On arriving in Calabria for the first time, one most likely arrives with preconceived notions of a brutal and harsh reality probably formed by the millions of exiles that left in the past to find work or escape organized crime. I’ve come to Calabria many times, and most recently in 2015 I came on a

Abruzzo is not to be trifled with. It is indeed mighty (“forte e gentile”) as its majestic mountains looming above the gentle valleys testify. Their cold grey crevices still hold, I imagine, the blood of many battles, but their peaks are crowned with a headdress of ice that softens their physiognomy so that they yet

The footbridge is an arduous perpendicular climb. It feels never ending. But then approaching the halfway point you look up and there, seemingly suspended above the clouds, lies a fairytale village perched on a tufaceous stone cleft at 443 meters above sea level. It sits regally on a rocky crest overlooking verdant valleys and rocky

It’s September of last year. We board our van/bus “Vito” and leave behind the vigor and verve of Naples. Through the tangle of cars coiling around the tight weave of roads I glance back and catch a last glimpse of the intense blue and sparkle of the coast, a flash of a red building, balconies

Bella Napoli. It’s chaotic, it’s extreme, it’s overpowering! It is a city that is edgy, daring, reckless. Naples’ gritty image keeps visitors away. But get past this, because la bella Napoli is worth getting to know. Not for nothing was the saying "vide Napule e po' muore" (nothing compares to the beauty of Naples, so you

Not all journeys are physical; at times we find ourselves travelling within ourselves, discovering, slowly, realities hitherto unknown. It is that metaphysical pilgrimage that perhaps, even if taken only once in our lifetime, leaves us irrevocably changed. Not by coincidence, I found myself drawn to that book on my library shelf, that I had not picked

The cuisine of Sicily is unique and exceptionally varied, and no wonder; it is the culinary reflection of all that Sicily is----a land closely linked to historical events dating back to the Ancient Greeks, and cultural and religious influences of numerous peoples like Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Catalan, and Spaniard. Over and above this,

If you are lucky enough to be driving south along the the Tyrrhenian coast, at sundown, you will witness a spectacle like no other: the Mediterranean sun descending above the sea becomes an orange red,---- much the same as the over-ripe blood oranges that have suddenly become so popular in our supermarkets around Christmas time----and

As a teenager, many years ago, I had visited Pizzo with my father. Then, to my greatest delight, I had found a small town with a main piazza that by sundown had transformed itself into a hip and happening place for young people to meet. The summer months brought all kinds of returning families to

We are driving from Gallipoli, across to the east coast of Salento, and to the easternmost town of Italy, Otranto. The landscape, its farms and stone walls, is a kaleidoscope of intense colours; the red earth and blue sky, the endless verdant olive groves and trees; these rooted to a parched brown earth that perhaps

It's almost Carnevale. Tuesday, February 17, to be exact, will mark the last day before the Lenten season begins. In Italy, like in many other places around the world it is a time of frivolity,, fun and fantasy. The Carnival of Venice comes to mind: a moment in time when all the exhausting cares of

I wish I could wear high heels; I wish I knew how to walk in them. I never learned. I was one of those gauche teen-aged girls that found no pleasure in dreaming of my first high heeled pumps. Today, a pair of Laboutins, hold no fascination for me, and my head turns rather to admire Francis Ford Coppola had been coming here since he was 21. He first came in search of his grandfather’s roots: to know the place from where Agostino had emigrated. He found here in Bernalda, and in these parts, “the real Italy”. And now that he was familiar with this little mediaeval town on a hilltop,

The Cuisine of Basilicata reflects the region itself, and its people. It is steeped in tradition; it is the product of a rugged, mountainous land, and it is of a genuingly simple but earthy nature. Its many types of durum wheat pastas, some incorporating lentil flour or other bean flours make for many hearty savoury

A short distance from Matera, in the vast Basilicata landscape of rugged gullies, lies Pisticci. It is surrounded by a mantle of white clay earth, devoid of trees and grass, an open-air geological museum that has inspired writers and poets throughout the ages. ” ….e d’ogni intorno altra argilla bianca senz’alberi e senza erba, scavata