A guest post today from one of my best friends in the Italian wine business, Raffaella Guidi Federzoni, who’s hunkered down with her family in Montalcino.
Above: unaware of the health crisis that surrounds them and threatens their stewards, the vines in Italy continue to grow (photo by Raffaella Guidi Federzoni).
Americans love Italians? Yes, they do. They love us very much, even too much sometimes, because we are funny, we know how to cook and how to live. They love us and forgive us for our shortcomings.
Most Americans love us because a good part of their blood is Italian, because some of their DNA comes from a small village or town somewhere in Sicily, or Abruzzo, or Calabria, or in any other of the twenty regions inside our country.
Americans love us in the way you love a slightly strange pet. Because we, the Italians, puzzle them with our strange way of conducting a business, of changing frequently our government, even of keeping a household. But we are so cuddly, aren’t we? We run around, making a lot of noises and sometimes leaving unpleasant traces of our presence. We bark a lot but we almost never bite.
We, the Italians that are impossible not to be loved by a true American.
Maybe not admired or respected or understood, but for sure loved.
Well, dear American friends, now could be a good time to show us if your love is only thoughts and prayers or it is indeed actions.
Rightly you have forbidden us to enter in your country. This is a precaution that we understand perfectly well. At the moment in our country we can hardly get out from our homes. Schools, universities, bars, restaurant, stations, airports, offices are deserted or shut down. So, of course we share your caution. It has to be like this.
But life goes on anyway, and so does business, commerce, market. They may sound prosaic words but they are indeed a part of our life. We need to carry on our activities, we need it now more than ever.
Therefore, dear American friends, carry on buying Italian. Buy food, fabrics, design, artifacts, shoes, clothes. Buy made in Italy.
Buy wine. The products of people that share with you a past in some remote village of the South or a medieval town in the Centre or a prosperous bunch of districts in the North.
Buy wine made with an identity that belongs only to this small and strange country.
A country that now needs help.
Raffaella Guidi Federzoni
This is what I am doing and this is what I am urging my clients to do. I will, however, continue to remember all of Italy, particularly my Piemontese wine families and tour service and restaurant partners in my prayers.
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