Pollino Mountains

Civita, Calabria – Albanian Village in the Pollino Mountains

Albanians in Calabria? Those of you who have read my books and follow my blog are already aware of the great mix of peoples who have landed in the toe of the boot and made it their home. They brought language and culture with them, both melding with locals and hanging on to traditions. Civita in Calabria’s Pollino Mountains is …

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 …

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.

Italian fisherman

The Murals of Diamante, An Engaging Stroll by the Sea

These past months have been difficult for everyone and particularly challenging for Italy. First small towns, then larger areas, museums, organized events and the whole country shut down. It got me to thinking about how resilient Italy, its villages and its cities have been, how Italians have come back time and time again after catastrophes of varying natures and proportions. …

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.

Domenico Caruso Tessiture Artistiche

Textile Artist Domenico Caruso, A “Made in Calabria” Original

All of San Giovanni in Fiore seemed to be driving down Via Gramsci as I searched out the atelier of Calabrian textile artist Domenico Caruso. I was looking forward to the encounter as I had admired photos of his extraordinary work for quite some time. And wouldn’t you know, the old carpet hanging in front of his shop distinguished the …

Grotta del Romito

Grotta del Romito: Prehistoric Art and Grave Sites in the Pollino Mountains

Looking at the graceful image of the ancient bull, I wondered what the artist who carved it 12,000-14,000 years ago was like. His artistic ability must surely have been valued by his community. The fundamental human expression feels timeless and lends a greater intimacy to the prehistoric burials at the Grotta del Romito or Hermit’s Grotto in northwestern Calabria. The …