Ciao! 5 ways to discover Italian culture in Vancouver

Jun 7 2021, 12:35 pm

It’s Italian Heritage Month in Canada and you don’t need to board a plane to discover Italian culture.

Vancouver is filled with ways to discover a piece of Italy — order an amazing dish with a glass of wine or Aperol Spritz, learn how to speak the language, or learn about the country’s secrets through an online tour.

Here are five fun ways you can feel Italian!

Ciao!

A taste of Italy

Italy is known for its mouth-watering and savoury dishes, and Vancouver has so many amazing Italian restaurants, bakeries and delis for you to have a taste of Italy.

Here’s some eccellente places for you to try.

Restaurants

Osteria Savio Volpe

 

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Where: 615 Kingsway
Description: Savio Volpe has a menu for lunch, dessert, and drinks, and says it uses “Italian tradition of simplicity and freshness” with handmade pastas and use of the wood-fire grill.

Ask For Luigi

 

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Where: 305 Alexander Street
Description: This cozy restaurant is found in Railtown and offers dinner, lunch and brunch. In true Italian family-style, when food is ready, it’s served in the middle of the table so it can be shared.

Di Beppe

 

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Where: 8 W Cordova Street
Description: You’ll find delicious Italian eats at Di Beppe, which is both a cafe and a restaurant. You’ll find Caffe Di Beppe at 2 W Cordova Street for baked goods, sandwiches and espresso, and the restaurant offering pastas, pizza, dessert, and more.

CinCin Ristorante + Bar

 

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Where: 1154 Robson Street
Description: CinCin Ristorante + Bar has a somewhat hidden entranceway, and once you find it, you’ll follow a winding stone stairway leading you up to a romantic setting with a balcony overlooking Robson Street. CinCin offers your “firsts,” pastas, mains and dessert.

Sopra Sotto

Where: 1510 Commercial Drive
Description: Sopra Sotto uses local ingredients to create fresh pasta and salads, as well as pizza made in a wood-fired brick oven. There is also a location in Burnaby 4022 Hastings.

Bakeries + Delis

Fratelli Bakery

Where: 1795 Commercial Drive
Description: For 25 years, Fratelli has been serving up mouth-watering Italian baked goods, including, cannoli, biscotti, breads, and much more. There is also a Fratelli Bakery in New Westminster at 459 E Columbia Street.

Cannoli King 

Where: #104 2828 E Hastings
Description: The Cannoli King has been operating in Vancouver since 1985 and serves up delicious Italian eats in its food truck too. You’ll find breakfast, pizzas, breads, of course cannoli, and much more.

D’oro Gelato e Caffè

 

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Where: 1222 Robson Street + 1094 Denman Street
Description: Cool down this season with some melt-in-your-mouth gelato and sorbetto from D’oro with plenty of sweet flavours to choose from! This cafe also has paninis, soups and salads.

Jo’s Italian Deli

 

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Where: 2505 Alma Street
Description: This family-owned deli started in Chilliwack and opened its doors in Kitsilano and offers (regular and large-sized) sandwiches, pastas, salads, coffee and a kids menu too. Jo’s also sells groceries so you can take a piece of Italy home to your kitchen.

Speak Italian!

Now that you’ve had a taste of Italy, why not order in Italian?

Here are three locations where you can learn to speak the language in the city!

The Italian Cultural Centre

Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre/ Facebook

Where: 3075 Slocan Street (Classes via Zoom)
Contact: Edda Onesti  604-430-3337 ext. 239
Description: The ICC offers eight different levels of courses, ranging from beginner to advanced, for adults through the spring, summer, fall and winter.

The Dante Alighieri Society of BC

THE DANTE ALIGHIERI SOCIETY OF BC/Facebook

Where: 301-1972 Bellevue Street, West Vancouver (Classes via Zoom)
Contact: [email protected]
Description: The Dante Alighieri Society of BC offers two types of courses. For beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, which last for 11 weeks, and a course on conversations, which lasts for eight weeks.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West

Where: #1209 409 Granville Street
Contact: [email protected],  604-682-1410 (9 am – 1 pm)
Description: The ICCCW offers classes for all levels of Italian conversation classes to anyone who wants to learn. It has a weekly schedule posted online.

Little Italy

 

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Visit Little Italy on the Drive, four blocks north and four blocks south of South 1st Avenue, where you’ll find dozens of Italian-owned and -operated businesses, including restaurants, cafes, and boutiques.

Here is a brief history prepared for the City of Vancouver before the area was officially recognized as “Little Italy.”

Fashion

If you’re ready to dress like an Italian, here’s a few shops importing some beautiful pieces from Italy to Vancouver!

Maska Mode

 

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Where: 2756 Granville Street
Description: Maska Mode is a family-run business importing fashion only from Italy. There are also locations in Toronto and Montreal.

Vetrina

 

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Where: 525 West Georgia Street
Description: Vetrina offers a selection of European styles, including Italian designers, with looks you can wear to the office or a fancy event.

Stefano Ricci

 

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Where: 1139 West Georgia
Description: This international fashion and lifestyle brand was founded by designer Stefano Ricci, who is an advocate for Italian-made.

Events

Here are a few ways to spend your day like an Italian!

Cheese Making Workshop: Mozzarella, Burrata & Bocconcini

cheese making

Ba_peuceta/Shutterstock

Description: Learn how to make your own cheese!
Where
: Italian Cultural Centre
When: June 18
Price: $110 per person

BEAUX-ARTS: An Exhibition with the Vancouver Metal Arts Association

Description: A metal art exhibition featuring small and large pieces.
Where
: Italian Cultural Centre
When: By appointment only
Price: Free

Italy’s secret gem: Friuli Venezia Giulia


Description: Discover little-known parts of Italy through an online tour!
Where
: Zoom/Dante Alighieri Society of BC
When: June 10, 24 and 29
Price: Free for members, Lump-sum of $10/three episodes for non-members

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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