All the Way to Italy: Alumna Flavia Brunetti Presents First Novel
Alumna Flavia Brunetti presented her newly published book All the Way to Italy – A Modern Tale of Homecoming Through Generations Past at John Cabot University on September 26, 2018. The event was co-sponsored by the Department of English Language and Literature and the Institute for Entrepreneurship. Born just outside of Rome but raised in the United States, Flavia attended John Cabot and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Political Science. She later earned her master’s degree at St. John’s University in Rome and currently works for the World Food Programme.
Flavia conceived the book while she was still a student at John Cabot University. She admitted to feeling very American when she first arrived in Rome as a student, but the University’s international environment helped her with the transition. “It changes the way you view the world,” she said.
Little, the protagonist in her novel, goes back to Italy after her father’s death and enlists the help of the women in her family to find answers. After arriving in Rome, she travels to Tivoli, Florence, Naples, Sperlonga, and Orvieto. All the Way to Italy is described as a tale for those in search of balance between tireless exploring and the necessity to come home. The protagonist’s Aunt Sira was inspired by Flavia’s own aunt, who shares the same name. Flavia said that her next book might develop Sira’s story.
During the presentation, Flavia read two short excerpts from her book, which took three years to write and starts and ends with dream sequences. Although she is bilingual in English and Italian, Flavia chose to write the book in English because she believed that writing it in Italian would have produced a different result.
Flavia said it was an “unparalleled feeling” to present the book in the Aula Magna Regina, where she used to attend classes and events. A tip that she gave to all aspiring writers who have full-time commitments was to divide the work, set small goals and strive to adhere to deadlines. Flavia said that it is important to make time for the things we love and she mentioned that she keeps a blog called whichwaytorome.com, which combines her passions for writing and Rome.
The book was published by the Italian publishing house Ali Ribelli Edizioni, which has been in existence for about eight years. After Flavia’s book, Ali Ribelli started distributing books internationally. The illustrations in the book are by artist Cinzia Bolognesi.
All the Way to Italy is a coming of age story, with a focus on traveling and wanderlust, but it is also “a love story for my city, an ode to a country that I didn’t know was mine,” said Flavia. She concluded the presentation by saying that “Home can be more than one place.”