It’s no surprise to longtime listeners of the Italian American Podcast just how much we love our Southern Italian roots and this week’s guest, Valarie D’Elia, is seeking to bring our ancestral home to people in a tangible, living way.
Valarie is an award-winning multimedia travel journalist and content provider who specializes in both Italy and ancestral travel. In her latest project, “Saving Southern Italy,” which is part of the National Italian American Foundation’s Russo Brothers Film Forum, Valarie turns her directorial eye to the abandoned properties scattered throughout the region.
When the late stages of the pandemic brought her back to Italy in search of a home to buy and renovate, Valarie discovered other expats who were also going through a similar process of rewarding and honoring their roots. Realizing that building a home in Southern Italy is a way of building gratitude, Valarie sought out other Italian Americans seeking concrete ways of honoring their heritage, such as establishing businesses in Italy or even populating an artist-in-residence borgo.
In true Italian American Podcast style, we even veer off into a discussion of the foods of Southern Italy, including a spirited debate about caciocavallo and a foray into the ins-and-outs of the Italian bureaucracy and why overcoming the frustrations is well worth the efforts!
If you’ve ever imagined yourself moving to Italy or starting a business there, you won’t want to miss this episode! Valarie can be contacted via her website, www.travelwithval.com or by using this contact form.
This episode was sponsored by