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…

Preserving Cultural Heritage for All

Tradition flows through Irpinia like the waters of the Ufita or the Ofanto— it is just as much a part of the area’s history  as its own natural landscape. For Valentina Taccone and Nunzio Gaeta, preserving that cultural heritage in a way to reach modern audiences has become a passion. Their latest project, Etn.ia, plays…

‘Crystel’ Blue Persuasion

A young director originally from Guardia Lombardi has taken the cinematic world by storm with his latest short film. Giuseppe Rossi’s 2018 work, “Blue Crystel,” tells the story of Crystel, who lives in a science-fiction world populated mostly by women. Crystel must find the legendary Blue Crystal in order to break the curse on men…

Top 10 Places To Visit in Irpinia

This past week, the Region of Campania released its new tourist map, highlighting must-see locales for visitors— including such well-known sites as Naples, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Paestum, and others. What was striking, as seen below, was that the map excluded must-see locations in Avellino Province. I have been told that this map highlights…

The Voice Is… Carmen Pierri

Congratulations go out to Carmen Pierri, who just won The Voice Italy this past week! Carmen hails from Montoro, Avellino Province, and, at age 16, was the youngest of this year’s contestants.

La Repubblica Italiana As Seen From Irpinia

La Festa della Repubblica Italiana (Italian National Day) is celebrated annually on June 2 in commemoration of the 1946 referendum where Italians went to the polls to decide on what form of government they would like to have following World War II and the fall of fascism. On this day, 12, 717,923 votes were cast…

Yes, Honey!

It seems like everyone is taking about honey these days– especially in my home region of northeastern Pennsylvania, where we are taking it by the pound to help with our early spring allergies! While honey comes in a wide variety of types and flavors to appeal to every palate, it has been determined that some…

Two Easter Traditions from Irpinia

Easter is tomorrow and while this year is not a traditional one in my household due to several unforeseen circumstances, that doesn’t mean I don’t get to write about two Easter culinary traditions that come directly from Irpinia. Ever since I was a little girl, my mother has made Pizza Chiena (filled pizza), also known…

A Holy Week Tradition in Vallata

On April 18 and 19 in the town of Vallata (AV), a Holy Week tradition will take place as it has done for nearly 500 years. The Via Crucis, or Holy Procession, representing the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, is a popular commemoration of that fateful event throughout all of Southern…

My Grandfather, My Hero

It’s a story I never get tired of telling. My grandfather, Joseph Anthony Longo (Giuseppantonio Luongo in Italian) arrived in the United States in 1927. He was 11 years old. The only thing he ever really wanted to do was go home to his birthplace, Guardia dei Lombardi, Avellino Province. He never made it.