The first things that come to mind when you think of Italy are probably pizza, pasta and gelato, right? The country of Italy is the birthplace to some of our most favourite things in the world like these 3 amazing foods.
Not only did Italy create some of the best foods in the entire world, but it's also famous for it's gorgeous coast lines with crystal blue water, stunning architecture dating back to the Renaissance and medieval eras, and it's wineries making the freshest and tastiest wines!
Although this destination definitely isn't one of the cheapest in Europe to travel to, it still has some super affordable cities and regions to explore!
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Also called Meran, this Italian town is in northern Italy is definitely one of the best places to visit. They're known for their spa resorts so you'll be sure to get full relaxation while you're here. The city is surrounded by sprawling mountains giving gorgeous views!
This lively city in northern Italy is bustling with people, sights and action! The city is full of medieval and Renaissance-era architecture like their huge Piazza Maggiore filled with cafes, restaurants and shops, the Two Towers, the Fountain of Neptune and more!
This is probably the most picturesque town in all of Italy. Located on the coast, you can see the colourful houses contrast perfectly with the crystal blue waters. This was my favourite place when I traveled to Italy just because of how gorgeous it was! It's made out of 5 coastal towns each with it's own unique things to offer travellers.
This old town in northern Italy is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliette". They have a huge Roman amphitheatre called the Arena di Verona which hosts massive concerts and opera performances!
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Naples is a gorgeous area in southern Italy that has a whole lot to offer visitors. It's sits on the bright blue Bay of Naples with views of the massive Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed the nearby town of Pompeii. You should visit the Royal Palace, the Castel Nuovo and the Naples Cathedral!
Florence was definitely one of my all-time favourite cities in all of Italy. It's the capital of the Tuscany region and is home to some beautiful sights like the Florence Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Palazzio Vecchio!
This city in northern Italy is a gorgeous vacation spot for people looking to travel on a budget. You'll have beautiful views of the sprawling Alps, tons of Piazza's filled with shops, cafes and restaurants and an abundance of castles and museums!
Ancona, Italy is located on the stunning Adriatic coast! It's known for it's amazing beaches like Passetto beach with it's giant historical structure right on the coast, the amazing Calamo Fountain in the city centre, and so much more!
Address: 1063 rue de la Montagne, corner boul. Rene-Levesque, Montreal, Quebec
Why You Need To Go: Freshly baked bread, imported cheese and food products, authentic desserts, ready-made meals, a pasta laboratory and a coffee bar make Italimenti your one-stop-shop for everything Italy in the downtown core.
The next time you’re in Little Italy, make sure to head down avenue Henri-Julien to the Church of the Madonna della Difesa. Enter this Catholic place of worship and look up. There — surrounded by angels, saints, and henchmen — you’ll see a fresco of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in this Montreal church.
The fresco was painted by artist Guido Nincheri in 1931, a time when fascism was gaining in popularity in Montreal and around the world among some segments of the population.
It’s long been a contentious piece of work, but now, as protests against injustice and racism have renewed attention to problematic parts of our past, over 100 people have signed a petition calling on the church to put the fresco into historical context using plaques and memorials.
The petition was launched by a committee of scholars including Marta Boni and Luca Sollai of the Université de Montréal, Cassandra Marsillo of Dawson College, Giuliana Minghelli of McGill University, Marco Piana of Smith College, and filmmaker Giovanni Princigalli.
We spoke to a few committee members to get their knowledge on the subject. Their words have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Our priority is making sure everyone who visits the church understands the contested history of this fresco, which itself is reflective of some of the complex history of the Italian-Montreal community.
We hope that the church and our community, including ourselves, start doing the difficult work of untangling our history with the fascist regime and its legacies that linger to this day.
During WWII, for example, the image of Mussolini was covered with a tarp. After the church was recently restored, they decided to leave the marks where the nails held it up.
I think this is a really interesting decision and a great opportunity to talk about how the community has engaged with Mussolini's presence in this fresco over time.
Much of this history isn't discussed, however.
The current pamphlet provided to visitors has only a few lines explaining "Why Mussolini?"
It's based in justifications that don't acknowledge the reality, instead perpetuating a narrative that, at the time, everyone liked Mussolini anyway, as he hadn't allied with Hitler yet, and that it's meant to represent the signing of the Lateran Pact between the Vatican and the Italian government, not the dictator himself.
But, the dictator himself is still present. And so, we have a duty to do a better job.
"Works of art are symbols that enmesh with the space they occupy," says Marco Piana of Smith College
There have absolutely, and quite understandably, been calls for the image of Mussolini to be removed.
For most Italian citizens seeing the triumphal figure of Mussolini still alive and well in a church can be a shock.
It's important to remember that, in Italy, any attempt to reinstate fascism is condemned by the constitution (see articolo 12).
Most Italians have a good understanding of what Mussolini has done, and they would never accept to see him portrayed like that.
The current movements challenging the legacy of slavery and racism in North America certainly impacted our decision. Despite what some might think, the past is not a piece of inert matter.
History continually interacts with the present, and the way we tell history tells a lot about our current society. Personally, I completely understand the need for removing symbols of the past linked to oppression, racism, and slavery.
Works of art are symbols that enmesh with the space they occupy. But sweeping its meaning under the rug with the excuse of leaving the past to the past is not enough.
"Removing it is not the answer," says Giuliana Minghelli of McGill
Our initiative is an example of counter-cancel culture.
Removing it is not the answer. We want to bring culture and history onto the surface. Make it visible, make it something people can look at to understand the fraught and complex nature of any historical representation.
And at the time Mussolini was the darling of the West, the darling of Churchill, revered and admired in the United States as a strong leader that put Italy on the right track, and yet it does not excuse the presence of Mussolini there and is actually revealing of unjudging attitudes that the world has toward Italian fascism.
We should be able to recognize fascism early on and that is very important for us now because we are surrounded by manifestations of intolerance, hatred, bigotry and violence.
And so, we should be able to call it out now rather than think it will go away or think it’s just something that should be accepted.