When on holidays in Sardinia two years ago, I met this incredible woman after I had already learnt that quite many people in Sardinia healthily grow to a 100+ years old.
In the streets I really saw many more elderly people than I would at home. What struck me even more is that they mostly walked around without any walking sticks or walking frames. They met no matter the heat, men sitting on a bench chatting excitedly with each other, neighbouring women talking to each other from one window to the other or in front of their houses. Couples coming down to the Piazza to meet others and see what’s going on.
They may also still be working eight hours a day at the age of 90!
She obviously caught my eyes and heart calmly sitting there and making fresh pasta in the restaurant La Taverna. I could not help but start a conversation with her buzzing with excitement and asking to take pics and videos.
To this date, however, I am a bit shy when it comes to taking pictures of people, so when I ask for it and get a yes (which I almost always do), I too often hurry and do not so much concentrate on the focus and frame. Pictures then end up not quite to what I would love to have. Still, they are good enough to tell the heart-warming story behind them, I think, and after all, imperfection is something natural anyway that we should embrace much more often. So here we go, imperfect images of an unforgettable human connection.
It turns out Rosaria was 90 years old at the time, making fresh pasta every day – that is EVERY DAY – since decades. The restaurant belongs to her family and is now run by the next generations. She is always here surrounded by her loved ones doing what she loves. She told me matter-of-factly: “Family and a passion for what you do is all you need.”
Fresh pasta is a luxurious product in Switzerland, here it is a staple food made by grandma. Rosaria is forming the Sardinian specialties called Malloreddus (down left in the second image) and Maccarones de Busa (the long ones in front of her).
Don’t miss her in action:
She makes it look very easy, simple, and her hands move very softly. But I am sure my wrists, thumbs, hands, arms, back, whatsoever would need a break after 30 minutes… Remember, she makes pasta every day from the morning to the evening at the age of 90.
Now guess who was hungrily back in the evening to try her produce?
Sure, it was me! I went for the Maccarones de Busa with asparagus. They were yummy and hearty, indeed! My hubby was so kind to photograph my happy face.
And guess who was also still around smiling and only just about to finish up for the day? Rosaria!
Her smile is precious, don’t you think? I truly hope, carissima Rosaria, you are still among us spreading your love and passion for Sardinian and Italian values.