Andiamo a cena

I remember with some nostalgia the many opportunities enjoyed over the years to meet friends back in Italy for a cena. Someone would usually have a great trattoria in mind (fig. 1) to get together and talk about memories and old adventures. Of course, as soon as the weather would allow it, dining al fresco was always preferable (fig. 2) as we waited for our trusted pizzaiolo (fig. 3) to come up with the perfect pizza (fig. 4) to enjoy together (fig. 5).

Today's younger generation has grown up with various fast food opportunities (figs. 6,7) which have gradually become commonplace even in Italy, often replacing the old-fashioned panino (figs. 8,9) we all grew up with; a dish our mothers would typically fill with prosciutto, mozzarella, provolone, or mortadella. I can still taste those mouth-watering rosette, the perfect ending to a scampagnata or a trip to the beach.

During a trip a few years ago, I visited Bolsena, a century-old small town overlooking the ominous lake, where I caught a beautiful scene (fig. 10), forever immortalized in a picture I never get tired of looking at. It shows an old couple walking by a local osteria marked by a most unusual street sign, with whom I thought was the old nonna sitting outside. I saw all the sweetness, and, at the same time, the sadness of lives lived on a different timetable, soon to be forgotten. I guess we can never stop the inescapable passing of time, so we find joy in the memories. Buon appetito!

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