Love, ital­ian style

When Me­lanie Dunea dis­cov­ered the Emilia-ro­magna re­gion, she was al­ready in love, but not with Italy. Oh how the ta­bles have turned

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

When Me­lanie Dunea dis­cov­ered the Emilia-ro­magna re­gion, she was al­ready in love, but not with Italy

I’ve been to this re­gion of north­ern Italy, Emilia-ro­magna, many times in the past year, a pe­riod when I was very much in love with some­one. But that ended peace­ably, and I’m now re­turn­ing alone. What is be­com­ing clear to me is that it wasn’t just my per­sonal re­la­tion­ship that ren­dered this place so mag­i­cal. I’m drawn to the food of this place, to the peo­ple—to the Emilia-ro­magna re­gion it­self—with an in­ten­sity that sur­prises me. And I love this sump­tu­ous tortellini en brodo.

Now, I’m from the US Mid­west, and we Mid­west­ern­ers don’t pep­per our talk with words like “love” and “sump­tu­ous” willynilly. It’s not that I don’t ap­pre­ci­ate a spritz of glam as much as the next woman. But Mid­west­ern­ers, as a rule, aren’t known for be­ing eas­ily daz­zled. That could be one rea­son why, be­fore my first visit to Emil­i­aro­magna—a re­gion sand­wiched be­tween Mi­lan and Florence and an­chored by Bologna—my re­la­tion­ship with Italy had been, well, rather un­daz­zling.

I LOVE YOU,” I BLURT OUT AF­TER THE PER­FECT SPOON­FUL OF TORTELLINI EN BRODO PASSES BE­TWEEN MY LIPS. THE MAN SIT­TING OP­PO­SITE ME, THE THIRD-GEN­ER­A­TION OWNER OF TRAT­TO­RIA DA AMERIGO DAL 1934 IN SAV­I­GNO, AN ITAL­IAN VIL­LAGE FA­MOUS FOR ITS WHITE TRUF­FLE FES­TI­VAL, ISN’T SURE WHAT I MEAN. I POINT MY FORK AT THE DISH; AL­BERTO BET­TINI SMILES AND NODS.

Pho­tog­ra­phy and text Me­lanie Dunea

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