About the Founder

My love of food started young, and probably had a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in Rome, Italy, in a patriarchal household that considered women responsible for family meals. As a result, I spent countless childhood days in the kitchen with my grandmother, who had immigrated to Rome from Libya and was a master at fusing Italian and Arabic dishes, and my mother, who was from Tuscany. There, in our busy little kitchen, three styles of Italian cooking met and played: Southern (mixed with Arabic), Roman, and Tuscan. I loved learning about the history of the ingredients and recipes almost as much as I loved eating them.

Today, I continue to develop my passion for food from New York City, where in addition to running Back to Basics, I’m the founder of I love Italian Food NYC, a service platform created to express and explore my passion for the varied flavors and colors of Italian cuisine, designing and managing culinary events, and serving as a brand ambassador to Italian food companies.

But perhaps nothing excites me more than getting to share my passions with others. In my Back to Basics retreats, I show my fellow travelers what it truly means to live like an Italian—we share sweet breakfasts and cappuccino, enjoy our mid-afternoon riposinos before our aperitivos, dress like we mean it, and stay out as late as we want, all while learning about the history of the foods on our plates and the towns where we stay.

Consider joining us next time. I’d be delighted to show you around.


Francesca DeFranchis

Our Services

In addition to our regular retreats, we offer customized private tours for both longer and shorter stays, for couples, singles tours and business travel as well as for multiple destinations. 

Pick one or pre-book multiple tours.