I was born in Bozzolo (litterally 'cocoon') in the Northern Italian province of Mantova 54 years ago. I obtained my degree from the University of Parma, after which I moved to the other side of the ocean and obtained my Master’s from the University of Virginia and my Ph.D from Stanford. I have been teaching at New York University (NYU) since 1994, and I have been running the Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò of NYU, since 1998. At the Casa, we organize more than one hundred events annually, including exhibitions, conferences, concerts and theatrical performances. My personal passion, however, continues to be teaching: I created a course on the cinematographic portrayal of Italian history, and one on Machiavelli in its historical context. I also run the NYU program in Florence every summer. I continue to have a close and visceral relationship with my town of origin, and 2 years ago, I founded the Academy of the Bozzolese Dialect to conserve and promote the local culture.