2017 East Lombardy – European Region of Gastronomy Project was created after the decision of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona and Mantua to team up as one big tourist destination, betting on the union between the artistic-naturalistic heritage and the food and wine tradition.
It involves 10 main partners and over 70 local stakeholders: Lombardy Region, Bergamo University (as scientific coordinator), the Municipalities of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona and Mantua and the respective Chambers of Commerce.
The four Lombard provinces achievd this important award in July 2015 by signing a Memorandum of understanding and starting a long procedure involving the partners and the local stakeholders in the development of strategies aimed to enhance and promote the local traditional food cultures, to integrate them in the touristic offer and to promote the spreading of development practices and sustainable consumption while respecting the single territories and identities, in order to celebrate a 2017 full of initiatives and events.
The award achieved by East Lombardy is first of all a great chance to promote the local know-how and culture, thus meeting the tourists’ demand for quality products and authentic experiences. The main goal is to increase the positive perception of a destination, to deseasonalise tourism, to diversify rural economies creating a positive impact on economy, occupation and local heritage. On the other hand, the project aims to promote a better sustainable integration among each territory’s resources, by implementing specific information, consumption awareness and food sustainable consumption campaigns, along with some distribution and promotion systems supporting the small producers, so that they can open up to the market preserving their peculiar features.
This outstanding territory comprises more than half the total surface of the region, including 1/3 of Lombardy’s population and amazing tourism destinations: from Lake Garda, to the UNESCO and art sites, to the renowned mountain resorts.
Every year, about 11,5 million people come to this area, which has 3.400 hotel facilities and almost 23.000 people working in the tourism sector, including restoration. East Lombardy’s excellence also includes food and wine: 25 DOP and IGP products, 126 PAT, 25 wines DOCG, DOC and IGT and 22 Michelin starred restaurants mentioned in the 2016 Michelin Guide.