Happy Birthday Slow Food Italy!

17 Jun 2011

Three hundred of Italy’s piazzas – from the biggest cities to tiny rural villages, from north to south – will become the venue for a nationwide party celebrating the first 25 years of Slow Food tomorrow on Saturday June 18. For this first Slow Food Day, convivia around the country are hosting activities with farmers and producers in their town squares, to bring the association’s message to communities and build relationships between consumers and local food networks.

Florence’s majestic Piazza della Repubblica will be the setting for a day of workshops, as well as activities to fundraise for the Thousand Gardens in Africa project: passers by will be able to purchase food plants from a “portable” vegetable garden as well as baskets of fresh and preserved products put together by local producers. Activities happening in the historic piazzas of small villages across Tuscany include a series of Taste Workshops in coastal Talamone and markets and Slow Food stalls in Chianti’s villages.

In the south, Sicilian Presidia producers and local food communities will come together in Messina’s Piazza del Duomo to launch a new fair-trade buying group, while on the other side of the island Slow Food Marsala will be hosting information stalls and local produce markets in two of the city’s piazzas.

On the Amalfi coast’s hinterland, in the small village of Gete, some of the world famous region’s hoteliers will meet with local producers to launch a new project to strengthen their collaboration. Across the peninsular, Slow Food Naples and the Association of Cinema and Rights will host a meeting and film screening in the city’s popular Piazza Bellini around the issue of fairtrade coffee.

Further north in Veneto a cycling trip will leave from Feltre’s piazza at the foot of the Dolomite Mountains, to take adults and children on a tour to discover food production in the Belluno valley while on the coast, festivities in Venice are taking place at the historic Rialto marketplace in recognition of its role in protecting local food traditions.

The Italian Earth Markets will also be celebrating, bringing together the Slow Food producers who make up their farmers’ markets with special guests and side-events. In Milan, music and poetry will accompany international Slow Food Presidia and taste workshops, while in San Miniato the market’s producers and the Mallegato Preisdium will participate in the presentation of the Slow Food manifesto in defense of Italian olive growing.

And in Slow Food’s hometown Bra, in the northern region of Piedmont, a day of activities will culminate with a toast in the courtyard of the Boccondivino restaurant, where the association was born, followed by an Eat-In in the gardens of Piazza Roma – a public potluck and sit-in to enjoy and raise awareness of local foods.

For the full list of participating Slow Food convivia and descriptions of their events (in Italian) visit the Slow Food Day website.

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