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Laura's interview at the quarterly Italian American magazine "The NIAF News"
Content of the article:
Born in England to an American mother and Italian father, Laura grew up in her father's hometown in Pavia, a 20 minute train ride from Milan. When her father died in 1982, nine-year-old Laura relocated to San Francisco with her mother and sister. She only knew five word of English, but quickly became fluent when her mother encouraged her to speak English at home. Although this made her life easier in the U.S., she realized she was losing her Italian fluency when she tried to speak with her "nonna" during summer visits to Italy.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., Laura felt a void in her life as an Italian American. So, in early 1998, she began collecting information about Italian American events in the San Francisco Bay area where she lives. The material eventually evolved into a web site, www.virtualitalia.com, with 12 volunteers and 50,000 visitors per month. Say Laura, "I think what really sets us apart is we help create the cohesiveness in the local community that is disappearing within the Italian neighborhoods. And, we do this with our own money in our spare time."
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