From 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Lygon Street will come alive for an event where past and present Italian traditions and culture are brought together to create the fabric that is multicultural Melbourne.

In the spirit of what the festa once used to be, this year’s festivities will extend to include not only Piazza Italia, but also Lygon Street, from Queensberry to Grattan Streets.

“Starting in the morning and running through till the evening, just like the great festa in every Italian town and city, we’re sure 2019 will be a smash hit,” the event’s chairman, Tony De Domenico OAM, said.

“This inaugural Melbourne Italian Festa is a pre-cursor to what will be an even bigger and better celebration in the years to come.”

Festivalgoers will be treated to live music and entertainment, sporting activities, workshops, masterclasses and much more.

Artists who’ll perform on the day include Lorenzo Iannotti, DJ Mark Pellegrini, Siesta Cartel, Giuseppe The MC, Angelo Magliocco, Veronica Amato, Lisa Asta, Something To Talk About, La Voce Della Luna, Giuseppe Cacciapaglia, the Veneto Club Melbourne Choir and – straight from Italy – Lusya.

This year’s headline act is none other than Italo-Australian comedy trio Sooshi Mango, which is currently on its ever first national tour.

The hilarious group is made up of brothers, Joe and Carlo Salanitri, and their close family friend, Andrew Manfre.

With the parents of all three members hailing from the southern Italian island of Sicily and its nearby Eolian Islands, many of the trio’s most well-known characters are based on the stereotypical “ethnic” relatives.

Since making their first video in 2015, the group’s rise on the Australian comedy scene has been nothing short of meteoric, with the trio gaining over 80 million views online and hitting stages across Australia and around the world.

For those who missed out on tickets to their sold-out national tour, this is the perfect chance to catch them in action!

“It’s very surreal that a festa I used to go to as a kid with my family for pizza, pasta, gelato and a backhander has asked us to be the face [of] this year’s Melbourne Italian Festa,” Joe wrote in an Instagram post.

“It doesn’t matter what nationality you are, come down for a great day! And leave your diet at the door!”

This last point is crucial: it wouldn’t be an Italian celebration without a spread of delicious traditional fare.

This year, you can expect a banquet of tasty treats from merchants and vendors such as Lavazza, 400 Gradi and much more.

There will be many community and family activities so you can work off the feast, including a soccer tournament, giant board games, soccer tables, face painting, a recycling program, a puppet show and much more!

The festa will also host the Grand Finale and presentation ceremony for this year’s Targa Florio Australian Tribute.

Motor enthusiasts can admire the classic cars and the drivers’ skills as they pull in to the final destination of the four-day event.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, has congratulated the organisers ahead of the highly-anticipated event and wished them a successful 2019 edition.

“The City of Melbourne is proud to support a festival that celebrates our Italian community and the contribution generations have made to Melbourne,” she said in a statement.

“A strong Italian influence is now embedded into our local culture so deeply, that Carlton is impossible to imagine without it.

“I invite you to bring the family and indulge in this lively feast of Italian celebration.”

To find out more about the Melbourne Italian Festa, head to the event’s website or Facebook page.

For a map and special lift-out on the event, purchase a copy of the Monday, November 11, 2019 edition of Il Globo.