Interview: Meeting Piera

By Georgia
on Fri 3 Aug 2018

by Luke Stoney

VIP Piera, who is originally from Florence, is passionate about food in so many, different ways. 

We first found out about this passion when our volunteer Lewis told us about the fantastic meals he would experience on his Vintage Vibes visits – and the mountains of leftovers he would be given to take home. Today I was lucky enough to witness that passion first hand…

Once Piera and I had introduced ourselves, she asked me if I would like a “real Italian” coffee. Intrigued by the thought of what would be so important about those two extra words, I immediately agreed. I had just walked 3.5 miles on a hot day, with a bad foot. I needed caffeine.  

I watched in amazement and endless excitement as Piera pulled out a proper Italian Moka pot and began expertly crafting my brew.  

She asked me if I take milk and sugar, I replied “no, thank you” to both; to which she exclaimed “Perfecto!”. I was off to a great first impression! 

“Nourish the mind first and then the body” Piera, VIP

To Piera, it is very important that we begin to start taking food more seriously. She dreams of starting up a Cafeteria in her area which would serve simple, nutritious Italian dishes as well as providing a place for local families to learn more about the importance of a healthy diet. 

Piera grew up in Post-War Italy. She told me how, once the war had ended, Italy was almost destroyed; and this meant that people had to go back to a much simpler way of life.  

“Ours is the best diet in the world and it is easy to prepare a Mediterranean diet”. 

There were no fridges, so the women of the household would have to head to the market every morning to buy their fresh food. They would then spend 6 hours making the Ragu (tomato sauce). 

Everything would be handmade. There were no premade sauces back then. They would even have to make the pasta and gnocchi by hand. 

While she isn’t saying that we need to go back to getting up at 6am to make our dinner, Piera does believe that we need to go back to a time of simple food which gives us the nutrition that we need.

With her unending enthusiasm, we believe she is just the woman to help us do that! 

What’s your food story? We’re collecting food stories from over 60s across Edinburgh.  

Keep up to date with Vintage Vibes

Sign up to our newsletter.