San Fele and its Beautiful Waterfalls in Basilicata, South Italy

Welcome to the waterfalls of San Fele, located in the Province of Potenza (PZ) in northwest Basilicata! The sign announcing the cascate begs for a photo with San Fele’s historic center nestled between the mountains in the distance. A lovely woodlands trail leads to numerous waterfalls, natural cascades in the hilly zone surrounding Mount Vulture, Basilicata’s extinct volcano. Read More

Tropea, Calabria: Italy’s Most Beautiful Village – It’s Official!

The people have spoken. Tropea, Calabria has just been voted the Borgo dei Borghi, the Village of the Villages, in a contest that asked Italians to choose the most beautiful amongst the Borghi più belli d’Italia, or Italy’s most beautiful villages. A difficult choice, to be sure, but Tropea isn’t called la Perla del Mediterraneo for nothing. Let’s have a look at this Pearl of the Mediterranean! Read More

Amaro Silano, Amaro Lucano, Vecchio Amaro del Capo

Amaro, Those Alluring Bitters, A Few Classics from Calabria and Basilicata

At the end of a copious Italian meal, you will invariably be offered something to drink, a digestivo, such as a liquore, possibly an amaro, or a brandy, perhaps a grappa… These beverages with a rather high alcoholic content aid in digestion, thus the name, digestif. Most have a strong connection with their place of origin, such as the Vecchio Amaro del Capo, the Amaro Lucano, the Amaro Silano and others that I have enjoyed throughout Italy. Here are a few amari (bitters) with names and labels that reflect their ties to Calabria and Basilicata in South Italy. Read More


Bova, Calabria: People, Language and Land

How many words do you know to describe the land? Language reveals a lot about a people. In Bova, Calabria, the Museo della Lingua Greco-Calabra “Gerhard Rohlfs” takes a closer look at this connection between the calabresi and their land, specifically the community that speaks an ancient Calabrian Greek language in the Aspromonte Mountains, way down south in the toe of Italy. Read More

Morano Calabro

Morano Calabro, Beautiful Medieval Village in Italy’s Pollino Mountains

A picture-postcard medieval village, Morano Calabro lies within the Pollino National Park in the very north of Calabria along the Basilicata border. Its tightly packed houses along a maze of lanes wrapped around a hill appear like a fairytale, often likened to a nativity scene, in Italian il Presepe del Pollino. Read More

Palazzo della Cultura, Fata Morgana

The Fata Morgana, Elusive Phenomenon in the Strait of Messina

“I have never beheld the enchantment of the Straits of Messina, that Fata Morgana, when, under certain conditions of weather, phantasmagoric palaces of wondrous shape are cast upon the waters – not mirrored, but standing upright; tangible, as it were; yet diaphanous as a veil of gauze.” Thus spake Norman Douglas in his Old Calabria. The extraordinary vision, looking across the Strait of Messina from Reggio Calabria to Sicily has eluded me, as well, in all my time spent in the Città della Fata MorganaRead More

acrolith sculpture

Apollo of Krimisa, Acrolith Sculpture in Italy

Modern man has the tendency to think of himself as more evolved and cleverer than his predecessors, but things aren’t always what they seem. Perusing the pages of history books and visiting museums can lend a bit of perspective with regard to ingenuity over the ages. Take ancient acrolith sculpture, of which several noteworthy examples still exist, amongst them, the Apollo of Krimisa, one of many ancient Greek and Roman sculptures at the archeological museum of Reggio Calabria. Read More

From the Vine film

From the Vine: A Return to Roots Film featuring Basilicata and Aglianico Wine, with Director’s Insights

Having just published my book about Basilicata, Italy, I was naturally drawn to the film From the Vine, made available in the United States this past week. The drama tells the story of a burnt-out corporate executive who quits his job with a Canadian car manufacturer to return to his roots in Acerenza, South Italy. Read More

armchair travel

Armchair Travel on my 6th Blogiversary

These past six months have both dragged and flown. And I realize that my sixth blogiversary is upon me. Reflecting on whether or not the time actually adds up to a year, I remind myself that we must surely be thankful for our ability to imagine, to ponder past our own backyards or as they say #DreamNowTravelLater – I’m learning that there’s a hashtag for everything. We used to call it armchair travel. Read More