Meet the team behind Italy Magazine. We’re an international crew building on the publication’s decades-long history and expanding its commitment to distinguished coverage of all things Italy.


Offering an authoritative, authentic take on Italy for international audiences, Italy Magazine’s team of local experts celebrates the best of the Bel Paese. Through sharp coverage that spans culture to food to current events, our aim is to help readers deepen their understanding of Italy for richer travels. Whether planning a trip or staying connected from home, our readers want to incorporate Italy into their everyday lives — and we’ve helped them do so for the past 20 years.

Travel & Living
48 Hours in Gorizia: Beauty, Intrigue and Goulash on Italy’s Balkan Borderland
by Alex Sakalis

Ed., March 21, 2023: We're re-sharing this article as it was originally published in 2020, since Gennaro Sangiuliano and Asta Vrečko, culture ministers of Italy and Slovenia, respectively, convened on Monday to discuss forthcoming projects for the European Capital of Culture 2025. Gorizia and Nova Gorica will share the title.

Art & Culture
Ramadan, the Roman Way
by Miranda Mullings

The Arab alimentari El Zayat in Rome’s Marconi neighborhood has the familiar din of a minimarket in Cairo. Twinkling lights curtain the facade and a plastic battery-powered sign blinks “Ramadan Kareem.” Customers and staff banter in Arabic, with a few sprinklings of Italian here and there.

Food & Drink
Hot New Dining Experiences in Rome You Should Know About
by Maria Pasquale

April 21 is the annual celebration of the founding of Rome. Given she’s got an impressive 2,776 candles on her cake this year, you might be forgiven for mistakenly assuming that the Eternal City is stuck in the past.

Art & Culture
The “Open to Meraviglia” Campaign is a Mess. Italy Deserves Better.
by Mary Gray

In 2007, the Paris-based journalist Dana Thomas published a dense little book, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster, which quickly became a fixture on the syllabi of entry-level fashion school courses. Outwardly, it was a reportage on the bland massification of couture houses, a kind of elegant-elitist call to arms for righteous defenders of “integrity” in “aspirational” products.

Travel & Living
How to Plan a Weekend Break in Ponza (Hint: Don’t Plan Too Much)
by Miranda Mullings

Legend has it that Romans have been vacationing in Ponza since earlier than 300 BCE. They saw it as a secluded place to exile people they didn’t want around the empire — and also exile themselves when they needed a break from imperial life.

Travel & Living
What Actually is an “Agriturismo,” Anyway?
by Miranda Mullings

The summer crowds in the streets of Italy’s main hotspots can’t tell you everything about the current state of travel. Despite the high rates of “revenge tourism” Italy is seeing post-pandemic, slower forms of travel are trending, too.

Travel & Living
Revisiting Roman Holiday by Vespa With Annie Ojile
by Laura Itzkowitz

One of the enduring cinematic classics set in the Eternal City, Roman Holiday is a romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Hepburn plays Princess Ann, who’s in Rome on an official state visit from an unnamed European country. Restless and bored by her institutional duties, she escapes from the embassy and decides to explore the city incognito.

Art & Culture
Italy and the Hollywood Writers’ Strike, Then and Now
by Eric Millman

As the Writers Guild of America (WGA) approaches its fifth month on strike, with the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) right behind it, few moments have been so significant in the history of American film and television.

Piatto Unico
Dayenu: Passover Egg Soup
by Benedetta Jasmine Guetta

Recipe excerpted from Cooking alla Giudia by Benedetta Jasmine Guetta (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2022. Photograph by Ray Kachatorian (Dayenu is at bottom left).


Publisher: Mike Fuller / As publisher of Italy Magazine, Mike is revisiting his roots from 25 years ago. Mike was the publisher of Student Travels Magazine between 1995-1999 and during that same period developed a number of custom publishing projects for the British Tourist Authority, including Britain on a Budget as well as special supplements aimed at the 50+, LGTBQ and honeymoon markets. A native of Montreal, Mike currently resides near Boston but travels extensively to Italy, where he spends most of his time in his favorite city — Rome.

Editor-in-Chief: Mary Gray / Mary oversees all editorial operations at Italy Magazine. Born in Mississippi and based in Florence, she is an accredited journalist with the Italian Foreign Press Association who draws from over a decade of on-the-ground adventures and an academic background in Italian Studies. Mary has written for the Washington Post, La Repubblica and Forbes Travel Guide; co-authored guidebooks for Time Out, DK Eyewitness and Lonely Planet; taught travel writing and fashion media at the university level; and held a five-year deputy editor post at The Florentine, where she created the Rental Diaries column, which became a book of the same name. Shabby trattoria tables and markets hawking nonna hand-me-downs are her happy places.

