Victor Hazan on Cesenatico

This post was written by Victor Hazan and originally published on Facebook.

Back home for the Fourth. I could never have imagined that I would one day refer to Florida as home, but the place that accommodated Marcella as she cooked and wrote during her final years, the place that saw life leave her one Sunday morning has the tightest grip on my feelings. After Marcella’s death, her hometown of Cesenatico, a fishing village and summer beach resort a two hours’ drive south of Venice, set about finding appropriate ways to honor the memory of its most illustrious citizen. I made myself available to them in June. Mayor Roberto Buda, a young, bright, clear-spoken politician, headed the group that organized the commemorations. They erected a plaque in front of the villa where Marcella grew up, where we became a acquainted, where we were married and spent the first months of life together before we sailed for New York. Cesenatico has a magnificent professional school for chefs, with a student body of 200. It is a large, modern, handsome building on the edge of the beach, the light that glances off the Adriatic coming through its tall glass windows. It possesses a fine amphitheater used for the faculty’s special demonstrations. It now bears Marcella’s name. Moreover, the administration is funding a Marcella Hazan scholarship that will pay the expenses of three students who each year will travel to the United States to work as apprentices in American restaurants. I hope that the cultural and professional exchange will profit both sides.

Cesenatico is the birthplace of our love. I went to say goodbye on Marcella’s behalf and mine. Goodbye to the umbrella pines under which we walked, our arms around each other’s waist. Goodbye to the Bagnino Rosa, the beach shack near the lighthouse on the edge of the town’s pier, where on dark evenings we nourished our courtship. A life irrecoverable except within the silence of my thoughts. Sixty years were not enough. We still had so many things we needed to say. Victor.

July 5 , 2014 near Longboat Key, FL
Photo chosen by Gustiamo