Manchester’s Italian food and drink festival returns this summer

The event will take place on Cathedral Gardens over the August bank holiday weekend

A free-to-enter festival celebrating Italian food, drink and culture is coming to Manchester this summer.

Now in its fourth year, Festa Italiana will once again take place on Cathedral Gardens, after being forced to take a year off in 2020.

Over the August bank holiday weekend, there will be a programme of workshops, demonstrations, book signing and banquets, alongside stalls selling Italian street food and produce from a range of Manchester vendors and restaurants.

Top Italian chefs attending the event include Jamie Oliver’s mentor and TV chef Gennaro Contaldo, San Carlo’s chef consigliere Aldo Zilli, former diabetic chef and creator of low-carb Italian recipes Giancarlo Caldesi and Maurizio Cecco of Salvi’s in Manchester, who founded the festival.

Gennaro Contaldo with Maurizio Cecco of Salvi’s

There will also be workshops from Maurizio’s 12-year-old daughter Sienna Cecco who launched her own YouTube channel during lockdown providing cooking tutorials for families. She will be hosting free kids cooking classes throughout the weekend, as part of a larger programme of family-friendly activities.

Pasta specialist, Carmela Sereno Hayes, will be running pasta making workshops, too, teaching people how to make her signature multi-coloured handmade pasta.

Salvi’s will host a pop-up deli at the festival with a range of authentic Italian produce, alongside a selection of street food traders which are yet to be announced.

Peroni will host a bar with a pop up cinema

For drinks, there’ll be bars from leading Italian drinks brands. One of the bars has been confirmed as a Peroni beer bar and pop up cinema, where they will have bean bags, deck chairs, popcorn, aperitivo boxes and Peroni on tap for viewings of classic film screenings like Cinema Paradiso, Romeo and Juliet and La Dolce Vita.

Festa Italiana is taking place from 27 to 29 August on Cathedral Gardens.

For further news and updates, visit or head to their Instagram.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter