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Opera in the Italian Garden

Travel is overrated — especially when you can picnic to the sounds of opera in a Renaissance garden without leaving town. That’s the magic of tonight’s Opera in the Italian Cultural Garden, a four-year-old event presented by the Italian Cultural Garden Foundation. “It’s an amazing evening,” says Joyce Mariani, the foundation’s executive director. “It’s romantic, it’s for families … we have lovers, grandparents, dogs. And with the combination of nature, music, and the beautiful Renaissance fountain, it just seems to appeal to everybody!” Opened in 1930, the two-level garden boasts ancient Roman artifacts, two curved staircases, and a bronze bust of Virgil, making it a perfect backdrop for wine sipping, cheese nibbling, and assorted picnic style noshing. Providing the soundtrack will be singers from Cleveland’s Opera per Tutti performing favorites from well-loved Italian operas. The evening begins at 6 p.m., but you might want to get there early. The foundation provides 250 chairs for the growing event; last year more than 1,100 opera fans showed up! Admission and parking are free; the wood-fired pizzas will cost you. Find out more by calling the number below. “We’ve taken one little park and brought it back to life,” says Mariani. “That’s the power of music.”

— Elaine T. Cicora

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