From Scratch: The romantic true story behind the Netflix show and does Lino die?

From Scratch is the Netflix heartfelt romantic drama that has viewers dreaming of a European adventure

Netflix From Scratch
(Image credit: Netflix)

From Scratch is the enchanting new Netflix drama series that follows Houston-born Amy Wheeler, played by Zoe Saldaña, and her travels in Italy, where she falls in love with a Sicilian chef. It's a tale of fine Italian art, food, and, of course, plenty of romance. 

While the hit Netflix series was only released on 21 October, it's already reached the number four spot on Netflix's TV top 10, with viewers enamored by its vibrant depiction of Italian food (trust us, you're going to want to try all the traditional Italian dishes after watching this), stunning architecture and enduring love story. While viewers are swept up in its romantic tale, ultimately it's a heartbreaking watch that's, tragically, inspired by real-life events.  

From Scratch is adapted from actress and author Tembi Locke's memoir of the same name, which tells her own story of her travels in Italy where she met her husband Saro Gullo, who was later diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He died in 2012. This is the true story that inspired the poignant Netflix show. 

Is Netflix's From Scratch based on a true story?

Netflix From Scratch

(Image credit: Netflix)

From Scratch is an adaption of the true events that unfold in Tembi Locke's 2019 memoir, which follows the story of when she met her husband while traveling in Italy and how, when he fell ill, the couple's two families came together to support them both.

While the names are changed for the Netflix show, the storyline largely stays faithful to Tembi's memoir. The author was largely involved in the making of From Scratch, acting as a co-creator and executive producer. Tembi also co-wrote the script with her sister, novelist Attica Locke, but admits that she didn't watch the scenes brought to life by the Netflix show in order to "protect" her own memories.

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

In Tembi's memoir, she describes her adventures in Italy after graduating, where she met Saro, who is depicted as Lino in the show. She then moved back to the states, while Saro stayed in Italy before they were reunited again in New York. 

Tembi told Today that she gave the characters different names to create "psychic distance" between the real people and the characters portrayed in the show. But she concluded, "We had fun creating these alternate versions of us". Tembi and Saro's daughter, Zoela, who features in the Netflix show, chose her on-screen name of Idalia, according to Today, while Tembi's sister and co-writer Attica chose to be called Zora, after writer Zora Neale Hurston.

She said of the show and those who will watch it, "They are in for a love story that, like life, is surprising and ever changing. 

"A love story that deepens in ways that perhaps you don't know could happen. They're also in for a love story that goes beyond romantic love – bigger and more expansive than just romantic love."

The official synopsis for the Netflix show reads, "Amy's idyllic study-abroad summer starts perfectly: good food, handsome company and beautiful seaside backdrops. But her trip quickly grows more complicated.

"As if the couple's cultural differences weren't enough, soon Lino faces health issues that could tear the two lovers apart. In order to make it through this unforeseen challenge, Amy and Lino will have to unite their families into a cross-country support system that evades borders and overcomes obstacles."


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Does Lino die in From Scratch?

Staying true to the tragic events that inspired From Scratch, Lino passes away in the penultimate episode of the show. 

At the close of episode seven, Amy lies with Lino in his final moments as the couple shares a quiet moment together, remembering their beautiful love story. 


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Viewers of the show had an emotional response to the drama series, taking to social media to express their feelings.

"From Scratch on Netflix is hands down the best limited series I’ve watched this year. I laughed, smiled and cried. I highly recommend it. 10/10!" wrote one fan.

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While another said, "Learning a great deal of lesson about marriage #FromScratch. 

1. Find someone you can live with through life’s toughest blow. 

2. Let your heart lead you always. 

3. Be intentional about your happiness as an individual and as a couple. 

4. Always talk things through."

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While another said, "As a black married to an Italian, I just want to say #fromscratch was the most authentic on screen experience i have ever seen. The show hit all the nuances and complexities to an interracial relationship. Specifically blacks and italians."

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From Scratch is available to stream on Netflix now

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.