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Wednesday 25 January 2023

For one day of the year, a little corner of Gippsland turns Italian

Been meaning to get to Gippsland?

The Italian Festa at Mirboo North on February 12 might be the perfect opportunity.

The event runs from 10am to 4pm and is a free, family-friendly celebration of the Italian heritage of the region, featuring Italian food, produce, drinks and entertainment.

It is now 56 years since a group of Italian immigrants in Mirboo North commissioned a statue of St Paul, the patron saint of their hometown of Solarino in Sicily, and had it shipped to Australia.

The statue’s arrival was celebrated with the first St Paul’s Festival in 1966.

More than 50 years later the Mirboo North Italian Festa has grown to become one of the most popular events on the Gippsland gourmet calendar, drawing thousands of people to the tiny hilltop village for the day's festivities.

The Festa highlights authentic Italian food stalls, outdoor bars, a huge market area, music, singing, dancing, comedy, cooking demonstrations, grape stomping, cars, motorbikes and competitions. And there is also free entertainment for the kids.

The highlight of the 2023 Italian Festa will be the return of previous crowd favourites - flag throwers and musicians from Faenza in Italy.

Dishes on offer will include traditional arancini, handmade gnocchi, arrosticini meat skewers, pizza, calamari, spicy barbecued salsicce and pasta with a range of sauces.

For dolce, guests can indulge in gelati, zeppole, tiramisu, biscotti and cannoli.

Italian beers, wines and Aperol Spritzes will be on offer

For more information: Mirboo North Italian Festa:, Mirboo North:, Gippsland:

Images: Grace Adamo, Lauren Murphy

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