About Monica

Ciao! At home in the Palazzo Wilson-Gattai, Florence, Italy.

I live and work in Florence, Italy. My international spirit travels with an American passport.

The Barbados passport is expired but we’ll be working on that renewal soon. Never know when the blue and gold trident might come in handy. The island was good to my parents and their children. We maintain its gilded memory as a time before time.

My day job is legal work for a local firm, after years in software, and prior to that, higher education in the U.S. My off hours are filled with a creative buffet of writing, art, and choral music. Also reading, parenting, housing, laundry, organizing, traveling, reading, fine wine, luxury fragrance, all manner of cuisine, olive oil, better chocolate, and more.

I frequently write about cultural forays, interpretive adventures, and what I’ve noticed living away from the U.S. in different places in each decade of my life. I write about my work, the kids’ school, our friends, daily life in Italy. I’m a writer. It’s what I do.

I freelance online content for companies. I’ve got novels in draft (see: Publications link). I love to read (see below). I’m an incurable shutterbug (see: Blog link). Follow me on Instagram as @occhiatafiorentina.

I completed half of NaNoWriMo in 2018 and ended with an unfinished novel of about 70,000 words.

Favorite authors and poets: Short list. FSF, Hemingway, Austen, Annie Proulx, Louise Erdrich, Lydia Davis, Chang-Rae Lee.

Latinx and italiani: Antonio Machado, Pablo Neruda, Elena Poniatowska, Cervantes, Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges, Luisa Valenzuela, Pablo Neruda, Julio Cortazar. Elena Ferrante, Claudio Magri.

Canadians, Brits, and poets: Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Mark Strand, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, Philip Larkin.

Americans, Irish, and dissidents: Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, Edna O’Brien. Joyce. Orwell. DH Lawrence. Milan Kundera.

Warrior women: Isak Dinesen. Beryl Markham. Katherine Mansfield, and Katherine Anne Porter. Sylvia Plath. Gertrude Stein.

French: Marguerite Duras. Simone de Beauvoir. Marguerite Yourcenar. Andre Gide. Flaubert. Baudelaire. Villon.

Russian classics, I cannot get enough: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Pushkin.

Nonfiction faves: Anthony Lane, of The New Yorker. Judith Thurman, also of The New Yorker, and her many biographies, which are to die for if you like to get buried in a book like me. John McPhee. Isak Dinesen. And, of course, Orwell, again. Joan Didion.

Feature photo is the Museo Primo Conti in Fiesole. We took the kids there for an art workshop three years ago. It was amazing. Go, if you can.