Natalie is a proud Italian-American whose great-grandmother, an Italian immigrant from a small town in Puglia, had nearly forgotten everything except for a few choice words, which she used constantly (“Mangia Natalina!”).  At Princeton, she took the 101, 102-7 sequence , supplementing the coursework (which mostly focused on teaching us the basics of Italian grammar) with readings of Italo Calvino.

After completing Princeton’s Italian language sequence, she sought out other courses in Italian literature and culture including a course on Italian Pop Music with Professor Simone Marchesi (Fall 2012), a course on the Italian Renaissance with Professor Pietro Frassica (Fall 2013), a course on Italian cinema at Rutgers University with Professor Gabriella Bellorio (Spring 2012), and a course on the economics of the mafia with Roberto Saviano (Spring 2014).

Study Abroad

Natalie participated in the Rutgers study abroad program in Urbino, which allowed her to take advanced courses in Italian literature, a two-semester sequence (each course was intensive, 3 weeks long, every day for several hours) about Italian short stories. Throughout the program, she traveled throughout Italy, seeing Bologna, Pesaro, Venice, Rome, Florence, Ravenna, San Marino, San Gimignano, Siena, and Milan. With her knowledge of pop music, she quickly gained the title of “karaoke star of Urbino.” Read more about these experiences on this blog.


The view from the hill overlooking the hilltop city of Urbino


This is the “Statua cagalibri” in Venice, aptly named.

Natalie also accompanied Pietro Frassica’s “Slow Food” class on a week-long trip to Sicily, learning the basics of pasta-making at the Case Vecchie, a culinary institute in the heart of the island and seeing a great number of Sicilian cities and learned about the history, culture, and tastes of each: Palermo, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania, Taormina, Valle dei Templi, and more.


Making fresh pasta in Sicily