Tasting Italy: From Alpine Mountains to the midst of Mediterranean
This year I had the chance to travel across the countries around the Mediterranean, attending conferences, symposiums and events, from Crete to Sicily, from various corners of Spain to Italy and France, but two travels made me think more about the unique charm of Italy, how its far corners are different yet similar in terms of their concerns about tourism, and how they can put their unique gastronomic values to promote their regions. Thanks to organizer couple Manuela Fissore Barker and Thomas Barker, the foremost communication agency, collaborating with Paolo Vizzari, renowned food writer who describes himself as a gastronomic narrator, I had the chance to attend "Ein Prosit" event in Udine at the northeastern tip of Italy and then visited Siracusa, down in Sicily, discussing Mediterranean cuisine and gastronomy tourism.
Ein Prosit: Let the tables be set and the glasses clink
What do you do to boost a region that is moribund in terms of tourism? It's simple: Set a table and invite everyone. That's exactly what the association of towns in Friuli-Venezia Giulia has done. This is a region which has its own charm with lots of towns to discover, but doomed to be forever overshadowed by Venice in terms of tourism. Located in the northeastern corner of Italy, the region borders Slovenia and Austria, and lies just a stone's throw behind Venice in Veneto, undoubtedly Italy's most visited city. Trieste, the central port city of the partially autonomous region, is a wealthy city that once had a close trade relationship with the Ottomans. The city with its grid-iron streets with huge paving stones can be likened as Torino-by-the-sea. Udine, a little further inland, is a settlement where you can also hear occasional German language. Gorizia, in...