“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
WELCOME TO MY WORLD
I began my career as a journalist and photojournalist for The Gateway newspaper in Gig Harbor, Washington, but after a few years, I used my on-the-job experience to become a journalism teacher. During my 31 years as a teacher, the student newspaper I advised, The Peninsula Outlook, was inducted into the scholastic journalism hall of fame. While I now manage a road maintenance business, the part-time nature of my job allows me time to pursue my life-long passion for Italy. Beginning with a trip where I tried to impersonate an Italian cousin and then through a series of follow-up visits, I gradually undertook the challenge of trying to understand both modern Italy and the old country of my ancestors. With little formal training in the methods of genealogy and a slowly developing knowledge of Italian, I stumbled my way into discovering my family’s roots back to the 13th century. My struggles to obtain my permesso di soggiorno, codice fiscale and Italian citizenship and passport provide amusing examples of the best and worst ways to work with the Italian bureaucracy.
In October of 2015, I became the proud owner of a home in Tuscany, in the city where my grandparents met and were married, and I divide my time between Italy and the United States.
Named Washington Journalism Teacher of the Year in 1986, Distinguished Adviser in 1996 and Vocational Teacher of the Year in 2000, I supervised student newspapers, yearbooks and literary magazines that earned more than one hundred state and national awards. I write a popular blog, Living (with) Abroad in Tuscany, and am a speaker and author on the topics of Italian living and genealogy. I graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in editorial journalism and Western Washington University with an MA in education.
In 2019, my book, An American Family in Italy: Living La Dolce Vita Without Permission, received a bronze medal in the Readers' Favorite contest for non-fiction travel. Judges called it ". . . an absorbing and charming story of a family that moves to Italy for a year after leaving a comfortable life back home. The author's stories . . . will motivate many readers to make their dreams come true."
This view of the hilltop town of Montecarlo, Italy, is taken from the Fortress of Montecarlo. My grandparents lived at the bottom of the hill and were married here in 1908. My house is at the end of the street, on the right.
‟As invigorating as a glass of cool wine sipped in the shade of an umbrella on a Tuscan hill town, this travel memoir delights, informs, entertains and refreshes.”
Tony Bisceglia Anderson, Washington past president, Order Sons of Italy in America
‟A captivating page-turner about a family’s adventure in Italy, narrated by a witty and self-effacing dad who, though supported by his wife, contends with two reluctant teenagers as he fulfills lifetime dream. A fun and fascinating read sprinkled with humor, history and the conundrums of living in a foreign speaking country.”
E.C. Murray, author, A Long Way from Paris
Now on sale at Amazon
‟An American family spends a year in Italy–a dream, a disaster, laughter and tears, an unforgettable memory. Warning: this book may cause you to book a flight to Italy. Enjoy!”
Maria Coletta McLean, author My Father Came from Italy
‟Anyone who has Italy in their blood, either literally or figuratively, should read this adventure. It will take you here vicariously until you have time to come in person.”
Elena Benvenuti, private tour guide, Discover Lucca with Elena
‟With wonderful humor about the pitfalls of uprooting your family to live in Italy for a year, Spadoni's genuine love for the culture and shrug of the shoulders to the crazy bureaucracy make this memoir a heartwarming joy to read.”
Lizzie Harwood, Amazon bestselling author of Xamnesia
‟Journalist Paul Spadoni’s An American Family in Italy has the vitality, humor and need-to-know details of jumping off the deep end to follow your dreams—a sparkling adventure done well.”
Judy Ferguson, Voice of Alaska Press, author of Windows to the Land, An Alaska Native Story and Alaska's First People