Festa Italiana – Full Line Up Announced for the 26th -28th July

Festa Italiana Manchester is back, as Cathedral Gardens prepares to be transformed into Little Italy from the 26th – 28th July.  

Festa I

This year’s event will be expanding, taking in a bigger area around the city’s ‘Medieval Quarter’ with even more Italian producers, chefs, food, drink and music than ever scheduled to descend on Manchester for the weekend, and whats more – it’s all FREE! 

The Italian Street Food Line up, will be popping up at Cathedral Gardens in the Italian Street Food Piazza… Open throughout the Festa from 11am – late.   It comprises of:

Salvi’s – Family-owned Italian restaurants and deli specialists, Salvi’s will be bringing their trademark authentic dishes and incredible ingredients to the proceedings with Pizza Fritta (fried pizza!) and fresh pasta.


Rosso – Spring Gardens’ glamorous Italian restaurant, Rosso, will be serving Italian smoked meats and deli sandwiches 


Pizza Party…
No Italian street food bonanza would be complete without an array of fine and authentic pizza. Festa Italiana’s pizza will come from Didsbury pizza aficionados Proove  and Magiamo’s fabulous Fiat 500 converted into a Woodfired pizza oven.

Cafe Cannoli – Roving Sicilian street food specialists Café Cannoli will be serving up fresh cannoli in “Carlotta” their refrigerated cannoli cart. 


Pasta Factory –Antipasti and Fresh Pasta (including vegan and gluten free options) will be served by Shude Hill’s acclaimed pasta specialists, Pasta Factory.

T’arricrii Sicilian brothers Riccardo and Romeo will be coming to Festa for the first time with their popular arancini operation. Specialising in arancini of multiple varieties (with meat, fish and veggie options), the brothers are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face with their authentic, delicious arancini as well as their passion for Italian and Sicilian food, drink and life!

Cafe Latino – Real Italian coffee will come from Italian Coffee Roasters Café Latino.

Taste It – The authentic, Italian Gelato producers taking Salford by storm, Taste It’s team will be bringing artisan, traditional gelato and sorbetto to the Festa.

Cabrelli Brothers – One of Manchester’s great Italian food families will be coming to Festa Italiana for the first time serving upsaltimbocca and filled pizza bread.


Vive le Crepe – A Festa staple, Vive Le Crepe will be bringing Crepes filled with delicious sweet and savoury toppings to Cathedral Gardens.    

Italian Drinks Fest…
A fine selection of Italian drinks has been curated for the Festa, open all day and night, every day and night!


Peroni Italy Bar

Peroni will be bringing a brand new and exciting Peroni Italy experience to the Festa. Lounge with a fine Italian lager whilst drinking in the Festa from their chic mini beer pavilion set up on Cathedral Gardens for the whole event.


Aperol will be back for the 3rd year, turning a whole corner of the Festa orange, with hammocks, Vespa Seating and Foosball tables all creating a chic, Italian, Festival-style drinking experience, right in the heart of the city centre. Italy’s most famous contemporary  cocktail export, the Aperol Spritz, will be served up in abundance at a very special Festa price of 2 for £10.



Limoncello Di Capri – Limoncello Cocktail Bar

Limoncello Di Capri is the only real, certified and authentic Limoncello in the world.

There’ll be a fabulous Limoncello Bar, serving up The Capri Spritz along with other Limoncello Cocktails too. The Capri Spritz is a fresh, long, summer drink that’s as Italian as can be – Limoncello Di Capri mixed with premium tonic, topped with Prosecco and garnished with fresh mint and strawberries.   The Cocktail bar will also be offering a Capri Spritz  – two for £10.


Martini Fiero Lounge

Martini will be sampling their brand new summer spirit and cocktail all weekend in their dedicated Martini Fiero lounge area so festival-goers can get a taste of this summer’s hottest new drink. Martini Fiero is a new contemporary vivid red vermouth by Martini – with a bitter-sweet orange taste.  Mixed with Schweppes tonic and served over ice in a balloon glass with a blood orange wheel garnish, Martini Fiero and Schweppes Tonic is set to be the cocktail of choice for lovers of beautiful, botanical drinks this summer.  It will be available to buy on a special Festa offer of two for £10.

Zonin Prosecco Cuvee 1821 brought to you by Zonin UK

Zonin UK will be hosting the official Prosecco and Wine Bar at Festa. Serving up their Zonin Prosecco Cuvee 1821 and a selection of their finest Italian wines, they’ll be hosting regular wine tastings throughout the Festa, as well as offering expert guidance at all times to help visitors discover their perfect Festival tipple.

One of Italy’s finest and best regarded makers of wine, the Zonin family’s Estates cover a total of over 4000 hectares of land, of which around 2000 are planted with vines. The estates are located in Italy’s seven finest wine-producing Regions: the Veneto, Friuli, Piedmont, Lombardy, Tuscany, Sicily and Puglia.


Festa Italiana Cocktail Bar

The Festa Cocktail bar will serve up an array of classic Italian drinks….

