Peterborough’s Italian Festival has been given a special seal of approval by TV celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo who has been named as official ambassador for the annual event.
Impressed with the festival last year when he was its special guest, Gennaro will be supporting organisers the Italian Community Association and Peterborough City Council in growing the event into the country’s biggest and best.
The Italian celebrations will take place in the city centre over the weekend of September 20 and 21. Gennaro said: “I am honoured to be the ambassador of the Peterborough Italian Festival; it’s a wonderful get together of the local Italian community keeping the culture and traditions of Italy very much alive. Long may it continue for the next generation and beyond.”
Annette Joyce, Assistant Director for Commercial Operations at Peterborough City Council, said: “Gennaro was overwhelmed by the effort and enthusiasm shown by the Italian Community Association to ensure the event’s continued success and he showed a keen interest in wanting to help take this established celebration to the next level. Gennaro’s support will mean we can put the festival on the national calendar of events where it belongs.
“The city centre is transformed into a Little Italy that is big on personality. There will be more entertainment on show including a focus on activities for children. In true Italian style expect music, dance and plenty of food with a drop of vino to wash it all down with.”
This year’s festival will be the third in succession to be held over two days. Visitors will be able to enjoy even more of Italy’s culture and traditions with additional stalls and attractions taking part.
New entertainment to the event will include four-piece band Irpinia’s Sounds from Avellino, traditional brass band Ottoni Animati from Sicily and London-based solo artist from Florence Francesca Biscotti. They will be joined by a variety of local dance and music acts performing on Cathedral Square over the weekend.
No celebration of all things Italian is complete without a generous helping of food and people will be spoilt for choice with plenty of pizza, pasta, confectionary, panini, coffee, wine and spirits to sample and purchase from local exhibiting Italian businesses.
In addition to the wide variety of homemade cuisine on offer, a large Italian food market and fruit and vegetables from The Green Backyard will ensure shoppers can get all the ingredients they need to create their own mouth-watering Italian dish.
Fans of cars and motorcycles will be able to enjoy displays of Italy’s finest motoring marques from Ferrari’s to Alfa Romeo and Fiat, to Ducati’s, Vespa and Lambretta. Maserati’s will also be showcased as part of a special pop-up restaurant on the Saturday evening.
For more information about the Peterborough Italian Festival or to take part, telephone Carmela Cocozza on 07771 604069.
Photos: Chris Brudenell