italian partythe free weekend festival, presented by Salvi’s, celebrating the return of Italian food, drink and culture to the Piazza du Festival in the Cathedral Gardens this August bank holiday weekend (from 26 to August 28), has released its full weekend schedule.
The family-famous Festa was born out of Manchester’s Italian community and heritage. drawing heavily on traditional Italian fiestas and adding the perfect touch of Mancunian flavor to create an entire weekend dedicated to bringing people together to enjoy the authentic Italian food and drink, cooking classes, feasts, family activities and live music.
Masterclass at Festa Marquee
On friday august 26 there will be a cooking masterclass by Maurizio Cecco and his daughter Sienna at 1:30 p.m., the team of I Sapori di Corbara Tomatoes will come from Naples and give a talk presenting the brand and its products at 2:30 p.m. and at 3:30 a.m. Giulia Martinelli from The pasta factory will show you how to become a pasta master.
At 4:30 p.m. the Luxardo Maraschino team will guide us through the versatility of their cherries in desserts and drinks, and at 5:30 p.m. there will be a drink preparation Campari Master Class.
On Saturday August 27 there will be a Pasta Masterclass by Maurizio Cecco at 1:30 p.m., followed by masterclasses and signings by Gennaro Contaldo, British brand ambassador Parmigiano Reggiano, (Saturday Kitchen, Two Greedy Italians, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast) at 2:30 p.m., the celebrity chef and restaurateur award-winning Aldo Zilli (The One Show, This Morning, Celebrity Masterchef) at 3:30 p.m., and at 4:30 p.m. the Aperol team will tell you about the methods behind some of Italy’s most beloved drinks.
Sunday August 28 will see masterclasses and signings by Giancarlo Caldesi (Back to Tuscany, Saturday Cooking, Sunday Brunch) at 1:30 p.m., while Gennaro Contaldo returns at 2:30 p.m. Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno will take care of things at 3.30pm and at 4.30pm there will be a very special pizza making masterclass by the team at Pizzeria Da Michele.
Carmela Sereno Hayes will host ‘Carmela’s Kitchen’ throughout the weekend, with free hourly sessions, every hour teaching pasta-loving adults and kids how to make the perfect (and best-looking!) pasta.
Festa Italiana Party at the Festa Marquee
On Saturday August 27there will be an intimate dinner at the Chefs Table with top Italian celebrity chefs, Gennaro Contaldo (Saturday Kitchen, Two Greedy Italians, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast), Giancarlo Caldesi (Return to Tuscany, Saturday cooking, Sunday brunch), and Aldo Zilli (The One Show, This Morning, Celebrity Masterchef), hosted and cooked by Maurizio Cecco (Owner of Salvi’s and top chef of Festa Italiana UK), with fresh homemade pasta by Carmela Serano Hayes (Carmela’s kitchen).
Guests will dine with legendary Italian restaurateurs, authors and British TV favorites Gennaro, Giancarlo and Aldo, who along with Maurizio and Carmela will have a conversation throughout the party, while Maurizio and Carmela cook up a storm, sharing their ideas and knowledge about Italian food, drink and culture.
The evening will be toasted with a Gin Mare drinks reception, and Italian wine will flow throughout the delicious four-course meal, with all drinks of the evening included in the ticket price.
Festa Feast Tickets
When it comes to the absolute cutting edge of authentic Italian cuisine, Festa Italiana knows what it’s doing; over the weekend, the return of Festa favourites, Cannoli coffee will be selling delicious cannoli made from authentic ingredients imported directly from Sicily, local guys Paul and Mike from I knead the pizza will bring their wood-fired oven to serve their highly acclaimed Neapolitan pizza, while lucky mom will serve extruded pasta with fresh homemade sauces.
Longtime friends of Festa Prove will join the program with their delicious authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, You’ll arrive will bring the essence of Sicily to the Cathedral Gardens with their mouth-watering arancini and Fritto Misto, while Manchester’s own pasta factory will serve a menu of simple and authentically Italian fresh pasta, all dishes will be accompanied by handmade sauces, lovingly prepared from seasonal produce, and with family and culinary roots in Puglia, Italy.
Cafe Azul will be serving Kickback coffee, hot and cold beverages, snacks, cakes and toasted paninis throughout the weekend destination donut will serve delicious donuts described as: light, airy and the perfect balance of sweetness. Also on display, the driving force behind Festa Italiana, the Salvi’s family, will be selling Salvi-branded sweet treats and delicacies from their Deli.
The Festival Bar will feature incredible signature dishes throughout the weekend, including the perfect serve Gin Mare Capri and Gin Mare, and Birrificio Angelo Poretti will also bring their Italian craft beers served from their Airstream Bar.
The Aperol Spritz Bar will do exactly what it says on the tin and serve up everyone’s favorite Italian summer refreshment while the main festival bar offers all the Italian classics including Gin Mare, Gin Mare Capri, Luxardo, Aperol Spritz, Italian craft beers, Ponte Prosecco, the best Italian wine and soft drink.
Music and Festa Italiana go hand in hand and this year Compagnia Sole Luna will be flying over Naples, performing every day and bringing traditional folk music revisited in a southern Italian folk-rock style, there will also be a full line-up by local artists and bands, including the city’s most beloved opera singer, The Manchester Tenor, while DJs spin records each evening.
Brought to you by Ben Faulks, the co-creator and presenter of the award-winning CBeebies brand, “Mr Bloom’s Nursery”, Let’s Grow Allotment offers a truly unique experience by combining the main themes of Mr Bloom’s Nursery with performances by Ben’s theater company . ‘Dive Bloom’. Championing nature, education, well-being and imaginative play, with tactile skill that leaves an indelible impression on audiences of all ages.
The Let’s Grow Nannies invite you to join them in their pop-up housing estate for some gardening and babysitting. Get stuck feeding Hercules the bodybuilding butternut squash, Peep the cauliflower, and Jolene the sweet kale. The show takes place in a charming pop-up housing estate that serves as an interactive play space hosted by two Let’s Grow nannies with their baby fruit and veg family.
The Let’s Grow Allotment show runs at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm each day over the weekend.
Festa Italiana is sponsored by: Aperol, Birrificio Angelo Poretti, Gin Mare, Luxardo, Peroni, Ponte and Salvi’s
Date: Friday August 26 to Sunday August 28
Hours: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. daily
Cost: Free admission
Venue: Festival Square, Cathedral Gardens