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, …

Recipe: Actor Joe Mantegna’s Contribution to Your Feast of The Seven Fishes

It is that time of year again, when the Christmas Eve “Feast of the Seven Fishes” is upon us. As you may know, this seafood heavy celebration is much more of a southern Italian and Italian-American tradition than something universally Italian. This year I have a celebrity seafood dish for you to add to your repertoire. As you may know, …

Recipe: Baccalà Fritto For Christmas Eve Seafood Dinner

Seafood is essential to the traditional, meatless Christmas Eve (La Vigilia) dinner in Italy. Chef Gianluca D’Esposito is well-known for the mouthwatering uber-fresh seafood dishes he whips up at Ristorante Michel’Angelo on the island of Capri. Chef Gianluca and his wife Holly joined us live for a wonder Italian Christmas Seafood virtual workshop. You can purchase the workshop here and …

Unique Christmas Celebrations in Central Italy

An edited version of this article appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dream of Italy. Updated 2018. Click here for all Christmas in Italy travel suggestions The holiday season is a magical time of year in Italy and a great time to experience Italian traditions new and old. Over the years at Dream of Italy, we’ve written about various ways to …

Unique Christmas Celebrations in Southern Italy

An edited version of this article appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dream of Italy. Updated 2018. Click here for all Christmas in Italy travel suggestions The holiday season is a magical time of year in Italy and a great time to experience Italian traditions new and old. Over the years at Dream of Italy, we’ve written about various ways to …

Unique Christmas Celebrations in Northern Italy

Click here for all Christmas in Italy travel suggestions An edited version of this article appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dream of Italy. Updated 2018. The holiday season is a magical time of year in Italy and a great time to experience Italian traditions new and old. Over the years at Dream of Italy, we’ve written about various ways to …

Italian Christmas Cookie Recipe: Cinnamon Stars From the Dolomites

Click here for all Christmas in Italy travel suggestions Updated 2018. One of Italy’s most magical winter destinations is the Dolomite Mountains. This is a fantastic place to ski and when you’re visiting during the Christmas season to explore the Christmas markets and local traditions, especially in the town of Ortisei in Val Gardena (read more about Christmas traditions there). Our friends …

Christmas in Italy: A Living Nativity in Umbria

  Settled on a hilltop in rural Umbria halfway between Rome and Florence off the A1 autostrada is Monteleone di Orvieto, a municipality of Terni built in the 12th century. During three days throughout Christmas season, visitors can meander through the cobblestone streets of the centro storico, the setting for the Presepe Vivente or “living nativity.” During these special days, the residents …

A Classic Christmas Dessert Recipe from Sicily

Updated 2018. When writing my guest article on Italian Christmas desserts, I asked my friend Maria Louisa Manca, who is a very good cook from Catania (a beautiful city situated on the slope of Mount Etna) to share a favorite dessert from her native Sicily. Here is Maria Louisa’s classic recipe for Croccante alle Mandorle Siciliano: Ingredients: (for 7-8 servings) 500 grams almonds, lightly …