Cyclists head to the starting line for the Giro d’Italia in Ischia. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Yesterday, the Giro d’Italia, which is Italy’s Tour de France, returned to Ischia after 54 years. The last time these competing cyclists came to Ischia, my father was present and still living in Ischia. In fact, it was his last hurrah before moving to the United States in 1960. This time around, I was present, having recently arrived from the States for a nine-month stay on my ancestor’s island. Because the irony was not lost on me, I wrote a story about it that was posted today on ItaliansRus.com. Check it out and see more photos from the Giro in the story and below.
Di Meglio is the author of Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press Travel, 2012) and is the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com.
More cyclists head out to start the race. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Baby Boy and his cousin and his father catch Giro fever on May 5. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
My gift to you on this Mother’s Day is a funny list, “20 Signs Your Italian Man is a Mamma’s Boy,” which I wrote for my ItaliansRus column, “Our Paesani.” Check it out. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry (well, only if you truly are with an Italian mamma’s boy). I hope you had a very happy Mother’s Day.
My Italian husband makes like the Irish while St. Patrick apparently made like the Italians, at least a little. © Photo by Francesca Di Meglio
Recently, I worked on a story about St. Patrick for Las Vegas’ La Voce and ItaliansRus.com, both publications for Itaian Americans. In my research, I learned that St. Patrick has ties to Roma. You can read all about it in the story, “St. Patrick is a Paesano.” In the meantime, enjoy the photo of my hubby (above), who is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as I write this. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Irish – and Italian – eyes are smiling on you.
Food looks like art at Il Mosaico in Ischia, Italy. © Photo courtesy of Manzi
Back in September my husband surprised me by taking me to sample the tasting menu at Il Mosaico, the restaurant at the five-star Manzi hotel in Ischia, Italy, the island off the coast of Naples that is the home of my husband and my ancestors. With two Michelin stars, Il Mosaico offers nouvelle cuisine at its best. Chef Nino Di Costanzo is a true artist who makes dishes that are as beautiful to the eye as they are delicious. I loved the food and the experience so much that I’ve gone on a writing frenzy about the chef’s table; I wrote a blog for the About.com Newlyweds site about how couples could splurge on tasting menus for date night or anniversary celebrations and an article that will appear both on the ItaliansRus Web site and in an upcoming issue of the La Voce newspaper, which is dedicated to Italian Americans in Las Vegas. For more Manzi madness, and my own personal photos from the night at Il Mosaico, visit the “Dinner at Manzi” photo album.
The old wooden wine barrels are on display at the Museo del Contadino in Forio, Ischia. © Photo by Laura Porraro
My father and grandfathers never gave up their wine — or making it themselves. Even though they’ve been in the United States for more than 40 years, they continue to keep up this tradition from the homeland. Now that I’m here in Ischia, I can better understand their connection to wine (even if I don’t share their love for the stuff). The vendemmia, or grape harvest, is a joyful time in Ischia. It’s cause for celebration. Even the children get in on the act because the schools here often bring students to see how to make wine and learn about Ischia’s history at the same time.
In fact, my niece Laura Porraro, 10, recently visited the Museo del Contadino (Museum of the Peasant) in Forio, Ischia, with her class. And she took many photos that she shared with me (and all of you). She also told me all about what she learned, which I included in an article I wrote about the vendemmia for ItaliansRus.com and La Voce, a newspaper for Italian Americans in Las Vegas. You can check out more of Laura’s photos at the “Wine Making in Ischia” and “Presepio at Forio Museum” photo albums. If you stop by the ItaliansRus site, you should also take a peek at “Where in the World are Antonio and Dante?“, the new column that my editor Anthony Parente is writing for the site. You’ll get clues as to where in Italy his sons Antonio and Dante are traveling. Who knows? They might eventually end up somewhere in Ischia.