"I fell in love with the ruins in Rome, the art in Florence, the glittering canals of Venice and the picture-perfect sunset of the Cinque Terre."I’m lucky to come from a family that values traveling – when I was seventeen, my parents pulled me out of school for three months to explore nearly a dozen countries across Europe and Africa. My teachers weren’t thrilled, but arriving in Italy felt like stepping into my art, history and Latin textbooks in a way I couldn’t have done in the classroom. On that trip, I fell in love with the ruins in Rome, the art in Florence, the glittering canals of Venice and the picture-perfect sunset of the Cinque Terre. Later trips took me to the horse races in Siena, wine tasting in Montepulciano. The travel gene was not lost on me, and I’ve done a fair amount of traveling on my own, including five months living in France, but Italy had secured a special place in my heart. My love of travel translated into a degree in International Studies, complemented with a double major in Creative Writing and a masters in business management, all from the University of Michigan. My family is also Italian (although my Italian colleagues have accused me of pronouncing my last name “too American”) and ran Hotel Marenghi in the Parma region of Italy for generations.