Susan Van Allen

AFAR Contributor

Susan Van Allen is an award winning writer for television sit coms, books, radio, magazines, newspapers, websites, blogs, promotional materials, and theater.

Van Allen’s Italian American background is her major inspiration. Her maternal grandparents were immigrants from southern Italy, and she grew up on the Jersey shore amidst great food and drama.

“Jersey Girls,” was her first writing success--a one-woman play, where she portrayed 5 characters in an Italian-American family. The show ran to critical raves in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

She went on to write for the Emmy award winning CBS sit com, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” penning episodes including the classic, “Marie’s Meatballs,” based on family kitchen memories.

Van Allen has turned her passion for Italian travel into the bestselling book, “100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go” and followed that up with “Letters from Italy: Confessions, Adventures, and Advice” “50 Places in Rome, Florence, and Venice Every Woman Should Go”, and “Hungry for Italy: Culinary Adventures in the Bel Paese”. Her books, blog, and stories that have run on radio, in major print publications, have gained her an international fan base. Armchair travelers are enchanted, tourists are inspired, and foodies enjoy her stories that appear regularly in “Tastes of Italia” magazine.

Susan Van Allen also promotes Italian travel through speaking engagements. She annually leads an Italian travel panel at The New York Times Travel Show and has presented programs at the Italian Government Tourist Boards in Los Angeles and New York. Her “Why Women Love Italy” talk has delighted audiences at women’s clubs, bookstores, libraries, and corporate events. She often collaborates with Italian food and wine producers, (such as the esteemed Marchesi di Barolo winery and the USA Baci importer, Colavita), to create La Dolce Vita experiences for attendees.

Susan designs and hosts Golden Weeks in Italy: For Women Only tours, in collaboration with Perillo Tours, now in its ninth successful year.

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