Now that winter is fast approaching, Pietro will likely be starting his construction job again. The tourists have long left the rocky beaches of the Tyrrenian Sea, chipping away at their unromantic day jobs, pining after the day on which they can once again return to the glorious shores of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. In the lull of the wind that whistles past the doors of Lo Guarrachino, one might pick up the faint scent of the active forno that has baked many of Pietro’s delicious creations during the summer season.
There is nothing like a summer night on which one tucks in to a slice of Pietro’s homemade pizza, a process that takes 17 minutes in total, in which time, Pietro shares his woes and triumphs. Talking about how economic times in Italy are hard, that making ends meet becomes more and more of a challenge, and how two jobs are a must for most people, a sudden broad smile appears across his face as he mentions his little daughter. Suddenly, all is amore, as Pietro pays homage by shaping the crust dough into a heart and adding an extra helping of ingredients like porcini mushrooms and garden-grown basil to the toppings. Meanwhile, in simple English, he encourages us to have children, but advises that they are a big responsibility. When was the last time anyone has had this type of conversation with the staff at the local pizza joint?
There is just something about moments like these that linger, even when you are thousands of miles away from hearth of the forno at Lo Guarrachino, when summer seems like a distant memory, and when forming pizza dough is replaced by shaping concrete blocks.