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…

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…

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…

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…

‘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…

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.

The Journey Begins

My grandfather came from Guardia dei Lombardi, Avellino Province, Italy, in 1927 when he was just 11 years old. While he always wanted to return home, he never made it.