“La Palomba,” which means “The Dove” in English, is located just outside Matera, a popular tourist spot in Italy famous for its ancient town. Though the sculptures are right next to a main road, they’re easy to miss unless you know to look for them. The artwork is obscured from view, tucked out of sight in a defunct tuff quarry. Cuts and slashes ma...

Tra i 52 luoghi da visitare nel 2018, il New York Times ne consiglia tre in Italia. Nell'annuale classifica del quotidiano americano, il nostro Paese vince tra quelli stranieri con tre raccomandazioni contro l'unica fatta nell'edizione del 2017. Se l'anno scorso la "Gray Lady" consigliava di andare in vacanza in Calabria (al 37esimo posto), in quel...

It's not often that restaurants, especially popular ones, get a head-to-toe menu revamp. But a culinary overhaul seemed appropriate for Sud Italia Ristorante when it hired Maurizio Ferrarese, former executive chef of Quattro at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston, as the head toque of the Rice Village restaurant. Just over a month into his new stint as...

Matera, city of the “Sassi” and rupestrian churches, has always been a cradle of traditional craft skills rooted in the distant past. The local inhabitants are accustomed to working in terracotta, tuff, wood and papier-mâché, initially as a pastime and then for trade, resulting in the production of excellent artefacts. The art of papier-mâché, in p...

In the Archaeological Park one can visit the Roman baths, remains of private Roman houses (domus) and the amphitheatre. Archaeological excavations have also brought to light a patrician house of the 1st century AD, called “the House of Horace,” Jewish catacombs containing a series of hypogei discovered in 1853 (the presence of a large Jewish commu...

In addition to being the most important and representative Christmas tradition, the crib is also the oldest: the first nativity scene was made by St. Francis and his friars on the night of 24th and 25th December 1223 in the mountains of Greccio, near Rieti in the Lazio region. The first crib is actually a mass exceptionally celebrated in a cave rat...

Al vertice c’è l’affascinante Angkor Wat, in Cambogia, il “tempio della città” nel quasi omonimo sito archeologico nei pressi di Siem Reap, che emerge maestoso dalla foresta pluviale. Alla seconda piazza, invece, il Taj Mahal, in India, con buona pace delle autorità dell’Uttar Pradesh che hanno fatto fuori il “mausoleo dell’amore” di Agra dai mater...

Not many tourists have ever heard about Basilicata, and to be fair the beauties of “Italy’s secret garden” remains unknown to many Italians as well. This is a pity, becase there are at least ten good reasons to spend some time in this beautiful region. The Lonely Planet has chosen Matera, the pearl of the Tyrrhenian, as one of the top 10 cities Bes...

In this episode of The Italian American Podcast episode, I have two guests. Firstly I speak with Helene Stapinski, author of the wonderful book Murder in Matera, a true story of passion, family, and forgiveness in Southern Italy. In the stories segment, I speak with Danielle Oteri from Feast on History where she hosts Arthur Avenue Food Tours, and...

Matera is a haunting city nestled among the rolling hills of Basilicata in southern Italy. Four hundred metres above sea level, it is bisected by a ravine through which the River Gravina flows. On the cliffs along this deep gorge are cave dwellings in which families lived in poverty from Palaeolithic times until the 1950s when they were rehoused by...