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Leichhardt celebrates la dolce vita with this iconic festa
The Spring/Summer season is packed out with festivals of all flavours, but few can compete with the passion, community spirit and sheer quantity of food that the masses bring to the Norton Street Italian Festa nestled in the heart of Leichhardt. This iconic festa is back in it's 27th year, inviting locals and visitors alike, to soak up all the rich Italian culture and tradition they are keen to share.
On Sunday the 27th of October, Norton Street will be enlivened with dance, song, music, activities, market stalls, Auto Festa and best of all, the robust aroma's of traditional Italian cuisine. We all know how high the tradition of cooking together and more importantly eating together, is held in the Italian family. Coming from an Italian family myself, I can't stress enough how much food plays a part in the quality of the time we spend together. For those who don't get to have their very own Nonna cooking delicious Italian meals in the kitchen at home, you will be lucky enough to be able to experience the unrivalled expertise and love a Nonna brings to the kitchen at the Marketplace Leichhardt Cooking Stage. Nonni e Cucina will be holding their free and famous cooking demonstrations in the Regional Italian Cooking Marquee, sharing their tips and secrets, as well as their delicious homemade dishes with the crowd of onlookers.
To accompany the Nonna's and their traditional fare, some of the best chef's from around Sydney will be cooking up their favourite dishes from various regions of Italy. Among others, master pastry chef Pino Locantro of Locantro Fine Foods will demonstrate the art of sweets and pastry, as well as attempt to make a giant cannoli. I can only hope he succeeds, as the only thing better than a regular cannoli is a giant cannoli. Celebrity chef Massimo Mele will also be entertaining us with his cooking prowess, showcasing dishes from the southern region of Campania. To get the kids involved with an Italian favourite, there will also be a pizza cooking competition for them to get their hands dirty and show off their skills.
While it's clear the festa will have more than enough food to feed an army, there is plenty more to tempt you along. There will be hundreds of market stalls lining the street, offering all sorts of top quality wares, including clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts, body products and more. Although I said there is far more than just food to sink your teeth into, which is very true, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the organic produce market and the stalls presenting the finest in Italian coffee, sweets and gelato.
Aside from the markets, there is a vast world of wondrous entertainment to enjoy. There will be dancing competitions, concerts, fashion parades and puppet shows for the kids. If the kids are after even more to do with their day, then have no fear. There will also be carnival rides, face painting, a jumping castle, rock climbing and the very adorable critters at the animal farm.
While the kids are eyeing off the amusement rides, I'd imagine a few of the grown ups will be dreaming about taking a ride of a different kind. Auto Festa invites Sydney's largest collection of classic, vintage and contemporary cars, motorbikes and scooters to cruise in to the Norton Street Italian Festa. There are many things the Italians do very well, but making sexy, sleek and stunning cars has got to be at the top of the list. Auto Festa will display hundreds of automobiles from all the classic makers, such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Vespa. If you are lucky enough to own one of these gorgeous creatures yourself and are keen to put it on show alongside the others, Auto Festa welcomes you to do so, it's free, so why not.
So if you want to come and rejoice in your Italian heritage, or you want to experience the Italian culture for the first time, then this is the place to do it. The Norton Street Italian Festa is waiting with open arms, ready to welcome one and all into it's family friendly community.