I was born (and still live) in Florence, Italy. Growing up in an old city, filled with art and history, birthplace of so many Renaissance geniuses, I naturally became fond of anything that had been created by human ingenuity.

I was an extremely shy child, with very limited access to the wild Nature, and not even a pet allowed in the house: my favourite companions became books and my favourite place the public library near my home. To my young and unexperienced mind, human beings were just powerful and benign agents of beauty, progress and endless happiness for everybody.

As my interests diversified and went deeper into the understanding of all things human, the picture got more complex and troublesome. The more I learned the more I would discover that, in reality, there were a lot of things that didn’t work quite right, and people’s lives were made miserable for so many reasons.

At university I studied Political Science, International Law and Economics, hoping to find keys to understand and address the bigger picture. I also engaged in a lot of activism, focusing on Food Sovereignty and Fair Trade. And I started teaching, because I love to share knowledge and learn together.

Nonetheless, dissatisfaction kept growing. (And my migraines kept getting more frequent and intense.)

I decided to radically change perspective and tools. I went back to school to study holistic Nutrition. After all, I come from a lineage of superb home cooks, and all my memories gave me evidence that food can be a formidable vessel of shared joy, connection and harmony. And I knew from direct experience that their exquisite use of herbs and spices was meant not just for flavor, but also to add a subtle and yet profound healing component, both for the body and the spirit.

I now work with individuals, groups, communities using food and lifestyle education to improve personal well-being as well as develop awareness about the interdependence between personal and global (health, justice, resources, etc.)

Over the years, Oriental Medicine and Herbalism have become my major, and happily convergent, fields of exploration. Finally, about two years ago, during one of my morning walks along the river Arno, a message made itself crystal-clear: “You need to become really serious about your herbal studies. Go and find the best school!”

So here I am, the happiest perpetual learner ever. The East West School is an extraordinary guidance that truly empowers students, no matter their background. I am thankful beyond words for all support I am given to confidently make my way into professional Planetary Herbalism.

After a difficult year that has asked many of us to adjust, rearrange and postpone, I am welcoming 2021 with renewed plans to move to a rural area in the Central Apennines region. The closer and constant contact with plants, their habitat and natural cycles will offer me the opportunity to reshape my educational programs while deepening my herbal consciousness. And I will definitely set up a fully equipped Renaissance alchemic kitchen!

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