Family spotlights: Festa Italiana, Rail Rider Days

  • Article by: MELISSA WALKER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2012 - 8:31 PM
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Enjoy a gondola ride from Gondola Romantica at Fiesta Italiana in downtown St. Paul.

Photo: Mallory Nelson, Mallory Nelson

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Festa Italiana

Benvenuti! Italy is just a gondola ride away. Pretend you are in the boot-shaped country as you ride one of the slender boats down the Mississippi. The famous Via dell'Amore from the Cinque Terre region will be re-created, enticing lovers to stroll on a beautiful walkway overlooking the river. Learn some Italian phrases from Concordia Language Villages. Shop for merchandise including olive and specialty oils, handmade pasta, jewelry, decorative items and more. Learn about customs and celebrations, find out how to play Italian card games and hear accordion music by strolling musicians. And, of course, it wouldn't be an Italian festival without food. Vendors with wine and food include Cossetta's, Ecco Domani, Pazzaluna and others. (3-10 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. Free. Harriet Island, Plato Blvd. and Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul. www. festaitalianamn.com.)

Rail Rider Days

Experience what it was like to ride the rails in the '30s. Touch, feel and ride real trains. Hear how hobos traveled the nation by train, looking for new opportunities. Meet the hobo king and queen and participate in railroad-related activities. Guests are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items in support of hunger relief in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. $5-$10. Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 E. Pennsylvania Av., St. Paul. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. next Sun., St. Croix Railway, 114 Depot Rd., Osceola, Wis. www.mtmuseum.org.)

 

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