align-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcamerachatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-crosscrosseditfacebookglobegoogleimagesinstagramlocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartwitteryahoo

Opera in the Italian Garden










Ciao Tutti!

We'll meet at 5 p.m. to stake out a prime location and share our Italian picnic and wine.  The Italian Group has been invited to join us in the traditional spot on the lawn near the performance area.  Looking at the photo above, we'll be just to the left along the grassy area. Its the best spot to see, be seen and listen.  Arrive early to claim a prime patch.  Its really difficult to save grass ;) so don't be tardy!

And, I'm pleased to announce that my partner and friend, Kristina is flying in from New York and will join us at the picnic!  We started the group together nearly two years ago.  I am so glad to have her at the party!


2013 "Opera in the Italian Garden" - Sunday, July 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
FREE concert selections from Italian opera with Opera Per Tutti.

And a Free Will Donation to the Italian Garden Foundation would be appreciated. Please ask the folks at the registration table at the entrance or on the way out after the concert.

Food truck with wood fired pizzas, complementary Italian wine and porchetta sandwiches! or bring a picnic!

Last year members laid out a spread that totally ruined my diet!  Will our 2013 Picnic be even better?

And, following the opera, we may head up to Little Italy for espresso and desert.

Members Note: Please don’t forget your annual Membership Fees. You may use the PayPal link in the upper left margin of the home page or pay the Organizer/Host in cash at your next event. Your dues help cover the costs of being on and related administrative costs. Organizers are not compensated and do this for their love of music, fine wine and food, and, of course, friendship. And, our sincere thanks to those members who are current with their dues!

And, your membership here entitles you to join Cine Arts Cleveland! our great Movie Group as well.












Opera in the Italian Garden’s 2012 edition wins loads of kudos

August 23rd, 2012

With around 1,300 in attendance, last year’s Opera in the Italian Garden set a number of records.  Not only in attendance but new food offerings and participation of community luminaries.  All thanks to the Italian Garden Foundation director Joyce Mariani and her team along with the the performers of Opera per Tutti.

See and hear more about this event (click here)


The Italian Renaissance Cultural garden, dedicated as a "symbol of the contribution of Italian culture to American democracy" opened on October 12, 1930. The upper level Renaissance fountain is modeled after the fountain in the Villa Medici in Rome, Italy. Carved sandstone images represent famous Italian cultural figures in the Arts and Letters and Arts and Science: Giotto, Michelangelo, Petrarca, Verdi, Leonardo da Vinci, Guglielmo Marconi and Virgil.

In 2007, the Italian Cultural Garden Foundation began the $750,000 Renaissance Restoration Project, a total restoration of the hardscape, two large Renaissance fountains, installation of historic lighting on both levels, a new fountain, benches, statues and balustrade and the planting of the entire garden in a Renaissance design.

The $750,000 Renaissance Restoration Project begun in May 2007 focused first on restoration and rehabiltation of the garden. Over $300,000 of restoration and rehabilitation has been completed 2007-2009.











The Italian Cultural Garden was the first cultural garden to install comprehensive lighting with historic lampposts on the upper and lower levels of the garden and will be the first to have a state of the art WIFI security system which will broadcast the "Opera in the Italian Garden" live on the internet and hookup with cities in Italy.

Recent infrastructure restoration and repair including the lighting system, new pavement, restoration of both Renaissance fountains, restoration of the two grand staircases, dedication of the new bust of Virgil, stone balustrade and a new Renaissance landscape design plan. A 14 ft. statue of Dante Alighieri (Divine Comedy) is the next project and will cost $120,000.

Since the Italian Cultural Garden was relatively unknown, an ambitious marketing plan was put into place over these two years to assist with the large donor funds that have come into the garden.

The new cultural series, "Viva! Cultura Italiana" presents the annual "Opera in the Italian Garden" and the Cleveland Italian Film Festival which is the annual fundraiser and attended by people from all over Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania. This cultural series will present ballet, orchestra, plays and poetry.











