On the Trail of the Lombards

grottaOne of the Irpinian towns I know quite well is Grottaminarda, as I stayed there several times while visiting when lodging was unavailable in Guardia. Grottaminarda is a beautiful city in the area surrounding the Ufita River– it’s also the access point from the autostrada to most of the Irpinian towns, including Guardia Lombardi, that are closest to my heart.

I follow the Facebook page for the Comune di Grottaminarda on Facebook and was happily surprised recently when I saw that the town recently put its guide, “Grottaminarda within Longobard ways across Europe” on its website. As the Lombard tribe is the tribe from where my ancestral town of Guardia Lombardi derives its name (it means “lookout of the Lombards”) and my own last name, “Longo,” directly comes from the tribe’s name, I knew I had to take a look. The Lombards did settle in Irpinia and several towns, such as Guardia Lombardi, Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, and Torella dei Lombardi, recognize their influence in their names. Continue reading

“Goodbye Irpinia” Launches in Montaguto

The very first “paper novel” in the world will officially launch this Tuesday, August 13, in Montaguto (AV). “Goodbye Irpinia” by Mike J. Pilla tells the story of the 2010 landslides in Montaguto, which were the largest in Europe. Mr. Pilla is known as the creator of Patrimonio Italiano TV, the premier web-based television show for Italians living abroad, and this is his first novel. We recently had the chance to sit down with Mr. Pilla to find out more about “Goodbye Irpinia” and his other projects.

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