I was born and raised in Naples, Italy.
In 1983 I came to the United States to pursue my doctoral work, which I finished in 1988. I taught for one year at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Since 1989 I have taught at Georgetown, where I am now Professor of History. My research has focused on the social and economic history of early modern Italy, especially the South. I teach European history at the survey level, and the Renaissance and early modern periods at the upper level. I have developed and taught courses on the Renaissance, Italian history, Iberian history, European historiography, music and theater in early modern Europe, the development of individuality in European culture, the city of Rome, the city of Florence, art and power in pre-modern Europe, and European society and culture in the eighteenth century.