This all began with the question I've heard a thousand times: "Please, Ottavia, can you bring back..."; Every trip I made to Italy, I came back with a suitcase full: more of the lovely things that friends had seen in my home, or remembered from their travels. And always new discoveries, the flavors of Italy, the style, the exquisite design... 
     Yes, I have lived in the U.S. now for many years, and I am at home here. I married the geek of my dreams, had a daughter, settled in San Francisco, and know the excitement of the high-tech world.  But I miss the life I had in Italy, its relaxed sensuality, and I am always trying to mix the best of both my worlds. I have decided to begin slowly and introduce my discoveries one by one, to give them the attention they deserve. Good things should not be rushed. 
     Many friends have helped me 'pack' Ottavia's Suitcase... Friends in Italy who have contributed their  ideas and experience, such as the renowned chef Lorenza de' Medici... But also friends here in the States who have guided me with their questions and impressions.  I thank them all, and I hope you too will be one of those friends.