Strait of Messina

Swimming the Strait of Messina: Elio Musco and His Psychology of Youth

“Non mollare.” — Don’t give up. As we ring in the New Year with resolutions full of challenge and optimism, the advice of an octogenarian who has swum the Strait of Messina 23 times is as good as it gets. Add to that, he was 49 years old when he attempted it for the first time. Reggio Calabria native Elio Musco, Dr. Musco to his patients, practices what he preaches, and swimming the Strait of Messina at its narrowest point is just the tip of the iceberg. Read More

Calabria at Christmas

Reflection: Images of Calabria at Christmas

Christmas gets bigger every year, so much so that we can’t fit everything into just one month. Decorations come out earlier and earlier, and we’re hardly able to finish our Thanksgiving turkeys before those Christmas parties start rolling out. But amidst all the hype, there are also those moments, some may even be categorized as magical, that make the season special. I’d like to share a few characteristic images of Calabria at Christmas. Read More

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