i-ItalyNY - 5thBirthday Special Issue. The Best of i-Itay - page 17

Special Issue | Winter 2017-2018 |
i-Italy Magazine
| 17
a lot of what we did on the classic mystics in
history. There are still important, very indepen-
dent filmmakers like Nero. There aren’t enough
of them, but I think they’re coming up.
You have performed with some of the great
female Italian actresses, including first and
foremost Sophia Loren… Do you have any
good stories to tell?
Let me tell you something about Sophia. We
were working with Lina Wertmüller, and my
mother, at the time, God rest her soul, was very
sick in America. I asked Sophia if she would
mind calling her to say hello, because all Italians
love Sophia. She called my mother and spoke to
her for about 25 or 30 minutes. That’s just the
kind of woman she is. It meant everything to me.
You’re still in love with Italy, aren’t you?
Well, if for some reason I had to leave America,
my first love, I would move to Italy immediately.
When I’m in Italy, I feel like I am at home. It’s
that simple. I think most people feel the same
way. I teach once a year at Cinecittá. I teach
Shakespeare and I have a translator for people
who don’t speak English because my Italian is
terrible. Last year, for example, I taught
Merchant of Venice
and I had everyone per-
form certain scenes. It was such a good experi-
ence that I have been invited back every year.
I just feel like I could live there very easily. It’s
as though I had another life at one time and I
lived in Italy. No matter where I go there – the
north, the south – because I’ve worked all over,
I’m always welcome there. I never feel uncom-
fortable or unsafe. People talk about Italy like
you have to be careful, but that’s not true. That’s
a lie. I love good wine and I love good food, so I
think I must belong in Italy.
* Noted public speaker and food historian,
Francine Segan hosts the series “Americans
in Love With Italy” on i-ItalyTV.
Who in America is(n’t) in love with Italy?
Artists, Actors, Film Critcs, FoodWriters, and More...
Hosted by Francine Segan
and produced by i-ItalyTV,
the series Americans in
LoveWith Italy was
broadcasted in 2015-2016
as part of the TV show
“i-ItalyNY” on NYC Life
(Channel 25), the public
television station of the
City of NewYork The series featured, among others:
F. Murray Abraham
, Academy Award-winning actor
Eric Asimov
, NewYork Times wine critic
, Food writer, former editor-in-chief of
award-winning Saveur foodmagazine
, Columbia University Film Studies Professor
Joseph Forte
, Historian
Peter Vallone
, former
chairman of the NewYork City council
Patrick Shanley
, Oscar-winning screenwriter
, author and interior designer,
chairman of the board of Save Venice
Cici Li
producer and director of several food, travel and
lifestyle television shows.
The series is now available on demand at
and on Youtube.
Abraham as Antonio Salieri in
Below: interpreting Dante Alighieri in
The Mistery of Dante
Italy is my second home.
If for some reason I had to
leave America, my first love,
I would move to Italy
immediately. When I’m in
Italy, I feel like I am at
home. It’s that simple.
Francine Segan and F. Murray
Abrahamon i-ItalyTV
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