Carla Brooks is surprised with personal Italian cooking lessons from PEOPLE readers in Rome 

By Rose Minutaglio
January 18, 2017 10:30 AM

Carla Brooks, pasta queen!

Our favorite traveling crew — Carla, her son Barton Brooks and his partner, Gregg Goodbrod — have finally made it to Italy!

And they decided to make a stop in La città eterna (a.k.a. Rome) for some spaghetti-making lessons.

When Carla’s husband, Karl, died last year she felt alone and lost, so Barton and Gregg planned a series of 20 whirlwind adventures — one for each year she took care of Karl, who suffered a stroke two decades before he passed away.

During this week’s Italian adventure, the group lived la dolce vita, touring Rome and taking cooking lessons from pasta chef Julia Griner, who has been following their journey on

Barton, Gregg and Carla rolled, sliced, folded, rolled, cooked and (finally!) ate their masterpiece pasta creations.

“When you’re in Rome, you dream of making pasta and eating only pasta,” says Barton.

“It was amazing!” adds Carla.

We’ll post a new episode of “Carla’s Comeback” every Wednesday and Friday, so be sure to follow all 20 of their adventures here and on their blog,