Culture and fashion

IT’S called Little Italy by the Sea, but it’s sure getting huge.

A celebration of Italian culture, this year’s Little Italy festival has grown threefold and will transform Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour with colourful Italian piazzas full of pop-up restaurants and cafes, fashion parades, Ferraris, Ducatis, food demonstrations, wine and beer tasting, cocktails, music, dance, theatre and children’s activities.

The Passione Fashion Gala opens the festival on Friday, October 27 at 6pm and will feature Italian-Australian fashion designers, including a recent arrival on Australia’s shores, Valentina Nardinocchi.

Rome-born Nardinocchi’s On Cut Fashion Project switches between edgy streetwear and high couture, and at late notice (she only moved to Fremantle two months ago) she’s flying in her 36-piece collection. As part of the ticket, fashionistas will also get an exclusive after-hours look at the museum’s Escape from Pompeii exhibition.

• There’ll be fast cars and hot fashions at Little Italy.

Following the opening night, there’ll be plenty more fashion during the weekend of the festival, with 12 parades a day; organiser Nella Fitzgerald says that’s meant lining up 30 stylists to keep up with the 23 models.

She’s also got 30 chefs and cooks to entice festival-goers with the best of Italian cuisine.

Included in a huge line-up of music is Italian Live Lounge, which debuted at last year’s Fringe festival and features the powerful vocals of Monique, who showcases Italian contemporary music from the 90s to the present day – in Italian.

• Valentina Nardinocchi has flown her edgy collection to Australia specially for Little Italy.

Dancers will demonstrate thousand-year-old tarantellas, there’s pizza-making workshops and face painters will let the kids choose between a Super Mario moustache or Venetian mask.

As part of the prancing horse’s 70th anniversary, the Ferrari Club Australia’s WA branch is putting on an exhibition at Bathers Beach, joined by Ducatti aficionados for a motoring enthusiast’s paradise.

And it all finishes off with the fireworks on Sunday at 8pm.

Little Italy by the Sea
Sat 28 to Sun 29 October
Bathers Beach and Fremantle
Fishing Boat Harbour.

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