Italy is synonymous for “good food,” thanks to its immense variety of different regional dishes and recipes. The quality of its wines, oils, dairy products, meat and legumes, as well as the Italians’ astounding knowledge and preparation abilities are the results of millennia of the significant evolution of a tradition that has always signified the Italian lifestyle, and not only: Italian food is at the centre of enogastronomic tourism, a sector that certainly does not depend on the instability of global market highs and lows.
Visitors cannot miss the unique culinary and wine itineraries on offer. World-renowned products such as Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, Parma and San Daniele ham, Modena balsamic vinegar, Genoa’s pesto, buffalo mozzarella from Campania, Alba truffles, and cured meats are just some of the symbols that make Italy the land of good food. The pleasure of tasting a fine wine in its native environment is unparalleled – a glass of Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, Barbera or Barolo in Piedmont, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene in Veneto, Lambrusco in Emilia Romagna, the Sicilian wines, the white wines in Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige or the great reds in Valtellina, just to provide a fine few exemplars.
To protect and safeguard this unique aspect of Italian culture and heritage, particularly against the urgencies of modern life, Carlo Petrini created (the exact opposite of fast food) the international non-profit, Slow Food in 1986. Now an international organisation, with branches in Italy and abroad, and that counts more than 100,000 members, Slow Food’s mission is to promote food education as the best defence against low-quality industrial foodstuffs and production scams. Slow Food supports a model of ecologically-sustainable agriculture.