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The Italian Heart by Carmela D'Amore

Walking you into this heart is the only way that I can explain to you how wonderful and majestic it is. It comes from the creation of this universe that has been designed especially to celebrate the love of life.

Imagine the green stretching from the Apennines going through to the Tyrrhenian Sea, spreading through the landscape and the scent of the Mediterranean ocean. The ruggedness of the Alps, and the highest points around Monte Rosa, peaking into Switzerland, and along Mont Blanc touching the peak in France.

The Italian name to heart is cuore, meaning depth and strong roots, and life is what keeps it alive.

Food is what nourishes it and keeps it active.

The aroma of this heart, is unique as smells spaghetti, pizza, romance, passion, charismatic, loud, fashion, chaos, gestures, music, distinctive, exquisite, art, culture, history, are just a few words, of this magnificent heart.

Food is the centre of the very being of the heart, as it loves to enjoy the taste and smell of the richness part of life; food is life for the Italian. It is not an excuse to eat, but it is a celebration to life, as life is not taken for granted, we are here for a reason, to enjoy and celebrate, there is no other human being, that can taste and enjoy and love, be grateful for our existence and we can yet love with pure passion and enjoy life with the same vibration.

We can even enjoy the seasonal produce the recipes that are from generations, and keep them alive in us.

Taking you into the family unit, where the bond from the home is extended into the community.

Family is the root from which this heart comes from.

Festivities, are the joyous part of the Italian heart, family friends, neighbours, celebrations, of all kinds, are just a reason to enjoy.

Going for a stroll with your loved ones is part of the Italian heart, enjoying the smell of the ocean and the mountains; having a picnic and eating out, any excuse to enjoy life is part of the Italian heart.

The Italian Heart is old, strong like the olive tree, sweet like the prickly pear; love, passion and grace run through the veins, respect gallantry and honour is its coat. Its wild like the sirocco wind, and love is what tames it.

It is ignited with the fire from the volcanic islands.

Passion for life is what keeps it strong.

Children are the extension of the root; the elderly are honoured for their commitment to the family unity, as they are the roots (radici) of the new generation. They are given the reverence that they deserve, as they have taken the family and nourished it like a delicate plant, once the plant has taken its shape, the gardener, allows it to blossom, tending every now and again, making sure that it will survive.

The values of the Italian heart have been handed down from generations, and continue with each heartbeat here are some:

  • Always welcome friends and family and be hospitable
  • It is essential to understand the importance of the family
  • Respect for your grandparents (nonna and nonno) and the elderly
  • Always eat fresh seasonal produce and have a veggie garden
  • Appreciate quality
  • To value dignity and respect
  • To enjoy your life
  • To have strong work ethics and have an entrepreneurial spirit
  • To overcome obstacles
  • To be courageous

This heart of love, infectious zest for good food and the love of life is a magnetic force you only want to love and be loved around it.

My quest in this journey for you is to inject you with its infectious love, joy and laughter for the love of life, and so you, will be awakened forever in this heart, it is the secret to the garden of life that will take you to the place where the fun, laughter, family, love, friendship, community, passion, culture, art and celebration of your life, welcome, to this heart, all you needed me to was to guide you to the door, as it has always been there, it was just waiting patiently for you, for the right time and place for you to enter it.

Carmela D’Amore

Carmela D’Amore

Carmela D’Amore is an International Sicilian chef, the daughter and granddaughter of Sicilian migrants, with over 45 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Ambassador to Sicilian food and culture, a published International author of over 3 books, currently the executive chef of Sorrento Trattoria, an Italian Restaurant situated in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.