We the Italians' team

Feb 25, 2021 58411

We the Italians is a media company that helps everybody to share, promote, be informed and keep in touch with anything regarding Italy in general, and specifically Italy in the US. Through our website, our social media communities, our newsletters, our magazine, our podcast and our books, we are the most complete network to ease and improve the relations between Italy and the US. And we’re just getting started!

Umberto Mucci -
Founder and President + Ambassador in Lazio

Umberto has a degree in Political Science and a master in Marketing and Communication. He is the founder and President of We the Italians and the representative in Italy of the Italian American Museum of New York. He gives lectures about History of Italian Emigration to the US, and he has published eight books about Italy and the US.

Edoardo Colombo - Public Relations + Ambassador to Tourism World

Edoardo is an expert in Innovation and Tourism. During the Shanghai World Expo 2010 he gave birth to "Italia degli Innovatori", creating a successful flow of Italian technology transfer to China. Speaker and trainer, is often invited to conferences and university courses, also at international level, to illustrate developments in digital tourism.

Nicola Paglietti - Legal

Lawyer, member of the Bar of New York and Rome. After graduating in Law (JD) at Luiss in Rome and acquiring a master degree (LL.M.) at New York University, School of Law, Nicola worked at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell from 1992 to 1997, participating in the privatization and IPOs of several Italian companies. Nicola is specialized in international contracts and assists Italian and foreign companies in their daily corporate activities, in M&A transactions and in the negotiation and drafting of contracts both at national and international level. He acts as an independent Board Member in several foreign companies.

Fabrizio Fasani - Managing Director

After a life-time experience in top management in the technology and utilities sectors, Fabrizio decided to slow down crazy working-rhythms to have more time to follow personal interests and change his professional activity into operational consultancy, especially to support PMI Italian companies in their business development path. In addition to the professional activity, he always developed a deep interest in the world of “Arts and Culture”, not only as a personal intellectual pleasure, but also to support young artists in their growth in the figurative, sculpture and poetry fields. In We the Italians, Fabrizio deals with the financial and organizational aspects of the company.


We the Italians' Ambassadors in the American States


William Liani - New York

An evangelist believer, an Italian business developer and relationship builder who embraced WTI at the concept time and always supported the idea behind. Born in Roma (Italy), engineer, Italian ice hockey, roller hockey and american football professional (when he was younger). Business developer and Strategist in life, applied in so many different market sectors. An evangelist of the Italian Cultures and recipes/wines.

Mariella Salvatori - California (Los Angeles)

Mariella is a former official of the Economic Trade Sector of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. During her diplomatic life she lived in Brazil, Algeria and the United States. She now lives between Los Angeles and Rome. She currently works in public relations for Italian companies and consults on administrative/consular matters.


Sandra Tornberg - Michigan

Sandra is a proud first generation Italian American of Abruzzese descent. Her passions are her family and her volunteer activities, especially her association with We the Italians. In addition, she is an ambassador for the Michigan Opera Theatre and volunteer at the Anton Art Center. She is a member of the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan, the Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan, and the National Italian American Federation.

Thomas Gambino - Hawaii

Thomas was astonished to discover the commonality of culture shared between Italy and Hawaii. Family, friends, food, music etc play an important part in both people’s lives. He was pleased to have served as Vice President of the Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii, an association that features Italian language study, cooking classes and many social activities. Thomas was inspired early on as an Italian American to write a book entitled "The Scattered Italians". It is a saga filled with the gusto permeating the core issues of discovering our roots and who we are.


Stephanie Longo - Pennsylvania

Stephanie is a native of Dunmore, PA, and is the author of three books highlighting her area's Italian American culture: Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Dunmore, and Italians of Lackawanna County. She is currently the Associate Producer and Chief Administrative Officer of The Italian American Podcast, and is a graduate of The University of Scranton and Regent University.

Patrick Presley - Arkansas

Patrick has over 20 years experience in non-profit public relations and development. He is also the Co-Founder of the Arkansas Italian food and culture festival in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a passionate proponent for Italian American causes with a special focus on the American South. He believes the rich Italian American history of the South in the United States is often overlooked or forgotten and sat about the formation of the Italian food and culture festival as a way to highlight the history of Italians across Arkansas and other southern states.

Charles Marsala - Louisiana

Charles is a fourth generation Sicilian American, whose eight great-grandparents migrated to New Orleans from separate villages of Sicily. He is motivated by their legacy of involvement in honoring and maintaining the culture, values, work ethic, and integrity of the Sicilian family. He is the President of the American Italian Federation of the Southeast and a Divisional Vice-President of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America. A few years ago he began producing documentaries on Louisiana Culture and the Sicilian Migration to Louisiana. He was awarded a Russo Brothers Grant through the National Italian American Foundation to produce a film on the 1891 Lynching of eleven Sicilians in New Orleans. 

