Urbino, Unexpectedly, is set in Italy between the frivolous Adriatic coast, the backcountry’s romantic hamlets, the Alps, foggy Milan, and colorful Rome. It shows the Italian upper-class lifestyle and it is a coming- of-age journey through love, sickness, death, jealousy, and passion.
Clara is twenty-two; she studies in Milan and is about to become a lawyer. From the outside, everything is exactly as it is supposed to be, but Clara is unhappy. She finds Milan depressing, she hates law school and, anywhere she goes, she feels “like a fish out of water.” Embracing her parents’ values has trapped her in a life she neither likes nor understands. Her father is a famous surgeon and a reserved, pragmatic man whom she fears; her mother is a well-connected, flamboyant socialite used to supervising and influencing Clara’s every move; her roommates are often a source of trouble and, her grandma, who lives upstairs in the family’s home, is Clara’s only confidant. In Urbino, she meets Leonardo, a young doctor who lives in Rome, and from their first handshake, her destiny is changed forever. Their immediate mental connection crumbles the rules of her black-and-white world and their powerful physical passion shows her the many colors of life. But this is only the beginning.
Clara’s newfound confidence, her decision to quit law school, and her intention to marry Leonardo trigger unforeseen conflicts and bring to the surface deep-rooted jealousy that force her to redefine not only the relationships with her parents, but also the meaning of true friendship. Clara is faced with the dilemma of having to choose between her own happiness and the peace of mind of the people around her. She has to understand if spreading her wings and living life her own way it is more important than the reassuring feeling of being a ‘good girl’ who always behaves.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Lately, I’m reading a lot on how to succeed and what to do in order to sell and become famous. I think that, in the end, not everything can work the same way for everybody, the only real way to do it is following our instinct and being true to our personality never pretending to be someone we are not just to please the market. Keep writing, don’t give up and be yourself!
I was born and raised in Rimini, Italy, a mid-size town on the Adriatic Sea. I was trained as a clinical psychologist at “Universita’ La Sapienza” in Rome where I spent fun and exciting years enjoining the energy of the capital. I got married in 1994 and soon after, following my husband in his career (or maybe it was him following me in my desire to try different cultures), I moved to the US where I still live. I am very attached to my family back home and, in order to see them, I try to visit them in Italy every summer. I now live in Potomac, MD with my husband (the same one!) and our ten-year-old daughter (did I just write ten? Time really flies). Besides writing, I love spending my time growing and caring for plants and flowers. Here, my husband and daughter would have a loud laugh since, it often happens that, despite my efforts to keep them alive, my plants turn into dry sticks. Luckily, that doesn’t happen with our many pets; our home is full of animals, inside and out. Inside there is Roxy, the happy and fierce Pomapoo always looking for a soft place to snuggle up; Margot, the nosy and sweet black cat constantly hunting; Cheddar, the chubby and lazy orange tabby that loves to play with her tail; five fishes named Dave one, two, three, four, and five. Outside, we have plenty of deer that we love even if they keep eating my flowers and my vegetables as soon as they bloom or as soon as they are ready to be harvested; we have birds and squirrels that we keep satisfied by feeding them seeds and nuts all year long, and an old fox with three legs that hide in the woods and that we call ‘Foxy’ (very original, I know).
My own difficulty to find myself, to understand who I was and what I wanted from my life. I’m not a young girl anymore, but I’m still looking and I understand that sometimes the only way to find out is to take risks.