Irpinia: The Land of the Wolf

One of the most enduring and beloved symbols of Irpinia is that of the wolf. While the she-wolf who raised Romulus and Remus may be Italy’s most famous wolf, it’s the Irpinian wolves who have protected our land and its people for millennia. As a spirit animal, the wolf is a symbol of  guardianship, ritual,…

Cooking Up Culture: Meet Raffaella DiStefano

If you were to follow Raffaella DiStefano on Instagram (@raffaellasara), you would realize two things– number one, she’s extremely proud of her Italian heritage, and number two, her feed will make you hungry! Raffaella grew up in the Boston area, which is known for having a heavy Italian American population. Her family is originally from…

Saint Rocco: A Saint for These Times

During these times of COVID-19, many people are turning to Saint Rocco for protection. He is one of the most venerated saints in Irpinia— a quarter of the towns in the Province of Avellino have some sort of devotion to him. But who is Saint Rocco? Saint Rocco protects against the plague, disability, and natural…

A Song for Guardia

Sometimes music is the best way to express a feeling– such is the case with the song “Uardia mia bella” (“My Beautiful Guardia”) by Emanuela Sica, which pays homage to the town of Guardia Lombardi by recounting how it came to have two patron saints and encouraging people to remember their roots. This song was…

A Virtual Tarantella

The Tarantella of Montemarano is not just a symbol of the town itself– it is a symbol of Irpinia in all of its glory. Now, a group from the Ministero di Tarantella of Montemarano has decided to bring the Tarantella’s beloved rhythms online in order to uplift anyone who chooses to listen. Battista Salvio, Roberto…

A Helping Hand for Criscuoli Hospital

While all of Italy is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, Irpinia is also seeing its share of cases. As of this post, there are 369 cases of COVID-19 in Irpinia, with the region’s hotspots being Ariano Irpino and Lauro. To date, there have been 128,948 confirmed cases in Italy, which…

Irpinia Comes Together Over Coronavirus

  It’s a simple, yet profound, image that has been widely shared on social media outlets throughout Irpinia. Don Rino Morra, pastor of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Morra De Sanctis (AV), is seen consecrating a host during a Mass on Friday, March 13, yet he is the only one in the church, his solitary…

Folk Tales from Irpinia

It has been quite hectic on my end lately and, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I had wanted to this blog. The most positive happening over the past few months was that I got my dream job with the Italian American Podcast (seriously, check them out!) and have been…

Italian American Responses to the 1980 Irpinia Earthquake

My mother was pregnant with me on November 23, 1980. By this time, my Nonno Joe had been dead for seven, going on eight, years. She remembers hearing the news that an earthquake hit Italy, but did not put two and two together that the quake had hit her father’s home region. The 1980 Irpinia…

What Learning Italian Did For Me

As Italian-American Heritage Month continues throughout the United States, we are also set to celebrate one very special week beginning on October 21– La Settimana della Lingua Italiana Nel Mondo, which celebrates the impact the Italian language has had around the world. While learning Italian is something that many Italian-Americans choose to do to celebrate…