Where can an author and speaker enjoy family, friends,fun, beauty, and delectable dining— and a little work? In Italy, of course! I was asked to do a presentation in the “Canavese”, the area where I was born, and is nestled at the foot of the Alps. It was one of the most emotional events of my career. My “paisanos” reacted with warmth, gratitude, and tears. They were especially appreciative that I had vindicated the Italian captain, crew, and ship builders of the Andrea Doria in my book Alive on the Andrea Doria.
I was also invited to return “home” and partake in a ceremony celebrating Italy’s unification 150 years ago. Surprisingly, I was received as the guest of honor as several hundred “piemontesi” (people from the Piedmont) reunited in honor of their roots. They arrived from Argentina, Brazil, France, and Austria—where they had immigrated. The immigration Museum who sponsored the event included me in their history tome. Once again, I was very touched!
On the Italian Riviera, I met with the president and curator of the Museum of the Sea in Genoa. We discussed the possibility of having an Andrea Doria artifacts exhibit in the future—an idea which was met with enthusiasm. We also partook in an interactive exhibit called LAMERICA, experiencing what it would have been like to immigrate to the New World at the turn-of-the-century. At the end our visit, I invited the museum president and curator, Doctors Paola Profumo and Pierangelo Campodonico (whose father was a crew member on the last voyage of the Andrea Doria) to attend the International Marine Forensics Symposium of 2012 in DC. We would be honored to have Italian maritime experts attend. http://www.sname.org/SNAME/Forensics2012/Home/Default.aspx
Finally, in Torino, where my family lives, I met with a journalist- friend of mine. Giulia Vola traveled around the world two years ago in search of “piemontesi”. She found them on nearly every continent. She then made a documentary. On the last day we spent together, she proudly told me her documentary was on the first page of the Italian newspaper, La Stampa. I was excited for her and excited to be a part of the documentary. http://multimedia.lastampa.it/multimedia/in-italia/lstp/55788/