CHICAGO-Chicagoans and visitors to the Windy City can tour Italy and experience La Dolce Vita, or “the sweet life” in Italian, without picking up their passports or trekking to O’Hare Airport. The only travel involved is to downtown Chicago’s Navy Pier (600 E. Grand) for the fourth annual Italian Expo, held Sept. 17-19, in Festival Hall A.
Italian Expo visitors can experience the vibrant Italian and Italian American cultures through three competitions: a culinary arts cook-off featuring 16 of Chicago’s top Italian chefs, an art competition with various local artists showcasing their masterpieces, and a fashion competition between emerging local designers. Each competition will allow Expo guests to vote on their favorites for an interactive cultural experience. In addition, guests will sample and see the best Italian products, including foods not yet available in the U.S., learn about its regions. And with free admission for children 12 and under, this year’s Expo is affordable to everyone. Tickets are $15 at the door, but are available for pre-sale online at www.italianexpo.us for just $10 until Sept. 16 only. The Expo will be open from 2:30-9pm Friday, 11am-9pm Saturday, and from 11am-6pm Sunday.

“Italian Expo will bring an exciting weekend of entertainment for adults and kids for a true Italian experience. Italy’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ is about celebrating the world’s most beloved foods and cooking, gorgeous fashion, cutting-edge product design and hand-crafted masterpieces, all of which and more can be enjoyed right here in Chicago during Italian Expo,” said Fulvio Calcinardi, Executive Director of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce-Midwest (IACC).

The IACC has hosted this event at Navy Pier for the past four years, attracting thousands of visitors to this authentic showcase of Italian culture and style. More than 100 companies and vendors from Italy and the United States will introduce, display and sell their products at the Expo, featuring the best of Italian and Italian-inspired cuisine, wine, fashion and jewelry, tourism, art and entertainment.

A preview of Italian Expo will be on display throughout September at the Chicago Arts District’s “showPODs” on South Halsted, between 18th and 19th Streets, in Pilsen. The high-exposure, compact showPOD spaces, which will include Italian-themed installations, sculptures and paintings from Italian and American artists, offers gallery-goers a non-traditional but rich art experience.

Please contact Gina Shermetaro at (312) 553-9137 or [email protected] or visit www.italianexpo.us for more information.