Since I was a kid I have been keen on atmospheric phenomena, in particularly snow-storms and thunderstorms. The event that struck me happened during the last week of December 1996: a freezing flow, directly from Siberia, hit my town with icy wind and temperature well below 0 °C even during the day-light. On December 31st mild air slid above this layer of cold air, bringing an intense snowfall of 20-25 cm (8-10 inches) in 8 hours.
From that moment I decided to buy a thermometer and start following closely meteorological events. With the coming of Internet, I also started looking at meteorological models in order to make forecast for my region and "foresee" when the next storm would have kicked in.
When I finished high school in 2001, for the very first time in Italy, a bachelor degree in Atmospheric Physics and Meteorology was available. The first two years would have been in common with the bachelor degree in Physics and the idea of studying pure physics scared me a little; anyway, I thought I had to take the leap, plus if other people made it and became physicists, why can't I?!
So I started my B.Sc. in Atmospheric Physics in 2001 in the oldest university of the Western World (the Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna, 1088 A.D.). After having achieved the B.Sc. in 2004 I decided to enroll myself in the M.Sc. in Physics (curriculum Geophysics). Got my M.Sc. in 2006, I figured that without knowing English, my thirst for knowledge could have not been quenched. Therefore a new adventure was about to begin: Montreal, Canada.
What would it be the best place to go in order to learn English and enjoy a winter, worthy of this name? Montreal of course! Well you might disagree with that. It is true that the first language is actually French, pardon, Québécois! But still they have good English schools and the winter is Winter there, plus I wanted to apply for the McGill University (Extreme Weather Research Group).
So following my two loves, the love for the snow and the at-that-time girlfriend (she was already there) I went to Montreal where I spent about four months. In the meantime, I had also applied for an interesting position at the Bjerkens Centre for Climate Research in Bergen (Norway) and eventually in May I found myself in front of a crossroad: both positions were appealing and it was hard to decided.
Beside the scientific topics, both equally interesting something else had to make the difference: love for the snow (Montreal) or love for the beautiful "mesdemoiselles" (Norway). And you already know the end ... I am Italian after all, I can't help it! Joking aside, whereas the Department of Atmosperich and Oceanic Sciences accepted me, the McGill University needed more time, since my English pronunciation was really bad at that time (due to my strong Italian accent) according to the TOEFL exam ("What I gotta do? I'm Italian!"). So I could not blow the Norwegian chance and therefore, in August 2007, I got to Bergen, starting my PhD in paleoclimate under the supervision of Dr. Kerim H. Nisancioglu and enjoying that cozy raining town.
In January 2009, I went to Seattle (WA, USA), visiting the University of Washington for almost eight months and working closely with Prof. David S. Battisti. Eventually, after 2 years 11 months and 3 weeks I handed in my Ph.D. thesis and in October 2010 I defended it. After finishing a short post-doc from August to December 2010 I started a new adventure: this time back to Italy! However, I was working for the European Comminsion so it was not actually working in Italy. At the very beginning of 2014, I moved back to Scandinavia, this time in Sweden at Stockholm University. To welcome me the weather I most hate: dreary weather!!! Cloudy and warm (temperature between +3 and +7 for my entire first week)!
In June 2017, I started a new adventure that brought me back to Montreal and beloved snow-storms (well not in June! but hopefully in winter) at the Université du Quebéc à Montréal.
Lake Superior of Fusine (928 m), just behind the mountain range on the pic on the left, 1 hr from Udine (UD), ITALY
I was born and raised in a little town (less than 100.000 souls), called Udine in the North-East of Italy, just 40 minutes by car from the Alps and as many from the Adriatic Sea (see pics below). Last of four children (three girls and one boy), I grew up in an ill fame neighborhood, the "Bronx" of Udine.
When I was 18 years old, I thought it was about time to leave my neighborhood and my family, move to Bologna and embark in a new adventure, pursuing my passion: become an Atmospheric Physicists. As you can see, Italians are not "mammoni" (i.e., mama-boys)! At least not all of them!