My name is Elizabeth Bernhardt and I was born at Barnes Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, at 8:40 am on October 26, 1970. I am mostly of German, Jewish and Alsacian ancestry--as far as I know. I grew up in Saint Louis and attended Saint Michael and Saint George Nursery School, Glenridge, Wydown and CHS. Then, I spent one year with a wonderful family in La Corbaz (FR), Switzerland, and attended a co-ed Jesuit school called College Saint-Michel before studying history and Italian at the University of Pennsylvania until 1993. I studied mostly history at the University of Bologna , then at the University of Florence before earning an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College/University of Florence . During that program, I concentrated my studies on fifteenth century Florence and wrote my thesis on some aspects of the foundation of the Ospedale degli Innocenti, the famous Florentine institution for abandoned children. Now, I am a graduate student in the Department of History at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am concentrating my studies on various social aspects of the Renaissance period in Italy. Recently, I have written papers on clandestine marriage; the image of King Alfonso I of Naples; the mission of Giordano Bruno. I have just finished a project relating to similarities and differences between China and Venice, noble women and courtesans. This project was based on various sources including Venetian chopines, chopines in paintings and traditional textual sources of information. In the future, I hope to do some work based on archival sources in Bologna, Italy.