Festa Italiana, the free-to-enter weekend-long festival celebrating Italian food, drink and culture is returning to Festival Piazza this August bank holiday weekend for its fifth year in the city.
Taking place from 26 to 28 August 2022 at Cathedral Gardens in Manchester city centre, it will bring together some of the city’s best Italian and Sicilian eateries alongside a host of live music, Italian bars and special chef masterclasses.
Featuring street food pop-ups from the likes of Pasta Factory, T’arricrii and Lucky Mama’s, to a dedicated Aperol Spritz bar and Airstream bar selling Italian craft lagers, and a special intimate chef’s dinner event, there is a lot for foodie fans to get excited about this year.
What is the street food line-up at Festa Italiana 2022?
Over the course of the weekend, foodie fans can enjoy sweet treats from Café Cannoli, wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas from I Knead Pizza and Proove, and ‘rasta pasta’ from Chorlton-via-Eccles favourites Lucky Mamas.
T’arricrii will bring along handbuilt arancini and fritto misto, whilst the Pasta Factory will be on hand with its authentic plates of fresh Puglian-style pasta dishes.
Elsewhere, there’ll be sweet treats from festival founders Salvi’s, doughnuts from Destination Doughnut and grilled paninis, cakes, drinks and snacks from Kickback Coffee.
What bars are on offer at this year’s Festival Piazza?
The main festival bar will serve Italian favourites including fine Italian wine, Ponte prosecco, Luxardo, gin and tonics and other popular Italian spirits.
An Airstream Bar from Birrificio Angelo Poretti will serve Italian craft beers, whilst an Aperol Spritz bar will be on hand serving up everyone’s favourite low-ABV aperitivo. Soft drinks and coffees will also be available on-site across the weekend.
This year, Compagnia Sole Luna will bring traditional folk music from Naples, revisited in a folk-rock style from southern Italy.
There will also be a full lineup of local artists and bands including the city’s best-loved opera singer The Manchester Tenor, while DJs will be spinning records each night.
What events and masterclasses are taking place?
Festa Italiana Feaast – Dine with legendary Italian restaurateurs, authors, and UK TV favourites at the Festa Marquee
On Saturday 27 August an intimate chefs’ table dinner featuring top-class Italian TV celebrity chefs, Gennaro Contaldo, Giancarlo Caldesi, and Aldo Zilli, hosted and cooked by Salvis-owner Maurizio Cecco, with fresh pasta made from scratch by Carmela Serano Hayes. Guests and chefs will dine alongside one another, enjoying a four-course meal and drinks reception hosted by Gin Mare.
Carmela’s Kitchen – Carmela Sereno Hayes will be hosting ‘Carmela’s Kitchen’ across the entire weekend, with free drop-in sessions on the hour, every hour teaching pasta-loving adults and kids how to make the perfect pasta.
Friday 26 August
1.30pm – Festival founder Maurizio Cecco hosts a cooking masterclass with his daughter Sienna.
2.30pm – The team from I Sapori di Corbara Tomatoes will be flying in from Naples and doing a talk showcasing the brand and their products
3.30pm – Giulia Martinelli of The Pasta Factory will be showyou how to be a pasta master
4.30pm – A drinks masterclass from the Luxardo Maraschino team, whose versatile cherries are used in desserts and drinks across the world.
5.30pm – A drink making Campari masterclass.
Saturday 27 August
1.30pm – Maurizio Cecco hosts a pasta masterclass
2.30pm – Masterclasses and book signings from Gennaro Contaldo, UK brand ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano, (Saturday Kitchen, Two Greedy Italians, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast)
3.30pm – Masterclasses and book signings from celebrity chef and award-winning restaurateur, Aldo Zilli (The One Show, This Morning, Celebrity Masterchef)
4:30pm – A drinks masterclass from the Aperol team, showcasing the methods behind some of the most loved Italian drinks
Sunday 28 August
1:30pm – Masterclasses and book signings from Giancarlo Caldesi (Return to Tuscany, Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch
2:30pm – Gennaro Contaldo returns for a masterclass
3:30pm – A masterclass from Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno
4:30pm – A very special pizza making masterclass by the team from Pizzeria Da Michele
When is Festa Italiana 2022 and what are the opening times?
Festa Italiana 2022 will take place from 26 to 28 August 2022 at Cathedral Gardens.
It will open across the weekend from 11am to 11pm, Friday to Sunday.
How do I get to the Festa Italiana festival hub?
