Regional Stages in Trentino-South Tyrol, Marches, Campania and Sicily

From the Dolomites to the Mediterranean

Travels in Italy: UNISG Students Discover the Country’s Great Regional Food Traditions

From February 27 to March 11 the second-year students of the
University of Gastronomic Sciences degree course will be on their first
regional stages of the year. Trentino and South Tyrol in the north, the
Marches in the center, Campania and Sicily in the south: the students
will get an in-depth education in the very different gastronomic
traditions, economic realities and typical products of these regions.
The students, divided into four groups, come from all over the world:
the United States, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, Austria, Switzerland, Germany
and Canada as well as Italy. Below is some detailed information on the
different stages.

One group will spend two weeks in the mountainous north of Italy, where
the Dolomites meet the Alps. The stage will be split between Trentino and South Tyrol.
During the first week, the students will visit the valleys of Trentino
to study typical wines from the sparkling Trento to red Marzemino to
sweet Vino Santo, a Slow Food presidium. Cheeses such as Trentingrana,
Val di Non apples, Trentino grappa and trout farming and the marketing
of local foods and wines will also be discussed. The stage has been
made possible thanks to the invaluable collaboration of the Autonomous
Province of Trento, the Camera di Commercio I.A.A. di Trento (Trento
Chamber of Commerce), Trentino S.p.A. and the companies Cavit and
The stage will then move north to South Tyrol, where the students will
be based in Bolzano. They will spend the week occupied with a
number of lessons and field trips around the Val Venosta, the Valle
Aurina, the Val Sarentino and the Val d’Ultimo, touching on themes such
as viticulture, vegetable and fruit cultivation and other typical local
products such as speck and the Slow Food presidia Ur-Paarl bread and
Graukäse cheese. Promotion and support has been provided by the
President of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano Luis Durnwalder and by
Leader+ Alto-Adige.

Another group will be exploring the little-known region of the Marches,
which lies on the border between the north and south of Italy. The food
of the Marches is defined by the long coastline along the Adriatic and
the historic port city of Ancona on one side, and the rugged mountains
of the Apennines to the west, where the Marche meets Tuscany and
Umbria. The major themes of the stage will be fish, olive oil, wine,
cheese, cured meats and pasta.
Some days will be spent along the coast, meeting with fishermen and
experts from small fishing cooperatives who will explain the problems
facing the local small-scale fishing industry and describe the history
of culinary traditions such as brodetto, a typical fish soup. In
Montefeltro and Pesarese the students will visit oil mills and
wineries; around Grottazzolina they will learn about the native
Marchigiana breed of cow, the cheeses made in the Monti Sibillini, oil
produced from local olive cultivars and the production processes for
high-quality pasta; in Ascoli Piceno they will study viticulture and
cured meats. The wines Vernaccia, Rosso and Montepulciano del Conero
and Verdicchio will be studied and tasted, thanks to the wineries Fazi
Battaglia, Terre Cortesi Moncaro, Umani Ronchi), and also typical local
spirits. Slow Food presidia in the Marche such as Portonovo wild
mussels, Monti Sibillini sheep’s cheese, and Tenera Ascoli olives are
also part of the itinerary. This stage has been made possible through
the support of Slow Food Marche and the town of Cagli.

Campania is perhaps the region whose gastronomic traditions have
had the most influence on the world’s concept of Italian cuisine.
The stage here has been organized in collaboration with Slow Food
Campania and the mountain communities of Terminio Cervialto and Monti Lattari. The students
will have a chance to explore Neapolitan pizza in its home city,
spending a day studying its history and preparation. One of the
fundamental ingredients is the San Marzano tomato, and students will
also learn about its cultivation and processing. South of Naples, in
Gragnano, they will learn about the pasta that has been made there for
over 500 years.
The stage continues with the lemons of the Amalfi Coast, one of the
most stunning stretches of coastline in Europe, and the liqueur
limoncello and traditional lemon sweets and desserts will also be
studied. One day will be spent in the mountains of Irpinia, learning
about Montella chestnuts.
Over the two weeks a number of typical cheeses will be studied and
tasted, among them caciocavallo, Monaco provolone, fior di latte and
buffalo milk mozzarella. The stage concludes with a trip inland to
Avellino to study three DOCG white wines: Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino
and Greco di Tufo.

The complex gastronomic traditions of Sicily are the result of
thousands of years of invasions, conquests and waves of immigration by
diverse cultures. During this stage the students have a chance to learn
about this rich heritage as well as some of the major agricultural
The trip covers the key foods and wines of the Province of Palermo,
thanks to the support of the local tourism authority Azienda
Provinciale per l’Incremento del Turismo di Palermo (AAPIT), and the
Province of Trapani.
A wide variety of products will be studied, from olive oil, wine (with
study trips to the wineries Salaparuta, Cusumano, Firriato, Donnafugata
and Planeta), cheeses (including the Slow Food Presidium Vastedda del
Belice), fruits and vegetables (such as the presidia Ciaculli
late-winter mandarin, Nubia red garlic and Trapani winter melons) and
unique multicultural products such as the couscous of San Vito lo
Capo. The stage concludes with a day in Erice to learn about the
incredible world of Sicilian sweets and pastries, with a particular
focus on the sweets traditionally made in convents.

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