Monday, December 7, 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

Christmas Market 12 December 2020

Don't miss this year's Mercatino di Natale!

Grazie to all our Festival Italiano 2020 Sponsors

 Festival Italiano Major Sponsors and Partners


Major Corporate Sponsor


Supporting Sponsors


Prize, Goodie Bag and Product Sponsors

Monday, November 23, 2020

ITALIAN STREET FOOD in Auckland, NZ! | Festival Italiano in Newmarket 2020!

Another fan video of Festival Italiano 2020, and it is all about eating! 

Colazione alla Dante


Colazione alla Dante sabato 28 novembre - join us for our monthly colazione Saturday 28 November ☕️ caffè e chiacchiere in italiano.

Dante rooms
Freemans Bay Community Centre
52 Hepburn St
Freemans Bay/Ponsonby

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Photo selection from Festival Italiano Auckland 2020

Two Sundays ago the Dante Alighieri Auckland held its 15th Festival Italiano Auckland. It was a privilege to be able to hold such an event during a global pandemic, and also more challenging than usual. But we were blessed with a beautiful day and crowd, and the response from the public and local authorities was mazing. A day spent with Italian culture and food, and convivially with our extended community, including special guests from the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, here for the Americas Cup. The day has been dedicated to Italy and all our families and friends: we are thinking of you!

For more photos please go to our FB Photo Album.

Photos by various authors, including Gianni Flego, Alessandra Zecchini and Kelly Sierra


Friday, November 13, 2020

Italian Summer Intensive Course 2021


Based on popular demand the Dante Auckland is pleased to offer a 5 day Italian Summer Intensive Course in January 2021 (from Wednesday 20 to Sunday 24 January).

This programme has been extremely successful over the last 12 years as it combines formal lessons with conversation, Italian lunch, activities and much more. We welcome Italian language students of all abilities from absolute beginners through to advanced. All our teachers are native Italians. The cost is only $320 and includes lunch every day!!

To enrol please fill this form and send back to, a $60 deposit is required by 14 December.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Scholarships for young musicians from Italy to participate in Ethno New Zealand 2021.


Dear friends,

We received this letter from Ethno New Zealand and we are sharing it here. Please feel free to forward it to your contacts.

Dear Dante Alighieri Society,


We are Ethno New Zealand, an annual youth music gathering on Waiheke Island for young musicians from all over the world to share their music and cultures with each other. Ethno New Zealand 2021 will take place on Waiheke Island (at Piritahi Marae) between January 23-31. It is open to musicians and singers between the ages of 18 and 30. You can find out more here:


This year, we also have several scholarships available. One of the scholarships is particularly encouraging young musicians from Italy among other countries to participate in Ethno New Zealand 2021. We would be honoured if you could share this opportunity with your community and encourage all the young musicians in your network to apply for the scholarship and join us for a fantastic week of sharing beautiful music.


-> General information about registration


If you have any questions or ideas how to better promote this opportunity, please send us a message and we'd be happy to reach out.


Best wishes

Kai and the Ethno NZ team



Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Festival Raffle Winners!

 Congratulations to the winners of the Festival Italiano Raffle!

The winning numbers are:

1 Prize: a long weekend for 6 at Bombardino Chalet in Ohakune, with welcoming Italian dinner! Winning number 0893

2 Prize: a $300 voucher from Edit. Winning number 0894

3 Prize: a beautiful Italian scarf created by Touched by Fire, Winning number 0970

4 Prize: a basic pasta class for two at Pasta & Cuore in Mt Eden, Winning number 0492

5 Prize: an elegant truffle giftbox by Sabatino Tartufi Winning number 0493

All the winners have been contacted by the Dante Alighieri Society. Grazie again to all our sponsors, all the proceeds from the Raffle will go towards our Dante Children School. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020



