Let Us Introduce You: Simone Bregni

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Back to Article

Let Us Introduce You: Simone Bregni

Javier Muro de Nadal / Staff Photographer

Javier Muro de Nadal / Staff Photographer

Javier Muro de Nadal / Staff Photographer

Javier Muro de Nadal / Staff Photographer

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Javier Muro de Nadal / Staff Photographer

Javier Muro de Nadal / Staff Photographer

Italian professor on skateboarding, priesthood

Simone Bregni came a long way to teach here at Saint Louis University—4,759 miles to be exact.  Born in Asti, Italy, a town about 35 miles east of the Italian city of Turin, Bregni has done many things and traveled thousands of miles in order to find the occupation that he feels makes him truly happy.

His historic hometown was founded in the year 64 B.C., and it was there that he received his education. Bregni attended both the liceo, the Italian version of high school, and the local university in Asti. He left Italy for America at the age of 31 after completing the Italian equivalent of a master’s degree.

Growing up, Bregni found himself being persuaded into certain career paths. Bregni’s family was pro-military, and at the time, if one did not attend the university, they had to join the Italian military.  Knowing he would hate being in the military, Bregni worked hard throughout school so that he could be a successful student and attend university.

At the university, Bregni attended classes to become a lawyer, eventually changing his mind to pursue a degree in the humanities. However, during his time at the university, Bregni’s father passed away from lung cancer.  This caused Bregni to do some deep thinking about his life, driving him to enroll in the seminary to become a Catholic priest. He soon realized though that he would not be happy as a priest and decided to drop out.

Bregni remembers a friend of his inviting him to attend a theatre class when one of his law classes was canceled.  The class resonated strongly with Bregni, and he knew he had to change his career path. Bregni transferred into the humanities, which then lead him to a career in journalism.

The pursuit of journalism eventually brought him to write for Super Console, a video game magazine.  Bregni, who grew up in the arcade era, is a huge fan of video games, and he believed that writing about something he greatly enjoyed would make him happy. He wrote two regular articles for the magazine, but  soon realized that his love of video games and his love for writing were meant to be separate. He did not want to continue combining his interests in this way, so he moved on to graduate school at the University of Connecticut.

To attend UConn, Bregni was granted a presidential scholarship.  He then learned that a position had opened up at UConn to teach Italian, and so began his 20 years of teaching the language to American students.

In 2000, Bregni was hired at SLU to teach Italian. He says the open-mindedness of the Jesuits and the mission they subscribe to at SLU are two of the biggest reasons he decided to come here to teach Italian language and culture.

Bregni has two hobbies he is passionate about and can talk about with a curious listener for hours if one has the time. The first, video games, is what originally brought him to write for Super Console. Bregni is a huge fan of Nintendo games, and his favorite game of all time is the original Legend of Zelda. Bregni grew up spending many days playing the game in local arcades.

Bregni is also a passionate skateboarder. His inspiration to begin riding came back in 1977 after he saw the documentary “The Magic Rolling Board.” Immediately after watching the documentary, Bregni wanted a skateboard, but the equipment was not yet being sold in Italy.  So the young Bregni built his own board out of a piece of wood and a pair of roller skates, and was soon rolling around town on his makeshift skateboard.

Simone Bregni is a man who has explored many worlds.? His life is rife with interesting stories and curious twists and turns, and his travels have given him some guidance to dispense.

“I’ve made many, many choices, that at the time, might’ve looked like mistakes,” says Bregni, “but I don’t regret any of the choices that I made, because they made me the person I am now, and I like the person I am now.”