Virtual Experiences

Italy, Italians, festivals and folklore, rural life and cuisine, art and history fuse together in my passione for all things Italian.

When I’m not able to share this enthusiasm through my guided Umbrian hilltown tours, this passione heads online in my Virtual Experiences.

Click here for enthusiastic comments of participants in these online Italy insights.

These are free insights into all things Italian but your generous donations allow me to fully dedicate time and energy towards this exciting new project. Mille grazie!

Upcoming virtual experiences:

Join me on Saturday, August 15th for my next ZOOM conference on Italy insights.

You’ll soon know more about the Italian treasure we’ll be talking about.

Stay tuned!


To join my ZOOM presentation click here

I will welcome all at 7 40 p.m. for those wishing to say “ciao” and so that you can see that your ZOOM settings are ready to go. We’ll mute microphones at 8 pm and I’ll start my hour-long presentation, taking questions at the end.

If unfamiliar with ZOOM (as I was!), do visit the Getting Started page:

Suggestion: use the ZOOM desktop app for Windows, Mac OS or Linux for the best experience.
You can test your audio and video  prior to presentation, clicking here:

All my ZOOM presentations are recorded and uploaded to my YouTube channel


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and keep up with my upcoming online talks.




All virtual experiences:


Assisi’s Basilica of St. Francis: From Destruction to GloryJuly 25th, 2020
Explore with me Assisi’s glorious 13th-c Basilica di San Francesco as I offer you an inside-look at the painstaking restoration of two frescoed vault quadrants which smithereened to the floor in the 1997 earthquake. The fresco restoration project of the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi might arguably be termed the greatest restoration project ever undertaken in Western European fresco art. By some sort of miracolo, I was allowed up on the vault sixty feet above the Upper Basilica floor to view the final days of this five-year project centered on the re-piecing of 80,000 13th-c fresco pieces. The event of a lifetime. Let me show you why.



Italy’s Mediterranean Diet: From Art to the TableJuly 25th, 2020
Lauded as UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Intangible and celebrated in 6th-c B.C. Etruscan frescoes, Pompeii mosaics and Renaissance masterpieces, the Mediterranean diet is not simply a list of foods but a way of life, uniting the people of the Mediterranean basin. A moment of social exchange and intergenerational communication, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes values of hospitality and the preservation of ancient traditions.

Italy brings la dieta mediterranea to life in astounding artistic creations and glorious festivals where people of all ages and varied social classes celebrate with that quintessential Italian passione. You’ll live that passione too in this presentation.



Italy’s Uplifting Pagan-Christian RitesJuly 11th, 2020
Italy’s UNESCO Cultural Intangible Heritage turns vividly tangible in my talk, “Italy’s Uplifting Pagan-Christian Rites.” From north to south, the festivities of Italy’s intangible heritage embody centuries-old rites, all profoundly tied to the land and interweaving religious traditions and pagan roots. In this talk, you’ll find out why Italy’s astounding UNESCO Cultural Intangible Heritage festivals are “uplifting” quite literally as well as figuratively.



Italians, HANDS ON: An Explosion of Floral PassionJuly 4th, 2020
On your next trip to Italy, everything will be “coming up roses”; that is, if you center your travels around one or more of central Italy’s glorious floral festivities. In my talk, “Italians, HANDS ON: An Explosion of Floral Passion,” you’ll explore with me floral festivities and ancient traditions of Umbria and Abruzzo. I know you’ll marvel at that extraordinary Italian creativity and passione as all the townspeople unite to create floral masterpieces.



Rural Life RevisitedJune 27th, 2020
This presentation centers on our life on the land in Umbria in the late 1970’s and is a tribute to our rural friends who taught us far more than how to raise ducks, geese, guinea fowl, rabbits and sheep, how to transform a pig into prosciutto, how to shear our sheep, prune our olive trees and turn our grapes into wine.
They taught us about life. Our rural friends are givers of the greatest gift.
You’ll know how they have enriched our lives when you meet them in this talk.



