If you want to explore Europe but don't have the time or wherewithal to do it, we have the perfect solution. Take in the culture and history of Italy, shop the markets of Greece, dine like a Parisian and jig the night away in true Irish style, right here in Melbourne. Thanks to our multi-cultural roots, our fair city is brimming with all manner of European experiences, and you can find them all practically on your doorstep. Follow the links below for your passport to a European adventure in Melbourne.
Learn in Italy
Get some Italian culture in Melbourne. Image: Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam', Wikimedia Commons.
The first stop is Italy, with a visit to the Italian Institute of Culture in South Yarra. Here you can experience Italian art, music, writing and performance, and even mingle with the artists and performers over a drink or two. The IIC also has a range of seminars and classes on offer, and some free events, all with a strong Italian flavour. For a double hit of arts and learning, head over to Carlton to the Museo Italiano Cultural Centre, and peruse the exhibitions and historical collections.
Next up on the Eurotrip itinerary is Greece. One of the best ways to participate in the vibrancy of Greek culture is to visit a Greek market, and for that, the Oakleigh Market has you covered. Browse the deli, seafood store, bakery and butchery, try a few exotic samples, chat with the lively locals and snag yourself a bargain.
Eat in France
Have a French feast in South Yarra. Photo credit: Kadooshka.
When the dinner hour approaches, it's time to go to France. South Yarra's France-Soir restaurant offers all the classics, with freshly shucked oysters, snails in garlic butter, mousse au chocolat, and a wine list that gives a mention to every good grape ever grown. Intimate and sophisticated, this fine little bistro is a place to indulge, so take your time and relish your French feast – you'll soon work it off in Ireland.
Once you arrive in Ireland, it's time to let loose. There's no better way to end your holiday than with a bar crawl of Melbourne's best Irish pubs. With Guinness customarily on tap, furnishings of dark wood and leather, traditional live music and more than a few folk from the Emerald Isle itself, you'll barely know you haven't left the city. Grab a pint and let the black gold flow through your veins and you'll soon be lilting and jigging with the best of them.