Monday 26 October 2015

Carlton Italian Festa 2015

Well over 20,000 people attended the Carlton Italian Festa in Piazza Italia, Lygon St, Melbourne yesterday, and none would have gone home disappointed. What a fabulous day of celebration of all things Italo-Australian.

We arrived quite early and the first thing we saw were the wonderful group from the Centre of Italian Studies. Their enthusiasm throughout the day was infectious as they provided activities for children, posted Instagram photos with dress ups and even had gondola races. Here is new teacher Erica with old pupils Eleonora and Rinaldo.

It seemed no area had been forgotten. The displays included the local football teams Carlton Australian Rules, Juventus and Melbourne Victory.

There were new cars, classic & collector cars and Vespas on display.

The best was an absolutely gorgeous 1929 FIAT, beautifully restored and one of only three left in the world. I got so involved that I forgot to take more photos.

Cooking demonstrations ran throughout the day and we learnt how to make Cavatelli with lamb ragu. Alessandro, the visiting chef who is in Australia for the Gusto Italiano Open Week, demonstrated how to make the pasta by machine or by hand, and later we were able to sample his delicious pasta with the lamb ragu.

There were food and drink stalls, entertainment for the children, historic photos, Italian clubs and support groups, language schools and music.

The sound shell entertainment ran from 11 am until 9 pm with a variety of music and comedy that entertained the huge crowd. When we arrived the Voce della Luna group were performing traditional Calabrese music.

Later in the day Tony Pantano sang. He was a big star in Australia in the 1970's and still performs and wins show biz awards. He has lost none of his voice or charm. 

Cosima de Vito rocked the stage in the lead up to Umberto Tozzi.

The crowd suddenly became denser as 6 pm neared and they erupted into cheers and applause as Umberto Tozzi came on stage. He pleased the crowd by singing his most famous songs 'Gloria' and 'Ti Amo' and showed that he still has the talent and charisma that has made him a star for nearly fifty years.

With all this excitement, what did we eat?
First we had some little arancini balls.

Then there was the cooking demonstration lamb ragu pasta

Later we had a Sicilian pastry - mine was full of chocolate custard and very delicious.

A gelato flavour that I didn't find in Italy - salted caramel.

Before we set off for the long trip home we had a pizza at Michelino's Trattoria. I think we have found a new favourite place to eat pizza!

As students of CIS we were rewarded with a sticker for visiting their stall. Thanks Erica for your confidence!!! But you will note that it says Bambino underneath.