The Milan Earth Market will open for the first time on Saturday December 12 from 9am to 3pm in Largo Marinai d’Italia.
he Milan Earth Market will open for the first time on Saturday December 12 from 9am to 3pm in Largo Marinai d’Italia .
It is the second Slow Food market in Italy to be held in a major city, following the success of Bologna, now celebrating its first anniversary.
The venue for the market is Parco Vittorio Formentano, traditionally known to local people as the Largo Marinai d'Italia park, the site until 1848 of Field Marshall Radetzky’s fort. In 1911 the fruit and vegetable market (the Verzée) was moved there, allowing farmers from the surrounding region to offer city-dwellers the best local produce such as Savoy cabbage from Casalpusterlengo, Vigevano beans and Brianza figs. In the late 1960s it became a green area for the local neighborhood.
The main market producers will be from the South Milan Agricultural Park (Parco Agricolo Sud Milano), which at over 47,000 hectares is one of the largest urban-edge agricultural parks in Europe. The wider catchment area for the market lies within the three rivers demarcating the city (the Ticino, Adda and Po) and the lakes of Brianza and Varese.
More than 40 producers with an extraordinary range of products are involved, including some Slow Food Presidia—all the local ones, plus the Huehuetenango Highlands Coffee and Siwa Oasis Date Presidia as guests.
The market’s initiatives include Taste Workshop tastings organized by the Slow Food Lombardy convivium to enable visitors to compare outstanding products present at the market with ones of lesser quality.
The market will offer an opportunity to bring the big city closer to the nearby countryside which is unknown to many. Producer Elisa Pozzi describes her experience: “We have been selling our raw milk and fresh cheeses direct to the public since 2004; we also have beehives on our farm and produce honey from acacia, lime and millefiori, the prevalent blossom in our area. A small part of our land is used for growing rice and we still use an old husker to process it. Children, and interested members of the public often come to see our activities and I am delighted to answer their questions.”
The Milan Earth Market project is organized through a co-funding arrangement following a protocol of understanding between Slow Food Italy and South Milan Agricultural Park. The Milan local authority and the Cariplo Foundation are key sponsors of the initiative, as part of the Nutrire Milano project.
From 2010 the market will be held every week.