Southern Italy Wines Leading a “Revolution”

Even I do not usually think of whites when I think of Southern Italian wines. This, however, is a huge oversight. The white wines of Southern Italy are poised to become more popular than ever as recognition spreads to wine enthusiasts.

“It’s time for a fashion update. The big buzz right now is for whites from southern Italy, the land of still-active volcanoes, sun-drenched beaches, and 80 percent of the country’s olive trees. It’s also where you’ll find off-beat grape varieties few wine geeks have ever heard of. The best of the bottles that are made from these are great wine buys, offering surprising depth and character at bargain prices.” -Bloomberg Business

According to this recent article by  Elin McCoy, The “White Wines of Southern Italy are Leading a Revolution.”








Aglianico Emerges From the Bottom of Italy’s Boot

Aglianco is my very favorite variety of red wine! I look for it for every special occasion, as well as when I just want a comforting glass to conjure up evenings of the past in front of an open fire in Irpinia.  I was so pleasantly delighted to see a number of bottles to choose from when I took a walk down the aisle at a grocery store a few weeks ago. Just a few years ago, I’d have had to go to a large or specialty wine shop to find even the most well known, Masterberardino. The link to the New York Times article above is not new but it was brought to my attention by a friend the other day.  I’m so excited that others are discovering Aglianico.

Casa del Cipresso Table

Local Irpinian Aglianico wine


…just wanted to share a few photos I took last November in Benevento (one of these days I’ll have a few minutes to post more!) I found Benevento to be completely, unexpectedly, fascinating and thoroughly charming!
Trajan's Arch in Benevento

Trajan's Arch in Benevento

Obelisk of Isis

Obelisk of Isis

Pedestrain Zone in Benevento, Campania, Southern Italy

Pedestrian Zone Benevento, Campania (rather quiet during the traditional midday, Southern Italy "siesta")



A new treasure from Herculaneum was unveiled in Naples on Tuesday, where it will join a major exhibition exploring life in the Ancient Roman town buried by Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The show, running until April 13, already features over 150 artefacts and human remains uncovered over the last three centuries but the new relief, uncovered by accident last month, is stirring fresh interest.

The marble sculpture, dating back to the 1st century AD, apparently depicts two separate scenes centred on Dionysius, the Greek counterpart of Ancient Rome’s god of wine and merrymaking, Bacchus….


New treasure joins Herculaneum show

Herculaneum is a great day-trip to take from Casa del Cipresso!  For driving directions from Calitri to Herculaneum, please CLICK HERE.

Southern Italy Vacation Rental – Would you like to stay at Casa del Cipresso? Please contact us at or click the “buttons”/links on the top of the page for photos and information about the accommodation.

Royal Palace at Caserta

Caserta’s architecture superintendent announced that the Royal Palace of Caserta, the famed Bourbon landmark, is facing thousands of euros of dept that is putting it in in serious danger of closing it’s royal doors…

Reggia di Caserta ‘risks closure’


Visiting The Royal Palace at Caserta is a great day-trip to take from Casa del Cipresso!  For driving directions from Calitri to Caserta, please CLICK HERE.

Southern Italy Vacation Rental – Would you like to stay at Casa del Cipresso? Please contact us at or click the “buttons”/links on the top of the page for photos and information about the accommodation.
Giro d'Italia 2009 - Route Map

Giro d'Italia 2009 - Route Map

We were just thrilled to hear that this famous race would be passing so near to Calitri, Avellino, in two of it’s stages this May (Avellino and Benevento stages)!

Giro d’Italia 2009 Race Schedule:

(21 stages and 2 rest days from May 9, 2009 – May 31, 2009)

Saturday May 9
Lido di Venezia, Venice, 20.5 km

Sunday May 10
Jesolo to Trieste, 156 km

Monday May 11
Grado to Valdobbiadene, 200km

Tuesday May 12
Padova to San Martino di Castrozza, 165 km (uphill)

Wednesday May 13
San Martino di Castrozza to Alpe di Siusi, 125 km (uphill)

Thursday May 14
Bressanone to Mayrhofen, 242 km

Friday May 15
Innsbruck to Chiavenna, 244 km

Saturday May 16
Morbegno to Bergamo, 208 km

Sunday May 17
Circuit Race in Milano, 155 km

Monday May 18 – REST DAY Giro d’Italia 2009

Tuesday May 19
Cuneo to Pinerolo, 250 km (uphill)

Wednesday May 20
Torino to Arenzano, 206 km

Thursday May 21
Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore, 61 km (timetrial)

Friday May 22
Lido di Camaiore to Florence, 150 km

Saturday May 23
Campi Bisenzio to Bologna, 174 km

Sunday May 24
Forlie to Faenza, 159 km

Monday May 25 – (uphill)
Pergola to Monte Petrano, 237 km

Tuesday May 26 – REST DAY Giro d’Italia

Wednesday May 27
Chieti to Blockhaus

Thursday May 28
Sulmona to Benevento

Friday May 29
Avellino to Monte Vesuvio, 164 km

Saturday May 30
Naples to Anagni, 203 km

Sunday May 31
Rome, 15.3 km

Southern Italy Vacation Rental – Would you like to stay at Casa del Cipresso for the Avellino or Benevento Stages of the Giro d’Italia? Please contact at . Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved

Ornate Ceiling of one of the many San Lorenzo Chaples

We “discovered” this monastery at Padula for the first time this Spring;  we were looking to take a relaxing day trip – one that would be a fairly short (an hour and a half or less) and simple drive from our home in Calitri.

The drive out to the Cliento National Park near Salerno is spectacular – snow-capped mountains and lush greenery.  I think we’d have probably been delighted with just the drive (even though the day we picked was, unfortunately, overcast and not the usual, idyllic, sunny Southern Italy) , but the San Lorenzo monastery was certainly, unexpectedly, impressive and well worth a visit!  (The monastery was opened to the public in 1982 and is now a National Monument and World Heritage Site)

The Certosa di San Lorenzo at Padula in Southern Italy is the second largest Carthusian Monastery in Italy (the largest is in Parma).  Dedicated to St. Lawrence, it was first founded in 1306;  the structure’s history spans over 450 years with the main portions constructed on the Baroque style.  It is huge – 320 rooms and halls – and includes the world’s largest cloister (almost 3 acres surrounded by 84 columns).

According to the very strict Carthusian rules between meditation/prayer and work, there are very distinct spaces within the San Lorenzo complex:  the cloisters, the library (with a Vietri ceramic floor), the ornate chapels, the cloister gardens, and the large kitchen (legend has it that an omelet made of one thousand eggs was once cooked there for a visiting Charles V), the cellars with wine storage, the laundry, and the courtyards, where there were people working at stables, ovens, and an olive oil mill.  the exterior courtyards were worked by the novices, where they traded goods with the outside world.

The San Lorenzo Monastery is also home to the very modern archaeological museum of Western Lucania, where you can see an impressive collection of finds found at the local sites of Sala Consilina and Padula.  (Museum admission is included in the very modest entrance fee to the monastery).

Clcik Here to go to the Official World Heritage Website