Rita Richardson

Rita Richardson is a first-generation Italian American who divides her time between Tennessee and Tuscany. A language teacher, business owner and activist, she has served as president and vice president of the Nashville chapters of Sister Cities International and the Alliance Française, respectively. Rita recently founded the nonprofit Friends of San Filippino whose two-fold mission is 1) to save an important part of an Italian town’s cultural patrimony while providing a much-needed economic stimulus; and 2) to create a model for other like-minded people to carry out similar works in Italy.

Saving San Filippino

An Italian American language instructor from Nashville, Tenn., Rita Richardson has embarked on a global campaign to restore a gorgeous baroque chapel in a small Tuscan town. “No one in the U.S. is going to care about your abandoned little church in Italy,” our priest told us. “I wouldn’t waste the time and effort.” Rather than heed Father’s discouraging counsel, I steadfastly set off on my mission: to save San Filippino, a stunning 17th-century baroque chapel in a little-known town in Tuscany. Castiglion Fiorentino is a long name for a small town perched on a hill between the Val di …

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