EXCLUSIVE – Students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) began pedaling toward the last week of their 25-day River Po journey from Mantua last Saturday. The group has traveled through the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna stopping along the way for over 50 hours of lectures, 30 hours of conferences, intensive study of traditional food products, tastings of specialties and cultural activities.
While in Parma, UNISG inaugurated the 2007/2008 academic year in the city’s historic opera house, the Teatro Regio. Here 60 freshers, welcomed by Carlo Petrini, founder and president of Slow Food International, Alberto Capatti, dean of the university, and director of studies Carlo Catani, were able to meet their 153 senior colleagues and see them in action as part of the school’s current eco-gastronomic project.
Recent graduate from the bachelors program’s first graduating class, Katherine Fehervary, spoke about her experiences over the past three years and reminisced with a touching story of how some foreign students were able to learn the Italian language through food.
She concluded by listing past successes and future potential of the university with a quote from esteemed basketball coach Pat Riley: ‘When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it’s ready to climb’. Fehervary will now be attending UNISG’s two year specialization degree in Gastronomy and Food Communications.
Over the next week, the cyclists will continue traveling east and finish in the Veneto region on the Adriatic Coast. A few of the activities scheduled include fishing and fish preservation in San Benedetto; a lecture by Anthropology Professor Piercarlo Grimaldi on the rites and foods of Carnival festivals and lent; and an evening with actor, comedian, and writer Natalino Balassa in Ferrara.
Students will return to Pollenzo after the trip to continue with the classes and field trips characteristic of the University’s multi-disciplinary approach to innovative food education.
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