Matteo Zengaro - Mississippi

Matteo Zengaro is a documentary filmmaker and currently pursuing a masters degree in history at the University of Alabama. Matteo was one of seven recipients nationwide of the Russo Brothers Italian Film Forum Grant, co-funded by directors Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers Endgame), for the completion of his first documentary film I Sopravvissuti in 2017. Matteo specializes in creative non-fiction storytelling which highlights issues of social justice.

Carol Faenzi - Indiana

Carol owns the lifestyle brand, My Tuscan Aria, which offers small group, luxury excursions to Tuscany. She will soon launch a home and fashion textile line created from her private art collection of Renaissance images. Carol is also the author of the historical novel, The Stonecutter’s Aria, based on the true stories of her marble-carving ancestors from Carrara, Italy. www.mytuscanaria.com.

Nicolino Applauso - Maryland

Nicolino Applauso, PhD, is an historian of Italian language and literature and is the president and founder of the Applauso Italian Learning Center, LLC. He teaches Italian language and culture at Loyola University Maryland and Italian, Spanish and Latin at MorganState University (where he founded the Italian program in 2018). His research path is multifaceted and includes both the medieval period (Dante and the strands of epistolography and comic and satirical literature in the Italian Middle Ages) and contemporaneity (political satire in music and mass digital media and demographic evolutions in Italy in the 2000s).

Carolina Gandolfo McKenna - Utah

Carolina Gandolfo McKenna is 24 years old and was born in Palermo. She graduated from high school and then enrolled in law school. She has been residing in the United States for the past two years with her husband who is American and continues her undergraduate studies in the legal field with a focus in public administration, Spanish, French, Latin and Greek. She lives in Utah but continues to be an Italian proud of her roots and forever in love with her country.

Nicola Vidali - Georgia

Atlanta (GA) resident since 1992, Nicola has been involved in prestigious marketing and communication projects in three continents for important national and international organizations since 1988. In recent years Nicola has shifted his career and interests to become involved in educational, sports, social, and civic engagement initiatives with a range of organizations where he brings his entrepreneurial ability to connect the dots across fields and disciplines, with both creative vision and concrete logistical integration.

Elissa Ruffino - Washington DC

Elissa currently works as an adjunct instructor at Marymount University School of Business and Technology. She also teaches communication courses and is a visiting professor in marketing for John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. For more than 23 years, she served as chief brand officer, director of communications and public relations for the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2020 she published her first children's book" Dream Big Dream Small", both in English and in Italian. 

Maria Arancio Berry - New Mexico

In 2012 Maria Arancio Berry was elected Board President of Italian Festivals of New Mexico (501c3) and took over the directorship of the annual New Mexico Italian Film & Culture Festival. Since then she has devoted her professional talent in administration, project development, and marketing to the mission of celebrating and promoting the richness of Italian culture in the Land of Enchantment. Maria is a creative writer and speaker who is passionate about all things Italian.

Claudia Costantino - Nevada

Claudia Costantino was born and raised in Bari, Puglia. She studied both in her native city and at the University of London, England, until she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Semiotics at the University of Foreign Languages and Literatures of Bari. In 1998, she moved to New York, where she worked as Director of Marketing and PR at the Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, and the Italian Culinary Institute. The passion for adventure led Claudia to move to Las Vegas in 2007. In October 2016 she joined Casa Italiana di Las Vegas, a non-profit organization whose mission is the promotion of traditional and contemporary Italian culture. At Casa Italiana Claudia runs the marketing and PR department. In her free time, Claudia enjoys interior design, dancing, reading and traveling.

Robert DiBiase - New Jersey

Robert’s career has been in communications and municipal utilities for decades.  However, his pride and true calling has been to assist Italian American Organizations by developing programs for educating and raising public awareness of Italian achievements and contributions to America and the world. He is the chairman of the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission, one of only two legislated commissions of this type in the USA. He is part of many Italian American groups in the NJ / NY area. 


John De Cecco - South Carolina

John, a former instructor for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA- New England), retired to South Carolina, where he has served as the president of the Italian American Club of Hilton Head Island (IACHH) since 2012. Under his leadership, the IACHH has reached record fundraising levels, increased membership numbers, and attendance at club events. In 2019, he was instrumental in coordinating a sister-city agreement between Hilton Head Island, SC and Verona, Italy.

Pamela Dorazio Dean - Ohio

Pamela holds a joint position as Curator of Italian American History with the Western Reserve Historical Society and Director of the Italian American Museum of Cleveland. She is also a contributing writer for La Nostra Voce, the newspaper of the Italian Sons & Daughters of America. Pamela obtained her Master of Arts in History with a concentration in public history from Kent State University and is a Certified Archivist.

