Carol Malzone

Author. Traveler. Glammy.

Welcome

I’m a writer, a reader, a Pilates addict, a world-class eater, a lover of Italy—especially Rome—and a “Glammy,” as I’m known to my two young grandchildren.

 I am also a discoverer. Like Christopher Columbus in reverse, I discovered the land of my ancestors and the unexplored part of my core that is the granddaughter of early-twentieth century immigrants from both Basilicata and Sicily. And I’m writing a book about it.

I’m an only child who doesn’t like to share her food, but I do love to share my writing. I hope you’ll come along with me from time to time as I post updates of my book in progress, recipes from my Italian mentors, and various memories plucked from my days in Italy.

latest posts

All My Uncle Tonys

Trip Itinerary, 1995: Rome, Positano, Sicily. In 1995, a recently discovered box of 100-year-old letters belonging to my grandmother initiated a decades-long search into the lives of my Sicilian ancestors.  “All My Uncle Tonys” is a chapter from my book in progress. Without Google, without Ancestry.com, without any of the research tools that would be available 25 years later, I embarked on my first ancestral hunt armed with one age-creased letter. Addressed to my great-grandfather in...

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FIORI FINTI

  (In Italy, fake flowers, usually silk) The path of my twenty-nine-year marriage was lined with flowers. Flowers of all varieties, all colors, in vases, in baskets, and in long skinny boxes, wrapped in cellophane, sheathed in tissue, tied with ribbons, and garnished with bows.  Flowers for every occasion, for every holiday, or just for Saturday.  An over-sized bouquet of flowers from a corner flower shop in Rome marked the point where my marriage withered up and died. Flowers are...

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about carol

This was me back in the summer of 1992, my first trip to Italy when, ignoring the burst of giggles from my two young daughters, I jumped into a field of sunflowers on the road from Rome to Perugia and declared myself seriously in love with Italy.

My passport has been stamped over 50 times at the Rome airport since then. That early heart-pounding love developed and grew into a deep and constant one…with the occasional splash of unbridled passion. The trajectory of all those trips ran like a bell curve:  once a year at the start, multiple times in the middle, and now back to the beginning. Love can be like that.

At the top of that bell curve, I wrote guidebooks to Roman restaurants, gave birth to Flavors of Rome—a website and culinary tour company, ran a travel consulting service, penned feature-length newspaper articles, and participated in multiple events celebrating the art of eating in Italy.

But at the beginning of it all, as I wrote in my book Flavors of Rome, “The first time I went to Rome, I was as green as a freshly plucked summer zucchini. I didn’t know the first thing about eating in Rome, or in any part of Italy, for that matter.”

A life-shattering event (the end of a long marriage) gave me space to correct that ignorance. For the next fifteen years, I traveled up and down and across the peninsula and its islands. I foraged through fields and vineyards and orchards. I hung out in kitchens and restaurants and trattorias, and sidled up to food-trunks along back-country roads. At the end of it all, I came away with three discoveries: there is an infinite variety of Italian cuisine, great food truly is a better healer than talk therapy, and there is no chicken parm in all of Italy.

Many things have changed since those early years. Today I eat most of my meals in South Florida where I live with my husband, still exploring, still discovering. I’ve done less stomping through sunflower and artichoke fields, two spectacular grandchildren entered my world, and a global pandemic kept us all in place for a while.

It was during those early days of Covid-19 that I made friends with my old notebooks and began writing the story gathering dust in my head for years—of ancestry, of mothers and daughters, and, finally, of reconciliation.

I now identify as the granddaughter who sits at her desk piecing together the lives of those who came before her, those who still hang around, for better or for worse, in parts of her DNA.

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