By Diana Condolo
Summer has arrived and a great way to celebrate is by attending the Barilla Taste of Little Italy Festival and the Scotiabank CHIN International Picnic, which comes home to its birthplace on College St., from June 19-21, 2015. This is an exciting move back to its roots to pay tribute to CHIN’s late founder Johnny Lombardi. College Street from Bathurst Street to Shaw Street is closed to traffic for three days of patio extensions, food vendors, bands and dancing in the street.
Now in its 16th year, the Taste of Little Italy is pleased to announce a partnership with Barilla, Italy’s number one pasta brand. Barilla pasta embodies authentic Italian heritage, while also providing a global perspective to one of Toronto’s most beloved festivals.
Media and their guests get to enjoy delicious food and complimentary beverages at the Barilla Hospitality Tent located at Palmerston Avenue and College Street in the heart of Little Italy. Barilla pasta has a really nice texture that is able to hold up perfectly to cooking. The pasta is delicately flavoured so that we could taste the penne cooked al dente, just as I like it. My media loot bag contains Barilla’s Penne Plus, which has extra fibre and Omega-3. Even my Italian mother says Barilla makes the best pasta. I’m looking forward to making a pasta salad with the Barilla penne. This is going to be a really delicious dish for the next picnic.
I am not very hungry after having just feasted at a picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park where I also enjoyed the Great Heart Music Festival, but when I see the free samples, which include Belgian waffles, I can’t say no.
Vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and even meat enthusiasts love visiting Yam Chops, a vegetarian butcher and prepared food shop.
Taste of Little Italy is a great place for multicultural entertainment. I enjoy dancing to the Latin music and even when people are just standing listening to the bands, I have to move. I just can’t sit still when I hear lively music!
The ROM is promoting their Pompeii: In the Shadow of the Volcano exhibit which I visited last week. Pompeii is among the world’s most remarkable archaeological sites. I highly recommend a visit to explore how the catastrophe preserved much of what made up life in Pompeii.
I am feeling warm by now – it might be time for some refreshing gelato. I confess I’m crazy about gelato. What is your favourite Italian food?
You may know that Little Italy on College Street in Toronto was largely built by families who emigrated from Italy before and after World War II and made College Street their home. Some of my Italian friends grew up in Little Italy and I always enjoyed visiting the area to soak in the Italian vibe.
The Barilla Taste of Little Italy is a wonderful way to visit one of my favourite areas of the city, celebrating my heritage and enjoying food and fun. Buona passegiata a tutti!
The Barilla Taste of Little Italy takes place June 19 – 21, 2015. Hours are Friday, June 19, 2015 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday, June 21, 2015 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.