VHS Grad Gets Pilot Show On HGTV


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Arlene Gibbs grew up in Verona, but now makes her home in Rome.

If you are dreaming of a villa in Italy right now, you might want to check out a show on HGTV this Friday: “Reno Italiano,” by one-time Verona resident Arlene Gibbs. 

Gibbs has been a wanderer since graduating from Verona High School. After majoring in international relations at Syracuse University, she worked in Washington for then Sen. Bill Bradley and on Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. She pivoted to Hollywood, where she got involved with Don Cheadle’s terrorist thriller “Traitor” and was the co-writer of “Jumping The Broom,” which starred Angela Bassett and earned Gibbs a nomination for best screenplay. In 2008, Gibbs said good-bye to Hollywood and decamped for Rome, where she transformed herself into an interior designer.

And now she has a pilot for a show called “Reno Italiano.” It focuses on the renovation of a 200-plus-year-old house in a small town between Rome and Naples for an American couple. “This was not an easy renovation and we were doing it in Italy on a very narrow street,” Gibbs said on her design firm’s website, which features several other stunning projects.

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“Reno Italiano” will air on Friday, January 15, at 11:30 a.m. eastern, between “Flip or Flop” and “Love It or List It,” Gibbs says. And yes, she’s hoping the pilot will be greenlighted for a full series. If you watch it, share your thoughts on social media with @hgtv using the hashtag #renoitaliano .

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. My wife and I just watched this pilot show Reno Italiano. Arlene Gibbs did a fantastic job taking this rundown property and turning it into a showplace. Great vision and execution in the small Italian town. We hope the network rewards Arlene with future projects like this. Stunning job !

  2. My husband and I loved this pilot!!! The renovation was absolutely beautiful!
    We hope the show is picked up by HGTV.

  3. Loved Reno Italiano! Arlene is refreshing and engaging, her work amazing. Please add this outstanding new program to you lineup. More please!

  4. We loved watching this show! We just bought our first home and this had us already dreaming of the day we can buy an Italian vacation home. Her vision and design is refreshing as is having a home/renovation show abroad instead of here in the states. To watch how things are done else where and the different struggles are always interesting. Please show more!

  5. Bellisimo! Love this show! Ms Gibbs delivered on giving the viewer the authentic nuances of Italy . The work kept some character while understanding our more modern lifestyles! Hoping this show is a pick for HGTV!

  6. Just happened to have hgtv on this morning and caught #renoitaliano. I loved it and immediately was searching for more episodes and info on the show as I hadn’t seen any advertising about it. Hope to see more soon

  7. Arlene – I follow you on Instagram and can’t wait to watch your show! I didn’t know you grew up in Verona! I did too! VHS Class of ’86. @curated_by_ellen.

  8. I’m so glad I caught the last 20 minutes of this show! What a beautiful transformation…Please pick up Reno Italiano, HGTV, so we can enjoy more of Arlene’s work and the beauty of Italy!,

  9. Please, please, PLEASE HGTV, pick up this show! It was so enjoyable and beneficial to future expats looking to relocate/retire in Italy.


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