Friday 16 July 2021

The flavour of discovery has always been inherent in the charm of travel, and today’s tourism is increasingly characterized by the exploration of taste. The conference titled “Vetrina Toscana: in viaggio con il gusto” tackles the theme of travel from this point of view.

In fact, food and wine ranks first for attractiveness and competitiveness, as observed in the survey conducted on over 1,500 operators regarding the competitive context of Tuscan tourism products (Ciset research, November 2020).

71% of Italians choose their trip based on the food and wine offering

Roberta Garibaldi, Professor of Tourism Management and President of the Italian Food and Wine Tourism Association, conducts a quantitative and qualitative analysis of culinary journeys in the Report on Italian Food and Wine Tourism 2021. The research data shows that since 2016, there has been a constant growth in this tourism sector: today, 71% of Italians consider food and wine as a decisive element in the choosing of the destination for their trip, driven by interest in deepening their knowledge of the cultural aspect of a territory’s food and wine. Consumer food and wine tourism belongs to the past. The reasons that drive tourists to travel are above all linked to the landscape and cultural identity of destinations, as well as the value of companies link with the territory in which it operates, and its adoption of sustainable development practices.

Matteo Montebelli, Head of Research and Publications of the Study Center of the Italian Touring Club, highlights how the restaurant and agri-food production sector is increasingly developing awareness of being an integral part of the tourism supply chain with a leading role, and no longer a mere supplier of an “accessory” service.

Mirko Lalli, CEO & Founder of The Data Appeal Company, details the results of a survey on the online perception of restaurants belonging to Vetrina Toscana, confirming their reputation as very high and generically slightly above the average of Tuscan restaurants, especially in analyses linked to the identity of the territory and to Tuscan food and wine tradition.

Vetrina Toscana, best practices at European level

A journey into taste was started over 20 years ago by Vetrina Toscana, the Tuscan Regional Council, and the Unioncamere project, as among the first examples of food and wine tourism that links the territory, restaurants, shops and products to itineraries dedicated to taste. The innovative territorial marketing operation has earned European Commission recognition as an Italian “best practice” for agri-food promotion.

New image and manifesto of values

The project that reveals the strong roots of identity as a basis for a leap into the future is renewed. “Travelling with Vetrina Toscana” represents the evolution of the project that’s linked to the countryside: “Tuscany, never-ending Renaissance“, is the symbol of a Tuscany with a centuries-old – and yet, contemporary – tradition.

Among the most notable innovations is the new logo, a restyling of the historic Della Robbia, and the introduction of the manifesto of values. To register with the network, it’s no longer necessary to sign a policy document, it’s enough to give your assent to a set of guidelines that express dedication to respecting and promoting Tuscany and its culinary history.

A unique experience is to be found when travelling and eating local food: “A journey within a journey“. This is the claim of the new Vetrina communication campaign, curated by Fondazione Sistema Toscana, which will start in autumn. It’s a visual journey that takes us through the most authentic Tuscany, with its tradition and modernity. At the centre will be the sounds and shapes of the landscapes, products, recipes and colours of our region.

National experiences

Among the latest news is “Vetrina Toscana in viaggio”. The food and wine itinerary sets out on a journey to reveal Tuscany outside regional borders, through a path of exchange of practices and events, in dialogue with other entities that stand out in the food and wine sector.

Mauro Carbone, Director of the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board, speaks of a “pact of taste” established between Tuscany and Langhe Monferrato Roero in the name of white truffles and noble reds: gourmet itineraries that unite Tuscany and Piedmont to promote the beauty and the wealth of their territories. These unique landscapes have been recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, giving life to extraordinary products.

Cristiano Casa, President of Destinazione Turistica Emilia and Councilor for Agriculture, Tourism, and the UNESCO City of Parma Project, talks about the experience of transitioning from a productive territory to an area with a tourist vocation, and announces a day dedicated to “Vetrina Toscana” as part of Culinary September in the “Food Valley”.

Carmine Maione, President of the Oronero Cultural Association, organizer Eruzioni del gusto, presents the joint actions that Campania and Tuscany will present at the third edition of ‘Eruzioni del Gusto’, scheduled from September 17 to 20, 2021 at the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa, a symbolic place of journeys.

Stores that combine tradition and modernity

The journey continues with a virtual visit to the Vetrina Toscana stores, detailing their paths. Andrea Falaschi of the Sergio Falaschi, butchers in San Miniato (PI) tells us about his traditional store that’s a perfect example of local tradition which has recently risen to global success, and is listed among the 50 best shops in the world by the Financial Times.

Fabio Baroncini, from the “Bottega del Gusto – Food Wine” in Livorno, talks about a new format with a historic flavour: a store with a small tasting space where typical Livorno dishes can be found.

Alessandro Franzetti from the Etico shop in San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI), projects us into the future with the “digital shop“, a concept store that uses technology to detail the history of each product and give the customer a real experience.

Marco Olmetti, Chef at the Osteria Pepenero in Portoferraio (LI), illustrates the outcome of the initiative supported by Vetrina Toscana that links sustainability, the “open air” concept, and local cuisine: “Food for Trash: walk and clean”, in which friends and customers are invited to gather everything that pollutes the environment while walking, with the reward of a gourmet dinner.

The Well-Being ART Work laboratory

A creative workshop focused on the new logo takes place during the conference in the garden of the Stibbert Museum. Just as the Vetrina Toscana project brings together operators in the food and wine sector and lovers of good food, Sara Del Bene’s Well-Being ART Work laboratory promotes collaboration and creativity by proposing a work created by the participants of the event themselves.

The day ends with a tasting: a journey to Tuscany in the name of taste and an immersive experience between art and food in the footsteps of the Emperor, visiting the exhibition: “Napoleon. Myth and memories in the Stibbert collections”, on the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death.

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