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Sicily recommended for the “European Region of Gastronomy” 2025 award

The International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) has recommended Sicily. Renato Schifani said, “our history is based on agriculture”
DOC Sicilia Consortium, EUROPEAN REGION OF GASTRONOMY, SICILY, sicily region, News
The vineyards around the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (photo: Manuel Bonanno)

Sicily’s history is based on agriculture, and its treasure trove of quality products, its incredible biodiversity, from food to wine, all make it the “soul” of the Mediterranean. It is now just one step away from the prestigious international title, “European Region of Gastronomy” 2025, awarded by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT). Sicily would be, in fact, the very first Italian Region to achieve the award. Only one last formal step needs to be taken; however, during their visit in Sicily, the IGCAT delegation has spoken in favor of and “recommended” Sicily at Palazzo d’Orléans in Palermo. “The jury has agreed that the quality and variety of the products and richness of the experience make Sicily an excellent candidate. Taking into consideration the dossier presented, the discussion and the results of the visit, the jury decreed that Sicily must be recommended as the “European Region of Gastronomy” 2025, thus moving on to the final phase,” said Diane Dodds, president of the IGCAT jury, at the end of the delegation’s assessment process conducted over the last few days in various locations in Sicily.
“I would like to express my great joy for this recognition”, Renato Schifani, President of the Region, said, “which is the product of our history and traditions, as well as our Government’s commitment. I can assure you that Sicily will not disappoint you. It will rise to the occasion, because I believe that agriculture is the top fundamental element in the history of our land, and we are focusing heavily on the quality and value of our products”.
“Our Region has put great effort into promoting its products and its food and wine circuit, which has now been recognized”, Luca Sammartino, regional Councilor for Agriculture, emphasized, “and we proudly display all of our traditions, our history and our excellent products. We have launched a major investment plan and are preparing for the European markets. Many people will come to Sicily to taste our products, discover our traditions and admire the extraordinary beauty of our landscapes. This is an excellent opportunity which we are counting on, and that we have worked a lot towards, because as Sicilians we believe in the potential that our companies have demonstrated thus far; that is, competitiveness, cutting-edge, sustainability, and their excellence recognized together with the top of the top in Europe. Sicily accepts the challenge of 2025 with pride, knowing that it will make the beauty of our territory and the skills of our professionals known”. Sicily was nominated during the “Vinitaly” 2023 event, strongly supported by the Department of Agriculture, led by Dario Cartabellotta. The nomination was managed and promoted by the DOC Sicilia Consortium (Sicilian Designation of Origin) in close collaboration with the Consortium for the Protection of Wines of DOC Sicilia, the Modica Chocolate Consortium and representatives of local hotel institutes.
“We are very happy with the result because Sicily’s excellent food and wine production represent the soul of the Mediterranean”, Massimo Todaro, president of DOS Sicilia, explained, and it has an extraordinary development potential for the economy of the entire island. Biodiversity, traditions, craftsmanship, and traceability are the distinguishing elements of our quality denominations, and truly excellent products. Promoting our territorial identities based on Denominations is the right strategy to increase popularity, brand awareness and prestige”.
The alliance of values and production experiences make Sicily a leading destination for food and wine tourism”, Antonio Rallo, president of the most important DOC wine consortium on the island, is convinced, “Sicily’s quality wine is consistently growing together with other supply chains and the territories. Good food and good wine can help deseasonalize flows and promote knowledge about the entire island, even the lesser-known, but equally fascinating places. These are the precise purposes of this project”.
“The IGCAT commissioners participated in an extraordinarily powerful cognitive experience, not only due to the beauty of the places, the uniqueness of the productions and the material culture of the territories, but also because they were able to verify the accuracy of candidacy dossier, and understand all of its developmental potential”, Vincenzo Russo, professor of Neuromarketing at the IULM (University institute of modern languages) in Milan, and scientific coordinator of the initiative, explained, “the cornerstone of this international promotion project is systematizing our food and wine products and the attraction of our territories through a common and shared vision, as stated in our dossier. This is the primary, required recommendation that we will respect”.
The tour of the delegation to assess and verify the elements presented in the dossier in support of the candidacy of the Sicily Region, touched two of the major archaeological parks in western Sicily: the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and Selinunte. Furthermore, meetings and discussions have been scheduled with over 70 agri-food professionals, the University on the subject of research and innovation, and the custodians of the Island's food and wine heritage history.

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