Ilaria Massacesi

Prati di Tivo and the Smell of Mushrooms

November 2017
The scenery upon arriving at Prati di Tivo was dreamlike. The first thing to see was the “Sleeping Giant,” as the mountain of the Gran Sasso d’Italia is called because it looks like the giant profile of a person resting. There was a wicker swing...


The Passing Moments of an Encounter

September 2017
It was a hot August day during a hot summer in Positano. As she was staring at the water reflecting a yellow and blue light, he watched her and did not understand the silence that reigned there, in that corner of paradise. Everything around was...


Welcome, Spring! May 1st and Its Virtues

May 2017
The month of May brings back to my mind the image of my maternal grandmother, Ada, who, like any true blooded teramana at the end of April, was busy planning the May 1st  lunch celebrating Workers' Day. My grandmother's house was full of...


Easter and its eggs

April 2017
In Italy, eggs are traditionally presented as an Easter gift. Nowadays, "Easter eggs" are made of milk chocolate or dark chocolate and hide inside a small surprise for the youngest; however, in the past, they were simple eggs perhaps decorated with...


Fano Adriano and its 7Fs

January 2017
Fano Adriano is a medieval town nestled in the “Sicilian Valley” inside the National Park of Abruzzo between the slopes of the Gran Sasso, and the Monti della Laga. It probably stands on the ruins of an ancient Roman settlement, as its...


Sulmona’s Confetti

September 2016
An Italian delight that I love to eat in my occasional bouts of melancholy is definitely confetti; known in the U.S. as Jordan almonds or, in particular, Sulmona’s confetti. The town of Sulmona is located in the province of L’Aquila,...


Between Sacred and Profane: San Domenico Abate di Cocullo

August 2016
During the summer months, Italy celebrates an eventful period which encompasses the traditions of a land that boasts ancient rituals, sometimes blending the sacred with the profane. A good example that has always caught my interest is the...


Discovering the Italian Middle Ages

July 2016
Whenever I return to Italy and drive up and down our beautiful peninsula, I cannot help but notice the amount of villages and medieval castles scattered everywhere and around every corner. They are magnificent views that make our hills and...