Newport Festa Italiana celebrates Italian pride, food and music

Sep 30, 2018 440

BY: Laura Damon

The smell of pizza and doughboys permeated the air and Italian folk music played for the 24th annual Newport Festa Italiana’s Festival in the Park. It was a sunny day in Touro Park, warm with low humidity. The nice weather drew an ample crowd to the Italian-themed celebration. Some sat and watched Calabria Bella, a band based out of Westerly that’s been a fixture at Newport Festa Italiana for years. Others danced to their music. Some opted to gorge themselves on cannolis and pizza.

Anne Ayars, a baker at Fatulli’s Downtown Cafe, bagged cannolis, cashed out customers and took the next order seemingly simultaneously as the line at her booth stretched longer and longer. She said the Festa Italiana “brings everyone together.” Fatulli’s has been a staple at the festival for years. Emily Murphy, a Nikolas Pizza employee, pulled slices of pie for those who wanted something more savory. It was her first year working the festival, and she said it was a busy day.

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