ARIES – The first sign of the zodiac, these rams love to be number one and aren’t afraid to dive into challenging situations, no matter how hard they may be. The same is true of MATERA, a city dug into a rocky outcrop in Basilicata whose challenges are (quite literally) as hard as stone. Annoyed by excessive details and needless nuances, Aries woul...

Italy celebrated the return of three stolen ancient terracotta statues, depicting “Orpheus and the Sirens”, in a ceremony on Saturday in newly unveiled Rome. Art museum is saved. Until earlier this year, the drawings – dating to about 300 BC – were on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. But Italian carabinieri officers in the countr...

A super unique Italian treat, taralli (or, when pronounced in an Italian-American dialect, ta-rahl) are a crispy, crunchy delight. The cracker-like snacks are made from a simple dough in both sweet and savory permutations, with the sweetened variation being flavored with a touch of sugar and the savory variations infused primarily with anise or fen...

I am reclining on a sun chair, paperback in hand, as two kittens sleep curled up in the hollowed trunk of an olive tree next to me. Italian children take turns jumping in the pool. Uno, due, tre! Two people help an older relative out of his wheelchair and into the shallow end. A smile stretches across his face as the cool water meets his body.  My...

Vandergrift’s oldest Italian social club celebrated a major milestone last Saturday, Aug. 27. The Bari Club, the sole surviving Italian social club in the borough, celebrated its 100th anniversary with wall-to-wall well-wishers celebrating all things Italian. “All the other Italian clubs are gone in Vandergrift,” said Frank “Beans” Moliterno, 92, t...

Puglia is having a moment. Long overshadowed by more famous Italian regions like Tuscany, Campania and Sicily, over the past few years the heel of the boot has turned into a destination in its own right, and the place everyone – ourselves included – want to be in the summer (though, hey, the rest of the country is also pretty great). Its appeal is...

Everyone knows Italy has mastered the art of "il dolce far niente" — and for travelers craving a taste of "the sweetness of doing nothing," there's no better place on earth than an Italian resort. Taking the time to enjoy small, idle moments feels much richer surrounded by Tuscan vineyards or the turquoise Tyrrhenian Sea. Add plenty of pasta and wi...

In Apulia, land of centuries-old olive groves and an uncontaminated sea, Lake Lesina lies between the Tavoliere delle Puglie Plain and the Gargano Promontory. An evocative, salted lake 12.5 miles long, it is separated from the Adriatic Sea by a sandy, wooded strip of land known as Bosco Isola, the formation of which contributed to deposits from flo...

A year ago, at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Italy discovered that it was an athletics powerhouse, the queen of Olympic sports. Never in the history of athletics had the "bel paese" managed to win five gold medals in an Olympic edition, and above all, the feat had never succeeded in the symbolic race of the Olympics, the 100 meters (with Marcell Jacobs)...

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling in Italy is discovering secret towns that stop you in your tracks — as Gagliano del Capo does for unsuspecting visitors driving down the Pugliese coast. The town's dry stone walls, round rock farm buildings, and olive trees on Lecce's highest elevation provide a commanding view of the surrounding lands...