Who we are | A trusted guide to places outsiders don’t know

Who We Are Greetings from your American cousin abroad. I’m Roberta Mell, founder of MY COUSIN EMILIA, welcoming you to share one of the world’s best-kept destination secrets—beautiful, bountiful Emilia Romagna in the heart of historic Italy.

I created MY COUSIN EMILIA to offer a one-of-a-kind experience in a unique corner of the world—and to leave travelers with a whole new idea of what a vacation can be.

Before settling in Parma, I spent most of my professional life working in the entertainment business. When my son left for college and my beloved dog of 15 years died, I decided it was time for a new life. I took a break from the frantic pace of Hollywood to attend the Universita degli studi di Scienze Gastronomiche. I lived in Parma for a year and traveled Italy relentlessly, studying each region’s unique history, discovering firsthand the methods of producing high quality artisinal food and wine and of course, sampling everything! After picking up my Masters in Italian Gastronomy(and a few extra pounds), I decided to make Emilia Romagna my new home. 

When I think back on the experiences that made my time in Italy so precious— and made it so impossible to leave — I realized that it was the people I met and the way they opened up their lives to me that truly changed my sense of the world. My new Italian friends embraced me as family, and they showed me an Italy that a stranger would never discover on her own. They led me to out-of-the-way, family-run restaurants, where the owner would personally prepare an exquisite one-of-a-kind dinner. They took me to local farms and fattorias and arranged for special tastings and guided tours. They showed me the architectural sights and pointed me to each town’s hidden treasures. They opened doors for me and made introductions to scores of new friends. It was the unfolding of a new world filled with discovery, excitement, culinary adventures and unforgettable experiences I would love to share with you.


To contact me: roberta@mycousinemilia.com