We know that FESTA! was a beloved event, and we are incredibly proud of what it became over the last 22 years. However, we needed to ensure that our community could put on a sustainable event that would allow us to raise funds to maintain and preserve our neighborhood and Italian heritage for generations to come. We know that many of you will have questions, so please feel free to read through our Solo Italiano FAQ!
Why is FESTA! gone?
FESTA! was a memorable event for a lot of us, and we loved it as well! Over time, FESTA! began to exceed the capacity of our neighborhood. That’s when we realized it was time to create an event that would not only offer a true authentic Italian experience, but one that would also help sustain the Little Italy community and its efforts to enhance and preserve the neighborhood.
Why is there not an event in 2017?
A brand new event takes a lot of planning! We want to make sure we give ourselves enough time to make sure this new event is spectacular and exceed the expectations of residents and visitors! Also, by waiting until 2018, we will be able to host the event in the new Piazza della Famiglia.
What’s the difference between Dinner in Rosso and Solo Italiano?
Dinner in Rosso is an exclusive event that will be in an intimate setting at the Piazza della Famiglia and there’s a limited number of tickets available—so don’t wait until the last minute! The experience will give attendees a first look into Saturday’s Tuscany region and invites guests to get dressed up in all red and enjoy a curated family-style dinner on Tuscan farm table, where they will be served amazing Italian bites. Live entertainment will take place throughout the whole evening. Tickets are $200.
A luxury Italian festival, Solo Italiano, will span over five blocks of the neighborhood. The walkable festival will take attendees through different regions of Tuscany, Milan, Rome and Sicily, feature a beer and wine garden, and a Bambino area for kids. Attendees can expect to get immersed in the different regions’ signature experiences, novelties, live entertainment and distinct culture. Tickets are $45 for adults and $15 for kids.
What do I get with my Solo Italiano ticket?
You’re getting a curated Italian experience that will make you feel like you’ve escaped to four of the most popular regions in Italia through live music, an Italian fashion show, a cultural procession, specialty Italian vendors, an exotic car show, Italian pageantry, Gesso Italiano (chalk art), interactive experiences, and more! Ticketholders will also receive vendor tastings throughout the whole festival.
Does my ticket benefit the Little Italy Association?
Great question! Proceeds will benefit the Little Italy Association of San Diego 501 (c)(3) Public Benefit Corporation, so that we can continue to enhance the neighborhood with seasonal displays, potted and hanging planters on each street corner, a festive quarterly banner program, seasonal twinkle lights that hang around the ‘hood, our holiday décor (like our 25’ poinsettia tree!), our maintenance team who keeps our public spaces safe and clean, the development of new piazzas, and overall efforts to preserve Italian history and culture throughout the whole neighborhood!
What are the four regions that will be featured at Solo Italiano?
This year, the regions will be Tuscany, Milan, Rome and Sicily. Each block will represent a different region and span over five blocks of the neighborhood. Each year the Italian regions featured in Saturday’s Solo Italiano festival will be different—bringing in new elements and themes—making sure you come back every year for something different!
Are bambinos allowed?
Of course—the event is for the whole famiglia! There will even be a designated Bambino area where kids can enjoy bubble artists, live music, face painting, and other kid-friendly activities.
Will there be food?
Is that really a question! Of-course! Mangia bene! There will be lots of food—it’s an Italian event after all. Each region will feature its signature food items and have al fresco dining! Food will be available to purchase or you can enjoy the food vendors’ samples that they’ll be handing out of their pergolas.
Will there be alcohol?
Yes! The beer and wine garden will have solely Italian beverages for guests to enjoy and give attendees the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer over a game of bocce! Salute!
Are pets allowed?
Unfortunately, no! Trust us, we love our four-legged friends, but for this event you’ll have to leave them at home!
Will there still be Gesso Italiano (Italian chalk)?
Yes! Attendees will discover Gesso Italiano art throughout the event. The Gesso Italiano art will represent the region it’s in!
Is there a military discount?
Yes, there is a $5 military discount for this event.
Is there a senior discount?
Yes, we are extending a $5 discount to seniors.
How much are the kids tickets?
Good news—kids under 10 are free. Otherwise it’s $15 for kids 10 and up!