A Calabrian Tarantella

DANCING IN THE STREET In Calabria, the tarantella always seems to be present, whether formally or informally, whenever there’s a traditional town festival or religious procession. A group of musicians with folk instruments may set up in a piazza, begin playing, and a crowd will invariably gather—young and old, toddlers flailing with their characteristic, unbridled enthusiasm, and old-timers with the …

Christmas Eve at St. Peter's

Christmas Eve at St. Peterʼs

CHRISTMAS EVE TICKETS Arms pinned to my sides, neck craned, strobe-like lighting accompanying a vertiginous din . . . the memory of my visit to the Sistine Chapel many summers ago. An unfortunately negative experience that featured hordes of unruly tourists and their flashing cameras left me with a less than favorable association with the Vatican. So when my friend …

Thanksgiving in Italy

An American Thanksgiving in Italy

THANKSGIVING ABROAD “What are you going to do for Thanksgiving?” If it weren’t for the e-cards from family and friends, Thanksgiving could easily pass unnoticed when living abroad. Everyone has heard of the holiday. The colorful images of robust turkeys, friendly native people and buckle-shoed Pilgrims have even lent a certain popularity to what may be America’s most characteristic celebration.

Reggio Calabria’s Musical Instrument Museum

“There are things that don’t burn.” One year ago today, Reggio Calabria’s Musical Instrument Museum was torched. Musical instruments and scores went up in flames. However, as was affirmed by a young boy on the evening of the solidarity march held shortly after the heinous event, “You can’t touch music, therefore, it wasn’t burned.”