Located opposite Manchester Victoria Station, the Festa Italiana festival hub sits in Cathedral Gardens. It can easily be accessed via tram, bus or train and is a short walk from Manchester Piccadilly.
Burgerism is opening a fifth location in Denton
Legendary Manc burger joint and takeaway Burgerism is opening another brand new location in Denton as they continue to expand their Greater Manchester empire.
Set to be their fifth brick-and-mortar site, including their existing venues in Salford, Gatley, the delivery-only kitchen in Manchester city centre and the pop-up in Freight Island, the new Tameside venue sees them reach further across the region after first launching back in 2018.
Sharing the news last week, the smash-burger experts have revealed will be bringing their signature patties, wings, fries and homemade dips to Denton‘s Stockport Road.
Popping up in place of the former Pizza Hut delivery store, the latest location is due to open in mid-March this year. Absolute scenes.
Soon to cover customers living in Denton, Hyde, Stalybridge and beyond, people can rock up to the new adjoined car park space to pick up and collect with ease, and lord knows we love a drive-thru.
To tell the truth, they’ve earned so many accolades in the six years since opening that we’ve lost track, having also been named the eighth most-ordered item on Deliveroo in the UK and the single most-ordered burger in Manchester for 2021. They even scored a collab with the one and only Hawksmoor.
They genuinely might be the best burgers in Greater Manchester.
It still remains the most popular item on Deliveroo in Manchester and this newest venue serves as yet more proof that Burgerism is one if not the best in the game and they are set to make their first moves into Liverpool at the popular Blackstock Market too.
The company’s founder, Mark Murphy, commented: “Burgerism brings restaurant quality smashed burgers straight into people’s homes. Our dream is to be the UK’s go-to delivery burger across the UK, like Domino’s is to pizza. And Denton represents the next piece of the puzzle to do that.
“We’re super excited to launch in the North East of Manchester area. Right from day one, we’ve had loads of die-hard Burgerism fans making the pilgrimage around the M60 to Salford and, while we’ve admired their commitment, we felt it was time to bring Burgerism closer to more of our friends and fans.”
We can’t wait for yet another excuse to try the FreeBird and the Wholly Double only in Tameside.
The Failsworth pizzeria with queues of delivery drivers and mac and cheese pizza
There are a lot of contenders vying for the title of the best pizza in Greater Manchester – but judging by the endless stream of delivery drivers traipsing up to Failsworth, Corner Slice might be up there…
This little pizzeria has carved out a niche for itself serving Detroit-style pizzas, and though some have attempted the same, no one comes close to this quality.
These deep-dish rectangular pizzas are made with a lighter, spongier dough than the sort of chewy Neapolitan you see a lot of these days.
They’re baked in a dish so that the edges crisp up perfectly, and with toppings and cheese spread right to the edges, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Corner Slice has just raised the bar again with its menu of creative toppings, including – and brace yourself here – mac and cheese pizza.
The Lord Lane local clearly looked at its normal thick-based pizzas and went ‘hmm, no, not enough carb. Add pasta’.
The result is their oozy, gooey mac and cheese pizza called Mr Mac – a béchamel base with macaroni, smoked mozzarella, a cheese blend, and a pesto crumb. Oh lordy.
Corner Slice’s Mr Mac pizza dipped in fermented hot sauceThe cheese pull on that…Pasta on pizza
Other menu highlights include the Red Wing (nduja, jalapeños, pepperoni and hot honey) and Sunrise (Korean BBQ cauliflower, gochujang mayo, kimchi onions and pickled cucumber) – the former leaving you with streaks of bright red chilli honey up your arms, the latter so packed with flavour that you find yourself staring down at your slice in amazement after each bite.
And if you just can’t decide, you can always go half-and-half on your pizza topping.
It’s not just about the pizzas either.
Half-and-half Detroit-style pizza at Corner SliceParmesan waffle fries and buffalo chicken
Corner Slice also has incredible sides, like Korean BBQ popcorn chicken, parmesan waffle fries, and garlic dough rolls with rotating flavours.
There are dips too, made on-site, like the fermented hot sauce that’s probably most closely related to Buffalo sauce (but infinitely more interesting) and BBQ ranch.
The whole time we’re there (which is midday on a Friday) there’s a constant stream of delivery drivers coming to collect orders. The phone never stops ringing.
At one point, they take an order that’s fit to feed an entire American football team.
It looks like the future is bright for Corner Slice. And thank god – we’re already lusting after those crusts.
Corner Slice in FailsworthA spread of pizzas and sides at Corner Slice in Failsworth