Lisa Bolamperti Garrett - Nebraska

Born and raised in Omaha, NE, Lisa is one of 7 siblings of a traditional Italian family where food and family are the pillars of life. Lisa is an online holistic nutrition coach, married to Jim and has 4 boys, Sam, Joe, Nick and Tony. Currently, Lisa is the Chairman of the Board for the American Italian Heritage Society, where Italian culture and food are celebrated. Lisa's parents, Ted and Jeaniene Bolamperti are 2 of the founding members of the AIHS, founded in 1980 http://www.omahaitaly.com/ 

Richard DiLiberto - Delaware

Richard A. DiLiberto, Jr., Esq., was appointed chairman of the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture in 2006 by Governor Ruth Ann Minner, reappointed in 2010, 2013 and 2016 by Governor Jack A. Markell, and in 2019 by Governor John Carney. Rick is a practicing attorney. He also served as a member of the Delaware House of Representatives from 1992 to 2002. Rick was honored by the Delaware Christopher Columbus Monument Committee as its 2017 Man of the Year. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Sicily, Italy. He and his wife, Faith, raised three daughters in Newark, DE. 

Jenna Capra - Colorado

As the owner, publisher, and editor of Andiamo! (Colorado’s Italian Community Newspaper), Jenna has dedicated the entirety of her career to the celebration of Italian culture, history, and pride! Born and raised in Colorado, she has always been inspired by her family’s immigration story - leaving behind everything they knew in Molise to seek a better life of opportunity in America - and grew up loving “all things Italian!” Over 100 issues and 10 years of publication later, she continues to put her passions into Andiamo! and remains committed to documenting the stories that make us all proud to be Italian and Italian American.

Stephen Russo - Rhode Island

Stephen is a Tax Auditor for the State of Rhode Island. He has a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Baruch College in New York and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Rhode Island College. He is the Treasurer for the Pannese Society. The Pannese Society was established in 1909 and is the society for the people and families from Panni, Foggia. Stephen has dual American/Italian citizenship going through the town of Termini Imerese in the province of Palermo, Sicily. Stephen lives in Cranston, RI with his wife and three daughters.

Antonella Brancaccio-Balzano - Florida

Antonietta (aka Antonella) Brancaccio-Balzano is the founder of the law firm Brancaccio & Associates. She was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where she graduated with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude. She then  obtained her Masters in International and Comparative Law at the University of Miami School of Law. She serves on the board of the directors of the National Italian American Bar Association (NIABA), and on the board of the directors of Il Circolo, the Italian cultural society based in South Florida. She is the Correspondent for the Italian Consulate in Miami.  

Lisa De Natale - Vermont

Lisa is a 1980 graduate of Boston College where she earned a BS in Marketing. She had a thirty-year career in Marketing and Brand Development. Growing up in suburban Boston Lisa was surrounded by a large extended Italian family. She and her family moved to Burlington, Vermont in 2000. In 2011 she became the President & CEO of Special Olympics Vermont where she remained until her retirement in 2018. Lisa became the Marketing Chair of the Vermont Italian Cultural Association in July, 2020 and in June, 2021 was elected its President.

Giorgio Antongirolami - Kansas

Giorgio lives in Kansas City with his wife Josie, their son Luca and their daughter Antonella. After receiving his undergraduate and master's degrees in business from Rockhurst University, he has served a key role on the Rockhurst coaching staff since 2000. Giorgio has founded with 3 other partners in 2013 College Life Italia, a sport-education based company that has helped more than 1000 Italian Students to obtain Scholarships in the USA.

Maurizio Gamberucci - Texas

Maurizio is currently Deputy Director at the Italy America Chamber of Commerce of Texas where he intends to build a bridge between Italy and Texas as the main route to transfer his experience for the success of the Italian companies in the US. A professional infusing a history of directing state-of-the-art international business, marketing, and sales activities with a robust network of global contacts throughout highly competitive industries/markets, including food and wine, nonprofit, research and development, education, restaurant, and professional services.

Giovanna Leopardi - Missouri

Born and raised in Salerno, Italy, Giovanna moved to the U.S in 1986. In 1993 she obtained a double major in Foreign Languages. Subsequently in 1997 she obtained a Master in French Studies from Saint Louis University. From August 11, 1997 to present has worked for USDA Rural Development as a Program Analyst in the Appeals and Oversight Branch. From 2001 to present Giovanna has been teaching Italian to both adults and children and now directs her own Language Program.

