90 Seconds: An Interview with Giuseppe Rossi

Ninety seconds on November 23, 1980 split Irpinia into a “before” and an “after.” Now, 40 years later, documentary film maker Giuseppe Rossi is commemorating that life-changing event in a newly-released documentary. Rossi, who is originally from Guardia Lombardi (AV), has been passionate about films and cartoons since his youth. While in high school, he…

Who Was Saint William of Vercelli?

On June 25, Irpinians all celebrated the Feast Day of Saint William of Vercelli, also known as William of Montevergine. While I’ve mentioned him before in Irpinia: The Land of the Wolf and in our list of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Irpinia, I thought it would be fun to dive a little…

The Languages of Campania

COVID-19 lockdown for those of us in the United States meant that pre-planned trips to Italy had to be postponed, collectively breaking the hearts of many Italian Americans who live for their summer trips back to their ancestral lands. While the lockdown, now slowly lifting, was difficult for many, for others it provided a time…

Irpinia Needs Your Vote

Which places are in your heart? That’s the question that FondoAmbiente Italia (FAI) is asking in its tenth “I Luoghi del Cuore” (“Places of the Heart”) campaign. I Luoghi del Cuore was created in 2003 by FAI in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo as a way to involve Italians in preserving and promoting cultural and historic…

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. The name “Irpinia” derives from the Oscan word “hirpus”, which means wolf,…

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 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…

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…