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Elizabeth Lev


Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian with the good fortune to live and work in Rome. Life in the “Eternal City” allows her the perfect environment to pursue her many passions.  For on an average day, one can find Elizabeth working on her latest article or book, preparing for one of her worldwide speaking engagements, touring visitors through the treasures of Rome, or using her skills as a sommelier to find the perfect wine to pair with dinner.

After finishing her studies at the University of Chicago in 1989, Elizabeth moved to Northern Italy to do her graduate work at the University of Bologna. While researching her thesis on the Church of San Giovanni and Petronio in Rome, she soon realized that like Queen Christina of Sweden before her, she couldn’t live another day if she didn’t live it in Rome and consequently became a denizen of the Eternal City in 1997.

Shortly after her decision to reside in Rome, Elizabeth began giving tours for a small cultural association and in 2001 passed the licensing exam for guides.  That same year, she began teaching Art History at Duquesne University’s Italian campus where she continues to be a faculty member to this day. After teaching Renaissance Art at John Cabot University for five years, she has since joined the teaching staff at the Pontifical University of the Angelicum in Rome as well as at Christendom College.

When she is not teaching, Elizabeth can be found writing for multiple media and literary outlets. She has published numerous articles for First Things, Sacerdos, and Inside the Vatican magazines, the College Art Association, and Zenit News Agency. Her most recent regular series of articles appears online on Aleteia.  She is the author of three books, The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy’s Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici, Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches with George Weigel, and A Body for Glory: Theology of the Body in the Papal Collections with Fr. Jose Granados.

With her dynamic and engaging speaking skills, Elizabeth is a sought-after public speaker. She has presented a TED talk on “The unheard story of the Sistine Chapel” and has appeared on many television and radio interviews, from ABC’s Nightline to the Today Show. She was featured in the series ‘MUSEUM SECRETS’ for History television, Brad Meltzer’s “Decoded” and was the host of “Catholic Canvas”, a 10-part television series on the art of the Vatican Museums, which aired on EWTN. In addition to these, Elizabeth has been a keynote speaker at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Fall Conference for several years and is the 2018 CEC Myser Visiting Research Fellow at the Center.

Along with these many accomplishments, one of her proudest occurred in early 2016 when she and her husband became officially certified sommeliers through the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier.

Elizabeth and her family live in Rome, minutes from St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums.

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