Celebrate Good Times, Come On! (North End Series, Part 3)

St. Anthony’s Feast in Boston’s North End culminated with an explosion of Italian pride. While the Feast itself came to Boston by way of Montefalcione, there is no denying that this Feast has Beantown written all over it. Following a Mass in Italian at the North End’s St. Leonard of Port Maurice Church, the statue…

A Way to Say I Love You (North End Series, Part 2)

A streetside Mass provided one of the most moving moments of St. Anthony’s Feast in Boston for me this past weekend. The outdoor Mass in honor of St. Anthony is held the Saturday evening of St. Anthony’s Feast, where Via Di Santa Lucia and Via Di Sant’Antonio meet. This year’s Mass was presided over by…

Finding Montefalcione in the North End (Part 1)

It was a celebration not only of ties that bind, but of ties that could be created, then reinforced. This past weekend, Irpinia Stories had the chance to go on the road to Boston, Massachusetts, to participate in the North End’s Saint Anthony’s Feast, which is the largest of its kind in New England, as…

Ties that Remain: Celebrating Guardia Lombardi in Pennsylvania

More than one hundred years ago, a group of Italian immigrants arrived in what is now known as the “Bunker Hill” section of Dunmore, Lackawanna County. These immigrants came from the small Southern Italian town of Guardia Lombardi, located east of the city of Naples in the Province of Avellino, and with them they brought…

The “Feast of All Feasts” in Boston’s North End

More than 100 years ago, immigrants from Montefalcione brought Saint Anthony’s Feast to Boston’s North End, continuing their hometown’s veneration that dates to the 14th century. This year’s feast will be held from August 25-28. Saint Anthony became the official patron saint of Montefalcione because of his protection during the 1688 Sannio Earthquake, which severely…

“Zì Vicienzo”: Bonito’s Resident Mummy

“I am Vincenzo Camuso,” with these words, the soul belonging to Bonito’s resident mummy has revealed his identity to the living in dreams. For more than 200 years, “Zì Vicienzo” (Uncle Vincenzo) has been on display for the faithful who live in and around Bonito to venerate as if he was a canonized saint. Camuso’s…

La Pigna di Pasqua: An Avellinese Easter Treat

Throughout Southern Italy, especially in the Campania Region, Easter food traditions are dominated by Pizza Chiena (Also known as “Easter Pizza,” “Pizza Rustica,” “Pizza Gain,” etc.) and Pastiera (a citrusy grain or rice pie). While both of these dishes are beloved staples of the Irpinian Easter table, there are a few more dishes that grace…

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…