Hot Italian Pizza Bar, a pizzeria known for its healthy, quality food, community involvement, and modern-Italy-meets-urban-California sensibility, will host the seventh annual Moderno Italiano Festival on Friday, August 12 through Sunday, August 14 to coincide with the Italian mid-summer holiday Ferragosto. The festivities feature special programming at all three Hot Italian locations: Midtown Sacramento, Davis, and Public Market Emeryville.
The Moderno Italiano Festival is a three-day celebration of modern Italian design, film, and food. The pizza bar will offer Italian wine, cheese, and beer tastings sourced from Italian purveyors, including event sponsors Peroni Birra and Baci Perugina chocolates. The event will also feature the unveiling of the new Fiat 124 Spider. Hot Italian will also host complimentary special events, including an Italian-style field day and bike-in outdoor movie nights at the Midtown location.
“Our mission at Hot Italian is to create a place where pizza brings people together to celebrate Italy’s new generation of art, music, design, sport, food, and wine,” says Andrea Lepore, co-founder and creative director of Hot Italian. “The Moderno Italiano Festival began as a film festival for the Sacramento community to experience modern Italian filmmaking, and has grown to incorporate all of what we love about Italian culture.”
The Midtown Sacramento and Public Market Emeryville locations will offer “How to Drink Like an Italian” cocktails with Amaro and Aperol and affogatti flights of Hot Italian spin on the traditional Italian dessert, made with local artisanal producer Almare Gelato, featuring top shelf liqueurs including Frangelico and Amaretto over scoops of gelato. Italian wine flights by small producers from Italy will be offered at all locations, and a Planeta wine flight from Sicily will also be featured at the Davis location.
On Friday and Saturday nights, August 12 and 13, beginning at 8 p.m., Hot Italian’s flagship location in the heart of Midtown Sacramento will host an al fresco theater across the street at Fremont Park. Guests are invited to bring blankets and chairs and dine on the pizza bar’s pizza, salads, gelato, and San Pellegrino sodas, while enjoying modern Italian cinema. This year, the two free films are Palio (2015), a documentary about the oldest horse race in the world, and A Five Star Life (2013), a drama that tells the story of a hotel critic’s journey to reexamine her life choices.
On Saturday, August 13, from 3 to 7 p.m., Hot Italian will host a boisterous Italian-style field day at Fremont Park presented by XOSO Sports, featuring bocce, soccer, and, in honor of the Palio film screening, horseraces using a herd of inflatable toy horses.
To showcase the sleek modern appeal of Italian design, Hot Italian has partnered with Niello Fiat to premiere the 2017 Spider 124 at the Davis and Midtown Sacramento locations. Guests will have the opportunity to test drive the all-new Italian roadster the New York Times calls “bellissimo.”
Supporting community initiatives has always been an important aspect of Hot Italian. Apart from the Moderno Italiano Festival, co-founders Andrea Lepore and Fabrizio Cercatore organize or participate in a wide range of cultural events throughout Northern California, including the Bicycle Film Festival benefiting the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, the Sacramento Ballet, the Sacramento Opera, the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the Sacramento Film & Music Festival, the French Film Festival, and the Center for Contemporary Art, among others. Hot Italian strives to positively impact its communities not only with its involvement in local outreach and philanthropy, but with its commitment to sustainable, green business practices and ardent support of the arts, music, and cycling.