MY STORY

Dreaming in Italian 

This site is dedicated to my love of food and wine and travel and my passion for encouraging others to indulge their taste buds and live their dreams.  There will be lots of photography and recipes and vignettes about what it is really like to live in Italy, raise a family, and renovate TWO four-hundred year-old farmhouse's.

I am originally from San Francisco.  I now live in Bonvicino (population 99). My purchase of Villa San Lorenzo began as a pipe dream.  I was drawn to the region for it’s exquisite food, wine, and gorgeous views from every angle.  The culture, food, landscape and people are magical.  There is a true sense of “la dolce vita.”  I check out airfares and train routes for fun and loves helping inspire others to live their authentic passion.

How did I come to live here? It’s a long story.

One month after moving to Paris in 2004, I heard from a friend who had bought a crumbling stone farmhouse in Spain "for nothing".  I had always dreamed of renovating an old stone farmhouse in Europe after being hooked while reading a Year in Provence by Peter Mayle in the mid 1990's.  On a weekend trip to Piedmont, Italy I found our rustica, Villa San Lorenzo (www.29vsl.com).   

I restored Villa San Lorenzo with the intent to provide a peaceful and private retreat set within a short distance from great food, wine, the Mediterranean, and the Italian Alps.  I then purchased a second property, Villa Bracchi, that has just been completely gutted and beautifully restored.  Join us on my adventure!   -Clay

Clay's photography services: www.claymclachlan.com

Villa San Lorenzo and Villa Bracchi: www.29vsl.com

Below are some of Clay's books filled with his photography!

Fine French Desserts: Essential Recipes and Techniques
By Hubert Delorme, Vincent Boue, Didier Stephan
French Cooking: Classic Recipes and Techniques
By Hubert Delorme, Vincent Boue
Eric Kayser's New French Recipes
By Eric Kayser, Yair Yosefi

bonvicino, alta langa, langhe, piedmont, italy

I live in the small town of Bonvicino, Piedmont, Italy.  Population is, we've been told, 99.  I have renovated two stunningly beautiful historic properties in the small Alta Langhe village and modernized the interiors while maintaining the wonderful integrity of Villa San Lorenzo and Villa Bracchi.  Peace and tranquility surround the each estate.  

Within fifteen minutes you can find yourself hiking through the Barolo wine region dotted with castles and hilltop villages.  The food and wine of this region is extraordinary.  People don't need to go out of their way to buy and eat locally source ingredients.  It is a matter of course here.  They grow their own fruit and vegetables, raise their own animals and purchase what they need from the local contadini.  This is a land rich in materia prima.  I will attempt to capture in words, photos, and videos, this magical place called the Langhe, now and official UNESCO World Heritage Site.