Festa Italiana

Howard Smith Wharves is bringing back its Italian food market over two big weekends, in collaboration with guest chef Orazio D'Elia.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 24, 2024


Hanging out by the river in Brisbane isn't the same as hitting up Italy's coastline, but it'll still give you a tase of la dolce vita at Howard Smith Wharves' Festa Italiana. The waterfront CBD precinct debuted its first-ever Italian food market in 2023, and now it's bringing it back in 2024 for two big four-day weekends celebrating cuisine and beverages from the other side of the world.

When it pops up from Thursday, May 23–Sunday, May 26 and Thursday, May 30–Sunday, June 2, the event will again boast a guest of honour: Naples-born and -raised, Sydney-based D'Elia chef Orazio D'Elia of Bondi Beach's Da Orazio. He isn't just making a second trip to Brisbane. The culinary figure with experience as Head Chef at Sydney's iconic Icebergs Dining Room and Bar alongside Maurice Terzini, who has then been keeping that collaboration going by opening Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, is once more behind Festa Italiana alongside HSW.

This year, D'Elia will be bringing back two dishes he's known for — vodka rigatoni (made with tomato and vodka sauce) and focaccia con porchetta (with the meat fresh from the rotisserie, and paired with chilli-marinated grilled eggplant, cos lettuce and mayonnaise on schiacciatina bread) — alongside a few new menu additions. Get excited about tucking into caserecce alla genovese (Neapolitan-style veal ragù) and fusilli alla luciana (tomato-braised baby octopus, black olives and capers), for starters.

Timed to wrap up autumn and say hello to winter over its two weekends, as it was last year, Festa Italiana will take over HSW's main lawn with its Italian bites and sips — which will also span a live pasta station making fresh pasta onsite, a pop-up spritz bar, buffalo mozzarella, woodfired bread and fritto misto, all to live tunes providing a soundtrack.

Entry is free, with everything you're keen to eat and drink purchased as you go. The event will run from 4pm–late Thursday–Friday and from 12pm–late Saturday–Sunday.



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