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 …

Museo San Paolo, Palazzo della Cultura, Reggio Calabria

Museo San Paolo at the Palazzo della Cultura

Before visiting the Museo San Paolo housed in Reggio Calabria’s Palazzo della Cultura, I was under the impression that it was just the usual collection of a couple pieces of silver, a few religious paintings and an old frock. How many times have I paid the Euro and gone through a side door past a heavy velour curtain to view …

Festival of the Madonna, Reggio Calabria

The Festival of the Madonna in Reggio Calabria

EARTHQUAKES, PLAGUES, WARS AND FAITH The devastation of the recent earthquake in Amatrice reminds me of the precariousness of life. The town had been preparing for its annual festival celebrating the world-renowned sauce that bears its name – the “amatriciana” would instead be celebrated all over the world. The region of Calabria is likewise no stranger to hardship, and in …

Nativity Scene by Gerardo Sacco

Away in the Manger … in Italy

FRIENDS OF THE NATIVITY I grew up with a beautiful hand-carved Italian manger scene that was as prominent in our living room as the live fir tree standing across from it. The wooden pieces were quite large and I particularly liked the animals, but I understood they weren’t toys. My sisters and I had a smaller nativity we could set …