Dietitian, graduated in 1981 from the University of Pavia, Italy. Masters degree in Science of Technical Health Professions in 2006, from University of Pisa.
Member of ANDID (National Association of Dietitians), of SINU (Italian Society of Human Nutrition) and of ADA (American Dietetic Association).
I have worked for several year in the epidemiology field, collaborating to the development of instruments - like food frequency questionnaires, diaries, data banks – for Italian and international research projects on the relation between food intake, physical activity and chronic disease (mainly cancer). I have planned and conducted a randomized trial on extra virgin olive oil, who showed that olive oil phenols are able to protect DNA form oxidative damage. I have promoted and implemented, in collaboration with other research groups in Italy, a food composition database (BDA): I obtained funding from the AIRC (Italian Association for Cancer Research) for these two projects.
During four years (from 1986 to 1990) I was a researcher in Boston, USA, at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham & Women's Hospital, working in the frame of the famous Nurses' Health Study and the Physicians' Health Study. In 1990 I came back to Italy: first in Milano at the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia and then in Florence, at ISPO (ex CSPO), Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica – Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (from 1999).
I have published several papers, mainly on International peer reviewed journals. Since 2006 I write on the section Sano&Buono (Healthy&Tasty) of the magazine La Nostra Salute (Our Health) of the Florence section of LILT (Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori - Italian League Against Cancer). I am the coordinator of the working group "Portion standards", for the updated version of the LARN (the Italian RDA's), as appointed by SINU-INRAN.
IN PRIVATE LIFE
I am married with Andrea, that I met through the ski mountaineering course of the Alpine Club in Milano. We have four children (Matteo, Martina, Lucia e Giacomo), born between 1989 and 1997, with whom we try to spend our leisure time (at least until they will accept to spend some of their vacations with us): sports are our common activities, like biking, skiing, and sailing, depending on the season.
I like cooking, experimenting new recipes, participating and organizing cooking classes. With just a bit of fantasy and of love for risk it is possible to try new dishes or modify traditional ones, to adapt them to specific needs. As an example, experimenting a gluten free bread can be of help for people suffering of celiac disease. Inventing or just testing some butter-free and sugar reduced cakes, allows to offer the opportunity to taste a "prohibited" food, without hitting on arteries and without causing dangerous glycaemic peaks, that are not good companions for our metabolism.
In this web site, in the section "recipes", you can find "my" recipes. Whenever possible, the nutrition composition of the dish is also shown (calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates).
I try to practice what I preach, i.e. simple food habits, mainly based on food of vegetable origin and a healthy life style: outdoor life and physical activity, integrated in daily routines as much as possible. My children know that butter, cream, processed food are ingredients to be used in tiny quantities and only for special events. They know that vegetable and fruit of all colors should always be on their plates, even now that they study far away from home. They also know that walking to the bus stop with a school back-pack is tiring, but that it will help them to grow healthy and with strong bones. They always complained about this, but I hope that, when grown-up, they will recognize that it was not a bad idea not to drive them here and there by car. We live in the country side, in Tuscany, where we take care of a piece of land, producing extra virgin olive oil, fruit and wild herbs, that we transform into jams, herbal teas and other preserves, for family consumption.