Slow Food

UNISG Begins New Academic Year

Italy - 03 Oct 05

Yesterday the University of Gastronomic Sciences welcomed 68 new students to its Pollenzo campus for the undergraduate degree course. The University’s international identity was confirmed by the presence of 22 foreign students from Kenya, Turkey, Canada, Greece, Switzerland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany and France, along with 46 Italians.

The campus also welcomed back the 60 students who are beginning their second year of the course, having just returned from two-week stagesin the Veneto, Valle d’Aosta, Ireland or Austria.

For the new students, the first week of lectures will serve as an introduction to the unique world of UNISG and its various aspects.

Monday began with a presentation of the UNISG project by the dean, Professor Alberto Capatti, and Slow Food president Carlo Petrini.

“UNISG is officially recognized by the Italian government and therefore forms an integral part of the educational landscape of our country. It was born from a different set of ideals and concepts to a public university. The University was conceived by Slow Food, the international association which has been instrumental in promoting a fresh approach to the teaching of gastronomic sciences,” explained Capatti.

“UNISG will educate ‘gastronomists’, who are not food technologists, but instead know how to analyze a product with an understanding of its history and who have the skills to promote it. This course offers an opportunity to learn directly about products through the stages, field trips during which the student is not just an observer, but comes into first-hand contact with production processes,” he continued.

Capatti concluded by underlining the international nature of the University, where both English and Italian are the official languages of communication between the students and staff, as well as among the students themselves.

Carlo Petrini then spoke about the importance of the concept of ‘new gastronomy’, which forms the foundation of the University’s teaching.

“Gastronomy is a complex and multidisciplinary science, made up of economics, politics, history, anthropology, natural sciences and cultural identity. Here in Pollenzo and at Colorno, this complexity is studied in the classroom and in the field. The University’s uniqueness also derives from a strong link to Slow Food and its activities. UNISG is devoting itself to increasingly important themes such as the ones that emerged from Terra Madre, the meeting of global food communities held in October 2004 in Turin. Terra Madre will be held again in 2006, and it represents true teaching in the field as a place where food-producing communities can enter in a dialogue with ‘official’ science. The University, the farmers – who I define as intellectuals of the earth – and cooks. Everyone together, with slowness and constancy.”

For more information:
UNISG Communications Office
Tel. +39 0172 458 507/505/519