This weekend saw the return of Festa Italiana – an all things Italian themed festival right in the heart of Manchester.
Located in Cathedral Gardens, Festa Italiana was born last year, and following its success was bought back this weekend, only this one was even bigger and better than the last.
Food stalls were serving up true delights, including Porcetta from San Carlo, Arancini from Salvis, Pizza from Prove and a range of dishes from Rosso. From these delights, I am reliably informed that around 2,800 Pizza’s, 1,400 Pasta Dishes, 1,800 Pizza Fritta and 300kg of Porchetta were consumed – having tasted many of this, I can certainly see why.
The feasts on hand were washed down with 3,000 Aperol Spritz, 1,000 Capri Spritz and 8,700 pints of beer.
Along with the food, people were entertained with a selection of Music and demonstrations.
Free to attend, I ventured down on Friday 13th, opening day. Early on people were already getting into the swing and trying all that the festival had to offer. In fact I enjoyed the atmosphere so much, I headed back in on the Sunday, catching the end of one of the Demo’s – This one was the fabulous Carmelo ‘Pasta Queen’ – A true magician of pasta. I had previously experienced one of her classes at Salvis, where pasta making classes are a regular event – you can read more about those here.
There were also demos by Carlo Molon of the Sheraton Hotel on Lake Como, Giulia Martinelli from Pasta Factory, Mauro Altieri from Proove and Francesco Scafuri from Tre Ciccio.
This years Festa also hosted two special banquets at the Festa Pavilion.
First up was an exciting collaboration between Manchester Italian restaurants. Each restaurant served a different course Burrata to start from Salvi’s, truffle risotto cooked in a wheel of parmesan and grilled Sicilian red prawns from San Carlo. Finally, it was tiramisu from Lupo Caffe Italiano and gelato from Taste IT.
On Saturday, it was the Bottomless Banquet where diners enjoyed unlimited pizza and booze for a special 90-minute extravaganza.
Both these events were sell outs and proved to be very popular as was the rest of the festival with Maurizio Cecco, founder of the festival as well as owner of Salvis said “We were thrilled to be able to bring Festa Italiana back to Manchester after the incredibly successful first year. This year’s event was even bigger and better than before and we are very proud to bring Manchester’s Italian community together and create a space where we can celebrate and enjoy everything that Italian culture is all about. We’re already planning for next year!”
Well Maurizio – Count me in!!!