Sink your teeth into Brisbane's Italian Week.
Ask the boss of Italian Week where to get a slice of authentic pizza in Brisbane, and he doesn't want to talk about it.
Rather than focus on age-old images of red-and-white check tablecloths and steaming bowls of bolognese, Alessandro Sorbello would rather talk about the modern Italy.
The producer of Italian Week 2009 said it was time Brisbane embraced the complexity and depth of modern Italian culture, rather than just focus on the past.
"It's important that we do not ignore our heritage," Mr Sorbello said. "Neither should we let the past hold us back."
The recent closure of Newmarket's long-standing Italo-Australian Centre was a sign Italian culture in Brisbane needed to move with the times, he said.
"After several decades of offering a place for Italians and people passionate about Italy to unite, this Brisbane icon leaves a large gap within the Italian community," he said.
"(This) highlights the need to evolve and celebrate Italy as the modern, fascinating and alluring country that it is today."
Hence the program for this year's Italian Week, which runs for a week from today, is designed to cross generations and celebrate the integration and differences between the cultures of Australia and Italy.
"Whether you're a connoisseur looking for a taste of the world's finest wine or homemade pasta, or a fashionista looking to the catwalks of Milan for inspiration, Italian Week is a chance for locals to experience the culture and delights of this beautiful country," said Mr Sorbello.
Now in its third year, Italian Week will this year be housed predominantly in Queen Street Mall for the first time.
The program comprises a host of film, opera, music, fashion and food events, culminating in Festa della Repubblica (Italian National Day).
"We were really trying to express the full gamut of Italian ingenuity and attitude to life this year," Mr Sorbello says. "From astronomy to gastronomy, technology and textiles, this year is about the good life, the old life and the new life."
For more information on Italian Week, including a full listing of programs and events visit http://www.italianweek.com.au/
Katherine FeeneyMay 25, 2009