castle in Calabria

Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Picturesque Calabrian Village Between Mountains and Sea

Fiumefreddo Bruzio boasts a panorama that stretches from Sicily’s Aeolian Islands along Calabria’s Tyrrhenian coastline in the Province of Cosenza all the way to the mountains of the Cilento in Campania. The medieval old town was established for its strategic position, and today’s visitors can choose from numerous cliffside terraces from which to enjoy the beautiful Southern Italian views.

Brigand path in the Pollino Mountains

What is a Brigand?

The word “brigand” – brigante in Italian – is heard quite a bit with reference to Southern Italy, and I have noticed a certain confusion, particularly amongst English speakers, as to its significance. It’s an important term in understanding the Italian South and the history of Italy, so I thought I’d contribute my two cents to the question, “What is …

wine grottos

Pietragalla, Magical World of the “Palmenti” Wine Grottos in Basilicata

The wine grottos of Pietragalla capture the imagination. The little cave-like structures that emerge spontaneously from the earth evoke another world, perhaps that of an ancient people or even of hobbits. They are called palmenti, and you will find this atmospheric complex in South Italy, specifically in northern Basilicata, just twenty kilometers from Potenza, the region’s capital.

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 …

Historic Games and Pastimes for Children of Southern Italy

Surrounded as we are by all sorts of diversions for our leisure time, have you ever wondered what served as the source of entertainment for children of the distant past? Or for the young at heart? Imagination and fantasy are not limited to contemporary times, so read on if you’re curious as to how people amused themselves, even before electricity, …

San Fele and its Beautiful Waterfalls in Basilicata, South Italy

Welcome to the waterfalls of San Fele, located in the Province of Potenza (PZ) in northwest Basilicata! The sign announcing the cascate begs for a photo with San Fele’s historic center nestled between the mountains in the distance. A lovely woodlands trail leads to numerous waterfalls, natural cascades in the hilly zone surrounding Mount Vulture, Basilicata’s extinct volcano.

calabresi

Bova, Calabria: People, Language and Land

How many words do you know to describe the land? Language reveals a lot about a people. In Bova, Calabria, the Museo della Lingua Greco-Calabra “Gerhard Rohlfs” takes a closer look at this connection between the calabresi and their land, specifically the community that speaks an ancient Calabrian Greek language in the Aspromonte Mountains, way down south in the toe of …

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.