I was born in Florence, Italy. I went to college at New York University and then Oxford University for my Ph.D. in History of Art, with a thesis on Orientalism in Art. It was a great excuse for hitch-hiking across the Sahara, and sailing up the Nile on a feluca. I have travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle and Far East, and Africa. Following a near-death riding accident, I found strength for recovery in nature, and lost the desire to spend the rest of my life in museums. I lived in England for a number of years and cultivated a passion in garden design. As a result I have now combined both of my interests: teaching History of Landscape and Garden Design. I love what I do As a designer I seek to create a link between the architecture of the house and the surrounding environment through the lines and material of the garden. I seek ecological solutions, such as drought-tolerant planting, without losing sight of the garden's function as a work of art, created for the enjoyment of its users. In teaching I foster an understanding of both historical and ecological aspects of gardens, because only by understanding and respecting our past can we hope to have a future. I believe gardens are the meeting point of humans with nature, a place in which to seek balance, to find one's place among other living beings.