Cathedral Gardens will become the ‘Festival Piazza’ - celebrating everything from arancini to zuccini

After the success of last year’s one day Italian festival in Albert Square, which was part of Manchester Food and Drink Festival, organisers have decided to put on a larger event dedicated to all things Italiano.

Festa Italiana Manchester will take place between Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th June from 11am-11pm. It will aim to recreate the all-day atmosphere of festivals over in Italy, where the community comes together to socialise and enjoy great food and drink along with live music. The festival is all about bringing a real Italian celebration to Manchester with a programme of events to entertain people of all ages.

Cathedral Gardens by the Corn Exchange will become 'Little Italy' incorporating an authentic Italian fine food market selling cured meats and salami, specialist cheeses, single estate olive oils, Italian brand coffee and more; focaccia from Trove bakery, artisan produce from Cibosano and gelato from Joe Delucci’s.

Street food stalls will serve up a range of Italian favourites including pizza, pasta, arancini and fritto misto. Maurizio Cecco, owner of Salvi’s restaurants and delicatessen, has helped to curate the event through his connections with some of the finest food producers in his native Naples and the Campania region.

“We enjoyed the Italian Day we staged at Manchester Food and Drink Festival and were staggered by its popularity too,” said Maurizio, “so why not team up with the rest of the Italian community to create our own Festival and dedicate a whole weekend to the wonderful flavours of Italy?”

20170427 Italian Festival Nonnas
Look, real Italian nonnas!

A cookery theatre will see a number of celebrated Italian chefs demonstrating how to recreate some classic Italian dishes. Genuine Italian nonnas will also demonstrate how to make traditional pasta from scratch at a special pasta making station – last time Maurizio flew his own mama over.

Salvi’s chefs will also try to beat last October’s record 20-metre-pizza created for Manchester Food and Drink Festival by increasing it to a whopping 50 metres. Once the final length has been confirmed, the pizza will be sliced up and sold to festival visitors.

20170427 Italian Festival Demo Pizza
Italian Festival pizza demo

Some of the fine Italian brands scheduled to take part include Moretti beer and Aperol, who will host their own Spritz Cocktail Bar. True Terroir wines will offer samples of their artisan Italian wine selection which will be available to purchase by the bottle.

Many other Italian restaurants in Manchester will be getting in on the action including San Carlo, which has six branches in the city centre – including the soon to open Pizza Madre in King Street West.