In 2014, Federico from Italy and his overseas Chinese wife Dong Yan (called Lady Fescher Yan by everyone) lost their daughter Te-te in an accident. In order to fulfill their daughter’s last wish of opening a Western restaurant in Dongying, in September 2019, they came to Dongying from the remote Italy and opened an Italian restaurant named after their daughter. In 2021, the couple were in their 60s and transferred their restaurant to a parent of an overseas student in China that agreed with their brand concept. They taught the production methods of products patiently so as to well preserve their signature Italian delicacies.
After the restaurant was transferred, the couple devote more energy to volunteer activities. They not only provide the society with Italian cooking skills for free, but also lend a helping hand to those who are interested in Italian language and culture, and pay regular visits to the disabled people service center to see the underprivileged children. They bring authentic Italian delicacies to schools, communities and kindergartens, designed menus for the children and teach the kids to have a hands-on experience of the foreign delicacies and culture.
Sometimes, Dongying Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese invites the couple to visit famous scenic areas and cultural venues in Dongying to experience the Yellow River Culture. Despite the language barrier, Federico loves the Chinese humanity and culture. Every time when he goes back to Italy, he would take the promo albums and CD of Dongying as gifts for his friends in Italy, sharing the local customs and culture of Dongying with them and becoming a “friendly messenger” and a “promotion ambassador” for Dongying culture to be introduced abroad.
In August 2022, when Federico was 60 years old, he managed to receive a “senior citizen ID” with the help of the City’s Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. This is the first time a “senior citizen ID” was issued to a foreign friend in Dongying.
Nowadays, the couple are just like a “bridge” for the cultural communication and exchange of feelings between the Chinese and Italian people to promote the mutual understanding between the two countries.
It is tens of thousands of miles apart between Italy and Dongying, remote and strange to each other. However, like the wandering people that can always find the direction to homes, in the mysterious land where the Yellow River flows into the sea, Dongying is embracing the travelers from Italy with her warm and broad chest. They came here across the ocean for love and stays here for love, as the Yellow River flows into the sea.
Source: Dongying Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese