Jill Kargman Does Italy

* Jill Kargman is hands-down one of the funniest women we know (if you need proof, binge-watch her Bravo scripted show, Odd Mom Out). Below, her love letter to Italy.

I’d always heard Americans say they’re Anglophiles or Francophiles, but I’m…an Italophile. Did I just make that word up? Methinks. But I’m obsessed: The food, the wine, the soul, the O Sole Mio, la dolce vita in general. To celebrate 15 years together and the fact that we were empty-nesters when all three kids went to sleepaway camp, my husband Harry and I decided to rent a car and road trip La Bella Italia top to bottom. If it’s a thigh-high boot, we did loin region all the way up mountains and down hairpin turns to the ankle. (Alas not Sicily, the rock the foot is kicking, but perhaps in another 15 years!) Here are some highlights from a few of the stops. P.S., the car was a white Fiat like Jessica had in Sweet Valley High. Which was thrilling and my tween self would’ve totes shat.

  • Ravello lunch at Hotel Caruso

    Ravello lunch at Hotel Caruso.

  • Me n' Dave

    Me n’ Dave.

  • Lake Garda = motherfuckin DORNE

    Lake Garda = motherf&ckin’ DORNE

  • Galleria next to the Duomo in Milan

    Galleria next to the Duomo in Milan.

  • Wes Anderson's Bar Luce in the Prada Foundation

    Wes Anderson’s Bar Luce in the Prada Foundation. 

  • Wine cave at Rossellini's

    Wine cave at Rossellini’s.

  • Capri


  • Very happy to be with just a little chianti

    Very happy to be with just a little chianti.

  • Prada Foundation

    Prada Foundation: Incredible use of materials and architecture is incredskis.

  • Harry by the medieval fortress in Sirmione

    Harry by the medieval fortress in Sirmione.

  1. Milan1


    Unfortch Milan was 98 degrees when we were there. And, like the boy band, it was insufferable. I was schvitzing my balls off so alas can’t report the leisurely walks through winding streets but did worship lunch at the Bulgari Hotel. Owned by the famed jewels family, this boutique hotel is itself a gem. Typically I’m not into modern sh*t in the old country but somehow it worked. I also loved The Duomo, which is my ultimate architecture boner. It’s just so dripping goth and breathtaking. Worship. Literally.

  2. Lago di Garda 2

    Lago di Garda

    Lago di Garda is quite possibly the most picturesque place I’ve ever seen. In that Star Wars where Nattles Portman first plays tonsil hockey avec Hayden Christiansen, I thought there couldn’t possibly be a more cinematique, romantic setting for a smooch. I think that spot was Como, where Clooney carouses, but this is the lake next door and to me is even better. Sorry, Amal. Villa Feltrinelli is heaven on earth with orgasmatron food and you can drive or boat over to Sirmione a medieval fortress town with a castle from 1100 WITH A FULL MOAT N’ SH&T! Like double portcullis and Game Of Thrones-esque insanity. So f$cking cool.

  3. Ravello3


    Speaking of my favorite show, Ravello is motherf&ckin’ DORNE! Belmond Hotel Caruso is also from the 12th-century and you’d swear you were on a set in the seven kingdoms. Insanity. Dinner at Rossellini’s is a must, overlooking the water. We also stumbled upon the Music Festival, and saw Bobby McFerrin was playing, so we went for no reason. AND, BTDUBS, HE DIDN’T PLAY “DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY”!!!! We died. The Italians brandished their claws and started screaming “DONTA WARRY BE APPY!” but the a cappella vocal artist flipped his gray butt-length dreadlocks and bailed, much to the chagrin of the audience who’d only even heard of that one song. We didn’t care cause it was kind of a fun call-and-response thing where he’d sing “do be doo wa-ba-dum bum-dee doo” and we’d singing it back, like an aural version of the game Simon. If aliens had landed on the Mediterranean and seen us all parroting nonsense, they’d surely radio back that our population is certifiable and take the flyer saucer and go the fuck home.

  4. Positano4


    Another slice of heaven is Positano. The pernicious side to social media is that every as$hole keeps posting a glass of wine in Positano so I didn’t want to go be in some American explosion of loudmouths. But we got lucky and kept to random places where there were very few 212s. Villa Treville is magical to visit or have lunch or dinner, and Villa San Pietro next door as well. Then Gwyneth told us about the restaurant Da Adolfo, which is like a beach party/lunch nook with a tent in the sand and you sit with your feet in it with a champagne bucket by your toes. When Gwyneth was younger if we loved something, we used to say things were “PFB: Pretty F*cking Bueno,” and it was. Though in this case, buono.

  5. Capri5


    Now Capri we found to be overrun with Americani but it was still a lovely daytrip, and also we happened to be there during peak tourist season. We took the Funiculare, a sweaty but efficient cable car, up the mountain and had an incredible lunch at Aurora. It’s emblazoned by photos of celebs like Beyoncé and Jay-Z chowing there but don’t be afraid of the hype—it earns it. So tasty and AIR-CONDITIONED! Yay.

  6. Florence6


    In Florence I found my new favorite store on earth. Like better than the now-defunct Charivari of my childhood. It’s called Luisa Via Roma and is a quote unquote “concept store.” I always thought “curated” boutiques were kinda as$holic and precious and don’t have enough sh!t or it’s too weird and offbeat for me, but this place was like a shoppingasm. Some stuff was unaffordable for me, but others had price points within reach, especially on sale! It’s so cool and the people that work there are all tattooed gorgeous post-apocalyptic fashion hotties. Natch go to the Accademia to see my pal Dave about to clock Goliath in the noggin and the Medici Gallery for some serious Botticelli action, among countless other treasures you’ve only seen in photos. It’s like seeing old friends.

  7. Venice7


    Venice to me is one of those places that is not overrated. Some people have said to me that there are rat synchronized swimmers in the canals and the smells and overpriced gondolas who hose romantic Americans who want a ride. But we loved it and found it so magical. Those as$holes who say that are jaded. It’s wonderful. We hit the fabulous Peggy Guggenheim Museum which is incredible, and then the Biennale with art pavilions from each country. Also you must hit Murano for the dream souvenir: Glasses for your tabletop. I have Shabbat dinners every Friday so I was a pig in shit to order a new set with diagonal swirls and a carafe. Beware of hideously cheesy dreck when you explore—scary glass clowns and horrors I can’t even describe (think Vegas blown glass multicolor chandeliers) but if you can cruise past the dolphin sculptures into wine glasses you’ll find great sh!t.