The 33rd Italian Festa set to transform Norton Street in October once again

Italian Festa

The 33rd Italian Festa set to transform Norton Street in October once again

The Leichhardt Italian community is strong and its Italian Festa is a site to behold. On Sunday October 27, Sydney’s Norton Street will be completely transformed by colour, sound and the cooking aromas of great Italian food.

Norton Street Italian Festa is the largest and longest running Italian Festival in Australia. The all-day event celebrates traditional Italian food, music and entertainment, bringing together the wider community through a love of Italian culture in Australia.

Rachele O’Reilly, who has become a key organiser of Festa, explains that Leichhardt is home to a lot young families.

She also explained that while the suburb was once occupied by only Italian families, Leichhardt has now transformed into a cultural hub for people of all backgrounds.

There’s always been a very tight connection with Leichhardt because everybody that arrives from Italy started here.

“It was Little Italy. It still has roots in that and it has gone with the times. Our aim is to keep offering the diversity, to keep it fresh.”

Italian FestaImage sourced from On the House

In 2019, Norton Street Italian Festa has planned many exciting activities, including:

  • Italian film screenings in Pioneers Memorial Park
  • A barista competition run by Grinders
  • Car displays
  • Children’s rides and entertainment
  • Cultural performances

Italian Festa

It is the perfect opportunity to gather in the park and treat yourself to some freshly made gnocchi or porchetta, or to satisfy your sweet tooth on some cannoli and settle in the park to enjoy your meal and take part in the festivities.

Rachele O’Reilly shared her story about growing up in Leichhardt and Marrickville.

Italian Festa

She and her family came from the town, Grumento Nova (pictured) to Norton Street in the late 1950s.

Her father worked and saved for six months and stayed at her uncle’s Deli on Norton Street until she and her mother could move to Australia.

There are also many Inner West Council initiatives such as Co.As.It, a government-funded, cultural group who run many events such as services for the aged, activities in schools, Italian classes and counselling services.

“We offer many communities groups space to come and visit and be involved,” Rachele said.


Event Details
WHEN: Sunday October 27 2019, 10am to 5pm
WHERE: Norton Street, Leichhardt

Clare Manera

Clare is a third-year Global Studies student at UTS and an aspiring writer with a keen interest in reading and sharing stories. She loves travelling to new places and meeting interesting people. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]