STUNNING Tour of Rachael's Home in Italy
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This is what Italian dreams are made of! Three years ago, Rachael fulfilled one of her lifelong dreams—she and her husband, John, bought a house in one of their favorite places on the planet: Italy!
"When I was a very small girl, one of my first memories of life is my grandpa telling me stories about Italy and the mountains and how people would farm all the way up to the sky," Rach says. "All of my life, all I ever wanted was to live in Italy."
Well, to be precise, they purchased a house on Italian land…without running water or electricity. Not that that was an issue—it's in Tuscany, where they got married, which sold Rachael. John, however, needed some convincing.
"I was not impressed. It was basically a pile of rubble," he says. "I said, 'Honey, I'm pretty sure we drove by about five villas that are done. They have tennis courts, they have swimming pools, they're built—and it says 'for sale' on the front. Why don't we just buy one of them and then we can move in tomorrow?'"
"But the land itself was so beautiful and covered with olive trees and a vineyard," Rach explains. "Sometimes, I fall in love with first sight—and that's what happened here."
And so began their renovation plans—but, like many things during the pandemic, those plans were put on hold. Until last summer, that is, when at long last, they were able to get the construction back up and running.
This summer, Rach is filming our big two-day season 17 premiere from that very home in Tuscany, which has come a long way from how she and John found it—and they take you on a breathtaking tour of the finished product.
They show you every detail from their pizza oven and John's piano to what they call their charming "reception area" for guests—which is fully equipped with anything and everything travelers might desire, like coffee or local wine—and the apartment they have within the home, where they actually spend most of their time.
"When John and I here alone, this is the only part of the house we need to open up, really," Rach explains. "We can leave the rest of the house dark and we don't have to keep it going."
(Kitchen spoiler alert: Rach essentially built a garbage bowl INTO her kitchen counter. Genius!)
Meanwhile, Rach tells behind-the-scenes stories about special artwork and furniture from friends, like a table that features photos of Rach's notebooks that burned in her 2020 upstate New York house fire.
Then, Rach and John head outside to show you their lovely property—where you'll find their grill, bocce ball court, garden, pool (which Bella loves!) and stunning view.
Do yourself a favor and watch it all in the video above—and then, watch the video below to see more of their beautiful garden with special guest Farmer Lee Jones, who makes a splash. (You'll see what we mean!)