mariella radaelli

The Coronavirus crisis: Italy, my wounded land, garland of love

I woke up to a dystopian reality on February 22 when at dawn I heard that the novel coronavirus exploded in our efficient, modern, German-like...

Italian inventions: the utilitarian table fork, once a “scandalous” innovation

In most western households, forks are a basic part of a table setting — unless you’re all eating is soup. The relationship Italians have with the...
Temple of Neptune. Paestum archaeological site in Italy— Photo by Dogstock

Cilento: Ancient, artisanal and authentic

Compared to the Amalfi Coast, its bustling neighbor in the province of Salerno, Cilento might seem like land that time forgot. Long stretches of its...

Alba, truffle pearl: a mother lode of enterprises

When in late October 1929 Wall Street collapsed, contributing to the Great Depression of the 1930s, a rural village of Piedmont started to thrive. In...

Travail and triumph: The tale of an Italian émigré

Life, we all know it, is truly unpredictable. There’s very little we can anticipate and we rarely think about how, at times, a cheerful, carefree...

Festive California: new land of King panettone?

The Italians enter the Christmas spirit with a fragrant, yeasty slice of panettone -- Christmas isn’t Christmas without it on our festive tables. We...

Caesar’s Salad, a gift from Baveno, Lake Maggiore

Before pasta, there was Lady Salad. Today we can taste all kinds of spectacular insalatone or large salads, yet the first to prepare raw leafy...

Caltagirone, a stairway to heaven

Brimming with cultural vigor, strength and resilience, Caltagirone is the heart of the authentic, wild southeastern Sicily. The scenic town is a...

Beautiful Ustica, an isle that enriched New Orleans and San Francisco 

It was the eve of a fervent celebration planned for the Feast Day of Saint Joseph in 1906 when an earthquake struck the island of Ustica some 72...

Remembrances of times past: a long lunch with Zeffirelli

I will never forget how Franco Zeffirelli made me feel welcome that spring-like day on March 20, 2013 when he invited me to lunch at his Roman villa...