The Divine Italian's father passed away unexpectedly this past weekend.
(Francesco Giramonti, 1932-2009)
We just saw him in August when he came down from San Francisco to visit us and we spent a wonderful two days with him. When he left, I wrote up a blog post about his stay with us, but never published it and I'm so sorry I didn't, because I know he would have been tickled. I do so now.
(Written August 8th)
The one and only Francesco ("Nino" to his legions of friends) paid us the honor of a visit to Hollywood this past weekend. We were thrilled. The man transports a bit of "la dolce vita" with him everywhere he goes.
Nino is in firm possession of his birthright: inimitable Veronese style. Piero and I have always considered him to be 50% Rossano Brazzi, 50% Marcello Mastroianni.
(Nino with sons Roberto (l.) and Piero (r.), 1970's)
Here he is holding Piero at his christening. Look at the cut of that suit. The Sartorialist would approve, don't you think? Piero's mother Adriana is the one stifling a giggle on his immediate right.
(San Francisco, 1964)
In the photo below, a dapper Nino is trying to coax a rebellious Piero back into the car where he will presumably roll around unharnessed on the back seat. (Remember those days?) I love the bold red scarf with the classic trench coat and of course, the over-the-shoulder camera/man bag is beyond.
(Piero and Nino, late 1960's)
Like a true Italian, Nino always cut a "bella figura" no matter what decade it was. Here he is in the 1970's, deep into a "Streets-of-San-Francisco-meets-Casino" style.
I love this next photo of a garden party in Rome at Piero's aunt's house because it exemplifies everything I adore about my in-laws' chic, informal style. Nino is the one walking away from the camera, in the white jeans and green Lacoste.
(Roman holiday, 1970's)
Ti amiamo, Nino!
(Nino and Luca, 2008)
(Written September 27th)
When Nino was 49, he underwent a quadruple bypass and nearly didn't survive. After his recovery, he stopped smoking, rededicated himself to exercise and spent his last decades living with renewed zeal and energy. He did everything con passione, whether it was playing competitive tennis, mountainbiking on Mount Tamalpais, preparing a six-course feast, or debating the fine points of any and all subjects. Even loading the dishwasher became a task he raised to an art form -- he had his own highly choreographed method and tolerated no renegade volunteers. Food was the stuff of life to him. He was always there to pick us up at the airport and, after a courteous inquiry about our flight, would spend the remainder of the drive back to his house discussing what he would cook for us.
Everywhere he went, people looked at Nino twice. He was old-school cool, the kind that's in short supply these days. He had a gorgeous capuccino brown 1984 Mercedes 500SL that I drove for a spell and whenever I was behind that wheel, let me tell you, I felt like the star in my own private Fellini movie. From him I learned that while dressing well is important, real elegance comes from within, that a tidy kitchen is the key to a well-run life, and that a commitment to healthy eating shouldn't forgo having a little ice cream in the freezer.
We will miss him tremendously.