Festa Italiana brings food, family, fun together in ‘abbondanza’

By DAN MUCKELBAUER - Freeman Staff

July 21, 2016


Submitted photo  

Flag throwers will be again part of Festa Italiana this weekend on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

MILWAUKEE - Food, family and fun.

They’re the basics of most lakefront festivals, but Festa Italiana has them in abundance or abbondanza.

For its 39th year, the festival on the lakefront brings old and new together. It runs from Friday through Sunday.

The new includes an Italian piazza, or city square, on the north end of the grounds. The open market experience will offer Italian art, food, history, cinema and more. The Umbria region is featured this year along with the Pompeii Church exhibit highlighting some of Milwaukee’s Italian heritage.

Back by popular demand is a replica of the famous Trevi Fountain, which dates back to 19 B.C. Toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder and you should be ensured a return trip to Rome, as the legend has it.

There are other sites of Italy, including the Coliseum display and the Statue of David replica.

While cannoli and other food favorites are back, some of the new include wild boar ragu with pasta at Divino Wine & Dine and Cataldo’s meat and cheese platter.

The theme this year is pizza. Scrima’s Pizza of Waukesha will serve up pizza in its wood-fired oven from Italy, which is new this year.

There will be a kids pizza making contest for ages 5 through 17 at 3 p.m. Sunday.

This year’s Sunday headliner is Jackie Evancho at the BMO Harris Pavilion. Separate tickets are needed to enter the pavilion.

Aerial entertainment includes the Italian-style Bartolotta fireworks at 10:30 p.m. every night.

Admission tickets are $13 at the gate; children 12 and younger are admitted free.