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INTERVIEW: Award-winning festival set to celebrate Italy in Lancaster

Lancaster will once again celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy when an award-winning festival concludes this weekend.

Festa Italia began last weekend and runs until the 'Gran Finale' with events across the city centre on Sunday, May 26.

This year's Festa also includes a free outdoor concert on Saturday May 25 at 7.30pm.

Top four-tenor male voice group Voce (pictured below) will perform in Market Square that night, along with Morecambe's top Frank Sinatra tribute artist Stevie Kay and soprano Leigh Rhianon Coggins.

They will also sing at the Gran Finale on the Sunday, when there will be other Italian stalls, displays and activities across the city centre.

We spoke to Bruno Buccelli from the organising team to find out more about this year's Festa Italia.

LISTEN to our interview with Bruno Buccelli

The festival began in 2018 and was the brainchild of Mr Buccelli and fellow Lancaster businessman Paul Cusimano.

They wanted to "bring something different to Lancaster" bringing together Italian food and drink, vehicles, music and fashion.

The displays of Italian super cars and motorbikes in the city streets are always a big draw for visitors.

Festa Italia has been recognised by the Italian Embassy as an authentic Italian event in the UK.

Representatives of the Embassy will attend the Festa on May 26.

The festival also won best Visitor Attraction at The Best of the Bay awards in 2023.

"We believe every year we need to bring something more to make Festa Italia weekend bigger and better," said Bruno, who is originally from Rome.

"Lancaster is an amazing town.

"I loved Lancaster from the first day I came here. My wife is from Lancaster, we moved here, we got married and we've got three kids. Even if I don't sound like I'm from Lancaster, this is my town now.

"I would like to invite everyone who would like to spend a nice day out with the family. Festa Italia is for all ages, has no cost, please join us."

The festival begins this weekend with flash mob performances in the city centre, Italian menus and cocktails in restaurants and bars across the city, and other activities.

You can find out more details about this year's Festa Italia at their Facebook page HERE.

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