Enthusiast

    Colleen Simpson

    Colleen owns L'Antica Vetreria (www.anticavetreria.net) a villa and self-catering apartments in the medieval glassmaking village of Piegaro. Colleen and her husband, Tom, fell in love with Umbria on their Luna di Miele (honeymoon), in 1994. They purchased the vast abandoned glass factory in 2004 and, after a massive renovation; they opened in 2008 to share authentic Italian village life with visitors. Now they live permanently in Piegaro and welcome guests from over twenty countries. Colleen is passionate about life in Umbria, her vine in the historic Vigna Lorenzo, the food, the culture and most of all, the people. She often posts here.


  • Dana Kaplan

    - Freelance copy editor, proofreader, writer

    Dana Kaplan

    Dana uses the charming lakefront city of Stresa, on Lago Maggiore, as her headquarters in Italy from which to discover the beauty, foods, and wines of the region. She writes her observations in a blog, Stresa Sights, which she hopes is a help to all who want to visit the area.

    Dana ha scelto Stresa, bella città sulle sponde del lago Maggiore come sua base in Italia dalla quale viaggia per scoprire le bellezze, il cibo ed il vino di tutta la regione. Lei scrive le sue osservazioni su un blog, StresaSights, che spera sia utile a tutti coloro che vorranno visitare quest’area.

    Visit Dana and Stresa at: www.stresasights.blogspot.com


  • Diana Baur

    - Innkeeper, Potter, Writer

    Diana lives in the southwest corner of Piemonte, Italy. She and her husband Michael gave up the corporate game to renovate an old farm in a beautiful Romanesque spa town called Acqui Terme. Together with Michael she runs the Baur B&B, throws pots in her studio and writes regularly for on-line travel websites as well as her on blog, creativestructures.blogspot.com. You can find her B&B at www.baurbb.com.


  • Eleonora Baldwin

    - Food & wine connoisseur, freelance writer, film script supervisor

    Lives in Rome with her 4 year old son, where she is currently editing her Italian cookbook/lifestyle manuscript. Eleonora is the author/editor of three popular weblogs:

    AGLIO, OLIO & PEPERONCINO a food/lifestyle blog which focuses on Italian cuisine, food history, travel musings and local hang-outs.

    FORCHETTINE, written in Italian; an Italian food-lover’s online guide in which the author reviews restaurant facilities and regional specialties in Italy.

    ROMA EVERY DAY a daily photo blog of the Eternal City.


  • Enrica Frulla

    - Freelance Translator and Event Planner

    Enrica Frulla

    Enrica was born in Italy, raised in the United States and is now living in Senigallia, on the coast of the beautiful Le Marche region. A marketing consultant in a past life, Enrica is now a freelance translator. Recently, her creativity and passion for telling people what to do has also  "translated" into an event planning business. www.besteventlab.com


  • Evanne Brandon-Diner

    - Writer, Artist

    Evanne Brandon-Diner

    Evanne Brandon Diner has spent the past five years trying to uncover the real history of her village’s patron saint. In the meantime, she feels she’s been reborn as a violinist, painter and chroniclier of local village life in Northern Lazio. Born in Boston, she and her husband lived in San Francisco for many years before moving to Italy in 2002. For information about how to buy or restore property or settle into Central Italy like a native, or just to peruse Evanne’s journal, visit their website at www.lavventuraitalia.com.


  • Giuseppe Spano

    - Mi diletto nel popolo italiano

    Giuseppe Spano

    ItalianNotebook reader, The joys of Italia’


  • Gretchen Bloom

    - UN Senior Advisor, Central Italy Expert

    Gretchen Bloom

    Gretchen is an Italian Notebook reader, Central Italy expert, and a recent Senior Advisor at the UN’s World Food Program as well as head of WFP’s Programme Unit in Kabul, Afghanistan, for 15 months. Expert in gender issues and community health.


  • Gyneth Sick

    - Supermom, Editor

    Gyneth Sick

    Gyneth has lived in Rome longer than anywhere else in the world, and still doesn’t want to leave. Her office is on Piazza Navona -- she edits the English version of ASPENIA, Aspen Institute Italia’s highly regarded journal on international affairs -- and she never gets over the beauty of her surroundings. She also plays the blues! The Bucket Band has been playing lively R&B around Rome for years. BRASS OFF !! does funk, soul, New Orleans R&B, ska ... A guaranteed good time for all.

