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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Sharing My Italian Adventure: Being Interviewed on Cusano News and Vatican Radio

PART 86: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps and what we are learning along the way.

We love every minute of it, and what was once a dream is our life!

We live in Tuscany in the Fall, then back again in the Spring, and in California for the rest of the time (in a previous blog, I explained why we live in Italy only part of the year).

Let's explore what happened when we returned to Italy recently.

Two news organizations, Cusano News and Vatican Radio, invited me in for an interview about my book "She Seduced Me: A Love Affair with Rome."

Step 1: Nerves

My Italian is OK on some days and flows on others. I don't know why it flows on one occasion, and on others, I stumble. I never felt confident enough in the language to engage in public speaking. Still, when Cusano News and Vatican Radio invited me for an interview, I had to put my fears aside and accept the adventure.

Step 2: What is Cusano News?

Cusano News is a news organization located in Rome at Cusano University (Università degli Studi "Niccolò Cusano"). Their mission is to provide objective news coverage of global events, with programs dedicated to news, politics, and sports. Additionally, they offer programs that provide insights into culture, entertainment, technology, and science.

Step 3: My experience at Cusano

I took a taxi to the Cusano campus and was impressed by the modern buildings, academic atmosphere, and the friendliness of everyone I encountered.

Cusano News isn't directly connected to the university and is run as a separate entity, though both share space on campus.

My interviewer, Gabriele, welcomed me and gave me a tour of the state-of-the-art broadcasting rooms and journalist work areas. He also introduced me to some of his colleagues. We had a few minutes before the live broadcast, and I expressed my nervousness. However, he helped me relax when he talked about his love for Agatha Christie (who I'm a huge fan of) and his cat, Miss Marple.

We were then taken to the newsroom, where we did a camera and audio check, and before I knew it, we were live!

Gabriele did an excellent job of leading the interview. We discussed several topics, including literature, education, and what it's like to be an author. During the first part of the interview, I was nervous and struggled to find my words. However, I eventually hit my stride and passionately shared my thoughts on education, history, and culture.

The interview lasted about 20 minutes and flew by so quickly!

Afterward, I told Gabriele about our move from Puglia to Tuscany and that there would undoubtedly be more stories to tell. We agreed to do a follow-up interview in the future.

The experience of being interviewed by Cusano News was incredible, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

Step 4: Vatican Radio

I was amazed when Eliana from Vatican Radio invited me for an interview on her podcast about Rome's history, culture, and faith experience. Being interviewed by the Vatican on any topic is a privilege; for a writer, it can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. She had read my book about Rome, which is now published in Italian (Lei me ha sedotto: Un rapporto d'amore con Roma), and wanted the interview to focus on the stories in the book.

Step 5: The questions beforehand

Neither Cusano News nor Vatican Radio revealed the interview questions to me beforehand, so I had to think on my feet. However, the Vatican podcast is not live, so Eliana reassured me that she would edit the interview, and if I could not think of a word or phrase, she could pause, give me some help, and then remove the pause. This made me feel more confident.

Step 6: The experience at Vatican Radio

During my visit to Vatican Radio, I had the opportunity to tour the Renaissance building, meet other journalists, and explore the broadcasting facilities. My interviewer, Eliana, then led me outside to show me stunning views of Castel Sant'Angelo.

I couldn't believe I was lucky enough to be there and felt grateful for the experience.

Eliana had done her research and found some interesting stories in my book that she wanted to expand upon. The interview felt more like a conversation between two people who had read the same book. At one point, I almost forgot that I was the author. We discussed what makes the stories of Rome unique, what brings history alive, my experience of working with the homeless at a shelter run by Mother Teresa's sisters, and my favorite spot in the city.

As the interview ended, I was surprised to discover that 20 minutes had passed. Eliana was an excellent interviewer - knowledgeable, professional, and friendly.

Step 7: Compare?

My experiences at Cusano News and Vatican Radio were so unique that I find it difficult to compare them. Gabriele and Eliana were fantastic interviewers who understood my nervousness and led me through the interview with a calming presence and interesting questions. They are both skilled at getting someone to talk about what they are interested in and presenting it in a professional and polished way.

I am incredibly grateful for both experiences, which were equally amazing.

Step 8: The links


Being invited to be interviewed on a news program in Italy was something that I never dreamed of when I wrote the first words of my first book, "As I lay awake at night flooded with thoughts of the past, I wonder if this is what happens in middle age: memories become as important as the present…" (Undeniable Longing).

Those thoughts and those memories culminated in these two interviews. Whether they lead to other interviews or not, both are the pinnacle of my life as a writer.

More next time.

Now on sale for $2.99: My book is "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy." Amazon US:

Amazon Italy- my book "Lei mi ha sedotto. Una storia d'amore con Roma":

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Apr 21
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

What an experience!


Tony McEwing
Tony McEwing
Apr 15
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Congrats Mark on both interviews! Extraordinary accomplishment and well deserved!

Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Apr 16
Replying to

Thank you Tony! It was both a great and nerve racking experience! But Im grateful


Apr 14

When we visited the Mosel Valley in Germany last year, I was surprised to discover that Niccolo Cusano was born in Kues Germany (now Bernkastel-Kues, twin towns on either side of the river). Cusano (or Cusa) are Latinized versions of his birthplace.

Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Apr 14
Replying to

Fascinating! I had actually never heard of him until the interview. Thx for the comment !

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