The World Cheese Awards will be hosted by Bergamo, Italy, as part of the city's annual FORME cheese festival, it was announced late last week.

The world's largest cheese-only competition will now join a four-day celebration of cheese.

“The World Cheese Awards is extending its international reach year-on-year, so it's very important for us to partner with like-minded organizations that understand the power and potential of this global cheese gathering," says John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, which organizes the awards. "Uniting with FORME feels like a very natural fit for us and we're hugely honored to be bringing the competition to Bergamo in 2019, a beautiful city with a wealth of cheese heritage."

Farrand says he is hoping to top 3,500 entries for the first time. More than 200 of the world's top cheese producers are expected for the event. Last year's event, which was held in Norway, broke records across the board with 3,472 cheeses from 41 countries being judged in a single day.