To ensure that we adhere to current Ministry of Health guidelines and the New Zealand Events Sector Voluntary Code, Festival Italiano has introduced some new measures for 2020 to keep the public, stall holders, staff and volunteers safe at this year’s event. We ask that all participants (including stall holders and workers):
1. Not attend the Event if you, or an immediate family or household member, are feeling unwell or sick, have confirmed COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms, or have been instructed by the relevant authority to self-isolate.
2. Maintain good hygiene practices at all times, including: regular hand washing and sanitisation while at the Festival (foot pedal sanitisers are provided in the area for the public), especially after using the bathroom and before and after handling food; and remember to cover your mouth and nose if you need to cough or sneeze.
3. Download the NZ Covid Tracer App. QR codes will be posted around the streets of the Festival for you to sign in, and hard copy sign-in sheets will be available to all at the Dante Society tent (in the centre of Kent St).
4. Comply with any public health and/or safety directions of event staff, police or health authorities.
5. Be aware of your surroundings and remember to maintain physical distancing wherever possible in the Festival precinct and when queueing for food stalls. The communal seating area has been removed this year to comply with social distancing standards, and the layout of the event has been changed, but nevertheless there may be a crowd, especially at lunch time. We also advise you not to attend with dogs this year. If this is not possible please remember to keep dogs on a leash at all times.
6. There will be free water at the Festival, but we encourage you to bring your own bottle as well.
7. Festival Italiano is working towards Zero Waste so there will be waste educators at each bin station to help the public with recycling and waste disposal. Please help them, and our volunteers, by following their instructions to keep the event clean and safe, and minimise contact.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Festival Italiano 2020 entertainment programme - music, giveaways, special guests and more!

Cari amici,

We are so grateful that the Festival Italiano can be back this year with music, entertainment and amazing giveaways!

Osborne Street

Paolo Rotondo, director of the Cinema Italiano Festival will kick off the Festival at 11am.

Following Paolo, the talented duo of Luca Manghi and David Kelly, flute and piano, will perform a tribute to Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota. Then comes a variety of music from the Auckland Mandolinata Orchestra.

Official speeches will take place at 12.30pm, opened by Sir John Kirwan.

After the speeches, there’ll be a special Opera Concert by soprano Lilia Carpinelli, accompanied by pianist Matteo Napoli, who will delight us with a selection of famous arias.

Around 3.00pm the Napoli Central band will entertain with its unique blend of jazz, then Italian music will fill the air thanks to the playlist of DJ Luca Montagni.

Quiz times will feature in the programme all day long ,with spot prizes and competitions starting with Vespa NZ and their cool Vespa merchandise, IN ITALY with their beautiful fashion accessories, pizzeria Settebello from New Lynn with their inimitable pizza napoletana. and a big Italian Moka from Caffè Italiano!

And in a great surprise for our public, a special Welcome to Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will take place around  2:30pm with giveaways to the public.

Rialto Centre

Kim Santarelli Dance Academy crew will open the Festival with the much-loved Tarantella at 11am.

Throughout the day an Italian degustation table will showcase gastronomic excellence with tastes and educational talks about four Italian products: Mortadella, Grana Padano, Finocchiona and Prosciutto di Parma.

At 11:30am Italian cuisine specialist Angelo Tredicucci will lead a selected workshop explaining the history, regional differences and nutritional properties of each product, as well as offering samples. Highly recommended to foodies, food writers and caterers, this programme is sponsored by the Italian Embassy in Wellington for The Extraordinary Italian Taste.

If you missed the Mandolinata Orchestra outside, they will play again inside the Rialto Centre around 2.00pm.

Activities and fun games will run throughout the day in the Children’s Area on level 1, with a free book to all the families offered by Oratia Books. 

Gran Finale

Join us for the draw of the Dante Alighieri Annual Raffle on stage at 4.30pm to get a chance to win a long weekend for 6 at Bombardino Chalet in Ohakuneplus prizes from Edit., Touched by Fire, Pasta & Cuore and Sabatino Tartufi. 

Tickets are sold all day long at the Dante stall and by our volunteers around the festival. Good luck!

