Italians pride themselves on enjoying "la dolce vita," and savoring all life has to offer. Get a taste of "the sweet life" this weekend.

Why you should go

Italians pride themselves on enjoying "la dolce vita," and savoring all life has to offer. Get a taste of "the sweet life" this weekend - the brick-laden streets of Italian Village will be bustling in celebration of everything from the land of gondolas and pontiffs in pointy hats. There'll be plenty of festivities, with two music stages, a street market, a parade, a kids area for the wee ones, singing competitions and tons of food.

What to eat & drink

Columbus' best Italian eateries, from Carfagna's to Z Cucina, will serve up sausage and peppers, calzones, veal parmesan, meatballs, pizza pies galore and much more.

St. John's will dish out its famous thin and Sicilian-style pizzas, as well as a full pasta dinner. Be sure to grab a couple slices, because the pizza is only available at the festival and it's not to be missed.

Berwick Manor will bring chicken piccata, portabella ravioli, lasagna and gnocci, while Butch's Italian Cafe will have their popular chicken parmesan and meatball subs.

Need to wash it all down? Take your pick from a host of Italian wines, liqueurs and beers - hooray Peroni!

Entertainment

Emcee Ronnie Fiorentino will perform renditions of your favorite Rat Pack tunes from Dino, Frank and the gang throughout the evening Friday. The three striking songstresses of Tre Bella will belt out soulful melodies at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Show band Sal Ventura & Dr. Zoot is set to play three sets Friday night. The Rick Brunetto Big Band will play a full set at 8:45 p.m. Saturday with Chuck Gillespie, and they'll be joined by Tre Bella to close out the night.

A contemporary stage will host local rock acts throughout the weekend. Swef will perform three sets on Friday evening and youthful alt-rockers The Naturals will play Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

Don't Miss

A little competition in one of the oldest games known to man - bocce ball. With a $450 prize for the victors, the lawn bowling tournament will surely be a heated contest. Teams of four will play 11-point matches in a double-elimination tourney starting Saturday at noon. The championship match will take place on Sunday.