Here comes the first European walk dedicated to a food. And as for the European day it will be Gelato dedicated to artisanal ice cream. For President Bellati, “A three million euro project for a route with its center in Longarone.”
“We can say that Longarone Fiere has hit the jackpot,” comments the President of Longarone Fiere Dolomiti, Gian Angelo Bellati, “because if we think that today in 2022 we won this very important project, approved and financed by the European Commission, an itinerary recognized by the Venice Office of the Council of Europe, which also aims to recognize these very important itineraries, which drag activities, attract culture and move people and goods… Well 10 years ago Longarone Fiere inspired what we now call the European Day of Artisanal Ice Cream – March 24 – a great movement of opinion, but also political, which involved the entire European Parliament. Which voted overwhelmingly for this European Day of Ice Cream with a very important result for our fair which is recognized, like the city Longarone, to be the fair of ice cream, the city of ice cream. So after ten years we are happy with this further recognition that brings Longarone, the fair of Longarone, the Dolomites, the Province of Belluno, to the center of the world in such an important sector as ice cream.”
The project is called “GELATOn the road” and has focused on artisanal ice cream as a consumer tourism product to be promoted, but also to promote awareness of the craft throughout Europe. Ice cream was recognized in 2012 by the European Parliament, and then-President Antonio Tajani, as exceptional. Today, artisanal gelato is still the only food to have a dedicated European day (Gelato Day), which has been celebrated every year on March 24 since 2013. Artisanal gelato represents excellence in terms of quality and food safety. Being health-oriented, Gelato is made by traditional methods to reduce the use of plastics and embrace a Green Economy development model aimed at limiting the use of plastic and waste. In addition, Artisanal Ice Cream supports the km0 initiative, which enhances the agri-food products of each individual member state, gaining a great response from consumers.
And here then for the whole world of artisanal ice cream a very welcome success. “Longarone Fiere – the project leader – has presented a project to the European Commission: GELATOn the road, practically the itinerary of ice cream,” Bellati continues. It is a great success, because it is a project won by three million euros that wants to create, with center in Longarone, an itinerary that starts from Georgia, passes through Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia. In each of these countries there is a partner, or several partners. It then goes as far as Slovenia, Italy, goes up to Austria, Germany, Poland and then back to the westernmost area which is Belgium, Luxembourg to go down to Spain. So a very long route, which is important for Longarone, because it is at the center of this route. ice cream is the symbol of the city of Longarone. MIG is the most important fair that Longarone Fiere Longarone has, for more than 62 years now. So it is the oldest ice cream-related fair in the world. But this is also another record, because this is the first itinerary that is based on a food product, on a food. Among other things, it is also recognized by the Venice Office of the Council of Europe. So this is an itinerary that aims not only to bring tourism, to bring business, but that also wants to compare the various capacities of all these territories crossed to produce artisanal ice cream, quality ice cream, and bring all these experiences of all the businesses in the sector to Longarone Fiere, when precisely the International Ice Cream Exhibition is celebrated. It is a demonstration of how important European projects are for a very internationalized fair as the Ice Cream Fair is, but in general the Longarone Dolomites Fair. It achieves in this way even more the goal of being the only truly mountain fair in all of Europe, which presents itself to everyone thanks to an innovative project, to a project that brings together more than 10 countries of the European Union on this wonderful route that will be called precisely the itinerary of ice cream.”