A few years ago, when spring was in full bloom in Sicily, Pasquale M. Marino—who we fondly call “Mimmo”—took my business partner, Kim Walls, and I on a guided tour of the unspoiled 750 acres our family owns in the Italian countryside. In his rich accent, Mimmo, an esteemed Italian botanist who runs our La Furtuna estate—land that once belonged to my husband’s grandmother, and that we bought and began expanding in 2009—guided us through the olive groves, showing us all the plants and medicinal herbs on the farm and explaining the deep and fascinating history of the region. As we walked along the outer paths, Mimmo pointed out his favorite flower, the brilliant Anchusa azurea plant, and waxed poetic about its long medicinal history.
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