Profile of Luisa Cappelli

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Appears in

In Nonna's Kitchen

In Nonna's Kitchen

By Carol Field

Published 1997

  • About

It is easy to imagine Luisa Cappelli rocking the cradle of one grandchild, teaching another one Latin, painting the shutters, putting up olive oil and exceptional Vin Santo, and cooking a delicious meal, almost all at the same time. Pacing through the living room pointing out portraits of the generations before her, she exudes nervous energy. Words rush from her in a torrent, memories and stories tumbling out as if they had been dammed up for a long time. Short and lithe with glowing pink skin stretched over high cheekbones and stylishly cut short gray hair tucked behind her ears, she is elegant even in the clothes in which she putters on the property and makes order in the house. Deeply religious and deeply connected to her family, she writes books for her grandchildren and makes up nursery songs for them. A letter her granddaughter left under her pillow says, “Nonna, grazie per esistere.” (“Grandmother, thank you for being alive.”)