Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Auckland’s Italian celebrations are back!

Festival Italiano: 8 November 2020, 11am – 5pm, Newmarket — FREE ENTRY

Italian Festival Season in Auckland: 17 September – 29 November, Auckland-wide

The largest Italian Festival in New Zealand is returning in Auckland, with the highlight being the popular Festival Italiano street event in Newmarket on Sunday 8 November.

The Italian Festival Season in Auckland will open officially on 17 September with Cinema Italiano Festival, followed by a series of Italian events including the international art exhibition Illustrators for Gianni Rodari, in New Zealand for the first time. 

The season will continue until 27 November with a host of Italian-themed events in the city, plus the Week of Italian Language and the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World. For an updated list of events check out our Festival Calendar.

The apex of the Italian Season will be the Festival Italiano on Sunday 8 November, in Newmarket’s Osborne St, Kent St, Rialto Centre and Lumsden Green. Italian restaurants and food stalls will set up in the streets together with a pop-up Italian bar and a market, plus more free activities inside Rialto Centre. 

Live music and entertainment, art and books for children, a special Italian products degustation area, workshops and exhibits will be happening alongside displays of Italian cars and scooters, spot prizes, and special guests. 

Sir John Kirwan, President of the Dante Alighieri Italian Society of Auckland, the main player behind the Festival, commented: 

2020 has been a challenging year, and the future is still uncertain, but at the Dante Alighieri Italian Society we want to be positive, forward looking, and offer everyone a chance to experience Italy right here in New Zealand. 

“Naturally the decision to hold a Festival came with many new challenges and with much diminished finances, so I would like to acknowledge all those volunteers who work tirelessly to make this event possible, our sponsors big and small, and the public who every year turn up, rain or shine, to celebrate with us in numbers.


This year there will be changes to the event to adhere to new Ministry of Health and Auckland Council guidelines and to keep the public safe. All updates will be published in our website and shared through our media and social channels. 

Festival Italiano is a not-for-profit event organised by the volunteers of the Dante Alighieri Society of Auckland in collaboration with Newmarket., with the generous support of the Waitematā Local Board and under the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Wellington. The major corporate sponsor and partner for 2020 is Rialto Centre.

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