Questions? Contact:

Carolyn Woolf, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Shree Starkman, Assistant Director of Development

 

Buy Tickets

Natasha and Marco

Our family is of Italian descent.

The name Innocenti was given to all children who came through a Catholic orphanage in Florence called Ospedale DegI'Innocenti, or Hospital of the Innocents, so Marco has a male ancestor who was an orphan. Because everyone in his family is so smart, I've often wondered if some scientist, teacher, or Medici got a chambermaid in trouble (or maybe the mother was the brainiac!).

Marco's father worked in a fancy hotel across the Plaza from the Church of the Innocents, which is still there, as a bartender when he met Marco's mother. They married three weeks later and have been married for 53 years. Because both of Marco's children are girls, the Innocenti name will end with Gianna and Zara (unless they choose to give their children the name).

We have Italian heritage on my (Natasha's) side as well. My father, whose last name is Ciancutti, found our relatives in a town called Amelia in Umbria (about an hour north of Rome). They call themselves Ciancutto, and the "i" was substituted at Ellis Island. He and his wife bought a flat there and in non-COVID times spend several months a year there. We've visited Amelia twice: once with Gianna before Zara was born and again with Zara and Gianna in 2019.

Our family carries on some Italian traditions, including a year-round vegetable garden, composting to make new soil, cooking and eating LOTS of Italian food, and having passionate, loud discussions with lots of gesticulations.

Gianna learned to roll homemade pasta when she was very young and she has taught Zara how to do so. We spend lots of time with cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Zara's grandparents and consider our family to be extremely tight-knit and close.