About me

I am a writer, editor and journalist based in Florence, Italy. Born and raised in Mississippi, I’ve been calling Italy (another) home for a decade. My checkered career path has had two strangely complementary constants: Sharing the charms of Italy while simultaneously debunking the myth of the dolce vita.

I am currently the Editor-in-Chief of Italy Magazine and an accredited member of the Italian Foreign Press Association (Milan chapter). I’ve written for the Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, Qantas magazine and la Repubblica, among other publications, and have co-authored guidebooks for Time Out, Lonely Planet and DK Eyewitness.

During a long stint in a deputy editorial role at The FlorentineI penned a three years- and 30 volumes-strong humor column on renting in the Renaissance city; it became the basis for my book Rental Diaries (The Florentine Press, 2020). Through a Premio Famiglia Fiducia fellowship at Middlebury College’s Florence campus, I earned my M.A. in Italian Studies along the way. My childhood fantasies of hosting a globally syndicated talk show and/or being an agony aunt have yet to materialize. Still, I get to teach travel writing to undergraduates abroad, and sometimes that feels like the same thing. 

I am available for select freelance commissions. Culture, art and literature, travel, and fashion are the beats where my background is strongest, but I treat all subjects — in Italy or beyond — with a spirit of inquiry and generosity. If you’d like to work together, please email hello@verymarygray.com. For anything specific to Italy Magazine, use mary@italymagazine.com