Every October, The Biggest Little City celebrates Italian culture and tradition during THE ROW’s Great Italian Festival. Downtown Reno transforms into Little Italy with activities including a grape stomp, wine walk, an Italian farmers market, food booths and incredible free, live entertainment all weekend long.
Let’s not forget the real reason everyone comes – the food! At the Great Italian Festival, you will find everything from traditional spaghetti and meatballs, to Italian sausage and fried calamari. Don’t forget about the local favorite – mushroom ravioli with a decadent porcini cream sauce. Once you have your fill of savory, move on to the seemingly endless sweet treats, including homemade gelato, crepes and cannoli.
Learn more about the 2023 Great Italian Festival.
The Great Italian Festival in Reno is an event-filled weekend that takes over Virginia Street in downtown. Some festival favorites that are an absolute must include the grape stomp, where you can sign up to sink your toes into an age-old tradition, or the gelato eating contest, where participants can really test their sweet tooth’s stamina.
Another favorite is the popular Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off which features families from throughout the West Coast bringing their recipes to life in front of hungry spectators. You can act as a judge in the Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-Off by submitting your people’s choice ballot for favorite sauce.
Some other fun ways to enjoy the Reno Italian Festival include the wine walk and the Italian farmers and craft market. Sip both California and Italian wines while you pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, or other local goods to take home.
As you walk through the streets munching on the best Italian treats, live entertainment will be the soundtrack to the event from two stages. In years’ past, acts have included Italian singers and dancers such as Aaron Caruso and Capuano n’ T Rock. It will be hard to keep from dancing along with the performances!
THE ROW’s Great Italian Festival takes place in downtown Reno on Virginia Street and draws large crowds, so make sure to plan ahead if you are attending. The section of the street in front of the Eldorado and Silver Legacy typically closes during the event, but many of the downtown casinos offer both free and paid parking for event attendees. There are also public transportation options that allow access to the festival via the RTC 4th Street Station. No matter how you get there, be sure to make it down to THE ROW’s Great Italian Festival!
Check THE ROW’s Great Italian Festival website for up to date schedule.
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