The Blog

Downton Doggie's Italian Cousin

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Over the past couple of weeks in Italy I've visited several noble and aristocratic manor houses. As I connected with the fine families maintaining their blue-blooded traditions (against stern headwinds), I imagined their ancestors' lives a century ago when their grandparents weathered the same changes many of us watched the nobles of "Downton Abbey" endure. (I imagine that Lord Grantham's grandson, assuming he was still trying to balance Downton's books, would be renting out rooms, selling pork, or perhaps offering horse rides around the family estate.) And on these visits I kept finding myself walking behind the families' dogs, which gave me "Downton" déjà vu. This little clip is shot at a wonderful house with a wonderful family who will be in our new TV episode on Tuscany.

This is Day 29 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at