Mark Spano - North Carolina

Mark’s feature documentary “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” recently aired on Public Television and has had a limited theatrical release in the US and Canada. It was warmly received at the Toronto Italian Film Festival and has aired in Europe. Mark recently produced a short video tribute to Sicily during the COVID-19 pandemic entitled Dreaming of Sicily. He is presently developing two programs, one on the participation of African-American soldiers in the Civil War and another on the immigration of a Sicilian family to the United States. He lives in North Carolina 

Luca Papini - South Dakota

Luca was born in Tuscany in Grosseto, and graduated at the University of Perugia in Literature and Philosophy. He worked for RAI television before moving to the US in 2007. He opened a business for the import of Italian goods to America. He is now a New York Life Agent. He continues to fulfill his mission to be an Ambassador of the best of Italy but also to strengthen the relationships between the two countries with cultural exchanges, classes, cookouts, storytelling, and helping people to travel to Italy. He lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Angela Zagarella - Oregon

Angela grew up in Syracuse, Sicily. She is the coordinator of the Italian Program at Portland State University in Portland, OR, where she teaches language, literature and cinema. Her areas of interest are contemporary Italian literature, Italian Food studies, Italian cinema, Mediterranean and Migration Studies.  Angela is very active in the Portland community where she organizes and promotes cultural, cinema and musical events in person and online. While Oregon is her home, Angela maintains close contacts with Italy where she returns regularly for professional and family reasons.

Randy Aliment - Washington

Randy is a second generation Italian American of Piemontese decent. He is partner in the Seattle office of Lewis Brisbois and serves as General Counsel for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Randy has a practice focused on the higher education, sports industries and international law. He has extensive experience representing foreign clients in US litigation. In 2012, he served as Chair of the 25,000-member Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. In 2013, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Union Internationale des Avocats headquartered in Paris, France. He is a Foreign Consultant to Duan & Duan, the first privately licensed Chinese law firm.

Sandra Gengler - Minnesota

Born and raised in Ancona, Sandra came to the US to attend Indiana University where she received a BS and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business. While in college she met her husband, Bill. They live in Minneapolis and have two adult children. Professionally, she held positions in brand management, new products development and global marketing communications with Fortune 500 companies. 10 yrs. ago, she joined the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul where she has been deeply involved in its mission and programs. Elected President in 2018, she continues to expand its reach and build a stronger presence in the region.

Paolo Bartesaghi - Iowa

Paolo was born in Lecco, in Lombardy. He grew up in Milan and began designing his own jewelry line. In 1997 he and moved to Des Moines, IA. He served on the board of the Des Moines Metro Opera. In 2010 he became President of Iowa Sister States in 2012. Paolo has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa for more than 15 years and has served as President since 2016. He is currently a travel consultant and organizes boutique trips to Italy.

Michele Fabbro - West Virginia

Michele is a second generation Italian American whose four grandparents immigrated to the Ohio Valley from Abruzzo and Puglia. She holds M.A. degrees in school administration and Library/Media Technology. Her interest in Italian immigration led to a 2019 Fellowship awarded by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at CUNY in New York City. Michele is an active member of the Italian American Cultural Club of Steubenville and serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival.

Robert Erianne - Tennessee 

Robert's engineering doctorate launched a career leading research projects in military base security, naval intelligence, and nuclear plant safety. He is co-founder and Managing Director of Italia Nashville Guild, organized in 2010 to assist those seeking to trace their Italian roots. New Jersey-born Robert's passions for bocce, caldarroste (roast chestnuts), and winemaking deepened after he became a "Music City, U.S.A." resident in 1999. Loves for music and family traditions coalesced the year he worked as publicist for an Italian festival headlined by Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Felix Cavaliere.

Davida Gavioli - Maine 

Davida moved to the United States in 1989 as the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a PhD in Comparative Literature. She is on the faculty at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME where she teaches Italian language and literature. Her teaching and research focus on multicultural Italy, Mediterranean and Migration Studies. While she was born and grew up in a small town in Lombardy, her heart is in Sicily and she tries to go back as often as she can.

Claudia Blanchard - Montana

Claudia Stefania Blanchard is a first Generation Italian American. Both her parents are from Calabria.  She has an Associates Degree in Travel and Tourism Management, and is in the process of opening up a Home Travel agency specializing in her love for Italy. Claudia is married to a Military (Army) man who lived all around the United States and Europe, now retired and settled in Montana. Claudia is happy to be part of the We the Italians.

Robert Fierro - Virginia

Robert did his undergraduate work at Saint Bonaventure university in upstate New York and his medical school at the University of Ottawa in Canada, and then served in the US Army medical Corps and then did a residency and fellowship (obstetrics and gynecology, infertility) at Virginia Commonwealth University. Then he went into private practice and retired in 2008. He and his wife have two children and three grandchildren. Robert has been associated with the Italian American Cultural Association of Virginia for approximately 30 years.

