Ferraris, exceptional cappuccino, soccer mania, tango in the park, simmering sauces, passionate conversation and lotsa amore—that’s our Little Italy.
This bastion of the Montréal Italian community since the 19th century has its own special feel; easy-going meets jet set in this unique district where backyards give way to tomato plants and grape vines, soccer is a way of life and the air is perfumed with the aroma of mouth-watering pasta sauce.
Around the June Grand Prix, it’s not unusual to see a host of Ferrari stallions “prancing” their way down Saint-Laurent Boulevard as the tifosi (die-hard Formula-1 fans) assemble in the many Italian trattorias and cafés to cheer on their favourite teams and drivers. In fact, the emotion, speed and unique style associated with Ferrari sports cars are representative of the community as well.
Montréalers flock to the neighbourhood for the adjacent Jean-Talon Market and its incredible assortment of anything and everything ethnic, fresh and flavourful. Be sure to give yourself at least an hour to cruise around all the stalls. Chances are that once you see all the goodies, you’ll need more than that to take it all in!
Some of our fave Little Italy hangouts include Little Italy Park for summer tango, Quincaillerie Dante, which stocks everything from nails to spatulas, offers cooking classes and is often the place for celebrity-chef sightings, the sublime Madonna della Difesa Church with its impressive fresco and, of course, Dante Park for bocce.
Anyone up for a game?