Programme: Osborne Lane

11:00am – Festival Opening followed by flute and piano duo, Luca Manghi and David Kelly

11:40am – Vespa NZ giveaway, and Tarantella by Kim Santarelli Dance Academy

12:00pm – Auckland Mandolinata Orchestra

12:30pm – Official speeches, opened by Sir John Kirwan

1:00pm – Luca Montagni, Italian Music DJ

1.30pm – IN ITALY – fashion accessory giveaway

1:40pm – Opera concert by soprano Lilia Carpinelli and pianist Matteo Napoli

2.10pm – Vespa NZ giveaway – Vespa stand in Piazzale Vespa, Osborne St

2:30pm – Welcome to Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli – giveaway

3:00pm – Napoli Central jazz band

4:00pm – Settebello pizzeria giveaway

Italian music selection by Luca Montagni

4:00pm – Caffè Italiano giveaway

4:30pm – Raffle draw

Programme: Rialto Centre

11:00am – Tarantella by Kim Santarelli Dance Academy

11:30am – Tasting Italian Products workshop, Level 1

12:00pm – Luca Manghi and David Kelly, flute and piano duo

2:00pm – Auckland Mandolinata Orchestra

All day – Art and activities in the children’s area, Level 1, find the full programme here.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Festival Italiano 2020, a free festival with lots of prizes, tastings and presents!

Only just over a week to go to Festival Italiano 2020! Soon we will reveal the full entertainment programme for the day with live music, amazing spot prizes and special guests, plus a map with all the stall holders and pop-up restaurants. For all info on the day you can go to the Dante Alighieri Tent, where you can also try your Italian and find out about our school, and next to it this year you will find Radio Ondazzurra!

Inside Rialto Centre there will be more stalls, the Vips area, a Zona Bambini (children area) with art workshop and activities, plus a present for all the families, the big Food Atlas, the NZ edition of a beautifully illustrated Italian book. 


New this year also a tasting table of some famous Italian products: came and try Mortadella, Grana Padano, Finocchiona and Prosciutto di Parma!

And don't forget our annual Dante School Raffle, only 1000 tickets printed, and selling fast!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

THAT'S A WRAP! Figure per Gianni Rodari – Illustrators for Gianni Rodari ends today!


What a wonderful time we had! Loved every single day of it, from the opening party on Friday, to the mini-panel on Sunday, and celebrating Rodari's Birthday on 23 October (photo above, by Nicoletta Benella). Nicoletta also appeared in two programmes on Ondazzurra to talk about Rodari and the exhibition, and a special interview was also done with Italy, to talk to Elena Pasoli, the Director of the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

You can listen to the programmes here:

Elena Pasoli

Nicoletta Benella, part 1

Nicoletta Benella, part 2

Throughout the 9 days when we were opened to the public we enjoyed welcoming a number of children to look, read and draw, and learn about Rodari's wonderful tales.

On Saturday we had a special visit from the Mums and kids of the Prada Pirelli Luna Rossa Team, welcome to New Zealand guys... 

And thank you for your collages inspired by Rodari's story L'Omino della Pioggia.

This exhibition showcased some of those artists who in the last fifty years have illustrated Rodari’s texts. From legends like Luzzati and Munari through to young contemporary artists, the exhibition gave a fascinating overview of Italian illustration excellence.


Featured artists: Bruno Munari, Emanuele Luzzati, Altan, Beatrice Alemagna, Gaia Stella, Olimpia Zagnoli, Manuel Fior, Alessandro Sanna, Valerio Vitali, Simona Mulazzani, Chiara Armellini, Anna Laura Cantone, Fulvio Testa, Maria Chiara Di Giorgio, Giulia Orecchia, Nicoletta Costa, Federico Maggioni, Francesca Ghermandi, Pia Valentinis, Vittoria Facchini, Elenia Beretta.


Organised internationally by: Fiera di Bologna, BCBF, Regione E-R, Regione E-R Cultura d’Europa, Einaudi Ragazzi, Vivere all’Italiana (MAECI).

Auckland edition curated by Nicoletta Benella and organised by Dante Alighieri Society Auckland and Festival Italiano Auckland in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in New Zealand, Oratia Books, NEWMARKET.


Part of the Artweek Auckland 2020 Programme , the Week of Italian Language in the World and the Italian Festival Season in Auckland.


Photos by Gianni Flego and Alessandra Zecchini