A celebratory birthday. Surrounded by friends. Anywhere, really (except your own kitchen table where you’ll be doing the cleaning up — don’t do that). I’m talking about really stepping sh*t up. Like renting a villa and inviting a dozen friends and a chef to cook a private meal, just for you and your crew. Or, simply gathering in a hotel with fam and friends (that’s less work than a villa rental), and picking up the tab for the big beautiful dinner you’ve planned with the restaurant staff. I did this in Sicily for my 40th. I just told everyone to meet in Catania — and people flew in from all over. My Italian friends came, too. I picked up all my peeps in Catania, transferred them to the hydrofoil, and we zipped over to the Aeolian Islands. We did the big cocktails and dinner thing al fresco — so fun! This went down at Hotel Signum (where we also bring clients). We also did the zipping-around-on-mopeds-the-next-day thing — so hilarious! A few days later — a boat trip. Planning a mini-getaway for friends, and just telling people where to be and what to bring is a blast. Everyone gets a holiday — and doing it together is way cool. Try it! Plan a year in advance to give people plenty of time to save and organize their lives. It’s like a destination wedding … but way less stress and expectations and expense.

Images: Stefano Butturini


There’s an amazing book in Italy, called Il Mangiarozzo. It’s the “trattoria bible” in Italy and it’s never been translated into English, but I think you could buy it and wing it and figure it out. ‘Cause all you need is the names of the restaurants. Their tagline is: 1000 e più osterie e trattorie d’Italia. È facile mangiare bene e spendere poco se sai dove andare! I’ll translate: “Over 1000 osterie and trattorie of Italy. It’s easy to eat well and spend little, if you know where to go!”


I’m kinda obsessed about this Made in Sicily skincare line, Furtuna Skin. Get the Discovery Set with all the trial sizes if you wanna see what it’s all about. This is not sponsored. I buy this brand — and I’m always looking for products that are clean for me and my daughter. They had me at “wild foraged” ingredients from Sicily. And having spent many glorious days barefoot in the Sicilian sunshine amongst the jasmine and orange blossoms, carob and almond trees — it just makes me happy to use those products. Sicily is bursting with wild plants and herbs that make the air so fragrant (it’s especially glorious when you’re driving on a hot summer night). I have a feeling you’ll love these products, too.


In the garden of a friend’s house, in Sicily. We get to visit a few places on our Sicily trip that are created just because we have connections. It’s not what you know in Italy, it’s who you know. This is a countess’ home, and we take clients here to share a lunch together that she prepares. It’s a casual “outside in someone’s yard” feeling. But said friend is a countess who owns an estate. I like to say the experiences clients have with us are not “Googleable” experiences. Thankfully, Amazon hasn’t figured out how to package “Sicilian friend’s garden visit” and speed it to your door, so it still feels special and insider. That’s what makes Italian Fix feel different than a big company.


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