As I was born in a beautiful and sunny region in the heel of the boot (lo stivale) called Puglia, I was constantly surrounded by fresh and tasty food prepared by wise hands that were, unconsciously, handing down secular traditions.
My childhood memories are full of smells that I would have missed in the future and that mean HOME to me like the smell of ragu’ (ragout) coming from the kitchen, and not only mine, on lazy Sundays.
I grew up eating seasonal products knowing that every month has its fruit or vegetable.
When I was 19 I moved 1000km northward (to Milan) where I graduated in International Relations following the dream of a diplomatic carrier… it was during those 6 years that the girl from the South discovered that there is not only one Italy, but a plurality of little Italy(s). And by that, I mean a huge variety of mentalities, culinary traditions, values, and of course levels of laziness. Comparing the differences became my favourite game.
Soon enough the equation was:
more travel = more differences = more fun!
From that point on travel became my biggest passion, my lifestyle, my fate.
Rather than visiting heritage of past splendour I prefer to get a glimpse of a living nature: talk with people, listening to their languages, get lost in the crowd and one upon everything: EAT WHAT THEY EAT.
In 2005 I moved up north again, this time outside the borders, destination: Amsterdam. And there I was again: travelling with even more curiosity, my world was getting bigger and bigger!
Compared to where I came from, Amsterdam was another (fascinating) planet waiting to be discovered. Thousands of different cultures in one city, thanks to its colonial past and cosmopolitan nature I could experience all kinds of cuisines.
Surprisingly, I also found out that the idea of Italy people have abroad is still attached to the old fashioned granny making fresh pasta for the all family, or women who wake up every day at 5 in the morning to prepare a three course meal, or still, Italian people eating pasta every day. At first, I thought it was just a common place deriving maybe from Italian people who have moved there years ago.
Slowly, I noticed instead that the strange ideas that all Italian are called Mario or Antonio, that we are a nation of dwarfs and that we are all pizzaioli, was maintained from Italians themselves!
After months of careful consideration, the mystery was unravelled: they were just going along with what tourists expected from us: a frozen Italy stuck in the past. So, I decided I want to champion the cause of showing a modern, international and more realistic Italy through the eyes of a young cosmopolitan Italian girl!
Meanwhile, I started to travel all over the world trying to do what I was doing in Holland: find out new recipes and get to know other cultures in a delicious way: the food!
After a lot of kilometres, holding areas, trains, boats, and planes, I realized finally people were paying more attention to what they were feeding themselves with. Food must be not only tasty but healthy as well. The culture of slow food is slowly taking over from the fast food era, eating organic is becoming more and more a popular need. Everybody knows that ingredients as olive oil, pasta or a glass of red wine a day is an elixir of life.
We are going back to the roots…my roots. World is discovering something Italy always had.
There it was: my final trigger to create Sayitaly
My way to get people know the real Italy and Italian food and make the impossible possible: make you eat what I eat when I am back home. Therefore my products selection was very accurate and it was nice for me to think the range of products I wanted you to taste going from organic olive oil to wine, through different kinds of pasta sauces to regional ham and salami, natural and healthy snacks.
I even selected a made in Italy 100% organic cosmetics and make up, although I am not finished yet…www.sayitaly.com is a constantly work in progress in continuous search of tasty food… and much more!
Sayitaly is a lens throughout you will see a bit of what you already expect and a lot of new aspects you ignored before…and if I’ll do a good job I guarantee: you’ll say Italy in a different way!