Matera Cave

A visit to Matera, a town in Southern Italy. When my hubby, daughter and I rolled into Matera for the first time (at sunset) and looked out over the city — my Italian husband cried. Now, being Italian, he’s not one to be impressed with old things and get teary over a city (he does get teary over a good pizza though) — but Matera is next level ancient and the vibe is special, haunting, otherworldly, dare I say extraterrestrial. Like nothing I have experienced elsewhere in Italy. It’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, thanks to the soft stones that house many caves and excavations. It is one of Italy’s most cherished UNESCO World Heritage sites. Nowadays, many of these ancient cave dwellings have been revitalized and revamped into restaurants, art galleries, and hotels (yes — you can sleep in the caves!). It’s no wonder that Matera was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2019. We’ve taken many happy clients to our fave Matera haunts, and it’s a highlight of our time in the south. If you’re short on time, a day trip can be managed if you’re staying in Puglia. The closest airport is Bari, but Brindisi airport will also do the trick.



Do you know what a Trullo is? It’s the name of a cone shaped house, only found in a very specific region of Southern Italy (the province of Puglia). You can find many trulli (plural of the word “trullo”) in towns like Alberobello, and in the areas around Locorotondo, Fasano, Ostuni, Cisternino, Martina Franca, and Ceglie Messapica. You can hit many of these towns in a day with a driver, or in your own car. To sleep inside a trullo is a quintessential Southern Italian experience. This must be carefully planned in advance, as the demand to stay in these places is high in the spring and summer season. (I suggest NOT staying in a small trullo in August — it’s too hot to be traipsing through the trulli. In August you need pools and more space.) If you would like to stay at a trullo hotel, or a private villa with trulli on the property, you can look at examples like this independent hotel booked nightly or this collection of villas booked weekly. (Image: RomanticTrulli.com)


Biancagignac.com home page screenshot

A brand spanking new website for lil’ ol’ me. Come over for a lookie loo. Since travel was in the toilet in 2020 I’ve had this thing called “whitespace” on my calendar that has allowed me to dive into other interests I have — and that is seeing more women gain autonomy, empowerment, and wealth. I believe there has been a great imbalance in the world with wealth being only for a small few. I believe when women claim more independence and have more impact and choices, we can build our communities and support causes that are important to us. My contribution to making the world better is coaching other women to stop waiting on the sidelines — to claim their ideas and their intentions to build a voice, a platform, and a way to get paid that doesn’t involve relying on someone else. We’ve seen how it’s even more important to be self-reliant and have multiple streams of revenue that can support us. I help women START, BUILD and GROW their own projects/businesses/side hustles that they have had in their hearts to start. I clear the jungle with my machete. I do it in pink lipstick and I’m fueled by green tea and a fire inside. Truth is, in the last 12 months, I’ve been a secret — quietly serving my clients and finding every angle for them to get results. I have never advertised my services beyond just referrals and this email list…. but I’ve kept very busy. Everything I’ve learned in the last decade in the trenches from starting Italian Fix with $80 and a library book, to growing it to a team and selling millions of dollars worth of my own products have been condensed and distilled and poured into my clients. This is just the beginning — soon I’ll build this company to have other coaches work alongside me. But right now it’s just me. This is a timely opportunity to have access to me to help you build something. Check out the menu of services I offer. Everything is by application only but I would love to connect and see what we can create for you. LET’S GOOO!!


Club Scannella Aerial View

Yes, I really do wish we were all here. In the sun, on an Italian island. Check out the view from the beach club “Scannella” on the island of Ischia. I don’t think I’ve ever not wanted to be looking out over a gorgeous seascape while admiring the pool and the ocean all at once. At Club Scannella you can lounge on the rocks and gaze out over the sparkly light dancing a jig on the Mediterranean, letting your mind wander to that oh so happy place where you never have to leave this island paradise. Come to swim, eat, or sleep. Getting here? That’s easy — take the fast train from Rome to Naples (I prefer the fancy train company called Italo for this route.) Hop on a ferry and voila — a complete other planet awaits.




Leela Cyd from Santa Barbara writes:

Italy runs through my heart and imagination. I first traveled there as a kid (6 years old) with my family — my mother and I arriving by overnight train from Paris (wherein she stashed our passports in her underpants and we slept for a time in the train station floor for a few hours. Between staying up all flight with movies and new plane friends, I was kaput!) where we met up with my dad and brother in Venice — they had flowers and warm hats for us. We traipsed about the country happily for a month, visiting sites while my dad photographed them (my brother and I were often adopted by a restauranteur or a friend of friend for a day trip — Italians revere children). It was a few decades later I found myself again on a train through Italy, this time to meet a new group of friends: Bianca and her first group of travelers on their maiden Italian Fix voyage. I got on the train to the Cinque Terre where I promptly missed my stop — I figured, “I’ll get off on the next one”. Little did I realize I was on a direct line to Genoa, some two hours or so away. I settled into my little mistake and arrived in the train station a little panicked and called B from the payphone to say I’d be late.

I did what any ailing tourist would do and tucked into a train station pizza that was honestly one of the tastiest thing I ever ate — and I waited for the train back to my original destination. I arrived to be greeted by a bevvy of jolly women and the radiant Bianca — no harm!! “No worries!” everyone said, “You’re late, who cares — it’s ITALY!!!” I laughed and tucked into the magical twinkly restaurant dinner amidst my new old friends and knew I was in for a magical week… the frustrations of the day melting off with each sip of wine.

Like many travel stories and tales children love, the mistakes are the things that make us laugh and imprint on our memories. My solo-Genoa-mistaken-train-ride made my ever-so-punctual self roll with things and get into my Italian time zone — slower, more easy going, more prone to looking out towards the amazing view of the deep blue ocean, so relieved to see my red haired Italian guide ushering me into warmth and hospitality by fairy light.


Have you been to Italy before? Have you snorkeled the Aeolian Islands? Biked your way across Florence? Made a wrong turn in Tuscany? Does your Mamma run the best pizzeria this side of Seattle?

Share your story, photo, recipe, triumph, tribulation! We want to hear from ya. We’re a community and we believe in stronger, together. Let’s live vicariously through each other.

To share click here — we’re looking for your best memories, photos, recipes, or even your nonna’s hangover remedy. We’ll feature the snazziest tips in upcoming editions.

With love + stracciatella,







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *