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If you want to get in the mood for your summer holiday or capture the essence of a trip to Italy, here’s your chance to enjoy a taste of La Dolce Vita right here in Peterborough.

From gelato to pasta, Ferraris to football it’s time to celebrate all things Italian with the help of celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo.

Peterborough enjoys a fabulous series of festivals and when it comes to creating that fantastic summer vibe the Italian Festival has it sorted – so much so it’s been brought forward from its traditional date in September to be held on Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7 instead.

It’s one of the biggest celebrations of Italian culture in the country and this will be the eleventh annual festival, held in Cathedral Square with a special guest appearance by one of the UK’s best-loved chefs, Gennaro Contaldo, on the Sunday. Along with all the other stage entertainment Gennaro will be holding a Q&A session and mingling with the crowds.

The free event is organised by Peterborough’s Italian Community Association and supported by Peterborough City Council.

If you love Mediterranean food don’t miss it,  but it’s not just about the delicious confectionery, ice-cream and pasta there will be equally delicious classic Italian cars and motorcycles to drool over, as well as scooters, an Italian market, music and much more.

Councillor Marco Cereste, chair of the Italian Community Association, said: “The Peterborough Italian Festival is one of the most popular dates in the city centre calendar as there is always so much to see and do. The city has a rich Italian heritage and it is wonderful to see it celebrated so well each year.

“Having a chef of the pedigree of Gennaro Contaldo attending the festival is also a real coup and I am sure visitors will be interested to learn from him and find out new ways to experiment with their home cooking.”

This year’s entertainment includes singer Sergio Marinaro the Principi dance and music group and folk band Laboratorio from Foggia, plus Pip Brown and Luke Carey sing the very best of Frankie Valli, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Great tunes, food and gelato – count us in!

If you love Italian cuisine and culture then you’re in for an absolute treat, so head down and enjoy another fantastic free event right in the heart of the city.

The festival runs from 12noon to 5pm on both days.

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