Santa Maria del Cedro and the Precious Diamante Citron

If you had the opportunity to name your community, what would you call it? Italy, with its incredibly long history, believe it or not, still has room for the occasional cartographic adjustment, and such is the case with Santa Maria del Cedro in Calabria. This burgeoning coastal town only acquired its name fifty years ago, when it chose to honor the cedro or citron, the prized citrus that flourishes in the area. Read More

Calabresi proverbs

Wisdom on a Sugar Packet: Calabrian Proverbs

I recently came across a handful of photos I had snapped a couple of years earlier in a bar in Bova Marina. At what I had anticipated to be a routine roadside coffee stop in a locale at the very tip of the Italian boot, I stumbled upon entertaining sugar packets stamped with traditional Calabrian proverbs. There’s nothing like a people’s collective wisdom expressed in succinct colorful sayings. Read More

Lanificio Leo

Lanificio Leo Textile Factory: Blending Tradition and Innovation in Calabria

I look at labels. The woolens made by Lanificio Leo are not only “Made in Italy,” but the label features an adorable lamb. And we all know that the next best thing to eating a slice of pecorino (sheep’s cheese) is cuddling up with one of those fleecy little creatures. Okay, I haven’t actually ever done that, but when the temperature drops, I’m the first to stick my head through the neck of a woolen sweater. Read More

Blogiversary Volo dell'Angelo

My Italy Blogiversary: 3 Years Blogging – New Experiences in Southern Italy

It seems as though I just finished celebrating 2 years of My Italian Blog and my third Blogiversary has already crept up on me. On this milestone (Trust me, the use of the word is not an exaggeration, and if you have a blog, you understand completely.), I would like to reflect on the things I have done over the past years that I could never have imagined doing before my time living in Italy. Read More

Gioacchino da Fiore

The Corazzo Abbey: Timeless Inspiration in Calabria

Although a ruin, the remains are a beautiful reminder of the great abbey that once was, an institution that nurtured the likes of Gioacchino da Fiore, the famous Italian theologian. The Abbazia di Santa Maria di Corazzo or the Corazzo Abbey lies in Calabria’s Sila Piccola, an atmospheric mountainous plateau in the Province of Catanzaro. My visit was greatly enhanced by local volunteers, who revealed the abbey’s rich medieval past as they worked to secure its present and protect it for the future. Read More

Visit Stromboli, Sicily

Stromboli: A Volcano, An Island, A Movie and More

The classic cone-shaped volcano huffs and puffs, and even erupts, regularly. In ancient times Stromboli was called the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean.” I had seen and admired its image from the coasts of Calabria and Sicily, as well as from the sea itself, but recently I had the opportunity to visit Stromboli in person. Read More

Calanna, Reggio Calabria

Calanna: Iron Age Pots and Medieval Memorabilia in Calabria

In Italy, you can’t put a shovel to the ground or duck underwater off the coast without running into something old. And I’m not talking about the age of the objects paraded in front of the Antiques Roadshow camera. I mean ancient. Some discoveries, like the Riace Bronzes, are world-shaking. Others would be front-page news most anywhere but Italy. The region of Calabria has more than its share of treasures and in the small town of Calanna in the Province of Reggio Calabria, they date back to the Iron Age. Read More

Bernalda, Murder in Matera

Murder in Matera: Southern Italian Skeletons in the Family Wardrobe

How would you feel if you were the descendent of a murderer? Helene Stapinski grew up hearing stories about her great-great grandmother, the strong-willed matriarch and murderess who fled to America and gave life to the Vena family of Jersey City, New Jersey. The legend gnawed at Stapinski, so she decided to play history detective and embark on a journey to her ancestral hometown in Basilicata, Italy. Her memoir Murder in Matera documents this road to discovery. Read More

Castle Roseto Capo Spulico

The Castle of Roseto Capo Spulico: Templars, Tuna and Truffles in Calabria

The castle of Roseto Capo Spulico turns heads. Fused to a rocky cliff right at shore’s edge, the striking monument along the Ionian Sea is situated on the Calabrian side of the border between the southern Italian regions of Calabria and Basilicata. I had admired the majestic structure from train and bus windows before recently having the opportunity of viewing this Calabrian landmark up close and personal. Read More

Gallicianò, Greek community in Calabria

Gallicianò: Greek Culture in Calabria

“Kalimera.” A spry, older woman dressed in black warmly greeted us as we stepped out of the car and began to walk up the street to the main square of Gallicianò. She was like the town sentinel and greeter all in one, speaking perfect Italian to us, then lithely pulling a cell phone out of her pocket to call our guide in a language I didn’t understand at all. Read More