Venice, Milan and Naples come to the sixth annual Piazza Italia

Piazza Italia
Piazza Italia

DUBBED as the South of England’s most successful Easter event, Piazza Italia returns to Horsham from April 6 to 9.

The festival offers a number of new attractions this year, including a classic Ferrari display in Market Square on Good Friday, a focus on fashion on Easter Saturday, plus a live cookery theatre on Easter Monday.

Organisers Horsham District Council state ‘three days of Italian themed entertainment, displays, promotions and an authentic Fresh Produce Market will ensure that the town centre is once again buzzing throughout the Easter Weekend’.

Another new feature of this year’s Piazza Italia is an Italian Shop Window competition with businesses encouraged to prepare themed displays by April 1, with judging to take place on April 7.

Piazza Italia, now in its sixth year, is Horsham Town Centre’s highest profile event, and this year it is celebrating three different aspects of Italian Culture.

On Friday 6 Venice will be recreated according to organisers, dressing the town with barber poles, creating a spectacle with animated, masked stilt walkers and hosting up to 100 Ferraris in Carfax, East Street and Market Square. Plus there will be up to 200 Italian motorbikes around the Shelley Fountain / Bishopric end of West Street and displays in West Street.

On Saturday 7, the festival moves to Milan with spoof fashion shows in Market Square, live music and Minis in East Street.

And on Monday 9, HDC will give visitors a taste of Naples. There will be live music and entertainment for all to enjoy, as well as a ‘live cookery theatre’ in the amphitheatre area of Carfax.

Throughout this day, local chefs will be asked to create an Italian dish at a fully equipped demonstration kitchen. At approximately 3pm, a competition between one local chef and one chef put forward from the visiting Italian market called ‘The Great Italian Cook-Off!’

T-Shirt design workshops will be run by the Rotary Club of Horsham and on Monday April 9 pizza tasting will be on offer on the bandstand along with face painting, a wine-tasting tour of local bars, pubs, supermarkets and much more.

Piazza Italia will also be raising money for two chosen charities, Chestnut Tree House on both Friday and Saturday and the Sussex Air Ambulance on Monday.

To accommodate display vehicles and event activities a number of road closures will be in place in Horsham town centre; Carfax and East Street Friday April 6 from 7am – 5pm; East Street and South Street (Stub road leading to Swan Yard) Saturday April 7 from 7am – 5pm; and Carfax and East Street again on Monday April 9 from 7am – 5pm.

Further information and programmes will be available soon from Horsham Visitor Information Centre at Horsham Museum, the Horsham Markets Information points and Swan Walk.

For more information visit or to participate email

Follow the event on Facebook: Piazza Italia and Twitter: @piazzaitaliaV