Watching Bobby and Giada in Italy Is the Closest Thing I'll Get to a Family Vacation, and I Have *Feelings*


It started out as background noise and it ended with me silently crying into my wine glass. It's sad, but I'm not even being dramatic: that's really how my Thursday night binge-watching session went. A cooking show is my go-to when I just want something playing in the background while I putz around doing other things, so the new Bobby and Giada in Italy show was an easy pick. But what I was not expecting was to be so emotionally triggered by the feel-good, four-episode special. Hear me out . . .

It gave me a serious case of wanderlust

The whole premise of the show is to follow Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis as they tour the culinary scene in Rome and Tuscany. Giada is a Roman native, so she brings the local know-how, while Bobby brings the cultural appreciation. The visuals from each episode made me equal parts happy and melancholy for my own Italian adventure.

It made me very nostalgic

Remember travel? Remember walking around maskless? Remember sharing a plate of food at a restaurant? Yeah, this show has all that and more. I mean, I think Giada literally ate off Bobby's fork at one point.

It made me miss my family, like a lot, a lot

I am first-generation Italian, and I spent many summers in Italy with my grandmother. Unfortunately, she passed away two years ago and I was supposed to go back to her Italian home one last time last May before COVID-19 shifted those plans. Hearing Giada order in Italian unlocked memories of my Nonna leaning over her balcony to order fresh produce from the farmer's truck parked in the middle of the piazza. The view from their Tuscan villa reminded me of my own wedding that took place in a similar vista almost five years ago. And seeing all the fresh ingredients and meals created was just a cruel reminder that I've been living off of my son's leftover dino nuggets for almost a year.

At some point during my binge-session, my husband came to join me on the couch with a bottle of wine, cheese, and pepperoni. It wasn't quite the antipasto course Bobby and Giada were enjoying, but it was as close as I am going to get to Italy this year, so cheers to that and here's hoping for a season two!