Letter from Italy: “We will be reborn” by Angela Mion.

Angela Mion is a wine writer and sommelier who lives in Este in the Euganean Hills outside of Padua. She posts regularly for the popular Italian wine blog Intravino.

Above: in the place of weekly hours, a handwritten note in a restaurant in Este reads “everything will be okay” (photo by Angela Mion).

Close but faraway.

Italy doesn’t know what day it is today as it looks out onto the world from its windowsill, whether from home or the hospital.

We have never felt so equal. We are all being chased by the same invisible enemy that’s upending all of our lives.

An economy, probably in need of a rewrite, now seems a post-war economy.

And this is how Italians are no longer average Italians, the ones that cut in line, run red lights, and yell on the subway, or eat dinner out with their rude children.

No, the average Italian no longer exists. The Italian who exists now is dealing with a challenging time within ourselves.

Cafés and restaurants are closed. Everything has come to a stop and the new time on our hands is scary. It’s a time to be with your family if you have one. It’s a time for tears and fear, a time when our passions can help, a time to muster all our strength and positivity.

# I am positive. I’ve always thought, today more than ever, that the best things about us emerge during the worst of times. Wine came into my life during a difficult time, after a bad accident. And it consumed the time otherwise devoted to unpleasant thoughts.

You’ll have time to read up on tannins, for example. Ever heard of them? And the French Paradox vs. resveratrol? What is the ancestral method? How is vermouth made? Have you ever seen the hills of Cartizze?

Wine unites us. It makes us speak the same language. Now more than ever, it can help to fill the time on our hands without relying on old habits.

The Italian will return. We will sing again. We will laugh over a dish of pasta. We will become ourselves again.

Today Italy looks to the future. Like it’s never done before. The world watches us from its windowsill. We watch the world from our windowsill at home: we smile, perhaps with sad eyes.

And for once, we wait. We will be reborn.

Angela Mion

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