Try Italian at Lismore piazza party

Italian fever hits Lismore with the Friendship Festival's Piazza in the Park 2019


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BELLISSIMO: Angela Dalu and Ros Pascoe welcome commedia dell'arte performer Antonio Mazzella at last year's Piazza in the Park.

BELLISSIMO: Angela Dalu and Ros Pascoe welcome commedia dell'arte performer Antonio Mazzella at last year's Piazza in the Park.

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Love all things Italian? Then head to Lismore.

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FROM bocce to bocconcini, all things Italian will be celebrated in the northern NSW town of Lismore in June.

The Lismore Friendship Festival's Piazza in the Park is an annual nod to the contribution Italian settlers have made to the region's cultural heritage, with festivities taking place at Spinks Park on June 23.

Pizzas, pasta, polenta, Prosecco and more will be on offer as traditional fare is served alongside a healthy dollop of Italian music and entertainment.

In recent years the festival has attracted thousands of people to the park in Lismore's CBD.

All visitors - regardless of their cultural heritage - are encouraged to be Italian for the day.

The festival, from 10am-3pm, takes place the day after Lismore's Lantern Parade, which turns 25 this year.

Locals and visitors can play a round of bocce, cheer on a team in the tug-o-war challenge or try Italian folk dance the tarantella accompanied by Domenico and his Latin Mafia Band.

There's even the opportunity to dress up and perform with commedia dell'arte performer Antonio Mazzella.

"'The park will be pumping," said festival manager Aliison Kelly.

"People of all ages and stages will be able to sit and listen to the accordions or feast on fine fare at our food market stalls, buy specialist festival-inspired merchandise, share stories with visitors in a human history project in the CWA Rooms or take a few lessons in the Italian language."

A host of other events and activities will happen around the Piazza in the Park.

For the first time an Italian Film Festival will run on the weekend of June 15-16 screening Loro on the Saturday night.

The film is Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino's fictionalised account of Silvio Berlusconi's life from 2006-2010.

Three Italian comedies will be screened the next day.

Master chefs and opera lovers can work with experts in Italian cooking and opera singing at Italian Masterclasses on June 24.

Cafes and restaurants across the city will join in celebrating Italian food, wine and coffee by offering up a specific Italian dish on their menus throughout the month.


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