What’s it like to see your life’s work and passion culminate in a star-studded TV special and a companion book with a foreword by Frances Mayes? Well, I’m about to find out. Nineteen years after I started a little membership newsletter to celebrate my love for Italian travel, the TV special Dream of Italy: Travel, Transform and Thrive will premiere on PBS stations and Create TV in June. The essence of this project: Italy is so very much more than a trip, it can change our everyday lives and Dream of Italy isn’t simply about travel, it is about having permission to dream . . .
The special and the making of the special and the products that go with it (companion book, extended DVD, recipe booklet) were full of exciting surprises and a whole lot of serendipity. The entire premise of the special started with the last-minute opportunity to visit with Sting and Trudie Styler in Tuscany in August 2019. The surprise: They are just people who love Italy like all of us. Each person in this special, famous or not famous, brings something unique to the mix. I can’t wait for you to meet them.
There’s a twist in the special that reconnects me with my grandmother’s Italian ancestors. As I was putting together a recipe booklet that is one of the pledge premiums for the pledge special, I randomly rediscovered her family recipes and share them in this issue.
Another pledge gift is the companion book to the special. I cannot even believe Frances Mayes agreed to write the foreword and what she wrote was far more personal than I anticipated. I had to laugh when she shared my secret way to meet locals—dogs!
Art and beauty are significant themes in the special and as I was looking for art to use in our pledge breaks, I met artists Liz Mayo and William McCarthy and I interview them for this issue. I love their “atmospheric” take on Italy’s landscapes.
When you have a chance to watch the special (you can find out more about air times at www.dreamofitaly.com/ttt), I’d love to hear what you think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org