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Rotto goes Italian

THE Rottnest Island Business Association and the town of Amalfi in Italy are hosting a Rottnest Festival with an Italian theme and a famous pizza chef.

The festival has moved to the second weekend in March, and this year with a twin relationship with the Italian town of Amalfi, the Festa di Rottnest has a strong Italian theme.

Originally held on the March long weekend, the Rottnest Festival has been running for 10 years now.

The twin-town relationship between Rottnest and Amalfi has been developed to promote tourism and cultural exchange between the two popular tourist destinations, Rottnest Business Association president Greg Brindle said.

The three-day festival will feature street theatre, circus performers, live music and an array of fresh produce from WA and Amalfitan products including Limoncello, a traditional lemon liqueur.

The Rottnest Island Business Community manager marketing and events Lisa Smith said the restaurants and cafes on the island would tailor their menus to reflect the Italian theme.

Owner of Il Padrino Caffe Nunzio Nici, who once made pizza for the Pope, will make pizza and run pizza-making competitions with the Rottnest bakery.

The twin-town relationship devel-oped out of the World Swimming Championships held in Perth in 1998.

“The Italians were out here for the World Swimming Championships in Perth and we started talking then,” Mr Brindle said.

In December 1999, representatives from Italy visited Rottnest to consider the possibility of a twin-town arrange-ment and in 2000 the agreement was formalised.

The Amalfitans held the first twin-town festival in October 2000 with WA performers travelling to Amalfi including a water polo team, an Aboriginal dance group and an art exhibition.

Amalfi has a population of about 8,000 people and is best known for its local seafood and Neopolitan cuisine.

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