Montreal’s Italian Week takes place this week, until August 15th, which the more observant of you will notice is actually more than a week. But given the range of activities it boasts- art exhibits, food, music, cars, bocce tournaments and much more- it’s pretty evident that a week would not have been enough…
Before we go any further, I have to mention Little Italy’s Milano Supermarket, one of my favourite places for food in the city. Fresh pasta, an incredible selection of cheeses, a great butcher and products from Italy that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Make sure to pop in.
Where was I? (Honestly, all I can think about is their gnocchi now). Right, Italian Week. The first thing I should highlight is that though the event’s big weekend (August 13th-15th) is, for obvious reasons, located in Little Italy, there are actually events held all over the city leading up to it. And as I mentioned before, Italian Week boasts a pretty impressive range of activities, so let’s break it down:
Music: A real feast for the ears. There’s The Barber of Seville, featuring Italian opera singers Marco Camastra and Alessandro Luciano alongside the Orchestre symphonique des Musiciens du Monde. There’s also the Sardinian jazz outfit Enzo Favata and the Tenores di Bitti Jazz Group playing two shows, as well as Italian-Quebecois folk singer Marco Calliari and many more.
Arts and Culture: As this year’s theme is “Sardinia”, consider checking out Frank Sanna’s photo exhibit called “Les Deux Sardaignes” . Antonio Andreoli’s poems about his experience as an Italian immigrant “Piccone & Poems” sound really interesting, though it should be noted that they’re all in Italian. There’s also a children’s art contest, a whole series of literary events and a fashion show.
Cars and Sports: Yes, I realize that this is a somewhat ridiculous section title, but that doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. Cars are always a huge part of Italian week, whether it’s a chance to work on Indy driver Alex Tagliani’s pit crew or the Ferrari Dream Drive , which would seem a bit like showing off if it weren’t for the fact that the 75 or so cars that take part actually drive kids from the Montreal Children’s Hospital and raise tons of money. As for sports? How about a Bocce tournament. If you haven’t yet played this incredible outdoor bowling sport-like activity, this is your chance.
Food: Though I couldn’t track down any specific food events held during Italian Week, Little Italy will absolutely take care of you. When it comes to Italian food in Montreal, you will find not anything that beats Café Via Dante or Lucca and there are some coffeeshops, like Café Italia, that are so good that they’ll ruin coffee anywhere else for you.