Italians, HANDS ON: From the Family to the PiazzaJune 13th, 2020

The Coliseum and Forum in Rome, Venice’s Piazza San Marco, Florence’s David, Missoni, Prada, Benetton, the pasta, the pizza, espresso and gelato are not Italy’s only attractions.  Another national treasure? The Italians. Hands down.



Please consider a donation – if you havent’t done so yet – to make it possible for me to continue creating these virtual experiences and share my Italian passione.

Comments on Anne’s Virtual Experiences


“One thing that hits me is the width of your view of Italy.  When you were taking our choir around UmbriaI was very impressed with your knowledge of art and lore and food, and it was a delight to be taken into various shops— even if you always asked us to sing for owners :).

But in your presentations, both the one last weekend on country life the the one on hand gestures the previous Saturday, what is amazing is your deep understanding of a wide range of culture.

And I mean culture not in the ordinary everyday meaning of the word, though you certainly are well versed in that, but also in the technical meaning given to the word by my colleagues over in our Department of Anthropology.

It’s not just the elements, its the interconnections of the elements. I was impressed when we toured with you a decade ago, and I continue to be impressed.”

Robert B.
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Director, Michael Britton Observatory
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA


When you can’t be on location in Italy, you can be there virtually with Anne! Her lectures are chock full of information, personality, and local lore. Having traveled with Anne (back when Americans were allowed in the country!) I can attest to how amazing she is as a tour guide. But these virtual lectures showcase her talents, deep knowledge and enthusiasm about her adopted country just as well. Anne is a treasure. When you can, join one of her Umbrian tours. For now, join her on Zoom for a unique Italian experience.”

Linda J., Salem, MA


“I have participated in two of Anne’s talks so far and can’t wait for the next one. They take me right back to Italy, where I lived in the mid-70’s. Anne does a lot of research and really brings the topic to life with the right combination of facts and her personal experiences. She also has wonderful photos to illustrate her talk. She keeps each talk very lively and they move quickly. If you love Italy, you will love these talks.

Helen F., North Granby, CT


Thank you for taking us back 100 years, giving us a picture of what daily life was like in rural Italy, from old photos.
Then we see Italian life in the countryside, in the 1970’s when you moved to Umbria, married, and with your husband bought a farmhouse, and had children. You raised animals, and farmed the land. Your photos with excellent explanations made the presentation just like a guided tour! Thanking you!”

Jean P., Glastonbury, CT


“I’m a farm girl at heart! Love the stories, the people, the countryside, the food of Italy in your Rural Life! So genuine. I’ve been to Assisi several times, always called back because it’s such a special place. How I love being able to return via www.annesitaly whenever I need a boost from the country. Thank you for making the video available to watch again….and again.

Patti N., Terrace Park, OH


Grady and I are so enjoying your zoom presentations. Your passion for Umbria and your profession shines through with every word. We are so grateful to have been able to travel with you in Umbria and feel very fortunate that you have included us in these talks and we are so hoping to be with you again in Umbria.
Mille grazie.”

Judy and Grady Aronstamm, Sarasota Springs, N.Y.


“I meant to write to you, Anne, after watching “Italy’s Uplifting Pagan-Christian Rites,” which my wife and I found very interesting in the content and in the way you’re able to be so personable in your presentation. It’s almost like being there.

Tom F., Newburgh, NY


“Anne has once again brilliantly expressed her deep love and understanding of the people and country of Italy. Her new lecture series, Hands on Italy, is full of color, personal anecdotes, history and general knowledge of the place she has called home for almost 50 years.

Her many years as a trained guide gives her a well-paced and entertaining way of imparting knowledge. You’re always ready for more – you taste the culture though all your senses!

