FESTIVAL: Montreal's Italian Week
From August 5th to the 12th celebrate Montreal’s Italian Week, and succumb to the culture, charm and charisma of the green, white and red. The 2007 edition of Montreal’s Italian Week will mark the 14th anniversary of this Italian Classic, which continues to resonate the traditions, aromas, and pride of a unique way of life. Celebrate Montreal’s Italian Week in true Italian style, from fashion shows to gastronomical food courts, opera to bigliardini tournaments, music, theatre, dance and art, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Montreal’s Italian Week. For one week in August everyone is Italian!
All outdoor activities are free to attend, and are located at various venues across the city including Little Italy.
Montreal comes to life in...
Montreal comes to life in summertime. There is no more evidence needed for this claim then going to the Old Port where groves of people flock to enjoy the cultural celebration of the city. Just being at the Old Port gives you a sense of elation and exuberance. From the fireworks to the jazz festival and everything else in between, the Old Port is definitely the place to be during the day and especially at night. Not only can you drown yourself in the party atmosphere but you can also savour the French cuisine in Jacques Cartier square and delight at the European architecture. I was born and grew up in Montreal for 28 years. I have many fond memories of Montreal that steam back to my childhood. To list a single fond memory of Montreal would be a farce due to the many years of fun I've had while growing up and meeting so many people. Moving away from my family, friends and all the activites I was involved with was hard to do and those are the things I miss the most. Montreal has so many things to offer and it always welcomes me back when I visit. My heart will always be true to Montreal.
Olympic Park complex (Parc Olympique)
originally built for the 1976 Summer Games. The major draw is the Biodome, a one-of-a-kind ecological interpretive center. It showcases four man-made but disarmingly realistic habitats: a tropical forest, a boreal forest, the St. Lawrence River area and the polar regions. Each ecosystem contains living plants and animals.
The Olympic Stadium is the site of the Expos home baseball games as well as major concerts. Swimmers can also use the indoor Olympic pool at the same complex. The inclined tower at the stadium is a striking landmark. A funicular cable car runs to the top, from which you can see 50 mi/80 km on clear days. Next to the Olympic Park you’ll find one of the world’s best botanical gardens (Jardin Botanique), with 26,000 species of plants and flowers in 30 beautifully landscaped areas. Greenhouses display flora from all of the world’s climatic regions. The Japanese Garden includes a Zen garden and a pavilion set for tea ceremonies (visitors may participate). The Chinese Garden signifies the friendship between the people of Montreal and the people of Shanghai. Designers and gardeners from China worked to re-create the Ming Dynasty style to the last detail, from the trees and flowers to the stone in the seven pavilions. Other attractions at the gardens include the House of Trees (where visitors learn about various tree species) and the Garden of Asian Medicinal Plants. The Insectarium is unique in North America, with a collection of more than 400,000 species.
Fountain: "La Joute" at Place Jean-Paul Riopelle
Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) was a great Canadian painter and Sculptor who spend many years in Paris before returning in triumph to enjoy a late period of creativity and popularity in Quebec.
This dramatic installation was originally created for the Olympic Park, but was moved in 2003 (with the approval of the artist's estate) to its present location in front of the Palais des Congres, the main conventional center for Montreal.
The Whole Language Thing...
~I speak and understand French pretty good and was looking forward to trying out my second language...I was quite disappointed to discover that 'Bonjour' and 'Merci' were the extent required of my French vocabulary.
~The only plus of knowing the language is that when the French talk about you "behind your back" the joke's really on them! (Yes, it happened to me and several people I was with.)
~Finally, never assume that because someone is only speaking French, they don't understand what you're saying in English. I'm not trying to generalize all French people, but a great number of them can understand english but won't tell you- so don't be fooled!
~The bottom line is this: you don't need to know a word of French to visit Montreal!