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There’s a good chance you’ve already seen Molly Tavoletti around Instagram; the inspiring producer, storyteller, and creative is a social star. Right now, she’s learning Italian with us to connect with her heritage and to further her obsession with cooking & eating. Get to know Molly through her work at CNN, her personal side hustle, and love for food & Italian culture.


fluent city student spotlight - molly tavoletti

From the Steel City to the Concrete Jungle

Molly’s from Pittsburgh, born and bred. Having grew up in an Italian household, food was a major part of her childhood, as were the many visits from her cousins, aunts, and uncles.

For college, she attended High Point University and then transferred to Ohio State, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. During her third year, she found out she was on track to graduate a year early. That’s when she used the extra time to apply for a ton of internships and her hard work paid off—she landed a gig on CNN’s documentary team in NYC.

To Molly, NYC is one of those places that will kick your ass—but it’s worth it every step of the way. She says it’s her “favorite thing about New York. That push from everybody. I need to do more and do better.”


What It’s Like to Work on TV: CNN & Morning Shows

Though Molly has always seen herself as a writer, she’s enjoyed working on TV. “So, what’s it really like to work at CNN?” we asked her. To which she responded, “I love the culture at CNN; everyone is really down to earth and chill.” Also, yes, she meets cool people every day like Anthony Bourdain (we’re just a little jealous).

She started on the documentary team, working on the CNN Heroes series, which focuses on incredible stories from everyday people. Now, she works on CNN’s morning show New Day, which means a typical day starts at 4am for her (yikes!).

Food, Photography & Storytelling

“Being full Italian, food has always been that extra family member at the table. It’s a sensory memory to me. When I’m eating or taking photos of food, I can tell you what I was wearing that day and who I was with.”


Molly’s obsessed with food. If you have any doubts, you can check out her Instagram. However, she connects food to more than just enjoyment; it’s a vehicle for creating connections and building community. She takes a ton of photos too, which she picked up when she first moved to NYC. It started as a sort of hobby, which evolved into something more. She describes it as “a digital journal of [her] twenty-something journey through New York City.”

Though she’s a self-proclaimed introvert and hates small talk, Molly loves having real conversations with people. She loves storytelling and believes that “everyone has a story worth telling, but more importantly, worth hearing.” She’s currently working on an online series called Across a Table, which is built around sitting down with awesome people, their favorite meal, and listening to their unique experiences.

Wondering what her favorite restaurant is? We were too, so we asked. It’s Charlie Bird in the West Village.


fluent city student spotlight - molly tavoletti

The Italian Connection

Recently, Molly started taking Italian 1 with us to reconnect with her background. It’s one of those goals she’s always had on her to-do list, but never got around to. For her recent 24th birthday, she decided it was the perfect time and gift to herself. She’s already developed a few tips and tricks for herself to help with language learning—especially because she lives alone, which gives her “freedom to post-it note [her] whole apartment and learn vocabulary that way.”

Her parents are excited that she’s taking the course, and Molly may even plan a trip back to Italy with her mom. We can’t wait to see where her new Italian skills take her.


Final Thoughts

Us: What would you want your last meal ever to be?

Molly: I live for a meat and cheese plate. But, if it was my last meal ever, Cacio e Pepe and Olive Oil Cake.

It doesn’t get more Italian than that, certo.

Inspired to learn Italian? Allora, andiamo! You can check out our upcoming Italian classes here.

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