Our way of wishing you a Happy New Year

When we got together on 31 December 2020 to toast the new year, we all thought that the worst of the pandemic was behind us. A year on, the vaccine rollout has certainly improved the situation, but we are still living with restrictions, hospitalizations, and anxieties.

In these turbulent times, we at “Vivere di Gusto” have always tried to light some small beacons of hope and optimism, being convinced – nay, certain – that humankind has the wherewithal to adapt and come back stronger after times like these. History teaches us this, but so do the everyday gestures of humanity that we see in the street: the universal contained within each of us, however small we may be in the grand scheme of things.

Hope lies in the tiny villages that we have written about, whose foods and flavours speak of an Italy of inextinguishable beauty. Optimism lies in the stories of those who have left us a shining example, examples of strength and courage, and the knowledge that each of us is master of our fate. We all hold the light in our own hands, smooth or wrinkled, slender or square: hands that have the potential to transform raw materials into dishes to die for, into sublime works of art, music and architecture. We at “Vivere di Gusto” have tried to bring out a sustainable humanity that can live and work with grace, care and respect; that makes a habit of compassion, inclusivity, and which truly lives with gusto.

A humankind that writes itself a handbook of care and kindness.

For us, “Vivere di Gusto” means anchoring oneself to the present moment, and being able to see right into the heart of everything. It means not wishing our lives away; it means finding the value of existence in the little things, among people whom you really like spending time with. It means savouring everything that comes our way, with a smile on our faces, without wallowing in negative thoughts. It’s not easy to live by these rules, of course. As always, there is no perfect recipe – everyone has their own way of approaching it – but we have to try, with all our strength, to make it.

Everything changes with the passage of time. Nothing to be done about that. And we always tend to look back, especially around New Year. We have all suffered losses, and will suffer more: the loss of loves, of work, of dear friends. But every loss can bring a new emotional triumph. On the see-saw of life, we appreciate the dizzying highs only if we’ve hit the bitter, sickening lows. Pain does contain the seeds of happiness, of re-action. We pick ourselves up and get back in the fight.

So these are our resolutions for 2022. We’ll keep a tight hold on the see-saw when things go downhill; and when things get better, and the wind blows the right way, we’ll open our eyes and our arms, and we’ll keep our taste buds tingling for the good things in life. Because things do always get better in the end. And lastly, in the great dualism of existence, we’ll make sure that we stay balanced and believe in ourselves, and treat others with care and compassion.

With our heartfelt wishes for the new year.

The Vivere di Gusto editors