Due to  extenuating circumstances, she is using the computer for her work now, instead of her incredible American culinary/cooking  tours and in-person lectures on  Italian life; even though in virtual communication, you still feel you are in a one-on-one conversation with a best friend!  

I would highly recommend this series and only hope that more and more people will have the pleasure of seeing Italy through Anne’s eyes.  A true gem in the treasure trove of a beloved country. “

Nancy C., Silver Spring, MD


“We SO enjoyed your presentation, especially since so many of us Italophiles are missing Italy so very much……you should be America’s Ambassador to Italy

I’ve said this again and again, but you are incredibly talented, not only in writing, verbalizing, but also your photography.

We can’t wait for your next presentation.”

Deborah S, San Francisco, CA


“Anne’s talk on Italian gestures and family life was remarkable!  Although I have been to Italy several times, Ilearned so much more about the culture from this effort than all my trips combined.  Anne is a genius at conveying the everyday life of working Italian families .  I look forward to her next talk.

David F., Reston, VA



Great program today. Being an Italian-American with grandparents from Sicily and great grandparents from Genoa, family and food were and still are the heart of my existence. Thank you for “bringing us home” through your wonderful presentation.

I had tears in the eyes, my mouth was watering and my heart palpitating with your Hands On walk through our  Italian roots.  

We look forward to joining as many of your programs as possible…..(and) the word will be spread.  Grazie mille!!”

Russ P., Belvedere, CA.


“I was lucky to attend Ann’s zoom presentation on Italians HANDS ON. After being stuck at home because of the pandemic, it was like taking a trip to Italy. I can’t wait for the next one.

Frank C., Boston, MA


“Annie, I really enjoyed your talk.   Made me homesick for Assisi. Such a wealth of information I gained into the use of hand language.

 So glad you all are able to do a bit of what you’re so good at doing…(and)  know howmuch I appreciate the work you did on the preparing and presentation of the material.   Really liked all the photos.   Avery personal touch that makes your talks so special.”  

Dorothy N., Herrin, IL


“Although, of course, not as fabulous as doing an in person tour with the “dynamo” Annie, we thoroughly enjoyed the first of, hopefully, many of Annie’s virtual talks.  She certainly brings any topic to life and makes it fun and informative
Sandi & Jerry S., Palo Alto, CA


“Anne’s first presentation on Italian hand gestures was not only informative but also delightful.  Seeing Anne in her home while sitting in my home in Illinois made made me feel like we were visiting in person.

Anne’s knowledge and humor left me looking forward to many more opportunities to share with my friend.”

Bev Oliveri,  Naperville, IL


We have really enjoyed your lectures on beautiful Umbria. Your detailed pictures and explanations have allowed us to feel closer to Assisi during this challenging time.

The people and events you shared help us to plan our next trip! So much to see and do with you when we can return.”

Ann K., Cleveland, OH


Thank all the saints of Assisi for Annie’s lectures on Italian bocconcini–tantalizing tidbits of the trips we all wish we were taking right now.

How refreshing to experience Annie’s wit and wisdom about friends and family, her enthusiasm for festivals and flowers, her encompassing knowledge of history and mythology. We have particularly enjoyed the photos of Annie and Pino throughout the years. Now instead of enduring another round of Netflix or having deep discussions about why Americans won’t wear masks , we can return to those thrilling days of Umbrian sunshine and Sagrantino wine both figuratively and hopefully nel futuro.

Grazie, bella Annie, per il tuo spirito and gentilezza durante l”inferno! We highly recommend these lectures.”

George and Michelle T., Greensburg, PA


“Your lectures have given me back a sense of what Italy is and was for me. Your passion and your storytelling ability, along with a wealth of wonderful photographs, have transported me outside the virus-imposed isolation of my home and into the near fantasy land of Italy.

I particularly appreciate the insights you have as someone living and working in the beautiful Umbrian countryside. I look forward to your next lecture, and the ones after that. Grazie!”

Cathlin F., Redding, California

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)