     


  • Jean Tori

    - Artist and proprietor of holiday homes in Umbria

    Jean Tori

    English by birth and Italian by marriage, after living 30 years in Asia, we moved to the Upper Tiber Valley in Umbria after discovering and renovating a group of farmhouses and a medieval watchtower. After 15 years this is definitely home now, where I paint (www.jeantoriartwork.com), write an art blog (www.jeantori.com), collaborate with my daughter's design company (www.kimonorabbit.com), garden constantly and rent three of the holiday houses on our property (www.caiporri7.com).


  • John Seybold

    - History teacher, Photographer, Tour Book Writer

    John Seybold

    John has been teaching in Madera, California, for over 30 years. He studied in Rome for 2 summers and has traveled to Italy many times before and since. John’s main focus while traveling in Italy is to enjoy the culture, the people and the sites. Growing up as a non-Italian in an Italian Neighborhood in Sacramento, John got his first taste for Italian food and friendliness. As he nears the close of his teaching career, John is looking to be a contributor to tour or guide books with either his writing or photos. You can see some of his great work at www.seybolds-place.blogspot.com


  • Katharina Alles-Trauttmansdorff

    - Specialist for holiday rentals on historical Estates in Italy

    Katharina Alles-Trauttmansdorff

    Katharina left her homeland of Austria for Italy at the age of 18 and landed a job working on the wine estates in Chianti, where she was enchanted by the people and their traditions. Estate owners asked her for advice on how to welcome foreign visitors and spread the word about their vineyards. She realized a business opportunity in the making and opened Trust&Travel vacation rental agency in 1992. Twenty years later she still loves Italy, has cultivated many friendships and has a thriving business, but the most rewarding part is sharing the genuine hospitality and traditions of Italy with others. Her blog Come Inside the Villa gives inside glimpses to the people, lifestyle, art, and culture of the estates she represents.


  • Katja Meier

    - Life coach, Tuscany blogger and beach hut builder

    Katja Meier

    Katja Meier, is an ex-actress gone olive picker gone life coach, who lives with her Tuscan native and their two kids right next to a splendid olive grove. As a true Swiss, she insists on dragging family and friends on foot through the Tuscan hills, but also enjoys the more lay-back perks of life in Tuscany (food and wine, Renaissance art, summer festivals, fabulous beaches and national parks). She writes about the lot of it on her Map It Out - blogs, which focus on Southern Tuscany in general, and Siena and Montalcino in particular.


  • Lee McIntyre

    - Freelance writer and photographer

    Lee McIntyre

    Lee is an American expat living in Bolzano/Bozen, Italy, taking a break from her high-tech career (as an award-winning software designer) while working on her Italian language skills and enjoying the freedom to pursue her passion for photography. Lee has published a book of one of her photos projects, A Year of One a Days. Look for her blog about life in Bolzano/Bozen coming soon.


  • Lisa Finnerty

    - Garden Expert

    Lisa Finnerty

    Founder of Secret Gardens Italy, www.SecretGardensItaly.com, a tour company of the grand and historic Italian gardens, and www.yourgardenshow.com, a social network for gardeners.


  • Madeline Jhawar

    - Itinerary Designer, Travel Consultant

    Madeline Jhawar is the owner of Italy Beyond the Obvious, and creates Italy itineraries for independent travelers.


  • Marian Watson-Virga

    - British by birth, Sicilian by marriage

    Marian has lived in Sicily for longer than she can remember. British by birth, Sicilian by marriage she loves all things Sicilian, even pani ca’ meusa!   For the past few years she has been collaborating with Carmelina Ricciardello of www.sicilianexperience.com, developing responsible tourism and discovering Sicily on walking and car tours. Marian's blog page is here.


  • Mary Jane Cryan

    - Author, Historian, Cruise Ship Lecturer

    Mary Jane Cryan

    A resident in Italy for half a century, Mary Jane writes for Italian and English magazines, guidebooks, and has authored several books on Italian history and  central Italy.    Check  her award winning website www.elegantetruria.com  and blog http://50yearsinitaly.blogspot.it   for  more information and stories about  central Italy.  Mary Jane's latest book   Etruria  Storie e Segreti    in Italian and  in full color, was  recently published. Signed copies   of   all  her  books can be ordered directly from her website  www.elegantetruria.com .


