Italian Festival under way in Peterborough

Italian Festival 2015   Guests at the reception meeting Antonio Carluccio EMN-151209-221303009
Italian Festival 2015 Guests at the reception meeting Antonio Carluccio EMN-151209-221303009

A taste of the Mediterranean has been brought to Peterborough as the annual Italian Festival takes place in Cathedral Square.

The festival, which started yesterday and continues today (Sunday), has a variety of Italian themed events, attractions and activities - from Ferraris to opera, pizza to dancing.

Hundreds of people from across the area flocked to acts on stage, and taste authentic Italian food.

The guest of honour, celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio, arrived in style yesterday, as he was driven into the square in a Maserati.

He had visited the Italian Festival in 2011, and said he was impressed by how big it has grown.

He said: “It is nice to be back.

“The festival has grown so much since I was last here.

“It is great to be able to celebrate Italian culture like this - it is important when there is such a big Italian population here.”

Mr Carluccio was in town with his mushroom stalls, which was located outside the Carluccio restaurant in the city centre.

He said: “We take the stall to four or five places every year.

“My hobby is mushrooms. Having ingredients like these is very important for cooking.
“Italian food is very popular, and it is important to keep the standards high.

“When Italian cuisine first cane to Britain, a lot of it was fairly miserable, but now it is part of the English scene.”

Mr Carluccio said he was currently writing his latest book - his 24th in total - about cooking vegetables.

He said; “Cooking is an important thing. Easting good food is not only good for the body, it is good for the mind. Cooking is at the heart of the home. It is something to be loved.

“It is also important to keep customs and traditions alive.”

Along with signing books and posing for photographs, Mr Carluccio took part in a question and answer session in the square.