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UK’s biggest Italian festival brings a stunning taste of Italy to Cathedral Gardens

Manchester is gearing up to host the much-awaited Festa Italiana, the UK's biggest and most vibrant Italian festival.

Manchester and Italy have a rich history of cooperation, with Ancoats being named ‘Little Italy’ for the immense contribution of Italians who moved to the area.

The Ice Cream cone was even invented by an Italian living in Manchester

Festa Italiana in Manchester

The festival, now in its 6th year, is brought to life by Salvi’s, spearheaded by Neapolitan chef Maurizio Cecco, and promises an unforgettable experience that celebrates all things Italian – food, drinks, and culture.

Held at Cathedral Gardens, the heart of Manchester, from August 25th to 27th, Festa Italiana promises to transport you to Venice, Florence and Rome and live the Dolce Vita in the heart of Manchester.

Delicious Italian Menù

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the delizioso menù of Italian food and drinks.

From classic pizza made in authentic Neapolitan ovens by local legends I Knead Pizza and Proove to the first-time appearance of sustainable pizza champions Purezza, offering fully vegan and gluten-free options, the festival will tantalize taste buds with a wide array of Italian flavours.

Handmade pasta enthusiasts will be delighted by The Pasta Factory’s offerings, featuring traditional homemade sauces, including vegan options.

T’arricrii will introduce classic Sicilian street food, including speciality arancini, paired with freshly-imported Polara drinks.

For those with a sweet tooth, Cafè Cannoli and Prendi Il Biscotto will serve an extensive range of hand-made Italian cannoli and biscuits.

Grandpa Greene’s will provide the much-loved Italian gelato, with a charity collaboration flavor supporting The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

A Feast for Foodies: Poretti Grande Tavola

For the first time this year, Birrifico Angelo Poretti is hosting the ultimate ticketed dining experience, Poretti Grande Tavola, on Saturday, August 26th.

Festival goers can indulge in a classic Italian menu curated by Salvi’s, perfectly paired with Poretti’s authentic Italian lager.

This unique dining experience will be complemented by an airstream serving craft pints from Biriffico Angelo Poretti.

You can get your tickets by clicking here.

Empowering Female Cooks: Festa Italiana Della Donna

The festival kicks off with a powerful opening day on Friday, called Festa Italiana Della Donna, dedicated to showcasing outstanding female cooks.

MasterChef UK contestant Sofia Gallo, along with Carmela Sereno Hayes and Salvi’s head chef Valentina Ambrosino, will share their culinary expertise through live cooking demos.

Mouthwatering Masterclasses

Festa Italiana brings exciting cooking masterclasses to the Festa Marquee.

Saturday features Italian cooking superstar Gennaro Contaldo and TV star Giancarlo Caldesi, while Sunday presents an encore masterclass from Gennaro and a baking exploration with Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno.

Entertainment: Music and More

Festival-goers will enjoy a blend of traditional Neapolitan folk music, folk-rock, and local artists’ performances under the Festa sky. Compagnia Sole Luna, a favourite among Manchester’s Italian community, will grace the stage alongside talented local artists, including The Manchester Tenor and Mojoband.

Aperativi and Bars

Visitors can sip on authentic Italian aperitivi, including Aperol Spritz, Campari Spritz, and Limoncello Spritz, at the new spritz bar.

Additionally, Birra Murano and Salvi’s festival bars will offer a wide selection of Italian craft beer, DOP-stamped wine, and, of course, glasses of Prosecco to keep spirits high.

Family Fun at Carmela’s Kitchen

Carmela Sereno Hayes, the pasta maestra, will run ‘Carmela’s Kitchen’ throughout the weekend, offering free drop-in pasta-making sessions for adults and kids.

Families can bond over learning to make beautiful and delicious fresh pasta from scratch.

Festa Italiana promises an extraordinary celebration of Italian culture, tantalising taste buds, and a memorable experience for all.

Whether you have an Italian heritage or simply appreciate the richness of Italian cuisine and culture, this festival is a must-attend event.

Book your tickets and get ready to be immersed in Manchester’s very own little Italy on August Bank Holiday weekend.

Fri 25th – Sun 27th August, opening 12pm – 10pm every day

Entry is Free.

It will take place at Festival Piazza, Cathedral Gardens

You can find more information by clicking here.

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