  • Monica Pileggi

    - Contract Specialist, Photographer and Traveler

    Born in Spain and growing up in Central America, the Far East and Hawaii, Monica has a passion for traveling and photography. Her travels to Italy, France, Greece, Germany, and most recently China, are experiences that she willingly and enthusiastically shares with a large group of travel enthusiasts. You can view the photographs that documents her travel impressions on
    www.pileggiphotography.com.


  • Normanno Ross

    - TV Producer, Special Events Organiser, Romaphile

    Normanno Ross

    Norman Ross is an avowed Romaphile. He first traveled to Rome in 1975 to produce and direct a musical documentary about the Holy Year for a major New York City TV station. During his TV career, he was honored to win two EMMY’s among his many other awards. Since moving to Rome in 1996, he has been associated with one of Italy’s top Destination Management Company creating Incentive Programs and Business Meetings for major American companies. In this endeavor, he has produced special events in every part of Italy, ranging from a private after-hours cocktail reception and visit of the Vatican Museum, to wine-tasting in the Chianti region, to grape-stomping in Rome, and a private dinner in front of the statue of David.


  • Pat Carney

    - Retired psychotherapist, Grandmother

    Pat Carney

    Pat is a retired psychotherapist and grandmother of 6 who divides her time between Cambridge UK and Campiglia Marittima. She has been in love with the area of Populonia for 40 years.


  • Patricia Glee Smith

    - Artist, Archeaologist

    Patricia Glee Smith

    Patricia has lived in Italy for many years, first Torino, then Rome, and now in Otricoli, a beautiful medieval village in Umbria, in the Tiber valley. She, her husband Giangi, and their Turkish cat, have chosen Otricoli for its peace and quiet, important for her and her artwork (painting, illustration, etchings, etc.) You can see her artwork on her website. Besides her art, she also regularly works on archaeological expeditions in Turkey, the Yemen and Tibet.


  • Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    - Writer, Artist

    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Penny is the English half of an Anglo-American couple who met through an advert in Private Eye. Their love affair with Italy began with a honeymoon in San Gimignano. After enjoying Naples for 7 years and Lisbon for just 1 Penny returned to England but is destined always to yearn for Italy, caffè and the moon over Vesuvius. She wrote and published a children’s guide to the city of Cambridge, England, and a selection of her paintings may be seen here. She edited Barbara Zaragoza's The Espresso Break and is assisting both Barbara and Bonnie Alberts by editing The Napoli Unplugged guide to Naples to be published in 2014. A hyper-active Twitterata, she tweets as @ABroadBrush.


  • Rebecca Winke

    - Innkeeper, Travel Writer

    Rebecca Winke

    Rebecca moved to Italy from Chicago in 1993 and shortly thereafter opened an agriturismo in a renovated farmhouse at the foot of Mount Subasio near Assisi, Umbria. She spends her time taking care of guests at Brigolante, blogging about the lovely region she now calls home at Rebecca’s Ruminations, and wondering about what strange winds blew an urban vegetarian to a farm in Umbria.


  • Rosemary and Bob Connelly

    - Writer/watercolorist, and Photographer

    Rosemary and Bob Connelly

    For two years, Rosemary, a watercolorist with Italian roots and her husband Bob, a photographer, lived in Italy, renting small, furnished apartments in four different regions. They amassed over 30,000 photographs and hundreds of watercolor journal paintings from favorite travel destinations like Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples, to less visited cities off the beaten path in Umbria, the Veneto, Sicily and the Amalfi Coast. Visit their website www.livecheapmakeart.com to see more of their travel art. (All text and images © Rosemary and Bob Connelly)


  • Sharri Whiting

    - Writer, speaker, olive grower

    Sharri Whiting

    Sharri writes about food, wine and international travel from Umbria, where she and her husband grow olives. She lectures on Mediterranean cruises and formerly co-directed a program in Italy for Simmons College (Boston). Sharri is working to produce an e-book about Americans buried in the Old Protestant Burying Ground (Cimitero Acattolica) in Rome. She has written two books, one about Rome and the other on the culture of Namibia, where she travels extensively. In addition to articles, she writes a blog,  UmbriaBella. Her app, Olive Oil IQ , is a portable encyclopedia for foodies and culinary travelers (iTunes & Android). Follow her on Twitter: @umbriabella and @oliveoiliq. Facebook: www.facebook.com/UmbriaBella, and www.facebook.com/oliveoiliq


  • Stef Smulders

    - B&B owner, Travel Writer and Consultant

    Stef Smulders

    Stef Smulders is a Dutch expat, since 2008 living the dolce vita in the Oltrepò Pavese wine region, an undiscovered area 50 km south of Milan.

