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 …

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 …

Dino Island, Crawford Tower, Francis Marion Crawford

Francis Marion Crawford and the Italian Novel

What 19th-century American writer set 20 novels, a short story, 5 non-fiction works and a play in Italy? Prolific, imaginative, romantic, entertaining and fantastical, the born storyteller possessed a firm grasp of Italian culture, a sensitivity to character and a penchant for the bizarre. But alas, he is nearly forgotten. Francis Marion Crawford, who traveled the world over and made …

Santa Maria del Cedro and the Precious Diamante Citron

If you had the opportunity to name your community, what would you call it? Italy, with its incredibly long history, believe it or not, still has room for the occasional cartographic adjustment, and such is the case with Santa Maria del Cedro in Calabria. This burgeoning coastal town only acquired its name fifty years ago, when it chose to honor …

Castle Roseto Capo Spulico

The Castle of Roseto Capo Spulico: Templars, Tuna and Truffles in Calabria

The castle of Roseto Capo Spulico turns heads. Fused to a rocky cliff right at shore’s edge, the striking monument along the Ionian Sea is situated on the Calabrian side of the border between the southern Italian regions of Calabria and Basilicata. I had admired the majestic structure from train and bus windows before recently having the opportunity of viewing …