Roads to Appalachia through the Mezzogiorno

June 20 – July 3, 2014
Featuring the regions of Campania, Calabria & Sicily in Southern Italy
Arrangements by National Travel of West Virginia

Invitation to Town and Gown Participants

Announcing:  An exciting excursion to southern Italy, also known as the Messogiorno, the land of “the midday sun,” between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.

The Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University and  Pierpont Community and Technical College, in collaboration with the Calabria – West Virginia Italian Heritage Association,  will sponsor  this “Roads to Appalachia through Study – Travel Abroad” from June 20 – July 3, 2014, that focuses  on the unique similarities between Appalachia and southern Italy’s heritage, especially as found in the prima regions of Campania,  Calabria, and Sicily where many Italian West Virginians can trace their cultural roots through ancestors  who were part of the massive migration of labor force needed  to fuel the Industrial Revolution  in American at the beginning of the 20th Century. As outlined in the itinerary, travelers will experience the contrasts of regional  landscapes, architecture, works of art and folklore, as well as exploring famous cities, visiting small villages and forests, eating wonderful food, seeing historical monuments and buildings, and meeting artisans. At the heart of our journey are two special excursions.  The first is the annual festival in honor of San Giovanni (Feast Day – June 24) in the hill town that bears his name.  The second is a visitation and recruiting program to the University of Calabria, in Rende, which has a student exchange program with Fairmont State University.

Academic Credit and Student Travel Scholarships

This 2014 Study – Travel through southern Italy is being hosted by professors Dr. Judy Prozzillo Byers, Director, and Mr. Noel W. Tenney, Cultural Specialist, for the Folklife Center.  Pre-travel sessions, materials, and presentations, along with a listing of selected readings will be housed at the Folklife Center and its Fidura Special Collections Library.  Folk 3350,  Special Tropics:  Roads to Appalachia Study – Travel Abroad, will be available for three hours of credit, during Spring Semester 2014, on Thursday evenings.  A number of student travel scholarships will also be available, selected through a competitive application process, for those interested in exploring the Italian language, culture, or study at the University of Calabria.  For scholarship applications students can contact the Gabor WV Folklife Center at 304–367– 4403 or  or Dr. Judy P. Byers at 304–367–4286 or

Prices, itinerary and application are available.

Scholarship Application

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403

Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286


FSUNow Stories

Thursday, December 04, 2014

A team of Fairmont State University students has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the ARC as part of the 2014 Appalachian Teaching Project.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Calabria-West Virginia Heritage Association and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University are hosting a speaker in November as part of their Folk Culture Lecture Series.

Historian and humanist Antonia Prosperati, a native of San Giovanni in Fiore, Region of Calabria, Italy, will present a presentation titled “A Perspective on the History and Culture of San Giovanni in Fiore” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, in “The San Giovanni Room” of Muriale’s Restaurant, 1742 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host an Old-Fashioned Folk Dance/Cake Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (304) 367-4403.

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