Norton Street Italian Festa 2015

October 25th Leichhardt will come alive with the flavours of Italy

The 29th year of Leichhardt’s annual Italian Festa is just around the corner … on Norton Street! One of Australia’s longest running Italian Festivals, this year the Festa will be harking back to everything we love about our own Little Italy: its sense of community, delicious delicacies and creative residents. Vieni qui!
Two stand-out aspects of this year’s Norton Street Festa are the chefs and the entertainers coming along.

Joined by the likes of Paolo Gatto (Sud and formerly Matto Gatto), Carmel Ruggeri (Carmel’s Cucina), Ottavio Bonacorsi (La Baracca) and Stefano De Florio (Moretti Ristorante & Bar), you’ll be able to learn from your favourite local restaurateurs how to plate up their house specials.

The Festa will also be swinging to the tunes of some very well known local and international stars. Headlining the Norton Street main stage is world music senstation, Marsala, featuring Italian folk darlings Jess Ciampa and Gino Pengue. Also expect to hear Italian cantatrice Nadia Piave and rock legend Jeff Duff.

Knock back an espresso or a limencello and enjoy the best of Leichhardt’s local artisans, food and fun.

Norton Street Italian Festa will be held on Sunday October 25th, 10am-5pm.


Events not to be missed

Festa Long, Long Lunch

If you thought Leichhardt’s Long Lunch was long, then you have something else coming for you! Clue: it’s very horizontal, delicious and you will be expected to share it with all your neighbours – Festa’s even longer lunch!

If you missed out on Leichhardt’s event earlier this year, you can expect lots of gourmand stalls serving up the best Italian treats this side of Roma. Grab a plate and then sit down on a street-long picnic table, where you will be joined for lunch by a guesstimated 100,000 other festival-goers.

festa-street-crowdFollowing Italian tradition, with so much food to taste and new people to meet, lunch will likely roll into dessert into coffee and biscotti into an early dinner…

Some treats you should try on the day are:
• Home-style pizza from Il Cugino
• Gelato and Granita from Bar Italian
• Porchetta from Bar Sport
• Italian gingerbread from Casa di Miele
• Polpetti (meatballs) from Moretti
• Dolci from Locantro Fine Foods

For the Kids

No doubt, Festa is the perfect event to enjoy with the whole family – especially the bambini! You’ll be struggling to keep their fingers away from kiddy favourites such as cannoli, fairy floss, nougat and of course, gelati! A plethora of carnival rides and games will keep them entertained throughout the day, and the ever-popular Auto Festa will delight kids of all ages. Get your obligatory snaps on a Vespa (Roman Holiday style) and in front of a cute little Fiat. Engage in that age-old Ferrari or Lamborghini debate…

The entertainment will also come to you with a puppeteer and bright-eyed Nonna roaming the street looking for an audience, as well as a singing Italian waiter – just waiting to create some romance!

festa-chefsCooking Demonstrations

A definite highlight of this year’s Festa is the opportunity to learn new culinary skills from the Inner West’s masters of Italian cookery.

Carmel Ruggeri, a local personality, known for the classes she runs out of her café in Wareemba, will be sharing fare from her hometown of Rugusa in Sicily. Bryan Gerlino from Capriccio Osteria & Bar will be cooking ‘Strozzapreti alle seppie con pane profumato.’ Strozzapreti is a hand-rolled pasta particular to the Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria regions of Italy. Strozapretti means “Priest Strangler”, possibly named because it’s so good that greedy priests choke themselves eating it too fast.

Our cover girl, Luciana Sampogn,  will be bringing authentic know-how from her Cucina Italiana Cooking School, where she teaches Italian basics such as woodfire pizza, sweets made from pasta frolla, gnocchi and panna cotta. Her classes usually run out of a villa in Annandale built by the Molocco Brothers, but you’ll be able to catch her whipping up some regional delicacies right in the heart of Norton Street. Meraviglioso!

Check out the other demonstrations taking place throughout the day below:
10.30 – Pino Locantro – Locantro Fine Foods
11.15 – Luciana Sampogna – Cucina Italiana Cooking School
12.00 – SBS Promo & Games
12.30 – Francesco & Vincenzo – Marciano’s Woodfire and Spuntino Bar
1.00 – Carmel Ruggeri & Paolo Gatto – Carmel’s Cucina & Sud
1.30 – Luca Ciano - Celebrity Chef
2.00 – Danielle Trimarchi – Mutti Ambassador
2.30 – Andrea Tranchero – Executive Head Chef Barilla Australia
3.00 – Ottavio Bonacorsi – La Baracca
3.30 – Bryan Gerlini – Capriccio Osteria & Bar
4.00 – Stefano De Florio – Moretti Ristorante & Pizzeria
4.30 – Enzo Guarino – Casa e Cucina


Ciao Stage

Get on down to the Ciao stage at Norton St Festa for some coffee, fashion and official speeches.

Ciao Fashion Parade

Italy is synonymous with style and here at Ciao we like to believe that some of that association has rubbed off onto our very own Milano in Sydney – the Inner West, of course.

Our fashion parade features the freshest looks off the streets of Leichhardt, Newtown, Balmain and Enmore – highlighting the Inner West’s flair for all things sustainable, flamboyant and a little left of centre.

This year our gorgeous models will be heading to the races, trotting out the best of spring carnival style. On-the-money outfits have been put together entirely from the garments of local boutiques: Meshea Lifestyle, MIA on Norton, Live This, Retrospec’d, Origami Doll and The Social Outfit. The notoriously dazzling hats and accessories from couture milliner, Wendi Nutt, will surely take the Cup.

Program of events:

10am – 11.50am  Barista Jam – Sydney’s best coffee schools train members of the audience
12noon – 1.20pm  Official opening with Mark Chapman, Darcy Byrne, Anthony Albanese, Vera Ann Hannaford, Senator Francesco Giacobbe of the Italian Parliament and Italian Consul General Arturo Arcano
1.30pm – 2.00pm  Ciao Fashion Parade with local boutiques Meshea, MIA on Norton, Live This, Retrospec’d, Origami Doll and Fox Boutique
2pm – 2.50pm  ASCA Coffee Art Smack Down
3pm  Grandparents Day Award + address with Minister Ajaka
3.30pm – 4.30pm  ASCA Art Smack Down – continued
4.30pm  Winner announced