Editor’s Note: December 2021/January 2022 Dream of Italy Issue

This article originally appeared in the December 2021/January 2022 issue of Dream of Italy. Members receive access to more than 180 back issues—if you’re not a member, join here

I love introducing our readers to foreigners who have created fascinating lives in Italy! Twin sisters Lisa and Toni Brancatisano are two such people. 

Lisa, a trained fashion designer, embodies creativity, most notably watercolor painting. I started to notice her paintings on her Instagram account during Covid-19 and was particularly taken with her watercolors of dogs. I started to think about asking Lisa to paint a magazine cover—this month’s! The Florence Duomo at Christmas was her idea, but if you look carefully, there’s a little terrier, my contribution to the scene! If you’d like to order the print itself, you can do so here. 

Lisa’s twin sister, Toni, finds her inspiration in food, from cake design to culinary history. Toni leads tours for Eating Europe, which is owned by my friend Kenny Dunn, and their Rome tours were one of my late mother’s favorite things to do in Italy. Toni is all about food, and she was gracious enough to share her family recipes that have an Italian/Australian/British flavor for Christmas. I look forward to tortellini in brodo all year—watch the Dream of Italy episode in Bologna where I learn to make tortellini! 

One of the highlights of my summer this year was attending a 50×50 Save Venice event in Denver, where I live. It was so great to get back to socializing, and this event was exquisite, featuring an opera singer and the famous Aperol spritz! I was brought to the event by my friend Amy Parsons of Mozzafiato, whom you read about in a previous issue. Amy introduced me to the ever-engaging Tina Walls, who is the president of the Board of Directors of this conservation organization. Talking to Tina and delving into the work they’ve been doing made me feel like we should honor Save Venice on its 50th anniversary. 

I always welcome your feedback and ideas. Email me at kathy@dreamofitaly.com 

—Kathy McCabe