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slow food in ItalyNowadays most of us live in a hectic, frantic world where little time is available for simple pleasures such as a family meal or a dinner party with fresh, home cooked food. We visit superstores, we buy ready meals and ingredients shipped from halfway across the world and we run home to throw everything in the oven or microwave while we get on with our lives. For some people however, this is simply not what they want out of life.

In 1986 in the town of Bra, Piemonte, in the North of Italy, a movement was born. Conceived by Carlo Petrini, inspired by a childhood of contrasts between his grandmother’s philosophy of traditional mealtimes and fresh local ingredients and the hectic modern lives of his working parents, the movement was about embracing local food, biodiversity and a more relaxed way of eating and living. Originally called Arcigola, the movement was renamed Slow Food in 1989 with the signing of the Slow Food Manifesto.

The principle is based upon living and eating well while looking after the environment and the local community. The philosophy is based upon the tagline “good, clean and fair”, which is used to describe the kind of eating and drinking the movement proposes for all, and Slow Food encourages people to make responsible choices, to connect with the identity of the area they are in, and to slow down and really taste and enjoy what they are eating and drinking.

Now there are groups in six continents and over 150 different countries including the UK, France, China, Australia and the USA, and as an offshoot of the Slow Food movement, there is also a new Slow Cities movement supporting a cultural shift towards slowing down and enjoying life more. In order to become a Slow city, towns must respond to certain criteria which make them relaxing places to visit... and to live in.

If this sounds like the kind of thing you might enjoy, then Italy is the place to visit. Not only is it the birthplace of the movement, it is also a country which in many ways still respects the old fashioned values around food and family promoted by the Slow Food movement, and it is partly as a result of this that Italy has some of the world’s finest cuisine.

A wedding or honeymoon in Italy, especially perhaps in rural Italy, can give you the chance to see and taste for yourself the culture of good food and drink, and to immerse yourself in a more relaxed culture.

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