One for Expo, all for Expo
Italian institutions met in Florence to support the event. Chefs were represented by Cracco
Yesterday in Florence, the second stop of Expo delle Idee, after the one in Milan on February 7th. The numerous institutional representatives at Palazzo Vecchio
There was energy and trust, yesterday at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence for Expo delle Idee, the second stop that followed the meeting in Milan on 7th February and ended with a speech by the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella. In view of the final rush towards Expo Milano 2015, institutions, entrepreneurs and intellectuals met to examine the status of the “Carta di Milano” and how the 8,000 towns in Italy are getting ready.
There were many ministers involved, all of whom agreed that Expo will give Italy new skills and will provide an exceptional showcase. Expo «can represent the great turning point that our country has been waiting for many years» declared the minister for Agricultural Policies, Martina. Every Italian region is involved: Debora Serracchiani, president of Friuli Venezia Giulia, explained how her region will bring its productive chain, exceptional products and wine to Expo. And then there will be the towns, as mentioned: Salvatore Adduce, mayor of Matera, said that the victory of his town, designated as European capital for culture in 2019, represents a reason for confidence for all the South.
There were more specific considerations too: sociologist Aldo Bonomi, together with Giuseppe De Rita, president of Censis, presented the conclusions of the six Territorial Seminaries that took place between October and December 2013. Italy’s structure relies on farming and is very rooted to the ground, besides counting on an excellent "ecologic estates": lands often devastated by mafia but which the government now confiscates and associations such as Libera Terra can then cultivate – as illustrated by Valentina Fiore, director of Libera Terra Mediterraneo – because the «themes of food are not detached from legality».
The speech given in Florence by the president of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella
The minister for Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni underlined that it is crucial today to create multipolar balances, focusing increasingly towards a liquid foreign policy. Andrea Riccardi, founder of Comunità di Sant'Egidio, spoke about Africa, about how towns in that continent are expanding, eroding the surrounding countryside and thus creating huge shantytowns. The speech given by Emma Bonino, honorary president of the WE-Women for Expo, a project that aims at giving a contribution in the creation of strategies for women was touching.
The collective interest for those who come second was the main topic of the speech given by the only chef involved in yesterday’s event too, Carlo Cracco: the strength of Italian cuisine is its simplicity and the diversity of products which, however, need to be safeguarded and enhanced. What criteria – says Cracco – can define a real restaurant today? It cannot be just a question of commerce: restaurants today are one of the few ways to socialise and you need strict parameters to identify them precisely.
Carlo Cracco spoke about the criteria to define a restaurant
During the day, in between the speeches, there were live shows of the works at Expo with Marco Balich, artistic director of Padiglione Italia, who presented Albero della Vita, a huge wood installation, 35 metres tall. Finally, the video-speech given by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, was trenchant: «There’s more food produced in the world than needed. However, one person out of nine does not have food. We have launched a challenge to eliminate starvation».