PIAZZA Italia, now a well established regional event, starts today on Good Friday, with festivities continuing to run in the town runningboth tomorrow and on Easter Monday.
The first day is already a firm favourite for anyone who has even the slightest interest in Ferraris, and this year will be no exception.
Just announced is the news that the Sussex Ferrari Owners’ Club have accepted their 100th booking for April 6’s prancing horse extravaganza. It is from Stuart Anderson Racing and is a real racing Ferrari from the 1950s, a 250 TRC Replica.
This beautiful car will form the centrepiece of this year’s new Piazza di Meridien Modena, a special display of Classic Ferraris in Market Square, Horsham and which will also feature an example of the latest Ferrari FF, the first four wheel drive family Ferrari, claimed to be the World’s fastest four seat ‘family car’ with a 0-62 time of 3.7 seconds.
Up to 200 Ducati led Italian motorbikes of all marques will also be on display either side of the Shelley Fountain and Bishopric end of West Street once they arrive from West Chiltington.
But Piazza Italia is not all about sports cars, the tastes, smells and sounds of Italy will also flood Horsham town centre this weekend on Easter Friday, Saturday and Monday with an Italian local produce market running daily.
Also for the first time each day is being associated with a different Italian city, Good Friday being Venice when opera stars of the future from the College of Richard Collyer, Bethan Roles and Krisha Sachania will serenade the town centre with their renditions of Italian arias live from the bandstand.
Saturday April 7 sees MINIS in East Street and Market Square replace Ferraris, and Venice overtaken by Chic Milan.
From 11am to 4pm Italian fashion comes to Horsham with the town’s very own ‘Gok Wan Style Fashion Director’ greeting and entertaining visitors, set against roaming street theatre all around the town centre.
After a break for Easter Sunday, Italian Super Cars (de Tomaso/Lamborghini/Maserati/Zonda) converge on the town for Easter Monday.
The Carfax Supercars event includes De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Maserati and Zonda, plus classic Alfa Romeo, Fiat 500, Fiat coupe and other Italian marques. Meanwhile, Alfa Romeos, having set off from Rusper, will display in East Street.
Naples is the day’s themes, and with the southern Italian city being the home of pizza, of course food will take centre stage.
Celebrity TV chef Toby Tobin will be judging a special chef competition in the Carfax. Tony, who has appeared on BBC’s Ready Steady Cook more than 300 times since 1992 will be hosting the The Piazza Italia Cook-Off! At a live cookery theatre in the Carfax, a select number of local chefs will go head to head throughout the day.
The line up includes businesses Carmela Restaurant - Horsham, The Lamb Inn - Rusper, South Lodge Hotel – Lower Beeding, The Moon Bar & Restaurant – Storrington and The Crown Inn – Dial Post.
Tony Tobin will have his work cut out when he judges the winning chef, up against a chef from the visiting Piazza in Italia market compering the final part of the day - the Great Piazza Italia Cook-Off!
Horsham Piazza Italia is organised by Horsham District Council in conjunction with many businesses and in aid of charities Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice (Good Friday/Saturday) and Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance (Easter Monday).
Free parking is offered in Horsham town centre on Good Friday and Easter Monday and a number of road closures and traffic restrictions are in place over the weekend.
For more information about the South East’s premier Easter attraction, visit www.piazza-italia.co.uk / Twitter at piazzaitaliaV / Facebook Piazza Italia / email firstname.lastname@example.org / call 01403215279.