Director of Partnerships: Liz Shemaria / Liz coordinates branded content for Italy Magazine partners and drives the publication’s marketing initiatives. A northern Californian with a background in both editorial and commercial storytelling, Liz has hiked solo in Himalaya, interviewed artists in military-ruled Burma and once rode an overnight train across Egypt on her birthday. She has worked with organizations including Human Rights Watch, Viator, American Red Cross and Wells Fargo, and publications including BBC Travel, AFARFodor’s Essential Italy and Hidden Compass, where she was a founding editor. Liz holds a master’s degree in journalism and lives in Milan, where she has learned to roll her r’s and to never order a cappuccino after breakfast.


Social Media & Visual Editor: Gabriela R. Proietti / Gabriela is Italy Magazine’s visual creator and voice across social media and also oversees imagery and design decisions for quarterly supplement Bellissimo. An Italian-American born and raised in Philadelphia, Gabriela decided to jump ship from her career in corporate fashion, following the “Italy pull” to Rome in 2019, and later to Naples, where she lives today. Gabriela is a writer, journalist, social media strategist and digital creator whose work has been featured in Italy Segreta, Elle and The Italy Edit. She has a passion for all things Naples and Made in Italy.

Senior Staff Writer: Toni DeBella / Toni is Italy Magazine’s senior staff writer, the pen behind many of the magazine’s “Italy in Brief” reports. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, the northern California native moved to Italy in 2012 and never looked back. Now a travel and lifestyle writer based in the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto, Toni has written for The Telegraph, Fodor’s, Culture Trip, Walks of Italy and Women & Home, and was also a major contributor to DK Eyewitness Sicily. When she’s not documenting her journeys around Italy and Europe, Toni covers the DIY beat for The Family Handyman Magazine, Bird & Bloom and Hunker.

Contributing Editor: Laura Itzkowitz / Laura is a contributing editor to Italy Magazine and the lead writer for the Inspired Stays series on exciting accommodations around the Boot. A Rome-based freelance journalist with a passion for covering travel, arts and culture, lifestyle, design, food and wine, Laura has written for Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, T Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, GQ, Departures, AFAR, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveler and others. Laura has explored Italy up and down from the Dolomites to Sicily, and especially loves the beaches and islands. 

Senior Recipe Writer: Francine Segan / Francine is Italy Magazine’s lead recipe developer and writer. She is a food historian, prolific public speaker and James Beard-nominated author of six cookbooks, including, most recently, PASTA MODERN: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy and DOLCI: Italy’s Sweets. Francine is a regular on the Food Network, PBS, Discovery and History Channels and has written for Saveur and Epicurious, among others. A frequent judge in food competitions, she has sat on panels for Barilla’s Pasta World Championship, Charcuterie Masters and the International Pesto Competition.

Staff Writer: Alexa Ahern / Alexa has covered a range of beats for Italy Magazine since 2022, but is particularly interested in human-driven stories about the land, food culture and society. A journalist and translator who traded in Missouri for Milan nearly a decade ago, Alexa has an academic background in Journalism, Italian and Mediterranean Studies. She now feels fully “Italianized,” using allora with unironic enthusiasm and complaining about bureaucracy like a veteran. 

Staff Writer: Alex Sakalis / Alex, always on the go and often on a bicycle, frequently covers travel and hidden itineraries, art and culture, architecture and design for Italy Magazine. His work has appeared in the BBC, The Economist, The Daily Beast and openDemocracy, among others. Originally from London, since 2018 Alex has lived in Bologna, where he frequently finds inspiration from all things La Grassa.



Accountant: Laura Bonato / Laura runs Italy Magazine’s finance department. She hails from Sicily, the Mediterranean island she left to move to Boston in 2000, to embrace a new life and working adventure. In Italy, she built her career working in accounting for private companies and spent 10 years in the finance department of the University of Catania. She brings to Italy Magazine her 30-plus years’ experience and hard-working attitude that allow her to tackle the daily challenges of keeping the books. 

Senior Sales Consultant: Alessandra Biro / Alessandra is responsible for driving Italy Magazine ad sales, continually identifying new opportunities and maintaining existing customer relationships. She was born in Milan, moved to the UK in 1996, and draws upon 20 years of experience as a Senior Sales Consultant. A strong believer in the power of positive thinking in the workplace, Alessandra is inspired daily by her family. When she isn’t working, Alessandra can usually be found enjoying a good Netflix binge or a long walk on hilly country roads.

Customer Care & Sales Associate: Enzo Romeo / Enzo coordinates numerous administrative processes for Italy Magazine and manages many of the company's advertising accounts. Hailing from Catania, on the slopes of Mount Etna, Enzo studied and worked in computer programming before moving to the car rental sector, working in leading companies in the industry for more than 20 years. When off-duty, Enzo enjoys spending time with his family, reading books, drawing and painting, true to his personal motto: “Time is the most important thing we have. Let’s use it well.”



Our readers are why we’re here. We’d love to hear from you.

For questions about your Premium Membership or technical issues with accessing your benefits, please contact Customer Care via this form.

Letters or comments to the editor regarding recent articles, newsletters, issues of Bellissimo or other editorial content can be addressed to editorial [at] italymagazine [dot] com.

Writers and journalists interested in pitching stories to Italy Magazine should first read our pitching guidelines here.