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Vancouverites Enjoy Flavours of Southern Italy

A stylish showroom of mannequins and artwork under bright lights in a swanky tower block is the first introduction visitors to the City will get to the traditions and tastes of southern Italy.

The Discover Calabria Pavilion, open since February 8, showcases the tourist attractions, pottery work, photos, and delicacies of Italy’s southernmost region in a bid to persuade Vancouverites to visit.

“A lot [of people] have visited, especially during the weekend,” said Adolfo Rossi, working for the Chamber of Commerce of Calabria that‘s organizing the pavilion in conjunction with Vancouver‘s own Italian Chamber of Commerce.

“They have the possibility to taste the Calabrian foodstuff, try some Calabrian coffee,” said Rossi, who added that the pavilion layout was based on a piazza (an Italian-style town square) that encourages people to mingle and socialize as they get what for many will be their first taste of Mediterranean culture.

“We are genuine people in the sense that we are very warm, we want to give the message to the people of Vancouver that Calabria is waiting for you,” said Rossi.

While the pavilion - on 851 Homer Street between Smithe and Robson in Yaletown - was busy during the cocktail reception to mark the Olympic opening ceremony on February 12, the VO didn’t see any crowds at all when it paid a visit last Sunday, as most people were off watching Canada’s losing match against the USA.

Unlike some international houses - such as the Swiss pavilion on Granville Island or the Casa Italia - there are no lineups stretching round corners or waits of several hours to get in.

Upcoming events include another cocktail afternoon on Feb 28 at 4:30 pm to mark the Olympic closing ceremony.  The Discover Calabria Pavilion will be running until March 5.

The Calabria region itself is made up of five provinces - Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Reggio Calabria, and Vibo Valentina - covering a total of 15,000 square km.  The region is famous for its Greek and Roman history and archaeology, alongside cuisine, scenery and beaches.

For more information on Discover Calabria or future events, call Alex Martyniak at Vancouver’s Italian Chamber of Commerce on 604 682 1410.

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