Hello, I'm Dena

I am an Italian American mamma and wife. I love to spread "La Dolce Vita," by not only sharing delicious and attainable recipes, but style, home decor and more recently my Tuscan Home Renovation and Life in Italy.

I was born in Brooklyn, NY to a very large Italian-American family from Naples and Calabria. From an early age, my family continued to carry on many of the traditions from Italy here in the USA. Generations later they are still very much a part of who we are as a family, and I would not trade that for the world. I am a graduate of Fordham University. As a student, I loved attending school there because not only was I close to my favorite baseball team, the Yankees, but I was walking distance from Little Italy of the Bronx. As a young college student, I loved being so close to amazing Italian restaurants, shops, and markets. I was amazed at all the fabulous Italian products I would find. I cooked all the time for my friends, roommates, and even a few Jesuit priests. After college, I taught third grade until I had children of my own. When they were young instead of going back to teaching, I began doing cooking classes and catering and working in restaurants to make an extra income. I eventually opened my own place. The restaurant was a seven-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner operation. Rather than have my then-fiance raise my 3 kids and his 2 on his own, I decided to close. I have been home with the kids ever since. In 2014, I remarried in Montalcino, Italy to my husband. We now have five children.

We purchased a home in San Giovanni D’Asso just outside of Sienna, Italy in 2021. Over the last 18 months we have renovated this old farmhouse.  I have shared a lot of the progress on social media and now the home is actually livable. Follow along on my social for our renovation story and what life is like as New Yorker owning a home in Tuscany. 

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