Ron Onesti - Illinois

Ron is president and founder of Onesti Entertainment Corporation, producing over 200 concerts, corporate events, shows and festivals annually all over the United States. Ron Won three Emmys for “The Happiness Club,” a PBS special highlighting the singing, dancing and choreography by inner city kids against drugs and violence. He produces over 200 live shows a year at the historic Arcada Theatre in Chicago. Ron is President of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) and the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) and serves on the annual Columbus Day Parade committee in Chicago.

David Calderone - Alaska

David is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alaska with more than 35 years of experience. He is a first-generation Italian American, his father coming from Alfedena (Abruzzo). David received his Mechanical Engineering Degree from Oakland University in Oakland (MI) in 1985. He has a Master's Degree in Engineering Management. He also served for 7 years as a United States Air Force Officer, achieving the rank of Captain. He has lived in Alaska since 1989.

Simonetta Milli Konewko - Wisconsin

Simonetta Milli Konewko is Associate Professor in the Department of French, Italian, and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She published Neorealism and the “New” Italy”, Compassion in the development of Italian Identity, Palgrave, 2016; L’Italia neorealista. Compassione e identita’ nazionale, Carocci 2018, and Around the Dinner Table with Grazia: Food and Cooking in the Work of Grazia Deledda, UWM Digital Commons, 2021. Her articles appeared, among others, in Forum Italicum, Rivista di Studi Italiani, Holocaust and Modernity, and Sinestesie.

Isabella Weiss di ValbrancaCalifornia (San Francisco)

Isabella was born in Rome, and after graduating in Law, a Common Law course in London and practicing as a lawyer, she became a freelance journalist and also worked for Rai International, covering cinema. She later moved to the U.S. and began a director and producer. Isabella also holds a Master's degree in Business Engineering from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and has always been active in the Italian community in San Francisco. Since last December, she has been elected president of San Francisco's Com.It.Es (the Committee of Italians Abroad).

Catherine Carter Goldston - Idaho

Catherine was born in Grove City, Pennsylvania and has a Bachelor of Science from Edinboro State College, a Master of Education from University of Florida and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California. She has been a teacher and has been listed as a noteworthy Principal by Marquis Who's Who. Catherine is the treasurer of the Italian American Club of Boise, ID.

Tom Damigella - Massachusetts

Tom graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and then received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from BU. He also had a brief playing career as professional soccer player for the Boston Astros. Later he began his career in the family’s business by managing a Top 10 National Tupperware Distributorship with a sales force of 600 consultants. Tom retired in 2016 and today he is involved with several Italian American associations like the Italian American Alliance and the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian Organizations. He has always been very proud of his family’s Sicilian roots. In 2022, Tom became President of the North End Historical Society.

Roberto Giua - Kentucky

Roberto was born in the province of Brescia, Lombardy. He has worked for large Italian companies in the telecommunications and defense sectors. Active in the Rotary Club in both Italy and California since his relocation, he has authored more than 25 international publications and volumes on topics in business organization, countering human trafficking and mental health prevention.

Saverio NesticoPennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Saverio was born and raised in South Philadelphia, PA where he is the President of SPN Companies. Saverio volunteers with Filitalia International  as the newly elected 7th President of the organization, an international non-profit with 25 Chapters throughout Italy and USA that helps to preserve, promote and protect the Italian language and culture through programs and services.

Pete Melucci - Arizona

Pete Melucci is of full-blooded Italian descent. His great-grandparents came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and moved to the southwest in 1997. Pete sits on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Italian-American Chamber of Commerce. And is also the Regional Vice President of the Southwest Region with the National Italian American Foundation.

Tom Cesarini - California (San Diego)

Tom Cesarini holds a PhD in leadership studies from the University of San Diego, with a specialization in nonprofit research and management. Tom is the founder and executive director of Convivio, a nonprofit organization that promotes Italian cultural identity. He also serves the community through his role as the Italian honorary consul in San Diego.

Michael Messina - Alabama

Michael is a third-generation Italian-American whose family immigrated from Sicily. A resident of Birmingham, Alabama, he received a degree in Communications from the University of Alabama and is currently the Manager of Client Success at a multinational organization. Michael is married to Marena Messina; both are fellows at the Italian American Future Leaders. He is a member of OSDIA, IAHS, and the Italian American Heritage Society of Birmingham. Michael believes that it is vital to engage the younger generation and provide them with an understanding of the importance and pride of being an Italian American.

Anna Carabetta - Connecticut

Anna is a first generation Italian American proud wife and mother of five children. For over thirty years as an assistant to her husband’s construction company, Anna brings attention to detail in new or renovated building projects. She founded STAR Studio, a fitness and wellness center where she teaches classes. She is also the founder of Carabetta Cares INC. a non profit that serves as a purpose for children and families creating smiles in difficult times. Anna’s mission is to cultivate everlasting relationships and continue the legacy and love of her Italian American Heritage.



