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Devastating true story behind new Netflix series From Scratch

Ali Condon

| Last updated 

Devastating true story behind new Netflix series From Scratch

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Warning: This article contains spoilers for From Scratch

Is there anything more perfectly heartbreaking than a devastatingly romantic drama series? It's got to be a devastatingly romantic drama series based on a true story.

If you're a regular on Netflix, you may have seen the brand new limited series From Scratch pop up on your homepage. If you've seen it, there might even been given it a watch. And if you've watched it, you've most certainly cried your eyes out.

Well, prepare to have the waterworks going all over again, because the story of Amy (Zoe Saldana) and Lino (Eugenio Mastrandrea) is actually based on a real memoir.


For those who missed it, From Scratch is a cross-cultural love story that follows Amahle 'Amy' Wheeler, an American student studying abroad in Italy, who meets and falls in love with Lino, a Sicilian chef.

Their whirlwind romance faces many unforeseen challenges, including their very different cultural backgrounds; true to real life, it is also infused with lightheartedness and moments of humor that exist alongside the more serious ones.

But when Lino is faced with unimaginable health challenges and the couple’s future is threatened, the two families come together to create an extended family unlike any they could have imagined, proving that love crosses all borders.

The series, which also stars Danielle Deadwyler, Judith Scott, Kellita Smith, and Luca Sardo, is based on the real-life story of Tembi Locke, who documented it in her bestselling book From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home.

Tembi created the series with the help of her sister, and has confessed that some moments in the show were so true to life that she couldn't bear to watch them.

From Scratch is available to watch on Netflix now. Credit: Netflix
From Scratch is available to watch on Netflix now. Credit: Netflix

"I didn't watch the visuals because I want to maintain and protect my own memories. Suddenly you start to remember the thing that was made, and you forget the original images", she told The Today Show.

In reality, Tembi moved to Italy back in 1990 to study abroad, where she met a man named Rosario 'Saro' Gullo after he tried to help her get her stolen bike back.

The two fell in love at first sight and Tembi recalled that her late husband Saro had "a vision of an 'us' and greatness so effortlessly that it suddenly seemed as right as butter on bread. I was taken aback by his boldness, his certainty."

Tembi moved back home to the United States. while Saro worked as a chef in Florence, but the two stayed in touch and eventually he moved to the US to be with her.

Though they were madly in love, Saro had a hard time adapting to life in the States, much like his character Lino in the series.

In 2002, Saro was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma, and Tembi spent the next ten years of her life caring for him.

From Scratch is based on a true story. Credit: Netflix
From Scratch is based on a true story. Credit: Netflix

Much like Amy and Lino adopt a daughter called Idalia, Tembi and Saro adopted their daughter Zoela.

As a special gift to her daughter, series creator Tembi hid an 'audible easter egg' in one of the episodes that only Zoela will notice, 'so that when she watches it, she's going to hear a message from her dad to her.'

Well, if you weren't crying already, that ought to do it.

From Scratch is available to stream now on Netflix.

Topics: Netflix, TV And Film

Ali Condon
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