Being from a family of Italians we went to learn Italian from a young age so were immersed into the Italian culture.
The local Italian schools were run by a group called Illawarra Association of Teachers of Italian (IATI). Each year the group put on a week of festivities to celebrate the Republic of Italy and to coincide with their day on 2nd June.
Throughout the years we have seen and participated in many different events for this week from movies to art exhibitions and even some flag throwing.
The one event that stays every year is Tutti in Piazza where Italians of all ages gather in the Crown Street Mall to celebrate the day of the Republic (like Australia Day).
Every local Italian group that still has a member strong enough to hold their group’s flag, joins in the parade which kick starts the day at 11am. Some years you can see the Renaissances costumes from the region of Marche or children and the Alfieri Toscani costumes. When we were little the majority of the Italian school would be dressed up for the parade but now days it is only if they can find enough people to participate.
The one thing that is always the same is the homemade pasta, castagne and crostoli. The pasta line is always a mile long but it is so good, but it’s worth the wait.
They also have live performances of local talent.
This has got to be one of my favourite days of the year in the Gong. It is on again Saturday 4 June 2016.
I hope to see you there!