We the Italians' thematic Ambassadors 


Margherita Ganeri - Education

Margherita is Full Professor of Contemporary Italian Literature at the University of Calabria, where she founded and directs the Seminar “Italian Diaspora Studies” and the course CLIA (Italian American Culture and Literature), operated through an annual Fulbright Lectureship. She has a wide record of publications and directs the book series “Italian Diaspora Studies” for Italian publisher Rubbettino. 

Ennio Tasciotti - Research

Dr. Ennio Tasciotti is the Founder and Director of the Human Longevity Program of the IRCCS San Raffaele and a Professor of Biotechnology at the San Raffaele University. Previously he served as the Chairman of the Department of Nanomedicine and as Founder and Director of the Center for Biomimetic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute and as Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Regeneration at the Houston Methodist Hospital, one of the top 20 hospitals in America. He is considered a pioneer in the field of biomimetic medicine and among the first to exploit the regenerative power of the immune system to repair and regenerate organs and tissues.

Francesca Villanti - Art

Francesca is an art historian who has worked for more than 20 years on the conception, development and implementation of cultural projects, author of numerous publications on Italian and international art of the 20th century. A professor of modern art history at the Faculty of Architecture at La Sapienza University in Rome, she has curated and organized numerous reviews on great masters. In 2020 she was call to manage the Mediamuseum in Pescara to rethink the spaces and revive the film museum. Since 2021 she has been an advisor to the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Alessandro Pinto - Sport

Alessandro is one of the founders of "social responsibility in sport." When this notion did not yet exist, he was the "weaver" of the first two agreements between the International Olympic Committee and four United Nations Agencies (1992) and between FIFA and UNICEF (1994), which marked the beginning of an era during which sport officially engaged in social and humanitarian activities. Alessandro has continued over the years working in this direction in different parts of the world, awarded by the U.S. Federal Government with a permanent residency in the U.S. for merits in his field. Since 2019 he has been Founder and President of the Italian American Sport Foundation.

Edoardo Colombo - Tourism

Delfina Licata - Emigration

Delfina is a sociologist of migration at the Fondazione Migrantes of the Italian Bishops' Conference. Curator of the Rapporto Italiani nel mondo (Italians in the World Report), she coordinated the Dizionario enciclopedico delle migrazioni italiane nel mondo (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Italian Migration in the World) (2014). She is a member of the scientific commission of the Festival della migrazione di Modena, of the book series Storia dell'emigrazione italiana in Europa (Donzelli, 2022) and the technical commission on Root tourism at the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Author, in 2022, for Donzelli of the book L'Italia e i figli del vento.

Gualtiero Carraro - Metaverse

Gualtiero is a digital entrepreneur, founder and partner of several innovative startups. 10 International awards for digital works and platforms. Inventor of some innovative virtual reality and augmented reality solutions, including the first version of Street View (2006) and the first VR APP for Tablet, presented by Steve Jobs (2011). Some of his significant results are the Europe's best-selling multimedia encyclopedia, the first video portals with tens of thousands of Business videos and the first virtual mapping of a nation, Italy.


We the Italians' Ambassadors in the Italian regions


Umberto Mucci - Lazio

Lorenzo Zeppa - Liguria

Lorenzo is 32 years old and is an entrepreneur in the field of communication and cultural heritage. After a humanistic education he dedicated himself to the development of web marketing, communication, videomaking and management skills. He has a great passion for art and cultural heritage. He has managed historic properties and implemented projects for the recovery and enhancement of historical and artistic complexes. In his spare time he loves to travel, read, smoke cigars and spend time with his three children: Pietro, Riccardo and Davide.

Giovanni Vagnone - Piemonte

Giovanni is 38 years old, he has been working in communication for 15 years and has a degree in law. Journalist and businessman, he is managing director of a consulting company active with institutions and agencies of the United Nations and private individuals, as well as founder of an innovative startup for green building. He has been working with We The Italians for 5 years now as the layout designer for the magazine and is passionate about history and technology, as well as being in love with New York.

Alessandro Tapparini - Veneto

Born in Verona, Veneto, by profession first a civil lawyer for almost twenty years and then a tourism entrepreneur, and by passion an independent Americanist on various publications including Wired and Forbes. In 2012 and 2016 Alessandro was on SkyTg24 as a commentator and analyst of the American presidential election. Since 2014 he is co-author and co-host of Country Nation, one of the few Italian radio shows dedicated to country music.

