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Italian Festival expands into Westpac Stadium

Sep 19th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

FOOD FOCUS: Antonio Cacace doing what he loves, cooking Italian style.

FOOD FOCUS: Antonio Cacace doing what he loves, cooking Italian style.

THE annual Italian Festival has become so big it needs Westpac Stadium to hold it.

Wellington’s Italian community will transform the stadium into a corner of Italy for the 16th annual Italian Festival on Sunday September 26.

Food specialist La Bella Italia is organising the event with backing from Club Garibaldi – Wellington’s own Italian organisation.

Office administrator for La Bella Italia, Miriam Vender, says the event covers a wide range of interests but it is food – of course – that is most important.

“Naturally food takes centre stage with cooking demonstrations, outlets selling pizza and pasta and other ready to eat delicacies and sweet treats as well as foods that can be taken home to cook,” says Miriam.

“Other activities include two fashion shows with Jane Daniels, a display of Italian jewellery by Sarah Orsini and displays of Italian cars, books, travel destinations and tracing the history of migration to Wellington, opera and Italian music features and there are activities for children.”

The owner of La Bella Italia, Antonio Cacace, has been passionate about Italian culture in New Zealand since he first moved to the country.

Speaking in Vibrant Hutt magazine, Mr Cacace talks of finding “a little Italy” in New Zealand.

“I got to know many of the Italians here in New Zealand, always attracted by their stories: how they got here, why and what they did once here.

“Beautiful stories of suffering and dreams, but especially of love and passion.”

He says the festival, which runs from 9.30am to 5pm, is a way of exploring these stories as well as providing insight to those outside the community

“It will be a celebration of life, the lives shared in these past 100 plus years, of a little Italy in New Zealand and the life still to come,” says Mr Cacace.

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