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Festa Italiana returns to Schererville for third year

A man plays bocce ball at Festa Italiana in Schererville.

The Villa Cesare banquet hall in Schererville "will transform itself into the streets of Rome, Venice and Palermo" this weekend.

Festa Italiana returns for the third straight year from Friday through Sunday at Villa Cesare at 900 Eagle Ridge Drive in Schererville.

“As always, we will be working with many local restaurants,” festival chairman Jon Biancardi said. “We will have all the favorites: pizza, pasta, beef, sausage, Italian ice and much more.”

The annual all-ages celebration of Italian heritage will feature food and drink from many family-owned restaurants from across the Region, including Capri's Pizza in Schererville.

“My grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Italy, and while living out his American Dream, kept our Italian heritage on the forefront when he started Capri’s Pizza in 1955," owner Ben Ciannamea said. "As a business owner in Schererville and a resident of the town, I’m proud to be a part of the Italian-American community here. Festa Italiana is our favorite way to pay homage to our culture and traditions.”

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Celebrity chef Phillipe Sobon will lead a hands-on pasta-making class. The main stage will feature live traditional Italian music and local bands like Libido Funk Circus, Dick Diamond & The Dusters, and Shout Out. Tradizione Vivente from Milwaukee will perform and teach traditional Italian folk dances.

As in years past, there will be a bocce ball tournament, a grape-stomping challenge and spaghetti-eating contests.

“The whole event is centered around the amazing Italian culture, which is deeply rooted in family, food and music,” Biancardi said.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit villacesare.com/festaitaliana or call 219-322-3011.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.