Pietro Viola - Sicilia

Pietro is an accountant and auditor, with more than twenty years of experience, specialized in business, tax and fiscal issues. Member of the Study Group on the Internationalization of Businesses and Professional Activities at the Order of Chartered Accountants of Palermo, he deals with business support and development of international strategies. Owner of Studio Viola Specialists in International Trade and more recently founding partner of the BID Department (Business Innovation Development) which assists clients in internationalization projects, through the innovative philosophy of valorization abroad of the company's culture, identity and traditions.

Giuliana Poli - Marche

Giuliana is a journalist and a researcher in cultural anthropology. She writes about traditions and monographs and texts on works of art. She is also an analyst and expert in iconography and iconology of works of art, semantic research of the language of art and words. She also deals with strategic communication

Marina Gabrieli - Puglia

Marina Gabrieli was born in Galatina (Lecce) in 1985. She graduated in "Design and Management of Tourism Systems" at the University of Rome "Tor Vergata", where she also obtained the PhD in "Cultural Heritage and Territory". She is president of "Raiz Italiana", an association that helps Italian descendants living abroad to discover their family origins and assists public and private entities in the design of tourist offers. She is also the creator and author of the series “Guida alle radici italiane. A journey in the footsteps of your ancestors”, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Marina is also member of the Permanent Observatory on Italian Roots (ORI) of AsSud Association and part of the General Council of Pugliesi in the World. She is a lecturer in the Master "Progettazione e gestione dei viaggi delle radici" at the University of Calabria.

Giovanna Di Lello - Abruzzo

Born in Canada and raised in Switzerland, Giovanna is the director of the John Fante Festival "Il dio di mio padre". Cultural journalist, documentary filmmaker and events organizer, she graduated in Foreign Languages and Literatures  in Pescara, Abruzzo and holds a master's degree in Economics of Culture from University  Tor Vergata, Rome. She has made several documentaries, including "John Fante. Profilo di Scrittore" and "A Dream In The Purple Sea. Pascal D'Angelo". She has written essays on the Italian American writer John Fante and edited the volume "Dalla parte di John Fante", together with the historian of emigration Toni Ricciardi. 

Katia Lacerra - Basilicata

Katia took her degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures and soon after she started make researches and write articles about antropology, popular traditions and Folk-Lore in Basilicata. She also attended a Master in Business Administration and Management. In December 2014 she was appointed President of GIAA Basilicata (Tourist guides, interpreters and tour leaders association). She is also part of the Province of Potenza’s Project Managent Team as regards Financial and Communication aspects concerning international projects. 

Catia Monacelli - Umbria

Catia was born in Umbria in Gualdo Tadino (Perugia) in 1974, where she now lives and works. She graduated at the University of Perugia in Modern Literature with cultural anthropological orientation with a specialization in visual and museum anthropology, and has a master's degree in Neuro Linguistic Programming and one in Management of Cultural Heritage and Services. She is the Director of the Polo Museale Città di Gualdo Tadino that includes among other structures also the Museum of Emigration Pietro Conti. He is a member since 2020, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, of the Museum of National Emigration in Genoa.

Irene Marcuzzi - Friuli Venezia Giulia

Born in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Irene worked in Italy, the USA, and The Netherlands. She is the president and founder of the Fogolar Furlan in the Midwest. She holds a bachelor in European studies, a master’s in international business and development, and a master’s in economics and coffee science. Currently, Irene is a PhD student is management and information engineering. She has experience in sales, logistics, trading, education, intellectual property, value chain development, sustainability, and consultancy with various multinational companies as well as with local realities, donors, NGOs, Foundations, and Universities.  

Michela Ceccarelli - Valle d'Aosta

Michela graduated with honors in foreign languages and literatures at the University of Pavia. She is Professor of French Language and Literature in Aosta. On the theme of emigration from Valle d'Aosta abroad, she has published two books: "Emigrés" and "Emigrés 2.0". She is a member of the Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Società contemporanea della Valle d’Aostaand of the Scientific Committee of Fondazione Emile Chanoux. After an experience in the field of journalism, she is now mainly focused on the organization of events, research and essays on the theme of migration and on the study of Valle d’Aosta history.

Maria Tirabasso - Molise

Maria is a civil servant of the Molise Region and is in charge of relations with Molise people in the world, with Molise associations abroad, with Comites, CGIE, Consulates and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As part of the Region's Tourism Service, she takes care of territorial cooperation projects and the granting of specific European funding for the promotion of culture and tourism in Molise.

Helga La Nave - Trentino Alto Adige

Helga was born in Trento and lives in Pergine Valsugana: she has been working for more than twenty-five years in cultural programming for the new generations: training activities, shows and events. She is a descendant of Trentino emigrants in America: from the curiosity to know their life she became interested in emigration. She has been a proud member of Associazione Trentini nel Mondo for several years and is now a member of the Board of Directors. 

