I like to share with you this beautiful text written by Olivia Massaro that we met together with her family last October. The bond and empathy that were created with them immediately are one of the most moving memories I have of this difficult season after the loss of Giudi.
Olivia then came back to visit us alone for a few days, before leaving for the United States, giving us the chance to see even more deeply the beauty of her soul!
"Nostra Vita in English, means “our life” and on October 23rd I realized the importance of
this short phrase. My father, siblings, aunts, uncles, and I were welcomed into the arms of an incredible vineyard, family, and story, all by accident. My uncle coordinated for our group of ten to visit Montepulciano, but that day our driver announced that we would arrive in Montalcino in 3 hours time after departing Florence. With a few head shakes and laughs at my uncle, we thought nothing of it and excitement continued to buzz on the bus. About two hours into the ride I found that there is something about driving through Tuscany and looking out the window. I found that driving through Tuscan hillsides these past few months, I instantly get linked to the image of my family, every time. My family is abundant and well-structured, such as the long strips of grape trees that stretch beyond the plots of land. My father is hard-working and dedicated, such as the fathers that have built a successful vineyard from the ground up. My siblings and cousins have vast potential and reach high for what they wish to make of their lives, such as the picturesque Tuscan Trees. My nonna and nonni planted the roots, nurtured the family with love and warmth, bearing the best contribution of all. Without family, I would be useless, just as vineyards would be without a familial bond to build off of.
The range was in a transitional limbo from lush green to where the hills were now burnt entirely with gold. We ascended and descended to the point where the butterflies in my stomach were buzzing and dipping along with each downward motion. On the final ascend up a driveway more narrow than a one way street, we peaked at the top of the Parisi family’s vineyard. Multiple shed-like workshops sat in the side lawn. Varying sizes of art pieces were scattered throughout and carvings into trunks remain from the trees that once stood there. The main home was adorned with two massive trees which sprinkled fallen chestnuts onto the front entrance, where Carlotta stood to welcome us off the bus. We gathered and she began to move us with the origins of their home and how it consists of three main vineyards; one at the highest point, the second at the level of the home, and the last overlooking down a hill from their house. This was representative of the three daughters in the Parisi family; Carlotta had the biggest vineyard, Valentina’s falling at a medium size, and Giuditta, who they lost in September to a sudden accident, the smallest. Carlotta continued to explain that “NostraVita” became the name from the first tree that was planted on the property. It forks in the middle to two separate branches, creating the letter “V”, therefore where they got “Vita” from. The base of the tree is where the father built the base foundation of their home and where the tip of the lowest branch fell is where the roof of the home levels. The imagery of the “V” tree and the father’s intellect sent chills down my spine. My family and I could feel the love and the loss, and could see how their life will permanently remain vacant without Giuditta; but the vineyard and home will culminate and embody her for the rest of its longevity. “Our life” will always include and honor her for the generations far beyond Carlotta and the rest of her family.
On the way home I finally realized why drives through Tuscany made me feel the way they did. NostraVita was the perfect cap for my thoughts that solidified how my own life is a culmination of previous generations, traditions, hard-work, stories, love and loss that we go through together as a family."
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