Hello Patch readers. It's time we officially meet. My name is Alessandra Da Pra and I am your (semi)-new South Tampa Patch editor. I say semi-new because we are no strangers to each other. You have seen my byline regularly during the past few months.
I am now thrilled to introduce myself as your full-time editor, and I am looking forward to covering the South Tampa community and bringing you the stories that matter to you, from small business coverage to the many events happening in our vibrant community.
You probably want to know a little bit about me.
I was born and raised in a small town in northern Italy, just a short train ride from Venice. As a teenager, I often wandered the narrow streets and canals of this beautiful and unique city instead of going to school.
Until I heard that there was another Venice on the other side of the world.
Feeling curious (and a bit suspicious), I bought a flight ticket to Florida. It was winter and I was 17 years old.
When I emerged from Tampa International Airport, I immediately fell in love with the weather, so I decided to stay here. I never went to Venice. I had no idea that the weather was similar everywhere else in Florida. (Have I mentioned the fact that I am blonde?)
And that's how, almost 15 years later, I am still in Tampa.
I am happy I’ve never made it to Venice, FL. It gave me the chance to fall in love with our city, too.
Before leaving my town in Italy, my mom made me promise not to fall for an American stallion because she wanted me back home. But she never made me promise to not fall in love with the place.
So here I am.
Before joining Patch, I covered community news for the Tampa Bay Times after graduating from the University of South Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
More recently, I wrote for the Jerusalem Post and the Palestine-Israel Journal while traveling in the Middle East. But I didn’t find a Venice there.
Feel free to share your comments, announcements, questions, events, photos and videos on South Tampa Patch.
Do you have a news tip? Please drop me a line.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-326-4164.
Looking forward to seeing you around town!