●      Siciliana

Gin, Campari, pink grapefruit, sugar, soda

●      Fresca

White vermouth, limoncello, citrus, mint, limonata         

●      Negroni                                           

Gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, grapefruit

●      G&T

Italian gin, tonic, juniper, olive, rosemary

●      Spritzer

Gavi, green apple, almond, soda, cirrus, bitters

●      Plus Italian beers and soft drinks will also be served


Bambini Garden

There’ll be a special, FREE child-friendly programme of activities scheduled throughout the Festa weekend from 11am – 6pm, and it will all be centred around the Bambini Garden.

A VIP area for the little ones, the Bambini Garden will be popping up at Cathedral Gardens as the Festa HQ for kids bedecked with bell tents each housing a different activity. The fun includes Venetian mask making, 
garden games, face painting, jugglers and performers.


Plus, Carmella Sereno Hayes will be hosting the Bambini Kitchen with FREE fresh pasta making workshops throughout the weekend. An Italian cookery author, food writer, demonstrator and cookery event planner with roots in Puglia and Molise in Southern Italy, Carmela is now based in Northamptonshire and loves to share her passion for Italian food. It’s all inspired by home cooked family dinners around the table back in Italy and her new book A Passion for Pasta is out now! Carmela is coming to Manchester especially for the Festa and hosting her kids’ pasta masterclasses in the Bambini Garden throughout the weekend – it’s all free, and there’s no need to book, families can just turn up on the day and join in. She will be teaching kids how to make pasta dough in a variety of shapes.

There’ll be plenty of food and drink to choose from for little ones across the Festa site too including lots of fresh juice, pizza, pasta, ice cream, crepes and of course Nutella… It’s basically
 a foodie heaven for kids and grown-ups alike.


Salvi’s Italian Deli

Family owned purveyors of real Italian food, Salvi’s will be bringing their exquisite and expertly sourced produce to the Festa from 11am – 8pm.

The Salvi’s Pop Up Festa Deli will be the Festa’s specialist produce heaven and selling and sampling the best Italian pasta, olive oil, Italian cakes and more and will be slicing a giant mortadella at the Festa for people to purchase.


Festa Fiero – Launch Party

On Friday 26th July at the Festa Marquee, the festival will be kicking off in true Italian party style as they team up with the summer’s hot new ‘spritz’ cocktail Martini Fiero for the official opening party – Festa Fiero.

There’ll be free aperitivo, and a free cocktail for the first 200 people to arrive on site!
The perfect destination to kick off the weekend and the Festa Italiana celebrations to come, this is set to be the ultimate summer cocktail party hosted in association with Italy’s most iconic drinks brands – Martini.  The Festa Marquee will be transformed into a summer party venue inspired by the laid-back outlook of the Italian Riviera and boasting a big central bar, live DJ and plenty of Martini. Martini experts will be making and serving Martini Fiero and Tonics ‘live’, all night long from a central bar. The cocktails will be complemented by FREE ‘aperitivo’ (Italian snacks) all chosen to perfectly compliment the Martini Fiero cocktails.
The full and fabulous Martini product range will also be showcased at the party from the original iconic Martini Rosso and Martini Extra Dry to the modern Martini Rosato alongside Martini Fiero. The full family of products will be used to make up an incredible Italian cocktail bar featuring Martini Negronis, Vodka Martinis and the fizzy twist on classic negroni – the Sbagliato. The laid-back soundtrack to the evening will take guests through to sunset and beyond and will come courtesy of local Italian party DJ, Cesarè.

For those wanting to party straight after work, the Festa Fiero will have its own Glam Station. Celebrity stylist Andrew Trott-Barn and his team from byATB…will be giving guests the perfect ‘Martini-ready’ party look with Italian-inspired dry styles.

Attendees can enjoy the atmosphere of the party at the Festa Marquee and spill outside into the main Festa area on Cathedral Gardens to soak up the full Italian Festival vibes al fresco.

The party is free and includes a free Martini Fiero on arrival to the first 200 to attend.

The Glam Station makeovers will be free too! 


‘Suburbs Meets City’ Neapolitan Festa banquet

Hosted by food critic, broadcaster and tour guide Jonathan Schofield, on Saturday 27th July from 7.30pm, in the Festa Marquee right in the heart in the Festival action on Cathedral, this special Festa Banquet will see the talents of two of Greater Manchester’s most renowned Italian chefs cooking together in a friendly and fantastic Festa Feast!


Francesco Scafuri from Tre Ciccio who has restaurants in the Manchester suburbs of Bramhall, Altrincham and Ramsbottom; and Maurizio Cecco, owner of Salvi’s, will showcase their skills and knowledge to create the ultimate Neapolitan banquet.  

The night promises to be jam-packed with anecdotes, extraordinary, authentic food and great conversation between the two chefs.  

