Page - Unisg, SLOW FOOD AND THE AGENZIA
It is no coincidence that the Slow Food association was born, grew up and became a global movement right here among the Langa hills. The local workers who fled grinding poverty to secure a future for their families have conserved a great love of the traditional flavours of their land. The Slow Food philosophy is grounded in the skills connected with agriculture, livestock breeding and cooking. Placing food and all its environmental, social, economic and cultural implications at the centre of public debate was the fixed idea that drove a group of local visionaries to develop the long abandoned Agenzia di Pollenzo estate into a cultural pole to promote and spread their message. After years of hard work, what seemed like a utopic gamble has paid off. The buildings and the hamlet that surrounds them have been restored and now house the first university in the world dedicated to gastronomic sciences, the Wine Bank and a hotel, the Albergo dell’Agenzia. Slow Food and its followers are now the owners of a patrimony of inestimable value that legitimizes the association’s new concept of gastronomic quality: good from the sensory point of view, sustainable from the environmental point of view, and fair from the social point of view.
Work began on the building of the Agenzia, a large neo-Gothic farming estate based on the mediaeval curtis style of architecture, in 1833.
In 1842, King Carlo Alberto set up the first ‘agrarian association’ to improve agriculture and ancillary activities in the area. The Agenzia di Pollenzo, to all intents and purposes an experimental research center, was opened to the public during the association’s first general meeting in October 1843. On that occasion, the scientists in attendance outlined all the various aspects—economic and managerial, technical and productive, and social—of the objectives that the structure had set itself.