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Portland Italian Festival, Portland Haute Couture




Not Little Italy, but Big Italy, Portland’s Italian Festival swinging in the biggest living room in Oregon, Pioneer Square.


Food, beer, and music mix to show the city in the best light possible, like an Italian chandelier.


Is it fun? Educational? Mesmerizing? All of that along with beautiful Italian women in haute couture. By the way, everyone’s Italian at the festival. So are you.




Show up in style


Drink up, chow down, and listen. That’s the schedule. You’ll feel transported. One man said it was the best food he’s had since a trip to Italy. I asked him what he ate and got the same thing.


Since my all-time favorite woman I admire from afar is Sophia Loren, I’ve always had a special place for Italian women and women who fit the mold. Movie star Sophia didn’t go Hollywood, she stayed Italian, married Italian, and had Italian kids.


No Cary Grant for her.


Picture yourself on a warm evening surrounded by Sophia Loren knock-offs, some in stunning attire, with opera in the air. It looks like this:





Pavarotti, it’s me, Dave


Who doesn’t love a singer cutting loose in full-throated, in key, on time, wonder. The Portland State Opera sang it Thursday night and it was capital F fabulous.


Of course it was all in Italian and I didn’t understand a word, but the feeling was more than real.


They blasted it out like pros. I closed my eyes and felt the transporting begin. Where was I again?




Italy lives on in Portland


With a visitor from Japan who attends class at Portland State, I drove through South Portland, the home of Italian Portland before the bulldozers. Willamette Week and Matthew Korfhage did a great piece on the history with,


“Portland Once Had a Thriving Little Italy—What the Hell Happened? The fate of Portland’s once-thriving Italian food neighborhoods.”


I got the inside story from an Italian woman making sure no one left the food area with a beer. She had an eye on me, so I asked a few questions, like what the hell happened? She knew the story or urban renewal top to bottom.


Now you can add to the story. Park your car, get off the bus, MAX, your bike, and bask in the best party of the summer. And wear something nice, it’ll help you fit in.


Show some style for Portland.
About David Gillaspie
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