visit Reggio Calabria

Visit Reggio Calabria: What to See and Do in Calabria’s Largest City

Many people pass over Reggio in their rush to get from mainland Italy to the island of Sicily. Driving down the highway, they turn off at Villa San Giovanni for the car ferry to Messina, never giving a thought to what they might be missing just twenty minutes further along the road. What’s down there, anyway? Trust me, go the extra ten miles and visit Reggio Calabria —you’ll be glad you did. Read More

cultural tour

New Calabria Cultural Tour with Karen’s Travel LLC on My 100th Blogpost

When I first decided to write about Calabria, I never imagined in what directions it would take me or what opportunities would open up. First, my book Calabria: The Other Italy, then My Italian Blog of which this is the 100th post, next the managing of various social media pages, even a YouTube channel, and now the start of tours to Calabria with my first Calabria Cultural Tour organized by my very own company Karen’s Travel LLC. Read More

Morzello di Catanzaro

Morzello of Catanzaro, “Once Upon a Time” in a Calabrian Kitchen

Much ado is made over what is referred to as cucina povera, simply put, the cuisine of the poor. These dishes are rooted in tradition and authentically recreate recipes with locally sourced ingredients. Today, patrons of the world’s best restaurants clamor for this tasty, wholesome food of humble origins. In Catanzaro, one such rustic dish has become a symbol of the city, the Morzello di CatanzaroRead More

Annona, Cherimoya, Custard Apple

Annona, Cherimoya, Custard Apple: Exotic Fruit in South Italy

Over the past few years, I have become more and more aware of an exotic fruit rather common in the Province of Reggio Calabria. In Italian, this unusual, light-green fruit that ripens in the fall is called annona from the Latin Annona cherimola. In English, it is known as the cherimoya (also chirimoya, chirimuya) or custard apple. Read More

terracotta sculpture, Italy

A Dream in Terracotta, ARGHILLÀ l’arte delle terre of Nicola Tripodi

Ironic, folkloristic, playful, engaging—the images of Nicola Tripodi’s terracotta sculptures jumped out of the computer screen as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline. “Like,” most definitely. I have pondered, reacted to and shared numerous of the artist’s works, and this past week decided it was high time to view them in person at his studio and shop, ARGHILLÀ l’arte delle terre in Reggio Calabria, located in the very south of Italy. Read More

on blogging

On Blogging, A Few Thoughts on My 4th Blogiversary

As I scroll through past blogposts, I can’t believe I’ve reached this landmark—four years of blogging, another “blogiversary.” Occasionally, I have cause to read over an old post and I think, I wrote that? In such a short time it’s amazing how something which took such effort can so quickly turn into a memory. So, on this blogiversary, I would like to briefly reflect on blogging and its merits. Read More

peperoncino calabrese

The Peperoncino Calabrese, A Little Spice is Always in Vogue

I’ve noticed the word calabrese showing up with more frequency on Italian menus in the United States, often as a synonym for spicy: calabrese sausage, calabrese pizza, pasta alla calabrese … What do these dishes have in common? That little hot pepper affectionately known as the peperoncino, and Calabria has a certain reputation in its regard. The region boasts a healthy production of its peperoncino calabrese and is even home to the Italian Peperoncino Academy! Read More

Art Museum of Reggio Calabria

Pinacoteca Civica, Art Museum of Reggio Calabria

As beautiful a city as Reggio Calabria is, many visitors come just for the famous Riace Bronzes on display at the town’s world-class archeological museum. In and out. However, those who dally a bit longer discover not only the stunning waterfront, but Corso Garibaldi, the lovely pedestrian shopping street. And right at its center is the Pinacoteca Civica or the Civic Art Museum of Reggio Calabria. Read More

Catanzaro Cathedral

Curiosities and Legends: Wooden Ecclesiastics of the Catanzaro Cathedral

Every town has its legends, some from recent history and others reach back several historical periods to a time when the stories were passed down verbally. These accounts become part of the collective history of a place, a narrative that today’s generation often seeks to record and archive for the future. The story of the wooden ecclesiastics of the Catanzaro cathedral embodies a timeless furbizia or shrewdness. Read More