Museo del Bergamotto

The Bergamot Museum in Reggio Calabria

People are constantly asking me to give them the highlights of Calabria, to sum it up in a sentence or two. Why should they read my book or scroll through my 100+ blogposts about the region? They want a soundbite, and amongst the myriad of enticements, I’ve found that the bergamot sparks interest. And now, the history of this remarkable …

Morzello di Catanzaro

Morzello of Catanzaro, “Once Upon a Time” in a Calabrian Kitchen

Much ado is made over what is referred to as cucina povera, simply put, the cuisine of the poor. These dishes are rooted in tradition and authentically recreate recipes with locally sourced ingredients. Today, patrons of the world’s best restaurants clamor for this tasty, wholesome food of humble origins. In Catanzaro, one such rustic dish has become a symbol of …

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 …

Italian bar

The Italian Bar — Dolci Capricci in Reggio Calabria

Fantasioso … creative, imaginative … Italian bars are like the people. “Prendiamo un caffè.” Let’s get a coffee. An Italian bar is always, and I mean always, a stone’s throw away. Italians love their coffee, that thimbleful of dark liquid they throw back with such style. It’s about the coffee, but it’s also about the ritual, the culture, maybe even …

Calabria at Christmas

Reflection: Images of Calabria at Christmas

Christmas gets bigger every year, so much so that we can’t fit everything into just one month. Decorations come out earlier and earlier, and we’re hardly able to finish our Thanksgiving turkeys before those Christmas parties start rolling out. But amidst all the hype, there are also those moments, some may even be categorized as magical, that make the season …

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 …