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Vancouverites Can Enjoy Flavours of Southern Italy During the Olympics

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 8th, 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 stopped by, especially during the weekend,” said Adolfo Rossi, working for the Chamber of Commerce of Calabria responsible for organizing the pavilion in conjunction with Vancouver‘s own Italian Chamber of Commerce. 

“There is the possibility to taste the Calabrian foodstuff and 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 12th, there weren't any crowds last Sunday, as most people were most likely watching Canada’s losing hockey match against the USA. 

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

Events this week included a fashion and jewellery show, followed by a cocktail reception. February 28th sees another cocktail afternoon at 4:30 PM to mark the Olympic closing ceremony. The Discover Calabria Pavilion will be running until March 5th.

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 as well as archaeology, alongside cuisine, scenery and beaches.   

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

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