The Carrousel of Nations begins this weekend, showcasing the cultures and cuisines from around the world. We’re going to take a closer look at the Italian Village taking place in Windsor’s Via Italia.

This year there will be a bigger focus on Italian culture than in previous years, with lectures, chalk art, Italian music, fashion and of course, cuisine.

Highlights ongoing throughout weekend

With a wide assortment of restaurants within the Via Italia district, your selection of things to eat will be almost endless. From Italian cuisine like Ink Squid pasta at Mezzo Ristorante and Chicken Limone at La Contessa to non-traditional menu items like burgers and craft beer from Motor Burger, you’ll definitely find something to please your taste buds.

Italians love their pastas made with squid ink.
Italians love their pastas made with squid ink.

Il Gabbiano, Mezzo Ristorante and Lounge, La Zingara and others will be extending their patios, giving patrons more options to dine ‘al fresco’.

Friday Highlights

Beginning at 5pm, local chalk artist Julie Butler Art recreate the Niccolini Cowper Madonna (c.1508) by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. She’ll be on the street just west of St. Angela this Friday for anyone to watch the masterpiece happen step-by-step and then left for all to enjoy.

This masterpiece will be drawn with chalk!
This masterpiece will be drawn with chalk!

At 6pm, Professor Max Nelson will be in attendance within the corridor patio at Vesta discussing Italian culture with ‘Roman Lecture: A Day in Pompeii’. Professor Nelsonearned his BA in Classical Civilization at the University of Windsor and went on to complete an MA at the University of Ottawa and a PhD at the University of British Columbia. He has been teaching at the University of Windsor since 2001, where he is now Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies.  Nelson researches various aspects of ancient social history and his next major project is as editor of the first volume of the six volume A Cultural History of Alcohol to be published by Bloomsbury Press. This will be a must attend lecture with limited seating.

Learn what it was like to live a day in Pompeii
Learn what it was like to live a day in Pompeii

Roman characters will also be roaming the streets from 6pm to 8pm ready to pose for photos.

At 7:30pm, if you close your eyes you’ll think you’re in the middle of an Italian piazza as you listen to an operatic performance.  Amelia Daigle and Adam Ianetta will be performing a concert of opera arias accompanied by pianist Sarah Villella.

For those looking to dance, make your way inside La Zingara at 9pm as their bar will be open and a local band will be playing music throughout the night.
La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful)
La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful)

If you’re looking to remain outdoors and enjoy the weather, why not also take in a movie under the stars as we feature La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful) at 9:30pm. Be sure to bring your own lawn chairs!

While not extending his patio, Tiki Sushi will be doing their best Italian impersonation by roasting a Porchetta from Wagner Farms on their patio Friday.

Saturday Highlights

In what is an exciting addition for 2015, a Windsor Symphony Orchestra quintet will be performing on stage at 6:30pm.

At 7pm, Angilero Fashion will host a fashion show. If you like what you see, you can easily walk into the designer shop after the show and purchase!

Windsor Symphony Orchestra
Windsor Symphony Orchestra

The WSO comes back on stage at 7:30pm for another performance before Amelia Daigle and her counterparts return for another evening of opera on the steps of St. Angela Merici at 8:30pm.

Tiki Sushi will show off some Mediterranean flare grilling octopus all day. This was a smash hit in September and are much anticipated.

Sunday Highlights

The focus will be families on Sunday afternoon, so bring the kids and enjoy Father’s Day on one of the many patios.

From 1pm to 3pm there will be children’s activities like face painting, chalk to draw their own sidewalk art and making their own Venetian masks in front of St. Angela Merici Church. There will also be a showcase of Fiats along the street at that time.

Live entertainment will also take place on stage throughout the evening.