Festa Italiana, Hawaii’s first-ever and only Italian festival, offers locals and visitors alike an opportunity to taste the many amazing flavors of Italy in one extraordinary evening. After a successful first year, where over 6,500 people were in attendance, the festival will return to Honolulu’s vibrant Kakaako District on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018.
Festa Italiana was born out of a vision to bring to the islands, the beauty and passion of the Italian culture. Festa is a one-day Street Festival that includes a VIP experience called “Passaporto Italiano,” which features a myriad of authentic Italian and Italian-inspired experiences that will transport festivalgoers from the heart of the Pacific to the boot of Europe. The evening will be filled with authentic Italian cuisine, music, art, entertainment, street performers, and more, featuring local restaurants and vendors as well as renowned chefs from Italy.
New this year, Festa Italiana is partnering with Blue Note Hawaii for a “One Night in Napoli” show on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The show will feature local band Mango Season with Italian Pop Artist and Comedian Enrico Rennella. Plus, the official Festa Italiana After-Party – “La Discoteca” will take place at Artistry Honolulu and will feature four DJs spinning European EDM and a special performance by Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner and Kauai-based Thomas “IlItalian” Iannucci. “An Italian festival has been long overdue in Hawaii,” said Zach DiIonno, Festa Italiana co-founder and event director. “Festa Italiana will deliver to the Hawaii community the spirit of la bella vita and an experience beyond everyone’s expectations,” he added.
Festa Italiana could not be possible without the support of many amazing individuals and organizations, including Presenting Sponsor The Kobayashi Group, Vintage Cave Café, Theatrix Hawaii,
Mango Season, Nella Media Group, the Waikiki Beachcomber, Menabrea, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Ohana Construction, Velocity Honolulu, RKT Media, and Illy. The festival is an event produced by the nonprofit organization Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii. Established in 1990, the Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii is dedicated to fostering friendship among
the residents of Hawaii with an Italian background or with a special interest for Italian culture, traditions and history, as well as promoting a better understanding of Italian traditions.
The festivities at the 2018 Festa Italiana include:
FESTA ITALIANA IN STRADA – The Street Festival
4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Free to the public. Cooke Street, Kakaako (between Auahi and Halekauwila Streets).
Guests will have the opportunity to purchase food from the following vendors:
• Allegrini Mozzarella
• Appetito Craft Pizza and Wine Bar
• Arancino di Mare
• Arancino on Beachwalk
• Brick Fire Tavern
• Crepes Hawaii
• Fresco Italian Restaurant
• Hawaiian Aroma Caffe
• Ice HNL
• IL Gelato Hawaii
• Il Tappo
• Inferno’s Pizza
• Island Olive Oil
• Italica Bar & Café
• Local Ia
• Ricado’s Italian Restaurant
• Roots and Branches
Beer & Wine Garden: Il Vigneto
Festa’s beer and wine garden will feature a selection of Italian wines and spirits made available through Southern Wine & Spirits. Oenophiles will take their senses on a wine-filled journey through the various wine regions of Italy. Menabrea, Italy’s oldest brewery, is the official beer of Festa Italiana. One of Menabrea’s trademark ingredients is pure water from the Alps.
Festa Italiana will feature a variety of exciting art and live entertainment throughout the evening. This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Pastor Tom Iannucci, owner of Pietro’s Pizza, Kauai’s only Vera Pizza Napoletana-certified pizzeria. Live music performances will take place on Main Stage and in the street.
The Main Stage entertainment lineup is as follows:
• 4:30 p.m. Pierre Grill Italian Trio
• 5:45 p.m. Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner Stef Mariani, featuring Na Hoku Hanohano finalist
• 6:45 p.m. Hawaii Opera Theatre
• 7:30 p.m. Italian pop-musician & comedian Enrico Rennella
• 8:45 p.m. Mango Season
There will also be an Artists’ Corner and live chalk art by Erin Mauro of The Artery Design Co. in Mother Waldron Park. Plus, performances by the Hawaii Youth Symphony, roaming musicians and stilt walkers.
PASSAPORTO ITALIANO – Passport to Italy VIP Experience
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ticketed event. Limited quantity available.
445 Cooke Street, Kakaako
Eat and drink your way through Italy in the Passaporto Italiano VIP experience. Featured chefs and restaurants include:
• Chef Daisuke Hamamoto, Arancino at The Kahala (Kahala, Oahu)
• Chef Ryo Takatsuka, Noe Restaurant, Four Seasons Resort Oahu (Ko Olina, Oahu)
• Chef Massimo Falsini, Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito (Santa Barbara, California)
• Chef Michele di Bari, Sale Pepe (Lahaina, Maui)
• Chef Hiro Mimura, Taormina Sicilian Cuisine (Waikiki, Oahu)
• Chef Keith Endo, Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar (Honolulu, Oahu)
• Chef Taiki Oda, Vintage Cave Café (Honolulu, Oahu)
• R. Field Wine Company
• Cocktails by Hawaiian Aroma Caffe (Waikiki, Oahu)
• Wine from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
LA DISCOTECA – The Official After-Party at Artistry
Starting at 10 p.m. Tickets available at the door. Artistry Honolulu, 461 Cooke Street, Kakaako. Inspired by the world-renowned Italian discoteca scene, this year Festa Italiana is partnering with Artistry Honolulu to offer guests an Italian-style club experience with over 4 DJs and a special performance by the IlItalian, this year’s Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner for Best Hip Hop album. Tickets will be available at the door. Guests can reserve a table for bottle service in advance.
“ONE NIGHT IN NAPOLI” at Blue Note Hawaii
Tuesday, October 2 – Two Shows: 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Returning to the Blue Note stage for a dinner theatre experience inspired by Hawaii’s only Italian festival, Festa Italiana, 2018 Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band Mango Season presents an evening of comedy, storytelling, and music to take you on a cultural journey of all things Italiano. Mango Season will join artistic forces with Italian comedian and pop star Enrico Rennella for a one of-a-kind show where Aloha and Ciao are one and the same.
For more information and tickets, please visit www.festaitalianahawaii.com
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