History of the Italian Cultural Garden

Massive stone columns grace the front entrance of the Italian Cultural Garden, the only public monument to Italy in the City of Cleveland. This magnificently appointed garden, was created through the efforts of Cleveland Italian businessman Philip Garbo, the renowned master of decorative art in the Renaissance style, money was raised to begin construction of the garden on two levels. Mr. Garbo's firm, The Italian Fresco and Decorating Co. designed decorative art and frescoes in over forty private residences, thirty-four churches, numerous banks and restaurants and over one hundred theaters, including the Ohio Theater in Playhouse Square.

The Italian Cultural Garden is designed on two levels in formal landscape style conceived in the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. Mr. Garbo oversaw the building of the Italian Garden to its completion and served as the first President of the Italian Cultural Garden.

The upper level of the garden, designed in a Renaissance manner begins with a wide walkway leading to the large Renaissance fountain which stands in front of a beautiful sandstone balustrade from which two winding stone staircases lead down to the lower level. On the lower level, a tall wall fountain graces an enclosed courtyard with circular stone seating. On either side of this fountain the visages of the stalwart guards of Italian genius, Giotto, Michangelo, Petrarca, Verdi, Da Vinci and Marconi gaze over their bucolic retreat.

The Italian Cultural Garden was formally opened October 12, 1930, "as a symbol of the contribution of Italian culture to American democracy" with the joint celebration of Columbus Day and the 2000th anniversary of the birth of the Italian poet, Virgil. Festivities began at nine o'clock in the morning with three thousand people in attendance.

The Italian Garden has a history of involvement from the Italian government. At the dedication in 1930, Senator Nobile Giacomo de Martin, the Royal Ambassador in Washington, DC, and Count Cesare Gradenigo, Italian Consul, presented a bronze bust of Virgil to the gardens from the Italian government.

In 1932, the Italian government sent a large block of stone hewn from the side of Monte Grappa in northern Italy which was placed in the garden to commemorate Italian War Veterans of Cleveland who fought on Italian soil in 1918 in World War I. In August of 1934, the Right Reverend Monsignor Edidio Vagnozzi, Papal delegate from Rome, visited the garden and in 1936 the Cleveland spring season of the San Carlo Opera Company presented Italian operas in the gardens.

At the Columbus Day celebration in 1935, Mr. Garbo presented two bronze tablets to the Italian Cultural Garden which were affixed to the massive stone columns flanking the main entrance on the upper East Boulevard level. On one tablet were the names of one hundred famous Italians, the Italian coat of arms, and a raised map of Italy. On the other were two figures representing Italy offering America the fruits of her cultural achievement and slated for replacement in the current restoration.

And a Free Will Donation to the Italian Garden Foundation would be appreciated. Please ask the folks at the registration table at the entrance or on the way out after the concert.

Music Cleveland!We are: Live Music, Music, Classical Music, Jazz, Blues, Live Jazz, Music, Smooth Jazz, Country Western Music, Irish Music, Opera, Bluegrass, Folk Music, Theater & Performance Art, Baroque Music, Dance, Dining Out, Celtic Music, Social Networking, Night Life


Join or login to comment.

  • Bill J.

    Excellent Day! I'm especially happy that my partner and friend Kristina flew in from New York to share some pasta, prosecco and Puccini on a perfect day in the Italian Garden - molte grazie

    July 22, 2013

  • Mark

    That was a lot of fun. Thanks for making it happen. The photos look great. Mark

    July 21, 2013

  • Mark

    Back in.

    July 21, 2013

  • Bill J.

    Arrive early and park on east blvd or be directed into parking lots nearby.

    July 21, 2013

  • Bill J.

    OK, Everyone - If you are unsure about your previous comments on an RSVP, simply select the "change RSVP" option in the green box and you will be guided back through the process. You may then modify your answers. This is the only way organizers will see your intentions. If you post comments here they could easily be missed.

    July 14, 2013

  • Robert S.

    Bill, my parents are coming in to town, and I will try to bring them but I don't know if we can join the group, and not for the picnic.

    July 11, 2013

    • Bill J.

      Absolutely bring them! Come when you want and leave whenever. If you get here early you can have some great listening spots. And, bring the neighbors too!

      July 11, 2013

  • Robert S.

    This looks great! TuYa and I will be there.

    April 8, 2013

    • Bill J.

      Rob, Missing your cell and email on RSVP - grazi!

      July 9, 2013

14 went

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy