Celebrate all things Italian at the first Festa Italiana on October 5 and 6


THE Italian Cub of Cape Town will celebrate all things Italian at the first Festa Italiana. Taking place on October 5 and 6 in Milnerton, the festivities will include Italian cuisine, which has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century.

Celebrated author and foodie, Grazia Barletta, will be one of the big names demonstrating how to prepare authentic Italian dishes. She grew up in Sea Point with her close-knit Italian family and her love of food goes back to the days when she used to help her mom cook and bake.

Says Barletta: “After taking a photography course, I started a blog which ultimately led to a coffee table book.  My third book in the Moments range focuses on authentic Italian cooking.”  All proceeds of her previous books went to charities including St Joseph’s Home and Nazareth House. Delicious Italian Moments is available at Wordsworth stores.

Barletta’s demonstrations  are on Saturday, October 5 at 11am and Sunday, October 6, at 2.45pm. Other cooking demonstrations will include father and daughter team, Giovanni and Gabriella Esposito, as well as Davide Ostuni who’ll show visitors how to make authentic Mozzarella cheese.

Forno a Legno, locally made mobile pizza ovens, will be available at this year’s Festa Italiana. Says owner Jack Gasparre, who is also known for his Ristorante Posticino: “I designed the ovens myself and incorporated certain features including the elevated wood burning area, thus affording one more cooking surface area. There are optional extras such as a rotisserie, heat gauge, extended tray and canvas cover. Since inception three odd years ago, I’ve added different sizes and models to suit individual clients’ needs. It’s turned into a portable wood burning oven that is light enough to move and easy to clean. It can be used to make pizza, baked dishes, roasts as well as bread, and you can also use it indoors as a fire place during the colder winter months.”

Gasparre is first generation South African. “My parents came from Bitonto, a city in the Province of Bari in the Puglia region more than 60 years ago,” he shares. “I started my first business, a restaurant in Sea Point almost 22 years ago but always walked around with ideas of pizza ovens. My wife Ingrid is my business partner in Forno a Legno. Our ovens are made to order, and while we haven’t as yet exported them, clients have taken our ovens to France, Portugal, Switzerland, Kenya, Mozambique, Swaziland, as well as throughout South Africa. As an Italian, I just love pizza – my favourites are Siciliana or Napoletana.”

Festa Italiana will showcase everything Italian – from food to wine, fashion to music, arts to crafts, and of course cars. A full programme of exciting festivities is planned for the whole weekend, so there’s sure to be something for every member of the family. Tickets are available from Webtickets or at the door for R80 for adults, R55 for pensioners and scholars aged 12 to 18. Children under 12 enter free.

For more information, email [email protected]


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