In the early hours of this morning, with my mother and me at his hospital bedside, my Nonno Nello passed away peacefully after a battle with cancer. He would have been 91 in May.
Today the family is gathering to remember him. As with any Italian family, many of the favourite memories tend to revolve around food and wine: Nonno dipping his finger in wine to give each grandchild our first taste (but no more than a taste) when we were a year old; his pride in the produce he grew in his garden ('Forty five minutes ago, that rucola you're eating was still growing! You eat bloody well here, don't you forget!'); Nonno presenting us at Christmas with the delicious prosciutto or capocollo that he made in his garage; Nonno sitting at the kitchen table helping Nonna make crostoli. Nonno holding me close as a child, calling me 'stellina' and singing 'I've Got You Under My Skin'.
Ti voglio bene Nonno. Un grande abbraccio e tutto il mio amore, da Chiaretta.