Paolo BattagliaEmilia Romagna

As founder of Anniversary Books, a publishing company specialized in illustrated books and visual history, Paolo authored and published two illustrated books on the Italian American experience. The first, “Explorers Emigrants Citizens” with a foreword by Martin Scorsese, was co-published with the Library of Congress. For his second project, the book and documentary “Italian American Country”, he travelled more than 20,000 miles allover the US to interview small Italian communities in more than 20 states. Among many other things he’s done, Paolo served as Director of Museo della Figurina, the only public museum dedicated to the history of trading card and sticker collecting, and created the concept “Foodball High”, a docu-series in which US high school football meets Italian food.

Alessio Tola - Sardegna

Professor of analysis and evaluation of technologies at the University of Sassari in Sardegna, Alessio has always devoted himself to the study of industrial districts and the dynamics of development of production systems, innovation technology and internationalization of the reference markets. He wrote over 100 scientific publications over the last five years, including international studies on the socio-economic impact of start-ups in Italy and in the USA. First generation entrepreneur, he founded the Smeralda Consulting Group, of which he is Honorary President. He represents the American Chamber of Commerce in Sardegna.

Carlo Rombolà - Calabria

Carlo is an Italian lawyer who has been dealing with sport law matters for more than ten years, cooperates with domestic and international legal journals and is author of several publications. He is founder and managing partner of the law firm Studio Legale Rombolà & Associati. Carlo participates as advisor and speaker at conferences, round tables and business meetings held by the most important international associations of lawyers and sport operators. He wrote as main author the book Profili di Diritto Internazionale dello Sport. Carlo speaks both English and Spanish languages and advices Italian and foreign athlets, managers and sport agents.

Maurizio Mancianti - Toscana

Maurizio is a certified public accountant with offices in Florence, Rome and Milan. He works in corporate, financial and labor consulting. He is member of the board and secretary general of the Teresa & Luigi De Beaumont Bonelli Foundation for Cancer Research. He is President of Associazione Toscana-Usa, Councilor of the Chianti League and member of the Medici Civic Order. In 1978 he was awarded Honorary Citizenship of New Orleans.


We the Italians: the Magazine


Giovanni Vagnone - Layout


Jennifer Gentile Martin - Wine

Being of Italian ancestry, Jennifer has a strong passion for her culture and wine, especially that produced from Italy. She writes a wine blog, Vino Travels, that promotes and educates folks around the world of the wide variety of grapes and regions throughout Italy. www.vinotravels.blogspot.com

Amy Riolo - Cuisine

As an award – winning, best-selling, author, chef, television personality, and educator, Amy is one of the world’s foremost authorities on culinary culture. She is known for sharing history, culture, and nutrition through global cuisine as well as simplifying recipes for the home cook. Amy is also a food historian, culinary anthropologist and Mediterranean Diet specialist. Her 11th and last book (for now) is Italian recipes for Dummies.

Federico Pasquali - Sport

Federico was born in Rome. Sociologist, communication expert, assistant professor at La Sapienza University, writer and sports journalist. He loves sport, good books, food, wine and Italy.

Sabrina Penati - Books

Sabrina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Language Mediation and Intercultural Communication and is a Master’s Graduate in World Politics and International Relations. In 2020, she interned at the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver, and she is currently doing an internship as a Research Assistant at the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention. Her prime interests relate to international relations and cooperation, politics and human rights, with a specific focus on the United States, on which she wrote both of her dissertations.

Alberto Improda - Design

Managing Partner of Studio Legale Improda, President of Fondazione Città Italia, President of Centro Studi X Route Impresa, Vice President of Cultura Italiae, lawyer, professor and writer. Lecturer at ISIA University Institute, Italy's oldest university on Design (www.isiaroma.it


We the Italians: Behind the scenes


Alessandra Bitetti - News


Alessandra was one of the very first people to join the "We the Italians" team: she has seen this project grow day by day and is proud to be part of it. She is currently in charge of the editorial content on the website and social networks. Alessandra is a curious person, eager to innovate and experiment. She loves to travel, read and cook and is proud to come from a small town in Puglia.

Giulia Vinci - Event Coordinator

Graduated in Tourism, Member of the Greal scientific committee at the "Università Europea di Roma", Mice and Destination Manager. She loves creating events of national and international importance with creativity and passion. CMO of Borgo Novus srl and currently manages the municipalities of Vejano, Corchiano and Castel Sant'Elia.

Elaina Savino - Instagram + Tik Tok

Elaina currently works in the Mayor of Malden’s office in Massachusetts as the Communications Content Manager and specializes in Social Media Management. She is a first generation Italian American and has a great passion for Italian tradition and preserving the cultural heritage in the United States.

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