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Toronto: College St. Little Italy


Ciao Italia!
by Rosalin Krieger ros@showmetoronto.com

Ciao Italia!--or should I say, ciao, Italies! Most major North American cities only have one "little Italy", Toronto has two in the downtown alone, and one mundo Italiano in Woodbridge, in the northwest.

The most well-known Little Italy is the oldest, on College, sandwiched between the end of the main Latin section at Bathurst and the beginning of Portuguese restaurant row, just past Montrose. Eat in one of the trattorias that Sophia Loren dined in during her last visit, where you can indulge in creamy lobster risotto, parma and other Italian delicacies.

Want to skip right to desert? then you must, must go to The place on College, The Sicilian Cafe. Unpretentious and oh-so affordable, it is open seven days a week, all year long, this cafe serves up the best in Italian coffees, gelatos, homemade ice-creams (must-haves are the tiramisu and the hazelnut), waffles and grappa (a thirst-quenching lemon and sugar, icy beverage needed in the summer).

Afterwards, stroll into one or two of the eclectic music bars that feature live bands and dancing, or walk along, and do some window shopping along the romantically lit street, especially in the summer, where the heat, humidity, scores of people, make for a festive atmosphere of escape.

Feeling more adventurous? Need more Italian indulgence? Hop back on the subway and head north to St. Clair West, between Bathurst and Dufferin, to the second Little Italy, that features the hip and always busy cafe Ferrero, the gelato at La Paloma and of course, any one of the many pizzerias. An added treat, are all the South American eateries, dance clubs and shops interspersed along St. Clair West. This part of Toronto should not be missed. Enjoy!

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