A love of history lured me to Florence from Australia to study art restoration in 2005, before relocating to the hills above the city with my Tuscan sommelier husband and our daughter. History is what interests me about the food, too. Every dish has a story to tell. Tuscan ricotta-and-spinach dumplings are called gnudi because they’re ravioli stripped of their pasta clothing. In The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri pined nostalgically for pane sciocco, or “bland” Tuscan bread. And every ingredient has a reason for being, from fresh fava beans in spring, served in the pod with pecorino, to my favorite bakery treat, schiacciata all’uva, a focaccia studded with wine grapes made only during the harvest. Uncovering these stories behind the food inspires my books; it also shapes my family’s travel.