Launched the Association Tour & Food Italia
Staff Writer - March 19, 2005
The staff of the bilingual magazine Tour & Food Italia in 2005 launched the Association Tour & Food Italia, with offices on prestigious Via della Condotta, just a few feet from Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
The objectives that the founders have in mind are various. First of all, the association aims to build a bridge between two worlds, that of the Italian producers and merchants, and that of foreign visitors, allowing them to interact by overcoming evident obstacles, such as physical distance and different languages.
The opening of an office in Florence was decided upon because of the need to improve some aspects of interaction between Italy and foreign visitors, especially those among them who had decided to spend a period of their life here, either as a tourist, student or worker. The Association Tour & Food Italia wants to improve the quality of life of all parties involved, Italians and foreigners, by providing overseas visitors the useful information needed to move comfortably, and safely about in an unfamiliar country.
Surely, the presence in town of several American schools, added to the large number of tourists that visit Florence for any number of reasons, contributed to the choice of the location of Tour & Food Italia's headquarters. The bilingual Italian-English wine, food and tourism magazine management decided to create the association of the same name, to help foreign visitors better integrate into the social structure of such a beautiful art city as Florence, providing them with the tools to face and understand the local culture, language and Italian lifestyle.
Obviously, such a cultural interaction already takes place to a certain extent, but the association's founders would like for the cultural connection to be even smoother and more immediate, thus contributing to all parties' growth, opening the minds and horizons of Italian merchants and foreign visitors alike. The promoters want to empower foreign residents with the ability to experience their stay almost as a native, discovering every day what there is most typical and genuine Italian: from food to wine, from culture to art, and from the people to the wonderful landscapes of the boot-shaped peninsula.
Another important matter to the founders is the need to protect, outside and, unfortunately, inside the national borders, the beloved 'Made in Italy' Appellatioin. As the staff has already highlighted in the magazine, they are convinced that the current situation in many large Italian cities is a paradox. According to the director of Tour & Food Italia, there are situation that may be accepted without second thought by Italians, but are deemed as odd by the foreign visitors.
"The objective risk, or the truth of the matter", said Luigi Capeto, director of the magazine, "is that the foreign visitor comes to Italy and buys products that have nothing Italian in them, all the while honestly convinced that he or she is taking home the longed-for renowned Italian top quality."
"Obviously such incidents lower the standards and weaken the 'Made in Italy', along with the image of quality that the brand indicates and guarantees. In addition, the money that pass hands in such transactions is usually moved to other countries," said again Capeto. "In order to try and defend ourselves, as Italians and consumers, we have decided to partner with all kind of businesses involved: from shopkeepers to restaurateurs, and from producers to hotel management. These businesses will display the Tour & Food Italia sticker on their windows (see photo). This guarantees consumers, especially foreign visitors, that the items for sale in the facility are truly 'Made in Italy'."
"We hope that the Tour & Food Italia association, supported by the power of communication of the magazine, will have a promotional effect on all positive things that come from our country, as well as improve the quality of life of everyone who lives the status of world citizen honestly. Our hope is that they'll be the true protagonists of our ambitious projects," concluded the Tour & Food Italia director.