EXCLUSIVE – 180 students from the (USG) in Pollenzo near the Slow Food headquarters in Bra set off this morning on a month-long bike and boat journey down the Po, from the river’s source on the slopes of Monviso to its mouth on the Adriatic Sea.
Seeing the group off were Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food International and Alberto Capatti, dean of the University itself. The journey will reach its destination on the Po delta on October 20, after crossing 13 provinces in four different regions (Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna).
The project is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Viaggio nel Po (Journey along the Po), a pioneering Italian TV documentary in which the famous film director and novelist Mario Soldati traveled down the river ‘in search of genuine foods’.
Since the documentary was first made, the Po Valley has become heavily industrialized to the detriment of the environment and local micro-cultures. The aim of the USG initiative is to raise awareness of the present parlous state of this, Italy’s main river system.
Fresh water, the strategic resource of the future, is currently undergoing an ecological emergency and the preservation of the great river systems of the world is a global challenge. In conjunction with Golder Associates, international specialists in land and environmental engineering, the USG’s scientific committee will perform extensive environmental analysis in the course of the journey down the Po.
USG Students are involved in every aspect of the planning, organization and communication of the project and will attend daily classes, seminars and lectures on subjects related to the river. Follow this space for periodic updates on the progress of the journey.
Mario Soldati on location near the River Po.
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