Finally, we can say goodbye to 2020. While it seems 2021 will be a challenging year I at least can start the new year believing I will be able to return to Italy in 2021. I have missed all my purveyors – Mauro Berardi with his magnificent and irreplaceable spice mixes (from Famose Spezie nel Mondo), all the talented ragazzi at Il Saporito di Farfa, I miss their olive oil so much. There are not many olive oils available in the U.S. with comparable quality and freshness of the Il Saporito EVO. Stefano, who brings me his honey from the bees in Sardinia and of course those fabulous naturally dried porcini from Vetralla. And, so much more. It has been more than a year since I have been able to stock up on all things Italian that I bring back from my forays into shopping Italian. I realize even more how much I personally depend on all the associates and friends I see in Italy. They are gems in my life.
This devastating year with its many disasters brought the gifts of appreciation for the health and well being for all those I care about. The reality of how fragile our lives are both in health and how we live is now fact. The unimaginable changes that would have never been considered in the past have become “normal” and hopefully they will give us new hope and determination to begin this new year. My wish is that we all become more kind, considerate and thoughtful. Whether it is in Italy or elsewhere we are connected. I found it really impressive that Italians (well known for hating rules, government and dictators) followed the guidelines much better than others. Of course, they were also fined for not adhering to the rules of between $500 and $1,000 for an infraction. Still their cooperation is impressive . . . .
I hope you have found ways to keep yourselves healthy and occupied this year and are ready for the challenges of the new year. It looks to be a long spring and I hope a few images from the past will inspire us all to plan for the future. I cannot wait to travel again. Trenitalia was nice enough to extend my credit from the trip planned for last spring until February of 2022. I plan on using the credit long before then.
I wish all of you a very safe and happy new year. Just know that I will be ready to shop for you once again as soon as I can. Be kind to yourselves and celebrate your Cappodanno (New Year’s Eve) quietly with Le Befana and she will arrive with gifts for the kids. (Le Befana is the witch who was too busy cleaning to go with the three Wise Men to visit the Baby Jesus. She rushed after them so quickly so flew on her broom and drops gifts on all the children hoping to find the Baby Jesus) on the eve of the Epiphany. The Epiphany, on January 6th is the finish of the long holiday season in Italy.
HAPPY 2021 TO ALL!