VANCOUVER, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Pizza, pasta and panzerotti. Enjoying them like a true Italian is the charm that brought over 300,000 people to celebrate Italian Day in Vancouver on Sunday.
Now into its 7th year, Vancouver's Italian Day celebrates more than 60 years of Italian culture in an East Vancouver neighborhood. Yet for many Canadian food buffs, it is the time of year to get a bite of the best spaghetti and pizza.
The festival takes on a special meaning this year, after the city government named the neighborhood Vancouver's Little Italy. The theme of the festival is "Mangiamo," meaning love of eating.
Beppe De Lucia, Italian Day Festival president, said on the crowded street that "Mangiamo" is what Italy is best known for -- it encompasses everything from the passion for cooking to the wonderful time when Italians eat, drink and chat at the family table.
To live up to this theme, thousands of people spent the day eating pizza, pasta, gelato, espresso and panzerotti.
The longest line was seen outside an Italian bakery famous for its cannolis. Cannolis are Italian pastry shells stuffed with ricotta cheese or sometimes custard or whipped cream.
Owner Marco Cornale, whose family moved from Italy to Vancouver more than 50 years ago, told Xinhua the Italian Day gives everyone the chance to "become Italian for a day." He expects to sell 6,000 cannolis during the occasion.
"I just love how the community comes out and tries to be Italian for the day. I think it's great how everybody comes together and enjoys the aspect of the community and the festival," Cornale said.