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The Authors

Behind the curtain


MEET THE CREATORS … of The Little Blue



is from a small town in upstate New York. Wanderlust carried him to bilingual Bolzano for a year and Vienna for another before he found his way to Perugia in 2001. His interests include the history of American foreign policy, petroleum depletion, forest gardening, viticulture, etymology (really) and corny jokes. He taught food studies for the Umbra Institute until 2013, but is now working on a doctorate at Harvard University. He printed the first version of the guide in August 2002: a whopping twenty copies. (personal website for Zachary Nowak)


is an Australian, for want of a better description or another passport, who lived in Perugia for several years and occasionally threatens to return. His published works includes poems, short stories, essays, and journalistic articles on a wide range of subjects. He’s often to be found standing on his balcony watching the sky keenly for signs of snow. His interests include making lists of words, sustainability and Gaelic sports. He joined the Little Blue project as an interested observer in mid-2004 and gradually began adding bits of text and teaching Zach how to write E-n-g-l-i-s-h. It’s still Zach’s baby really but Alan just loves to push the pram.



also known as “Kia Papaya” is a first semester junior at Suffolk University in Boston. Coming to Umbra Institute for her fall 2013 semester- she wanted to further her journalism career by contributing to the Little Blue. Witty and relevant stories are her forte in writing; and she aspires to be a modern day Carrie Bradshaw. She is interested in learning more about Perugia’s community through the website-and getting the locals, and her classmates more engaged and aware of the city’s perks.




hails from the great state of Massachusetts and attends Stonehill College. She came to the Umbra Institute in 2011 to study. Frankie is a travel addict, having visited 18 countries so far. She is a Religious Studies major and plans to go to graduate school in the UK or Ireland to explore WWII history. After falling in love with Perugia, she demanded that she contribute to the Little Blue, which she refers to as Perugia’s Bible. Frankie edits the site, writes articles about Perugia’s current events, and calls herself the intern (whether Mauro likes it or not).


Claire is a student at the University of Perugia from a small town in Michigan. Back home, she attends Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI, a sister city to Perugia! Here she studies the Italian language and political science, but her real passion is journalism. For the Little Blue she adds events to the calendar, adds photos and writes articles. In her spare time she enjoys traveling and finding the best places in town for beautiful photos.


came to the Umbra Institute from DePauw University, IN. She grew up outside Chicago and looked forward to studying abroad in Italy for most of her life. Little did she know that she would find Perugia; the perfect city for students hoping to explore Italy’s beauty, language, and culture. Katherine writes for inPerugia to help future visitors find and make the most of the city she loves. You can check out her blog for personal experiences in Perugia and some surrounding areas at


is a┬ásenior at University of California, Berkeley. She grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has always looked for ways to move around and travel. She studied at the Umbra Institute in Perugia in spring 2014 and fell in love with the city. Having little to no experience with Italian culture or language, she was nervous to move to Italy for four months, but found that it was just the place for her. Sarah is an Ethnic Studies and Public Policy major, but gave those up for a semester to immerse herself in Italian food, politics, and history. Making friends with locals and always saying “yes” to exciting opportunities gave Sarah a chance to experience some of the best that Perugia has to offer and she is excited to pass along her tips.



Sophie Schechter – Web Editing. Sophie has been essential during the transition from the printed to the web version.



thomas davisthomas davis