Actor to star as Festa Italia makes return to Lancaster

Lancaster's annual celebration of all things Italian makes a return later this month - and this time has a very special award.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:30 am
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:31 am

Lancaster will be adorned with red, white and green when Festa Italia takes place between May 21 and 29, and this year sees a 'Best Actor' award, dedicated to Italian cinema and fiction, which will be presented to Alessio Vassallo.

Vassallo, 38, from Palermo, Italy, has starred in many films, TV series, theatre productions and is best known in the UK for the role of Mimì Augello in Il Giovane Montalbano (The Young Montalbano), the popular series broadcast on BBC4.

Vassallo will be the first recipient of 'Best Actor' Award, which is a new addition to the highly successful Lancaster Festa Italia event.

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Alessio Vassallo (left) will receive his award in Lancaster during Festa Italia.

The prize, awarded by the Totally Local Lancaster organisation, together with the online newspaper cinemaitaliano.info, will be awarded on Friday May 27, at 3pm in the auditorium of The Storey in Lancaster.

During the awards event, Vassallo will meet the Lancaster audience, recounting his commitment in the television series The Young Montalbano, but also his own artistic career divided between cinema, television and theatre.

Cinemaitaliano, who took the opportunity to promote the award ceremony, will be present at the awards ceremony itself.

From this year, the award will be a permanent fixture of Lancaster Festa Italia, and will be expanded upon in subsequent editions, with projections and meetings of films and series strictly made in Italy.

An umbrella canopy in New Street, Lancaster, for a previous Festa Italia, which this year takes place from May 21 to 29.

Other events taking place during the nine-day celebration of Italy include an easy listening tribute to Italy by a wind quartet from the Haffner Orchestra and Turning Point Theatre Arts at the Grand Theatre on Tuesday May 24, opera events at Lancaster Castle over the weekend of May 28 and 29, music in pubs around the city on Thursday May 26, and themed food and drink available in bars and restaurants throughout the whole event.

Festa Italia concludes with a 'gran finale' on Sunday May 29, when the city centre will be alive with music, dance, street acts, Italian stalls, authentic street food, cooking demonstrations, supercars and motorbikes and a 'bambino zone' for children.