Expat Focus talks to Catherine Tondelli about her book "Three Coins in the Fountain", a funny and helpful memoir of her life as an expat in Rome.
Catherine, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born - along with my twin sister - into a large Irish/Italian family in Chicago, the ninth of 11 kids (six boys & five girls). Growing up as part of this large, chaotic family has provided me with many entertaining stories that are woven in my memoir. Most significantly, at the age of 13 my father walked out on us all and never looked back. Against all odds, my mother, a school teacher who made sure we all got an education, while raising us with no alimony or child support on her pauper’s salary.
From those humble beginnings and after having met my Italian Roman husband, I am today a cross-cultural expert, living and working abroad for the past 13 years with several multinational companies in marketing, PR and business development. I am an American living in Rome and globetrot as a luxury hotel expert and event manager, assisting companies with their meetings and events worldwide.
You recently published "Three Coins in the Fountain: Falling in love through faith, family & frequent flyer miles", what is the book about?
My book recounts how my entire life changed in one fateful trip to Italy, with my mom. It all started from the title, “Three Coins in the Fountain” where I threw them in -- in Rome’s Trevi Fountain, wishing for love and of course, a return trip to Rome. It is not just a love story but a story about faith, hope and survival. As they say all roads lead to Rome and my road went from Route 66 in California to Via Veneto in Rome...