Modeled after the “Colosseum” itself, Mississauga ITALFEST’s Heritage Centre features interactive displays and exhibits in which visitors can experience Canadian Italian history. The Centre pays tribute to great Canadian-Italians and their accomplishments.
In partnership with Heritage Mississauga we bring to life the journey of Italian immigrants to Pier 21 and Ellis Island and the joys and struggles of early Italian immigrants in Mississauga including those who worked at the Brickworks.
On a huge map of Italy visitors are asked to put a red dot on the town or city they came from thus mapping the journey of Italian immigration to Mississauga.
Military and police representatives such as the “Bresaglieri”, “Carabenieri”, “Gli Alpini” and “Polizia” honour the event with their presence and traditional marches.
Each year the Heritage Centre spotlights a key region of Italy, displaying photography, art, furniture, music and various artifacts specific to the area. For 2019, the region of focus is Matera.
Matera is a city on a rocky outcrop in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. At the ‘instep’ of Italy’s boot — between the toe in Calabria and the heel in Puglia — with two coastlines on its edges, Matera is one of the oldest continually inhabited places on earth, behind Aleppo and Jericho. The town lies in a small canyon carved out by the Gravina. Known as la città sotterranea (“the underground city”), its historical centre “Sassi” – a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside – along with the park of the Rupestrian Churches, was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO since 1993. Evacuated in 1952 due to poor living conditions, the Sassi now houses museums like the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, with period furniture and artisan tools. Nearby rock churches include St. Lucia alle Malve, with 13th-century frescoes.