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…

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…

What Learning Italian Did For Me

As Italian-American Heritage Month continues throughout the United States, we are also set to celebrate one very special week beginning on October 21– La Settimana della Lingua Italiana Nel Mondo, which celebrates the impact the Italian language has had around the world. While learning Italian is something that many Italian-Americans choose to do to celebrate…

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month

October is Italian-American Heritage Month in the United States– designated as such to coincide with the celebration of Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus is credited with the discovery of the New World in 1492 and was born in Genoa. There are more than 15 million Americans who identify themselves as Italian-American, which makes our ethnic group…

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…

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…

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 Scarf of Solidarity

I have to admit, when it comes to knitting or crocheting, it is something I enjoy doing, but I am notorious for starting projects and taking months to finish them, thanks to a busy schedule. I refused to let this be the case when I got a Facebook message from my friend Giuseppe Silvestri of…

The Art of Tombolo

One of the most striking traditional art forms I saw while in Irpinia was that of “tombolo,” a form of lace making that requires special needles, a skilled eye and a lot of patience. In the town of Santa Paolina, nicknamed “the town of tombolo,” the old tradition is alive and well– in fact, there’s…