A treasure chest full of stories, recipes, images, travels, traditions, and culture of My beautiful Italian country.
My name is Maria Giovanna. I was born and bred in Italy. I lived in my hometown of Avellino, in the Campania region, until I was 28 years old. In my hometown I met my wonderful husband. In my hometown is where my two amazing sons were born. As a child, I dreamed to be an architect. My dream came true as I graduated in Architecture from the University of Naples, Italy. My life in Italy was simple, surrounded by family and friends. There were two constants in that life: a passion for traveling to always discover new places and the pleasure of cooking for friends gathering around the dinner table.
During the Fall of 1990 my simple life took a sharp turn. My husband, a scientist oncologist, was offered a grant for a one year research in the USA. Me, being me, impulsive and always open to new adventures, I jumped on the idea without even considering that I had a 2 years old toddler and I was pregnant with my second child! The date was set, April 25, 1991. My second born was exactly 3 months old. With six pieces of luggage, one carriage and one stroller we embarked the flight from Rome to NY and we finally landed in DC. My first memory is the view of the Washington Monument from the cab’s window. My husband was assigned to a lab of the National Cancer Institute’s laboratory located in the branch in Frederick, Maryland.
The one year research turned into two, then four. Life was good, I learned to speak English (I still have my Italian accent), I made friends, I started working in an Architectural firm, the kids started school and were involved in a myriad of activities.
In 1998 surprisingly we won a Visa Green Card for permanent residency in the USA. It was time to make a decision. You can probably guess…we are still here in quaint Frederick, Maryland.
I now live with my husband Giovanni and our Goldendoodle, Vera. They call us “empty nesters”. I really do not like this term. It feels lonely and that not the way our life is. My boys have grown up, have graduated, and moved out of the house but, they are still very much so part of our home. They didn’t fly to far away and they are back to the nest more times than you can count. We are not empty nester, we are a family whom has grown from four to six.
I practiced my architectural profession for 15 years. I treasure that experience and the friendships I cultivated while on the job. In 2010, my passion for cooking, my love for traveling, and mostly my desire to preserve, pass on, and spread my Italian culture, led to the creation of Sharing MY Italy. I realized that being away from Italy gave me an advantage. I didn’t have to deal with the nuisances, politics, and issues linked to everyday life. From this side of the ocean I could simply appreciate and reconnect to Italy’s rich culture, ancient history, variegated cuisine, melodious language, amazing art, inspiring design, breathtaking views, and relaxed lifestyle. I have taught Italian language, given cooking lessons, and I have designed custom private trip to Italy. In 2014 I had the privilege to plan and led a group tour in Italy for the ILR program of Frederick Community College of Frederick County, MD. From 2013 to 2016 I served as volunteer chairwoman & event planner of Festa Italiana of Frederick, a fundraiser event to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County MD. After a slow start, the event has raised more than $50.000 in two years. Serving as a chair for a non-profit was a rewarding and eye opener experience but it was also took all of my time (literally). I gave up my teaching and I freed some time for traveling.
In the past few years, I have been fortunate to be able to travel often, in Europe and Asia. Mostly however, I travel in Italy. I go back to familiar places and I explore new ones. Everywhere I go is a new discovery, a new food, a new piece of history, a new smell, a new color, a new pair of shoes! Italy never stops amazing you!
I owe a big thank you to my husband for his unconditional support. I am truly lucky to have him always by my side. Thank you to my two amazing sons for always reminding me how awesome I am. These two have my heart. Lastly, thank you to my daughter-in-law and my younger son’s partner. I needed some girls power in my life.
To all of you who are reading this post, Grazie mille for stopping by!