Renaissance bagpiper

Renaissance Nativity in Matera

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. (I think that’s from a song…) Commercial enterprises have certainly made the most of it, perhaps one could say, even exploited that “feeling.” But that’s because there really is a specialness to the season, and when I laid eyes on the beautiful Renaissance nativity in Matera, I knew that it had …

Gerace cathedral

Gerace, Medieval Village in Calabria

Beautiful inside and out, Gerace charms with its maze of medieval streets clustered on a promontory at the edge of the Aspromonte Mountains in Southern Calabria. The town can’t be missed for miles around and views over the surrounding territory out to the Ionian Sea are stunning. No wonder Gerace is one of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages (Borghi più belli …

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.

Visit San Giovanni in Fiore

San Giovanni in Fiore: Gioacchino’s Outpost in the Sila Mountains

An anchor in the midst of Calabria’s Sila Mountains, San Giovanni in Fiore gained its foothold with the establishment of an abbey and remains forever tied to its founder Gioacchino da Fiore. A visit to this mountain town, the Sila’s largest population center, blends the story of an extraordinary monk together with innumerable generations of hardworking inhabitants who followed.

Mattia Preti, The Cavaliere Calabrese

Are you familiar with Mattia Preti, the Italian Baroque artist known as the Cavaliere Calabrese or the Calabrian Knight? The paintings of this important exponent of the Neapolitan School grace churches and museums around the world. His hometown in Calabria also boasts numerous of the artist’s masterworks, and a visit to Taverna opens a window on his long and noteworthy …

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 …

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 …

Easter in Calabria, Procession

Easter in Calabria, The Processions of Badolato

Growing up, I had a certain conception of Easter – the Easter bunny, colored eggs and the first wearing of a new spring dress, but there was also the Easter story and Easter Sunday in church, which always seemed like a very joyous occasion. When living in Italy, I had a number of opportunities in which I was able to experience …