Both Maurizio and Fran hail from around Naples, part of the Campania region of Italy – an area known for producing some for the finest food that the world has to offer from the most exquisite Buffalo Mozzarella to the best pizza on the globe. Neapolitan cuisine is based around incredible ingredients treated simply and with respect to produce truly stunning dishes.  Maurizio and Fran embody this cooking style at their restaurants – importing all of the most beautiful produce from artisan suppliers back home in Italy to create some of the finest Italian food that the Northwest has to offer.  The chefs will create two dishes each to create a four-course banquet via a spectacular live cooking extravaganza.  There’ll also be Neapolitan music courtesy of a fantastic live band flown over especially from Naples for the occasion and the Festa Marquee will be dressed for a beautiful, rustic banquet as Jonathan Schofield and the chefs take diners on an authentic Neapolitan journey.

Tickets to the banquet are £50 and are on sale now –


The Italian Live Cookery Theatre 
On Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July (11am-5pm) at the Festa Marquee, the Live Cookery Theatre will showcase a host of Italian chefs from Manchester to Italy and beyond, giving Festa-goers the chance to learn the secrets of the world’s most popular cuisine.


This will include a FREE live cookery demonstration by Gennaro Contaldo on Saturday 27th July at 3.00pm in the Festa Marquee.

Italian chef, TV star and award-winning author Gennaro Contaldo will be live at the Festa.  
Gennaro will be demonstrating how to make his fresh pasta with summer tomato sauce and will be answering questions from the audience.  Afterwards he will also be signing copies of books, available through Waterstones in the marquee.

Gennaro is one of the country’s best loved chefs and an icon of Italian cuisine. He is widely 
known as the Italian luminary and mentor who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking. He has since published several successful cookery books.


Born in Minori on the Amalfi Coast, Gennaro, like Festa Founder Maurizio Cecco of Salvi’s, hales from the stunning Campanian region of Italy. Italian cookery is in his blood – he began helping in restaurant kitchens at the age of eight and he is passionate about sharing Italian cuisine, culture and approach to life with British audiences – Festa Italiana’s ambitions of providing a cultural exchange between the two countries makes this a fitting and exciting collaboration.


His quintessentially Italian spirit and positive nature has made him a firm TV favourite. He regularly appears on Saturday Kitchen, as well as his own TV show, the highly successful Two Greedy Italians on BBC2. On Jamie Cooks Italy shown last year on Channel 4 he rode around his home country on a moped exploring the exquisite tastes of food paradise.

Attendees can expect a lively, vivacious demonstration from a true Italian cookery icon  – a chance to learn direct from one of the most passionate, revered and exciting voices in Italian cuisine.


The event is free and seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis – so cookery fans are advised to arrive early to get a seat!

The Full Live Cookery Theatre Schedule…

Saturday 27th July:

12.30pm: Carmela Sereno Hayes of Carmela’s Kitchen will host a pasta making workshop


1.30pm: Pasta Factory’s Giulia Martinelli hosts a vegan pasta masterclass


3pm: Gennaro Contaldo will take to the stage for cookery demo Q and A and book signing.



Sunday 28th July:

12.30pm: Carmela Sereno Hayes of Carmela’s Kitchen will host a pasta making workshop


1.30pm:  Fran Scafuri from Tre Ciccio will demonstrate how to make the Lamb Cutlets that he will be serving up to guests at the Saturday night banquet.


2.30pm: Zonin UK will be hosting an Italian wine tasting. 


3.30pm: Gianfranco Lervolino –  Coming to Manchester from Naples especially for the Festa, Gianfranco is one of the world’s most renowned pizza chefs & a regular on Italian TV & radio. Also known for his Neapolitan singing, he will be hosting a cookery demo showcasing some of his famous dishes… and belting out a few of his favourite songs too! Gianfranco will be joined by fellow Neapolitan chef Ciro Campanile, visiting especially for the Festa.


4.30pm: Carlo Molon and Maurizio Cecco. Another Italian chef flying over for the Festival, Carlo is an exciting and influential cook, and currently Executive Chef at the Sheraton Hotel on Lake Como. He’ll be bringing his modern and experimental twists on Italian flavours to the Festa and collaborating with Maurizio Cecco from Salvi’s for a truly special Italian cookery lesson.  



Festa Stage

From 11am – 11pm everyday, the whole Festa will play to the soundtrack of magnificent Italian and Manchester musicians and DJs – some of whom will be visiting Manchester especially for the Festa…


Compagnia SoleLuna

A live band from Naples flying over especially for the Festival and bringing the perfect hit of traditional Italian folk music to the Festa.

Music Nostra

A unique Italian band performing especially for the Festa, Music Nostra will be bringing a flavour of real Italian folk music to the event… Focusing on  different Italian regional accents the group will perform the best Roman and Neapolitan songs and the associated tarentelle (folk dance). The voice and the guitar, mandolin, violin, accordion, double bass and percussions blend harmoniously together in an entirely original music experience.


Whoever and the Somethings

A crowd pleasing mix of classic Motown and contemporary covers delivered by Michelle Harris’ stunning vocals and her slicker than slick live band, will be hitting he Festa to get the crowds on their feet!





Zonin UK

Birrificio Angelo Poretti

Peroni Italy

Martini Fiero

Limoncello Di Capri

Aperol Spritz





Full information and updates can be found on the festival website www.festaitalianauk.com.



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