Italian food festival Festa Italiana returns for its fifth year in Manchester

Manchester’s finest Italian street-food vendors and restaurateurs, plus Italian bars, workshops, banquets and live music

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 6th July 2022

Manchester’s free-to-enter Italian festival is set to return to the city for its fifth year this summer, bringing a weekend-long celebration of Italian food, drink and culture to Cathedral Gardens.

Brought to the city by family-run Italian restaurant group Salvi’s, the festival has become something of a favourite amongst local foodies – earning its stripes as a great place to discover locally-made Italian treats.

From wood-fired pizzas and freshly-cooked pasta to take-home treats like cannoli and arancini, there’s always plenty of great food stalls to explore as well as a host of workshops, demonstrations, signings and banquets from celebrity chefs and award-winning authors.

Image: Supplied

This year, the festival returns to Festival Piazza, Cathedral Gardens across the August Bank Holiday weekend from 26-28 August.

The epitome of the city’s Italian community and heritage; it takes an undeniable inspiration from the traditional festivals in Italy whilst chucking in a healthy dose of Mancunian charm, for a weekend of the very best in authentic food, drink, music, performance, and art.


The event is now in its fifth year following an emphatic return in 2021, after a Covid enforced break, which saw it have its most successful edition to date with a record-setting 38,000+ happy folk passing through over the sun-drenched weekend.

This year will see some much-loved Festa stalwarts return alongside some exciting debutants and some very special surprises.

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In attendance will be Gennaro Contaldo, UK brand ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano, (Saturday Kitchen, Two Greedy Italians, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast), Giancarlo Caldesi (Return to Tuscany, Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch), celebrity chef and award-winning restaurateur, Aldo Zilli (The One Show, This Morning, Celebrity Masterchef), Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno, and, Festa head honcho, Salvi’s owner Maurizio Cecco.

In addition, Carmela Sereno Hayes, the hugely popular pastaia (AKA: specialist pasta maker) and author, will be making her hotly-anticipated return to Festa Italiana and running her, much talked about, pasta workshops all weekend long.

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As always, the Salvi’s team will be joined by some of Manchester’s finest Italian street-food vendors and restaurateurs, as well as live musicians and performers supplying a proper party atmosphere to be enjoyed well into the evening.


A carefully curated selection of the leading Italian drinks brands, including Gin Mare, Luxardo and Poretti, will also be on hand with something to suit all palates and quench every thirst.

Read more: Inside Salvi’s new restaurant and deli on Deansgate Square

Culture fans will not be disappointed as their artistic appetite will be fed by an exciting photography exhibition that cannot yet be talked about in detail, but there is news coming soon.

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If you’re coming with all the family, you can rest assured that the Festa will provide fun spaces and activities for the kids; there really is something for everyone.

More details of the festival are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Feature image – Supplied