A faint ray of late summer morning sunshine was reflected on the golden sign of the “Gambrinus” Café in Plebiscito Square. A place which, more than a bar, was a veritable art gallery in the center of Naples: rooms decorated with marble, stucco, bas-reliefs, tapestries and frescoes. During the Belle Époque, in this place illustrious personalities such as Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriele d’Annunzio, Princess Sissi and many others were guests.
I arrived 15 minutes earlier for my meeting with Dr Silvana Di Martino, scheduled for 10:30 am. I chose a table near a beautiful window. I was strongly attracted by the comings and goings of people who came quickly to order a coffee, strictly at the counter. An ancient, almost obligatory ritual that allowed people to taste coffee together in a friendly way, close to each other, around the counter. Even the custom of “café sospeso”, that is to say, leaving an additional coffee already paid for the poorest, confirmed the Neapolitan human warmth. A remarkable gesture in a world where selfishness reigns.
A woman with fluffy blond hair entered. Her figure and good looks attracted the attention of those present. She wore a gray skirt suit with a red patterned blouse that paired well with the clutch, shoes and belt, all in red.
She looked for me. I waved my hand at her and she, smiling. She approached.
– Hi Pierluigi sorry for the delay but with this traffic, it is not easy to find a parking space!
– I imagine! I took the opportunity to observe people.
After ordering 2 slices of Pastiera Napoletana and 2 glasses of Prosecco, we began our discussion.
But let’s try to understand better, who is Silvana Di Martino?
Silvana was born in the 70s in Naples on July 6. During her adolescence, she began to study singing, piano and theater. At 13, she released her first single which was then followed by an Album. As a girl, her remarkable eloquence and communication skills have led her to direct television programs on the Italian channel “Canale 21“. Later, she arrives at the theater on tour throughout Italy with actor Massimo Masiello and works for illustrious theater producers such as Romolo Siena and Leonardo Ippolito. She can be found on Telemontecarlo, but also on RAI on Uno Mattina and Domenica In.
However, she never gave up her passion for biology ; she successfully passed her Doctorate in Biological Sciences to devote herself entirely to the exercise of the role of doctor.
After obtaining another doctorate in clinical pathology, she continued her training at the National Research Council of Naples specifically on “Production of lactose-free milk for lactose intolerant subjects”. Later, at the Pascale Tumor Institute in Naples, she participated in “the post-treatment evaluation of tumor immunosuppression in patients with advanced cancer”. It also supports food education projects in schools and publishes scientific articles in national and international journals.
In 2006, she opened her “Nutrizione & Benessere” center in Casoria (province of Naples) where she offered courses in aesthetics and nutrition and specific and antioxidant diets for all ages, in collaboration with various professionals. She also exercises this profession in other centers across Italy and does not neglect the work of journalist for various online newspapers.
For the past few months, she has been directing a show “Sistaffetta”, her own program on Radio Productions Web, where she invites distinguished guests to discuss in shows related to “Well-being”.
Pillule di Nutrizione (Napulitane) is her latest book in which, in an amusing form and with dialect phrases, she offers regional recipes for each day of the week with the corresponding nutritional values and advises how to compensate in case of food transgression, the so-called “sgarro” (excess).
Precious is the foreword by Dr. Paolo Ascierto, oncologist and international researcher, director of the Melanoma Oncology, Oncological Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapies Unit at the Pascale Tumor Institute in Naples. Chef Raffaele Trematerra also collaborates on the book for the preparation of dishes and Marcello Merenda for the photography.
– What really drove you to switch to television as a science journalist?
– Well, sharing my research has always been a part of me, from radio to television, as a researcher with 30 national and international publications, some under her own name, the step was easy to switch to print publications and after 5 years and more than 100 publications of the ODG (Order of Journalists) of Naples has arrived.
– I saw your slogan “from research to aesthetics”. What does that mean exactly?
– In my Nutrition & Well-being center, we start with research and screening with intestinal microbiota, intolerance and oxidative stress tests in collaboration with doctors in cosmetic surgery.
– What advice could you give as an expert to today’s 50s?
– Love each other with dignity, professionalism and security.
– What should we absolutely NOT do?
– Never give up, even if everything seems against it. You still have to fight and the results, even at 50, if you sowed them correctly, will eventually come.
– How did you come to the wrinting of the book Pillole di Nutrizione (Napulitane)? Can you tell us about it?
– Of course, this happened during the lockdown in March, when many customers asked me how to avoid gaining weight while having to cook for the whole family … and after Pillole di Nutrizione (Napulitane) was born.
– What message do you want to convey with this book? Where can we find it?
– We don’t eat healthily; we have to learn. The book can be found in all bookstores.
– Does your job make you happier or your clients happier?
– Seeing happy and satisfied people gratifies me and pushes me to always do better … after 24 years of activity, I am still excited.
– What are the three adjectives that best reflect your competence and your person?
– Professionalism, dignity and honesty.
– In view of the end of the year holidays, even though the situation is abnormal this year, could you give us some advice on how to “not overdo it” and how to avoid excessive excess?
– The days of Cheat Day, that is to say during the 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st December, 1st and 6th January you must be careful not to overdo it too much. Between one evening and another, the important thing is to serve yourself with vegetable soups, broths and fruits because they are purifying and antioxidant. Always remember that you are not getting fat from Christmas to New Years, but from New Years to Christmas.
– What do you have in store for the future?
– Posterity will judge.