Episode #24 - Laura Itzkowitz, Freelancer, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Departures, Travel + Leisure, AFAR and more


Hi hannah it's so good to see you too and you also michael. Thanks for inviting me. Thank you for coming on board said laura. You've been living in rome for a while and have experienced to lockdowns already. So how you handling the situation and how he's doing. yeah. I mean it's a. It's been a wild ride here. Italy was the first country in europe to institute a nationwide lockdown. It was. I think really shocking for everyone here at first Just the fact that a country like italy could institute a nationwide lockdown and all of the implications that came from that and obviously we saw what happened a lot of other countries throughout europe followed and it was nerve racking for sure to be the first and to be constantly just watching the news and listening to the stories coming out of the hospitals and northern italy especially And then you know. I kind of adjusted just like everyone does and just tried to sort of keep calm and carry on. And i've actually written about the experience of lockdown down here in italy a few times for different publications Chronicling what was happening. You know the very first lock down. I wrote about for voters travel and then when things eased up last spring i wrote a story for departures about how italians were coping here and then did another story for travel and leisure about the second lockdown and how. It's different from the first one so it's definitely been interesting to see how things have changed. Yeah so many people used to travel to italy house to hospitality. Industry doing overall. I mean i can't sugar. Industry is suffering for sure. The italian government has put forth a number of different measures to mitigate the damage so for example a freeze on layoffs Has been in place for months now. So a lot of workers in the hospitality industry has been put on furlough and are receiving some sort of government funds This sort of equivalent of unemployment. That sort of thing and they're trying to relaunch but you know it's really tough especially right now. Italy actually is going to political crisis right now and it looks like a government is about to collapse because there's so much opposition to the way that this government has handled the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. So were going to have to wait and see what happens. It's definitely a situation to contend with. Were very familiar on the side of the pond as well But you know given that. You're based in rome. Which is a very enviable position From the point of view of many of our listeners. I'm sure they're quite jealous. What would you say are the advantages of being based in the us but on the flip side. What are some of the challenges yemen as a freelance writer in a being away from here. Yeah i mean there are definitely pros and cons. I think i lived in new york for eight years prior to moving to rome. And what i loved about being there in addition to just being in the city which i still love very much was the being part of amazing community of journalists and media and hospitality industry professionals in new york. So i certainly missed that but Being based in rome has some pretty amazing advantages. I mean this is a also beautiful city that i loved to spend time in and In terms of my work and professional advantages. I think you know i have been trying to position myself as an italy expert for a number of years in a row expert in particular so i always trying to stay on top of the latest news and updates. So whether that's you know. Hotels opening in rome and in italy trends in restaurants and bars. Hospitality architects designers. All of that stuff It definitely helps to be here on the ground. Especially now when americans actually can't enter italy. So i'm in a pretty unique position at the moment in in terms of being here on the ground being able to report on what's happening in rome and beyond that's great so you write for many publications as you mentioned Like you know. Departures architectural digest vogue and many others. So can you tell our listeners. How you approach writing for this. Various outlets for example the difference between departures and volk. Yeah i mean. I think that i tailor my approach to each publication as most freelance writers. I'm sure we'll tell you that they do And that sort of a necessary part of the job and that comes from experience and just comes from reading a ton so Definitely try in. Read all the latest stories on the the websites of the publications that i write for as much as possible and i would say in terms of these publications i also i think about their audience. So for example. Departures is geared toward high net worth individuals. And so you know luxurious kind of the name of the game there Vogue is i would say geared to a slightly a slightly broader audience especially In terms of their web content but for me personally i think even writing for the same publication the stories on the approach that i take can vary depending on what type of article. I'm writing so. I personally really loved to write stories that take a more narrative approach. When i'm able to write from the first person so for example. I did a story for departures last fall about the island of east so i went to east asia last fall when the kobe restrictions were eased up here and got to write this story about what it was like visiting this island in the aftermath of the pandemic or

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