Fort Myers Italian Festival

Lamotta's Fort Myers Italian Festival

"Come and get your ravioli and cannoli from Lamotta's," shouted the balloon animal artist on stilts.

"Ravioli and cannoli...I'm sold," responded one enthusiastic Fort Myers Rotary Italian Festival attendee.

The crowds were out in full force for the festivities at the Alliance for the Arts grounds on the first non-sweltering Sunday of the Southwest Florida autumnal season.

Spaghetti eating contests, fresh pasta, pizza, bocce ball, Peroni beer, a marinara contest, italian dancers, live entertainment -- and Florida's largest cannoli filled the bill as the day continued and parking became scarce.

The booths of several local restaurants were buzzing with activity, as lines of hungry patrons waited for their chance to sample some of the delectable offerings being served.

Lamotta's Fort Myers Italian Festival

Sasse's.  Pizza Fusion.  Mastello's.  Mario's Meat Market and Deli.  University Grill.

Directly in the epicenter of activity was where you could find the booth for Lamotta's Italian Restaurant, where the entire family team was working overtime attempting to meet the high demand for their four cheese ravioli, meatballs and cannoli.  Comfort food at its finest.

Festive music filled ears.  Child dancers filled the stage.  Excited onlookers clapped along...and a blend of tomato and garlic wafted in the breeze.

Job well done, Fort Myers Rotary Italian Festival.  See you next year.

-- photography and writing by Eric Taubert

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