Both sides of my family are Italian; my Mother’s family is from Ischia — a small Island off the coast of Naples, and my Father’s family is from Calabria, the Southern most point of the country + just a hop skip and a jump away from Sicily. We’ve been to Ischia before [it’s stunning] + actually took a quick day trip so my Dad could see this time around, but we were really excited to spend a little time in Calabria + explore our roots!

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No one in our family has ever been to Calabria before, and I am still scratching my head as to why! Well, according to our Calabrian friend/tour guide, Steeve [yes, double e]…this is the poorest part of Italy; the poverty combined with it’s population of hard heads [I so have some Calabrese in me] doesn’t make it out to be much of a desirable destination. We all thought it was going to be a simple little farm town or something. We were WRONG. Holy moly is Calabria gorgeous — just as beautiful as any of the places we visited on the Amalfi Coast! ESPECIALLY the small town of Scilla, where it looks like my Father’s family is from [there were quite a few mailboxes with our last name on them. We dropped a note in each.] 😉

See for yourself! 🙂 –>

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This was by far the most special part of our trip. My Mom, brother, sister, and I have all been to Italy a few times before, but my Dad never had. This was such a memorable vacation overall, and getting to see where his family was from was both fascinating + momentous for all of us. The only thing missing was my brother! 🙁

Parts of Calabria reminded me of South Beach, Miami — while others were more quiet + charming like Capri! Not to mention, there was some really cool history there — like the Versace family home [where one of the brothers still resides]! The ocean views were spectacular, the food was so good [shocker], and there was some pretty fab shopping! We will 100% be visiting again. Hopefully with more of our extended family members! 🙂


After posting a photo on Instagram/FB, I learned that SO many of my friends/followers have roots in Calabria as well! Where is your family from?



35 comments on “The Land Of My People!”

  1. Oh Amanda so gorgeous I am friends on Facebook. Wilh the Bellantoni’s in Italy I am going to touch base with them I only wish I thought of it before yes and one of them is Rocco I’ll keep you posted

    • It was so pretty AJ!! Can’t wait to tell you all about it! 🙂 We tried to go to the town hall to get some records but they were closed, so we did our own investigating! haha

  2. Omgsh sooooo beautiful!!! I loved learning about where your family is from!! Lucky family haha!! I loved the pictures as always…DUH!! You are just so amazing at taking them! What an amazing trip girl!! And the food!!!! Omgsh you are killing me with these food pics!! Why can’t there be an invention that you can just pull the food from the screen and eat it haha! I really loved the personal touch of added notes in mailboxes with your last name!! How cute!!!

    • Thanks love!! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post! It was just the most beautiful place. I can’t believe it all actually happened lol! And I’m with you! I’ve been impatiently waiting for a virtual taste test app or something for years now!! It’s got to be coming hahaha

  3. These pictures are amazing!! How wonderful you got to see a little more of your family’s history! And how special to see that with family!! So happy your dad got to finally go with you guys!! What an amazing trip!!

  4. Looks amazing. I’ve been fantasizing about Ischia for years now, ever since driving down the Campanian coast (but not getting out to the island). Thanks for the pics. Should hold me off for a little longer!

  5. Such beautiful pictures!! That’s so cool that you got to see so much of your family’s roots. My family’s from all over, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin! Lol

    • We were really fortunate to be able to do this!! It was incredible – every moment. And that is so funny!! We’re just plain old Italian, but I think it’s so interesting when people have such a unique a mix! 🙂

  6. Amanda, these photos are stunning! It’s so wonderful that you were able to explore your roots. Not many people get to have that experience. Thank you so much for taking us on this journey with you. I enjoyed every minute of it! Xoxo

    • Aw thanks Gail! It really was the trip of a lifetime. I had so much fun + am so grateful for the whole experience! I really look forward to going back again one day! 🙂

  7. I can almost taste that food! 😊 My people are from Udine (in the north of Italy) and I used to live in Brindisi (Puglia – the heel of the boot). I have loved following your travels. 😊

    • Oh my goodness, no way! That’s amazing – what an incredible experience that must have been! Thank you for following along, I think I have oneeee final wrap up post coming! I can’t believe it’s all over already 🙁

  8. That’s so awesome that y’all got to go there (minus your brother). Your photos are stunning and I’m so jealous you were close to the Versace house. What a dream!

  9. Amazing as per usual. The fooooooooooooooooood, I miss Italy strictly for its food. I actually have a picture album on Facebook dedicated to me eating in Italy, haha! Also, those (I assume) Versace dresses are just stunning. Ugh, so good.

  10. So fun! Now I’m sooo hungry too! Looks like you had a great trip! My dad’s side of the family is from Sicily! When I was in NYC we went to Ellis Island and I even got to see their names in the book! Italians rock 😉

  11. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime 🙂 My family is also from Italy. We have some in Calabria as well, and then my grandmother’s family is from Adrano, Sicily. We went there about 10 years ago with my entire family along with a tour of Italy. Many of the places you went! I love all of your photos. It brings me back! 🙂 Ciao bella!

    • That’s awesome! Sicily was literally a stones throw away from Calabria, our tour guide told us that every year people swim across the sea to Sicily! It’s only like 3 kilometers or something – crazy! So lucky you’ve had the chance to visit – I’m sure you’d love to get back there as well. Thank you so much for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed these posts!! XOXOXO

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