Sila Mountains of Calabria

Cool, crisp mountain air – make sure to breathe deeply when you visit Calabria, as the region has the cleanest air in Europe! All of the mountains contribute to this freshness with three major ranges: the Pollino in the north, the Sila in the center and the Aspromonte in the south. As a matter of fact, the Sila Mountains, a vast high plain just above Calabria’s narrowest geographical point, are known as the gran bosco d’Italia, Italy’s great forest. Read More

castle in Calabria

Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Picturesque Calabrian Village Between Mountains and Sea

Fiumefreddo Bruzio boasts a panorama that stretches from Sicily’s Aeolian Islands along Calabria’s Tyrrhenian coastline in the Province of Cosenza all the way to the mountains of the Cilento in Campania. The medieval old town was established for its strategic position, and today’s visitors can choose from numerous cliffside terraces from which to enjoy the beautiful Southern Italian views. Read More

Salvador Dalí in Matera

Salvador Dalí in Matera, Old and New in South Italy

Visitors to Matera in recent years can’t help but have noticed the oversized Dalí sculptures strategically placed throughout the historic center. The contrast between the artist’s provocative surrealism and the old-world setting, extraordinary in itself, cries out for attention in a very contemporary way. Look at me! Take a selfie! Who would have expected to see Salvador Dalí in Matera? Read More

Bronzi di Riace: 50th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Riace Bronzes

Walking on a sandy beach, most of us don’t have much more hope than of spotting a decent seashell. There are those who hunt for treasures, armed with metal detectors on land, simple goggles in shallow water and elaborate equipment further out to sea. Very few ever find anything of value, but those who do, keep the dream alive, such as with the sunken bronzes, discovered 50 years ago in the Ionian Sea just off the coast of a town called Riace in Calabria, South Italy. The body parts protruding from the sand turned out to be spectacular statues hailing from ancient times and are known as the Bronzi di Riace, the Bronzes of Riace.

Read More

Brigand path in the Pollino Mountains

What is a Brigand?

The word “brigand” – brigante in Italian – is heard quite a bit with reference to Southern Italy, and I have noticed a certain confusion, particularly amongst English speakers, as to its significance. It’s an important term in understanding the Italian South and the history of Italy, so I thought I’d contribute my two cents to the question, “What is a brigand?” in an Italian context. Read More