    With his husband Nico and dog Joia he runs B&B Villa I Due Padroni (www.duepadroni.i), in the hills in a panoramic position of the Oltrepò.
    They share their love for this incredible region with their guests, providing travel info, route itineraries, culinary arrangements, guided tours of wine producers, and cooking classes.

    Stef is also the author of the FREE Milan & More Smartphone Travel App covering Milan, Pavia, Cremona, Lake Como and, of course the Oltrepò Pavese. With over 450 sights and recommendations and 4500 quality pictures, this is the area's most extensive guide/app available!

    Stef has just completed his first book about his experiences in Italy during the first few years (in Dutch).
    An English translation may appear later in 2014. Interested? Send me a mail and have a look at my Facebook page.


  • Tom Weber

    - Meandering along the cobblestone to somewhere...

    A seasoned print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have gotten him in and out of 42 countries and counting, Tom is credentialed by the International Travel Writers Alliance, hosts the eclectic online travel-food and wine-photography blog ThePalladianTraveler.com, and is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based travel publication TravelingBoy.com.

    Tom has a creative eye behind the camera and is a graphic storyteller.  Be on the lookout for his dispatches, postmarked from his creative hideaway in Vicenza -- the "City of Palladio," in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy -- as he meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.


  • Toni DeBella

    - Tennis player and Trouble-Maker

    Toni DeBella

    Toni DeBella is a freelance writer living in Orvieto,. Her blog, Orvieto or Bust, is a collection of stories of a life in Italy.


  • Valerie Schneider

    - Writer, Tour guide, Cappuccino drinker, Perpetual language student

    Valerie Schneider

    Valerie Schneider is a freelance writer who deserted the High Desert of New Mexico for the vineyard-covered hills and medieval hill towns of southern Le Marche. She and her husband live in Ascoli Piceno where they conduct personalized visits of their corner of Italy through their tour company, Panorama Italy (www.panoramaitaly.com). A former travel agent, Valerie writes a monthly column for Slow Travel, pens travel agency newsletters and has written for several travel-related publications, including Budget Travel magazine.

    You can follow her adventures and bureaucratic wranglings at www.2baci.blogspot.com.


  • Vanessa DellaPasqua

    - Culinary Travel Service Planner, Entrepreneur

    Vanessa DellaPasqua is the founder of Global Epicurean (www.globalepicurean.com), a bespoke travel services provider that focuses on culinary trips. Global Epicurean also publishes Italy in SF (www.italyinsf.com), a directory of everything Italian in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Born and raised in the culinary paradise of Romagna, in Italy, she grew up in the hotel and restaurants that were the family business. Her core passions are food and travel – that’s how Global Epicurean was born. In particular, Vanessa’s interest resides in exploring cooking as an expression of culture.

    Vanessa holds a Masters from Bologna University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business. She lives between Romagna and San Francisco.


  • Victoria De Maio

    - Travel Consultant, Blogger, Writer, Tour Leader, Published Author & Lover of All Things Italian!

    Victoria De Maio

    Victoria is a lover of all things Italian! As a travel consultant, blogger, writer, tour leader, and published author she is passionate about traveling to and writing about Italy.

    In a constant state of "homesick for Italy", in her blog, PostcardsfromTravelPiZazz.com, she shares (and welcomes) travel tips, advice, photos and much more about bella Italia.

    Her first book, Victoria's Travel Tipz Italian Style is now available on Amazon.

    As a tour leader, she offers unique, boutique tour experiences in Puglia and Umbria: "Let's Kick Up Our HeelZ in Italy - Puglia 2015" - exploring the heel of Italy's boot and "Let's Lose Our HeartZ in Italy - Umbria 2015" - a fabulous tour of the green heart of Italy!