Slow Food Italia
Le Marche is home to agricultural traditions, ingredients and recipes that have remained unchanged for centuries and the provenance and security of food is of prime importance to the locals.
The Slow Food Movement?
The slow food movement was started by Italian Carlo Petrini in 1986. It was and is a backlash to the ubiquitous and bland global fast food that dominates global diets, and has caused increasing diet related health problems such as diabetes and dramatic increases in obesity levels.
The menu for the slow food movement includes an antipasti of “social conscience”, a primo piatti “a love of delicious food” and a secondo “political activism”, the dolce is “localism”. Its roots lie in Petrini’s concerted efforts to counter bland, tasteless and dangerous food shipped globally by transnational food companies.
The trigger was McDonald’s selling their pappy, unhealthy and unappetising fayre in Rome. Mr Petrini decided that enough was enough and that it was time to defend regional foods, save artisan producers from extinction and to revive unique local flavours.
What does the Slow Food Movement do?
Slow Food promotes traditional and regional cuisine and recipes, it encourages the farming of plant species, seeds and livestock that are characteristic of the local market. As the first part of the broader Slow movement, it has now expanded globally to over 100,000 members in over 100 countries. It has also helped spark local reactionary organisations such as the transition town movement; which promotes sustainability and Fairtrade.
The slow food movement encourages diversity and sustainability through locally produced food. It actively rallies against fast processed food through politics and the rejection of globalised agriculture supported by many western governments.
Slow Travel in Italy
Slow Travel followed fast on the heels of the slow movement and helps travellers engage better with the communities along their route.
It aims to provide an alternative way to the tourist guidebooks and help get tourists right under the skin of local areas and encourage travellers and to experience the sights, sounds, the tastes, textures and activities enjoyed by local residents. Its premise is that by taking the course you will have a richer holiday experience and also help the local economy in the process.
Slow Travel has similar values to ecotourism or sustainable tourism, and slow travellers generally look for low-impact travel styles that allow them to tread locally but gently.
Slow Food and Slow Travel in action
We are keen advocates of Slow food Italia and the slow food movement and provide our guests with free organic fruit, herbs and vegetables on their Italian self-catering holidays with us.
We also produce wine and rent our land to an organic sheep farmer who produces ricotta and pecorino cheese. We are 1km from Sarnano, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy; which is home to numerous delis, 8 butchers and over 20 superb restaurants.
At our Le Marche holiday villa we provide guests with a 20 page handbook, recommending local places, tours, restaurants, bars, food producers, itineraries, wineries, fashion designers and outlet shops.
To ensure that our holidays in Le Marche are sustainable, we collaborate with local residents, artisans and businesses to enable them to flourish and share their wealth of knowledge of this incredible region.
A Slow travel Manifesto
The Manifesto for Slow Travel, produced on the “Hidden Europe” website is great if you wish to travel lightly and engage with and help local communities:
- Slow travel is a state of mind and you should start to develop this at home.
- Travel slowly. Speed cuts your relationship with the local landscape.
- No matter how eager you are to arrive at your chosen destination, don’t let anticipation overshadow the pleasure of the journey
- Check out local markets and shops. Le Marche and particularly Sarnano is a treasure trove.
- Soak up café culture. Sit in a café and you become part of the local furniture and engage rather than observe.
- Try and get a feel for the language and dialect of the areas you visit. Learn a few key phrases, use a dictionary and buy a local newspaper. The local accent here is Marchegiani, it is very guttural and we are told is a kind of Cockney Italian
- Engage with communities by choosing accommodation and eating options that are representative to and give something back to the area where you are travelling.
- Dont follow the herd, do as the locals do.
- Enjoy the unexpected. Sheep being shepherded across the highway can be a wonderful experience if you relax.
- Consider if you can give back to the communities you visit. Support a local festa or event.
- We would like to add one of our own. Please set off early when traveling, everything closes at 12.30 or 1pm and you don’t want to miss out on that market, museum or shop.