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The city’s most popular cultural festival is being brought forward to the summer – and celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo is set to return.

The Italian Festival in Peterborough has become one of the biggest celebrations of Italian culture in the country and is now in its eleventh year.

The hugely popular event has traditionally been held in September, but this year’s event will take place on Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7.

Gennaro, who is famed for teaching his protege Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking, will share his culinary expertise and hold cooking demonstrations.

The free event is organised by Peterborough’s Italian Community Association and supported by Peterborough City Council, offering a wide range of tantalising sweet and savoury food.

Gennaro will be present on the Sunday and his appearance adds to a bumper list of activities planned for both days – with full details to be announced closer to the event.

As in previous years the Mediterranean extravaganza will also feature an Italian market, classic Italian cars and motorcycles, confectionery, ice-cream, pasta, football, scooters and much more.

Councillor Marco Cereste, chair of the Italian Community Association, said: “This will be a real taste of ‘La Dolce Vita’ right in Peterborough’s city centre and a fantastic weekend, so why not set a date in your diary and come along?

“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.”

Annette Joyce, Peterborough City Council’s service director environment and economy, said: “The Italian Festival has been running for a decade and each year gets bigger and better, with something for everyone to enjoy.

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

The festival runs from 12noon to 5pm on both days. For more information visit

Photos: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine


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