Dedicated to the many ways Italian culture touches our lives, lifts our spirits and makes life sweeter.

Discover. Learn. Enjoy!

Discover. Learn. Enjoy!

Come journey with La Dolce Vita University (LDVU) and Carla Gambescia to the heart of Italian culture in the seductive spirit of la dolce vita. Like a box of Italian sweets La Dolce Vita U’s many lectures, programs and events are the perfect sampler to indulge anyone curious about, or already in amore with, Italy and its remarkable riches.

Harlequin by Lani Hart

Meet Carla

Carla Gambescia

Carla Gambescia is an Italian cultural “edu-tainer,” award-winning author, travel journalist, lecturer and avid photographer.

Carla’s passion for Italy began early: with her mother’s love of the Renaissance masters and her father’s discourses on Italian geniuses of every calling. In the ensuing decades, she’s written about and toured every region of Italy on foot or by bicycle. Carla was a former partner in the Ciao Bella Gelato Company, conceived and co-led the Giro del Gelato bicycle tour which won OUTSIDE Magazine’s “Best Trip in Western Europe,” and, for a decade, owned and operated Via Vanti! Restaurant & Gelateria in Mount Kisco, New York. Via Vanti! received a “Very Good” from the New York Times and many plaudits for its innovative Italian cuisine, delicioso gelato (named “Best Gelato Shop in New York”) and culinary and cultural special events.

Today Carla regularly speaks on myriad topics of Italian cultural interest and MC’s Cultural “Trivia” Challenges throughout the US and abroad. Venues include continuing education organizations, schools and universities, museums, libraries, fine dining and retail establishments, private clubs and Italian cultural organizations. Carla’s book, La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z was awarded the Silver Prize for “Best Travel Book of the Year” by the North American Travel Journalists Association in 2019. The greatly expanded 2nd Edition contains 125+ pages of fascinating new material and is a “must read” for all Italophiles.

Carla’s success as an entrepreneur, cultural educator and engaging storyteller reflects not only her knowledge, but also her passionate and joyful spirit.

Making Life Sweeter

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No culture so engages the senses, ignites the imagination, and enlivens the spirit as that of La Bella Italia. Whether through food and wine, music and art, fashion and design, history and traditions, and so much more, Italy has for millennia made civilization richer and human life sweeter.

At La Dolce Vita “U” we believe everyone, regardless of our inherited ethnicities, shares an “Inner Italian”— that part of all of us that is most spontaneous, expressive and joyful. Let La Dolce Vita “U” help you connect with your Inner Italian!

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