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Lorenzo Scarpone was born and raised on a small family farm in the Abruzzo region. As a teenager he studied at the renowned local hotel and restaurant school, soon opening his own restaurant. He then traveled the world on cruise ships, working as a certified sommelier. He continued this career in the finest Italian restaurants in London and San Francisco, where he now lives with his wife, Susy and three children.
In 1990, he founded Villa Italia to distribute small regional artisan wines in the United States. Beginning with just a few wineries, it now represents over 30 Italian wineries throughout the U.S. In February 2015, he was inducted into the Wines of Italy Hall of Fame by the Italian Trade Commision.
Lorenzo also founded the first U.S. chapter of Italy's Slow Food movement, which has now become the leading international advocacy group for biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and support of small artisan producers of food and wine. After the devastating Abruzzo earthquake of 2009, he organized a very substatial Earthquake Relief Fund for the small farmers and food producers whose livelihood was severely affected.
He has also been active promoting local health and wellness projects, such as the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation and the Leukemia Foundation. He has personally assisted many young Italian immigrants in getting established in the wine, food and hospitality industry.