Maurizia Pagleioneni: Change of Heart for the city she loves

Story by Jenny Krzan

On a hot and lazy afternoon, a blonde-haired woman dressed in a white-linen tunic and khaki pants walks into the City Building in Cagli, Italy.  She carries a brown-leather handbag, and her sun-kissed curls bounce as she enters her office, which is tucked away on the top floor of City Hall.

Maurizia Pagleioneni, a public office representative for Cagli Municiple, oversees cultural services that include arts exhibits, sporting events, and tourism.

Maurizia grew up in Cagli with her parents and her brother, Paolo. She went to college at The University of Urbino, where she earned her Faculty of Letters in art history. While she hoped to move back home to teach, she soon realized that Cagli didn’t provide the educational career she had her heart set on. After much thought, Maurizia decided to stay in the city that she knew and loved even though she wouldn’t be teaching.

Not too long after her return, she began working for the city as Cagli’s librarian.  “Six years of purchasing and borrowing books for the city led me to the position I have now. I couldn’t be any happier,” she said enthusiastically.

After 30 years, she still enjoys her work. She spends her days making phone calls and writing emails dealing with everything from the city’s soccer field to the historic art museums. She even works with universities around the world to set up study-abroad programs.

Currently, she is organizing an art exhibit that will run Aug. 5 through Nov. 7. The exhibit will include paintings created by Italian artists who died in the 19th Century. As Maurizia looks across her desk, her eyes widen with hope. “Here sits a stack of letters from the artwork owners,” she says. “I surely hope they all say yes.”
Maurizia’s influence stretches beyond the walls of Old Cagli. A lengthy, appreciative postcard written long ago by a man in London sits next to her computer. “I don’t know what people say about me, but I think I am pretty like-able,” she says.

After a 34-hour workweek, Maurizia says she enjoys visiting the piazza or escaping to her cozy home on Via Lapis where she cares for her 88-year-old mother. She also loves to read American novels and watch American films. Robert Redford is her all-time favorite actor. She particularly likes the role he plays in “Horse Whisperer” as a defender of his society.

Maurizia connections to Cagli run deep. “Living in Cagli with my family is what’s important,” she says. “It’s the foundation of my life here.”

Maurizia organizing her work documents.

Maurizia organizing her work documents.

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