PHOTO SPECIAL: Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli lights up Peterborough’s Italian Festival

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre. Aldo Zilli gets a high five from one of the young members of the audience EMN-171009-195313009
Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre. Aldo Zilli gets a high five from one of the young members of the audience EMN-171009-195313009
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Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli lit up the Italian Festival during a wet weekend in Peterborough.

Aldo helped attract the crowds into the city centre on both Saturday and Sunday for the popular annual event.

Italian Festival in City Centre. Clara Iaconi (left) and David Iaconi with guests at their Caterfix stand. EMN-170909-202720009

Italian Festival in City Centre. Clara Iaconi (left) and David Iaconi with guests at their Caterfix stand. EMN-170909-202720009

The restauranteur was the latest star turn to grace the festival and he answered questions from the audience during his visit and signed copies of his book.

The popular event, organised by the Italian Community Association (ICA) with support from Peterborough City Council and Vivacity, was also graced by a visit from the Italian ambassador to the UK, Pasquale Terracciano, who dined with the ICA.

Marco Cereste, city councillor and chairman of the ICA, said: “It was really, really good fun. We had a fabulous dance group called the Orafolc Group from Deliceto in northern Puglia.”

There was plenty of great food and music to enjoy for the large number of people who defied the rain to enjoy the festival.

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre EMN-171009-194320009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre EMN-171009-194320009

Marco added: “The food square on the Saturday was pretty full at lunchtime.

“We probably had 5,000 to 6,000 people. If the weather had been nice we would have 15 to 20,000.

“It was all good fun and people enjoyed it, and the people that run the stands were very happy.

“There were three stands where we had really good pizza and we had beer, prosecco was available and cocktails.”

Italian Festival 2017 in  city centre. Italian chef  Aldo Zilli EMN-171009-194551009

Italian Festival 2017 in city centre. Italian chef Aldo Zilli EMN-171009-194551009

Annette Joyce, service director for city services and communications at Peterborough City Council, said: “This was a really special, vibrant weekend and one that the city should be really proud of. There was singing, dancing, lots of good food and a great sense of community.

“It was busy on both days despite the rain, especially on Sunday when celebrity guest Aldo Zilli attracted the crowds.

“Aldo was particularly interested in the history of the Italian community in our city and received a really warm welcome from all.

“Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the festival and there’s already lots of plans in place to make sure it’s a really special one.”

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre. Tony D'Angelo and Daniel Harris making wine with Carole Hughes EMN-171009-194538009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre. Tony D'Angelo and Daniel Harris making wine with Carole Hughes EMN-171009-194538009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre  Gino Manna, Carmine  Salerno, Louisa D'Angelo, Sharon Salerno and Coun. Brian Rush with Festival T-shirts. EMN-171009-195136009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre Gino Manna, Carmine Salerno, Louisa D'Angelo, Sharon Salerno and Coun. Brian Rush with Festival T-shirts. EMN-171009-195136009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre EMN-171009-195148009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre EMN-171009-195148009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre EMN-171009-194333009

Italian Festival 2017 in City Centre EMN-171009-194333009