Wisdom from my Nono

As the world celebrated Father’s Day yesterday, I had a long phonecall with my father, Dr. Luigi L. Polla, to catch up and thank him for the many things I have learned from him – first and foremost that hard work is the solution to everything.

We reminisced about his father, Teobaldo Polla, my Nono, whom I adored. Nono was one of the most elegant men I have ever met, in character and in dress. He came from nothing, worked hard his entire life, valued aesthetics, smiled easily, and taught me how to play the Italian card game Briscola. It felt so good to have Dad remind me of Nono’s life philosophies…

  1. Do not become attached to material possessions.
  2. Be generous with those you love.
  3. Gift your inheritance to your children while still alive, to be as light as possible for your last journey.
  4. Preserve your dignity and elegance (physical and emotional) always, no matter the situation.
  5. Don’t hesitate to emigrate to a new country for the right professional opportunity.
  6. Be a good dancer.
  7. Respect your body to enable it to age gracefully and beautifully.
  8. Have a glass of red wine every evening, preferably from the Monte Carso region.
  9. Have a spoonful of good Italian olive oil every morning, on an empty stomach.
  10. Eat based on quality, not quantity.

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