First-Year Students on Pasta Study Trip in June

The UNISG study trip to explore pasta production will include a lesson on wheat and the history of pasta in Italy, given by UNISG professors Alberto Capatti and Paolo Migliorini.

In preparation for the study trip, students examined the production techniques of both plain and filled pastas. During their first day of travel, they took a tour of the Barilla facility in Parma, led by company representatives, including a discussion of the pasta market, the role of pasta in the human diet, and the basic ingredients of pasta. The day concluded with dinner at the Osteria del Gesso in Parma, featuring typical Parman dishes.

A practical lesson took place the next day at Podere Elisa in Reggio Emilia, followed by a visit to the Museum of Balsamic Vinegar in Modena. Modena also saw a visit to Fragioleo for an exploration of traditional recipes and the production and sales of the company’s products. Later, at Castelfranco Emilia,
the students met with the manager of the Associazione San Nicola, along with Antonio Cerchi, president of Slow Food Emilia-Romagna.

Further study of the region included visits to the Bianca Modenese presidium (at Alessandro Marchi’s Cà Marmocchi farm and that of Mora Romagnola, Cà Lumaco), as well as dinner at Amerigo in Savigno preceded by a lesson on local cuisine. The study trip concluded in Pieve di Cusignano at the BioPederzani farm and the Tondino agritourism establishment.

The Gragnano-based company, established at the beginning of the 19th century, represents one of the key points of reference in Italian food tradition. Strongly linked to the region and active in innovation, Garofalo remains a leader thanks to ongoing attention to product quality and pasta culture. More than a century’s worth of knowledge goes into their work, which continues to focus on research today.

Garofalo welcomed the UNISG students into their facilities over the course of three days, examining every aspect of the business. Lessons, site visits, packaging and distribution classes, quality control, and technical processes (from mixing to extrusion to drying) were all included. The perspectives of chef and consumer were explored, as well as the post-production issues of commercialization and communication.

“From the best flour in the region,” says Don Nicola De Cecco of his pasta, which has grown and become more international over the past decades, while remaining synonymous with high quality and tradition. After a number of key events in its history, including the construction of a facility in the 1950s in Pescara and the formation of the Società Olearia in 1986, De Cecco has established itself as a leader in pasta making.

On Day I of the UNISG students’ visit, the group was met by Giovanni Alleonato, De Cecco’s director of marketing, for a brief introduction to the company, followed by a stop at Fara San Martino, home of the historic archives. External relations director Pasquale Galante and procurement manager Mario Aruffo then met with students for a lesson on supplier relations and purchasing of raw materials. Further lessons covered research, technology, production processes, and of course tasting and qualitative questions, led by research and development director, Gerardo Dalbon.

The last day of the study trip included issues related to marketing and distribution, and the conferral of a certificate of participation in the three-day experience.