The Italian Trade Commission kicked off Festa D’Italia on Friday, Feb. 22, with a morning conference at the World Trade Center; very appropriately, the group discussed trade and investment in Italy. In the evening, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra held their Festa d’Italia Concert at McAlister Auditorium at Tulane University.

Saturday’s events began with a “Vesparade,” LPO’s term for a parade of the famous scooters, down Canal Street.

LPO organized a bevy of Italian-inspired activities around town for the afternoon, including fittings by Roman tailor Angelo Petrucci, a wine tasting at the Shops at Canal Place and puppet shows performed by The Family Carter Marionettes troupe. European sidewalk artist Julian Beever revealed a three-dimensional illusion he created outside of the JW Marriott on Canal Street.

Saturday’s events culminated at 7 p.m., with the gathering of revelers for the Festa D’Italia Ball, held at The Foundry. Guests enjoyed dinner catered by Chef Horst Pfeifer (Bella Luna Catering, Middendorf’s), a private LPO concert conducted by Maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto and dancing to the music of the Jamal Sharif Quintet.
The festivities also included a silent auction of luxury items, including a pair of international flight vouchers from American Airlines. The evening’s main sponsor was Capital One. Joseph and Antoinette Maselli served as honorary chairmen.

Festa D’Italia’s weekend extravaganza wrapped up on Sunday, Feb. 24. The Italian Consulate hosted “Cantando I’Italia,” a performance by Fatima Scialdone at Dixon Recital Hall at Tulane University.