The Heroine’s Journey of Monia Alessandrini

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I’m a web communication and social media manager in an Italian university. But, first of all, I’m a public servant. I consider this work as a vocation. My work is to provide all citizens of my country with good services. My work is a “public property”, it’s a great sense of responsibility.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

My idea of happiness has completely changed since I became a mom. Happiness for me today is the happiness of my son Valerio.

What is my greatest fear?

To lose the control of my mind, in general. In everyday life my greatest fear is to be misunderstood. Probably it’s a professional deformation: a communicator not able to communicate!

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

On my twitter bio I wrote “Impatient woman”. Well… I hope I’ll learn to be patient

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I left this question for last. It’s hard to choose only one person. Paradoxically my worst bosses were the ones who taught me the most (about how not to do things..).

What is my greatest extravagance?

“Extravagance” is not my thing. I am used to have a “normal” way of life and I tend to avoid attracting other people’s attention. I prefer to stay behind the scenes. For me “normality” is the greatest extravagance.

On what occasion would I lie?

Lies (or omissions) are very useful in private life. They help to alleviate suffering in the people who are closed to you. I think the truth is overrated.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Simple: data entry! I hate routinary tasks.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

It must have been the first time I entered a newsroom. It was in Rome, twenty years ago. I felt what it meant to be “inside the news”.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Do you want a couple of kilos of my cellulite?

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I have been working on a project with a professor at the university where I work. Two weeks ago, he told me “You are worse than my wife!”,with which he meant that I was anticipating all his questions. Well… I thought that was a great compliment.

Where would I most like to live?

I cannot but say that home is where your heart is. Now my heart is with my son and my husband. In a more practical way, my husband and I have often thought of living in Berlin, a city that is still in my heart.

What is my most treasured possession?

It’s simple. It’s my son Valerio.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Often public universities have fewer resources than private ones. I am very experienced in achieving goals with little budget.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

I left my flat in Teramo few weeks ago as it was no longer safe due to the damages caused by the recent earthquake in the center of Italy. Now, what inspires me the most in my new house is its safety!

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

An historical ice-cream shop in my town. My passion is a cup of coffee with some Anisetta ice-cream.

What books influenced my life and how?

“1984” by George Orwell. I read that book when I was sixteen and I realized that communication was my passion.

Who are my favorite writers?

Umh… it’s really difficult to say. I fall in love with every book (and writer) I like. Now I have a liking for Elizabeth Strout. Books that I read in the past and are still vividly in my heart are “Blindness” by José Saramago and “American Pastoral” by Philip Roth.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Most likely Queen. I listened to them a lot when I was a teenager. On my deathbed, I would like to be brought back to that light-hearted period of my life. “Another one bites to dust” may be terribly appropriate!

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

I just finished to watch the tv series “Downtown Abbey” and my favourite heroine is Violet Crowley. I would like to be like her in my oldness, with her sarcasm and elegance.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

All women, in particular all single moms. It’s still hard to be a mom and a working woman in Italy.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Two Italian movies: “The consequences of love” by Paolo Sorrentino and “The first beautiful thing” by Paolo Virzì. I think that in the last ten years the Italian cinema produced two talented directors.

What role plays art in my life and work?

I’ve never considered myself an artist. I am rather an artisan playing with words. My art culture is very poor, but I very much enjoy visiting exhibitions, museums, galleries. The way I approach art is like a child must approach it: it’s emotional (rather than intellectual).

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

I have no fan. I am an independent person and I very much dislike flattery.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017?

In the last year, I developed a strong interest in science communication. I’m studying a lot on how to acquire further skills in this field. I’d like to be part of a great scientific research project.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017?

Riccardo Noury, spokeperson of Amnesty International Italy. I would love to meet a person who dedicated his life to human rights.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?

It’s a top secret (crazy) project!

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?

At the University of Teramo and on its official website and social media profiles.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

“Passion” is the greatest motor of my life. I choose a work that is also my passion. All my hobbies are somehow related to communication, writing, photos and storytelling. Doing things with passion is the only way I have to feel alive!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

A poetess, a fellow researcher and a social media guru: Alessandra Racca, Irene Costantini and Mafe De Baggis.

How can you contact me?

You can write me at


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