The current Italian developments related to the terrible COVID-19 pandemic makes me realize the profound sadness of the unthinkable tragedy involving the oldest part of the Italian population. Italy has long been one of the countries with the highest percentage of elderly. Some of her regions have gained the enviable definition of "Blue Zone," such as Sardegna, where many live past a hundred years with admirable physical and mental capacities. Such longevity appears to be triggered by genetics as well as a healthy and active lifestyle which includes the well-known Mediterranean diet. However, the current pandemic seems to severely afflict people in their 80's and older. Many are succumbing ever more frequently to this disease and its complications, with a surprising majority being elderly males.

During my many trips to Italy, I have often taken street photographs of common people mostly unknown to me to portray the character and culture of the country. Sharing these wonderful persone is a way to honor and respect the older Italian generation. These are the nonni and nonne to so many. They represent the ones who always had that special treat, the old recipe no one else could ever duplicate, the ones who could tell us never-ending wonderful stories, the ones we went to looking for that special hug we cannot ever forget. 

During this upheaval, we can only search within for the needed determination, the faith and the optimism which will ultimately allow us and the world to prevail and again find the path to good health, happiness and renewed life.


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