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.

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 …

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.

Art Museum of Reggio Calabria

Pinacoteca Civica, Art Museum of Reggio Calabria

As beautiful a city as Reggio Calabria is, many visitors come just for the famous Riace Bronzes on display at the town’s world-class archeological museum. In and out. However, those who dally a bit longer discover not only the stunning waterfront, but Corso Garibaldi, the lovely pedestrian shopping street. And right at its center is the Pinacoteca Civica or the …

Head of Basilea, art restoration

The Head of Basilea: Discovery, Theft and Restoration in Calabria

Provenance. In the end, it all comes down to that record of ownership, sometimes elusive and often just plain false. The Testa di Basilea or the Head of Basilea is a beautiful bronze sculpture, dating from the period of Greater Greece. It was lost, found and “lost” again. Recently, this notable head from antiquity was given a facelift in a …

Lanificio Leo

Lanificio Leo Textile Factory: Blending Tradition and Innovation in Calabria

I look at labels. The woolens made by Lanificio Leo are not only “Made in Italy,” but the label features an adorable lamb. And we all know that the next best thing to eating a slice of pecorino (sheep’s cheese) is cuddling up with one of those fleecy little creatures. Okay, I haven’t actually ever done that, but when the …

Kouros, MArRC

Archeological Museum in Reggio Calabria – Much More than the Famous Bronzes

When I begin to talk enthusiastically about the archeological museum in Reggio Calabria, I usually just get blank stares. If I show a photo or two of the famous Bronzes of Riace, interest piques. Once I have my listener’s attention, I introduce the rest of the museum’s collection. 

Gormley, Catanzaro Park

Contemporary Art in the Catanzaro Park of Biodiversity

Lots of greenery, trails, a playground, a wild animal rescue center, a military museum, an amphitheater and contemporary sculpture – the Catanzaro Park of Biodiversity or the Parco della Biodiversità Mediterranea has a lot going on amidst its 60 hectares (148 acres) and 50,000 varieties of Mediterranean plants. 

Museo San Paolo, Palazzo della Cultura, Reggio Calabria

Museo San Paolo at the Palazzo della Cultura

Before visiting the Museo San Paolo housed in Reggio Calabria’s Palazzo della Cultura, I was under the impression that it was just the usual collection of a couple pieces of silver, a few religious paintings and an old frock. How many times have I paid the Euro and gone through a side door past a heavy velour curtain to view …