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Another year has gone by. My 2022 has been marked by two milestones: it started with the birth of our daughter Lea Angelina and ended with the departure of my grandma Angelina. She kept saying that, when a new baby arrives into the family, the oldest will go. As usual, she was right. We miss her a lot, but she comes up in so many conversations that it's like she's here with us. She also brought the whole family together. We celebrated Christmas on the 23rd at her house, we had a week long celebration in Tuscany that is still going on. A cozy family time is really the best cure. Lea, on her side, is bringing a lot of joy with her smiles, giggles, and funny faces.

My 2022 it has been intense, so many beautiful memories. I could write a whole post on Lea but I will just summarize saying that she is the best thing we have done in our life. She always smiles and loves people, she is also a "buona forchetta" like her mama. She is so many things in one tiny person. Together with Lea, we came home from the hospital with two guests, my parents. First time in Knoxville and first time grandparents. We had a wonderful month all together. They loved Knoxville (I lowered the expectations a little bit during these years) and they came back in June. My best friend Valentina came as well and Knoxville passed the test again. I have to admit that I might starting liking it too :-) Being able to have friends and family visiting make everything so much easier!

2022 is also the year when Jace and I got married again. After our legal marriage in Las Vegas in 2020, we finally were able to properly celebrate with our closest circle of people. We choose one of the place of my heart, where my best friend Chiara lives, where I have gone every summer for the past 15 years to heal my soul, nourish my belly with delicious food and my eyes with amazing views. We chose Puglia to bring together our two worlds, our friends and family from US and the ones from Italy. We choose the land of secular olive trees, of "trulli", of spectacular beaches and white towns like Polignano, Monopoli, Cisternino, Ostuni, Lecce. We partied for 3 days non stop, starting with a beach party and Panzerotti made on site. The wedding was just magic, a symbolic ceremony celebrated by Chiara and our friend Nathan in between olive trees, my cousin Gaia singing "Falling in Love with you", me walking with my dad towards the man of my life and our little girl. Lots of tears and smiles too. The band crashed the party, from the aperitivo by the pool, till 3am. The dinner was unbelievable: we started with appetizers where we had fresh mozzarella made on site, all sort of cheeses, cold cuts, vegetables, anything you could dream of. We opted for a two courses seated dinner after that and we were dancing in between courses, making the meal fun and easier to digest. One of the sweetest memory was the speech moment, we felt really loved and very lucky to have such amazing friends and family. We are soooo lucky.

Finally, in 2022, I accomplished a goal that has been in my mind for a while. I have two yoga teacher training, one I got in NYC, mentored by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, and one in Mysore, India. I could have been ready to teach in 2020 but I was scared to start. I felt vulnerable and worried about not being a good teacher, the fear of being judged was blocking me but I knew I had to push myself and share what I learned during these two experiences. I started teaching at The Glowing Body in November (I teach Slow Flow on Thursdays, 6pm) and I love it. I find teaching as rewarding as cooking for my clients, I do something to make them happy, feel better and the look in their eyes at the end of the class is just fulfilling. I am looking forward for my class on the 5th! I miss it.

In 2022 another project was born, L'Ost: exclusive wine paired dinners with my friend and sommelier Maja. We were supposed to have the first one on December 5th but we had to postpone it as I had to come home for my grandma. The new date is January 23rd, and we are really excited to share our passion for food and wine with Knoxvillian foodies! I am also very honored to work with Maja and to have her in my life.

One more thing I am excited about is starting our Airbnb soon! We are building an apartment in our backyard and, since I love hosting and I had Airbnbs in Italy too, I can't wait to start welcoming people again! I might add some special treats for our guests (maybe a nice breakfast or fresh baked focaccia or a private dinner?), who knows.

These were the highlights of my 2022. It's not always all good but life is a cycle of happy and sad moments. I invite you to think about your accomplishments or important events you had this past year and be grateful for all that happened. If it was a bad year well... just think it's over even if also difficulties make us learn something. Tonight I was supposed to celebrate with my friend Camilla in the Alps but I am stuck in Tuscany with my family as Lea is sick. I will have to suffer through another day in this beautiful place, poor me :-) We went to get yummy stuff for NYE's dinner: a goat milk Taleggio, a local unpasteurized milk Pecorino, another aged Pecorino, chestnut mostarda, beet chutney, giardiniera, wild salmon, and of course the classic Italian dish, Cotechino e Lenticchie (a cooked salami served with green lentils. Lentils eaten at midnight are supposed to bring money. I don't think I can stay awake till midnight though!). I would love to see all yours NYE celebrations and tables.

Live, from Borgo4case, Camaiore, I send you all my best wishes for an amazing 2023 and I hope to see you soon, at l'Ost, at yoga, at your house for a cooking class or dinner or randomly on the streets or restaurants of Knoxville. Buon Anno!!!


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