Roots, Romance and Wisdom: UniCal’s Italian Diaspora Studies in Calabria

Nov 19, 2019 295

BY: Maria Lisella

I could not imagine a more difficult task than to revisit the places that inspired his commitment to learn Italian, to study with Luigi Bonaffini in New York to decipher the Lancianese dialect well enough to translate his cousins’ poetry; or to stay with the cousins we love and first met on our Sicilian honeymoon; or my cousins in Calabria where we had traveled with my parents. Returning to these places – Abruzzo, Calabria, Sicily, the south and the deeper south– filled me with dread.

As many widows know, we look for signs – be they from a higher power, the universe, our spouses or just serendipity, so when I received yet another notice about the two-week residential Italian Diaspora program conducted by the Department of the Humanities at the University of Calabria, I scrambled to find a place at the table.

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