Monthly Archives: January 2021

Innovation in support of tradition to counter climate change in the UNESCO Site

Written by Carola Giacometti,

Project approved and financed by MIBACT – Law 77/2006 “Special measures fot the protection and use of Italian sites of cultural, landscape and environmental interest, included in the World Heritage List, placed under the protection of UNESCO”, financial year 2019


The vineyards of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato are an exceptional example of man’s interaction with his natural environment. Following a long a and slow evolution of winemaking expertise, the best possible adaptation of vines to soils with specific soils and climatic components has been achieved, which in itself is linked to oenological competence, thus becoming an international reference point. The Vineyard Landscape also expresses great aesthetic qualities, transforming it into an archetype of European vineyards.

The project aims to deepen the theme of the impacts and vulnerabilities to climate change of the territory of the UNESCO Site of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Vineyard Landscapes and create a proposal of adaptation strategies that allow the maintenance of the value of the area under study according to two linked and interdependent aspects: the protection of the value of the UNESCO site from extreme climatic and environmental events and the active participation of citizens in the increasingly emerging issue.

This is because participation has always been one of the key elements of a policy of change, especially when it comes to environmental issues that then also affect the economy and tourism of a territory.

The territory under study, in recent years, has been increasingly affected by extreme natural events that have damaged both the inhabited areas and the wine-growing crops.

The objective of the activity is to define a knowledge base of the territory of the UNESCO Site in such a way as to understand its characteristics and what may be its weaknesses in climatic terms: geomorphological analysis, analysis of the agro-cultural system and use soil, alalysis of settlement systems and planning tools in force. This first part will be accompanied by an analysis of the main climatic dynamics affecting the site, taking into consideration the aspects that affect it the most. In detail, the trends in recent decades of the main atmospheric events that can cause damage to the wine heritage can be studied: rainfall and temperatures in the first place.

In order to understand this phenomenon, and its implications, an on-desk activity will be carried out, analyzing various sources, starting from the official ones, and involving the main research institutes at the territorial level and on the issues in question, including, by way of example but not limited to it, ARPA Piemonte – Regional Meteorological Service, UNITO – Agricultural Sciences Department, Study Center for Rural Development of the Hill, LINKS Foundation.

The activity can also be carried out on the field, through the collection of data by stakeholders active in the area, to provide a more representative picture of the reference reality.

Starting from the analysis made in this first step, the main environmental risks for the territory will be assessed with a coherent and systematic path and consequently the probable vulnerabilities in terms of sensitivity and exposure to risk will be assessed. Then the main transformational impacts on the values, attributes, authenticity and integrity of the world heritage that represent the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato site will emerge.

The best practices in the field of solutions (technological or management related) that aim to make wineries – and therefore the Site – resilient to climate change will also be researched and analyzed.

In light of the results obtained, the activity will conclude with the drafting of a first proposal of concrete strategies and actions that citizens and public bodies (municipalities) could put in place to tackle climate change.


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The protection of the authenticity of a living landscape between tradition, innovation and globalization in the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Vineyard Landscapes of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”

Written by Carola Giacometti,

The Exceptional Universal Value of the UNESCO Site is strongly connected with its millenial “wine culture”. Being a living cultural landscape, in continuous evolution, this tradition has over the centuries represented a solid reference base for the development of innovation processes that involve all fields of the wine supply chain. The combination of tradition and innovation is in fact one of the distinctive factors of the site at an international level and a guarantee for its authenticity. The dynamics of globalization that now affect the whole planet, if not correctly understood and managed, could represent a threat to the vineyard landscape and precisely in terms of authenticity. A correct knowledge of this phenomenon constitutes therefore a fundamental tool to ensure the protection of the values of the UNESCO Site over time and its transmission to future generations.

The project aims to to study and monitor the main factors of social and economic change that affect the territory of the UNESCO Site as a whole and develop targeted enhancement, communication and integration actions, especially with reference to future generations.

The activities involve: the school world; farms, wineries, cooperatives, consortia and workers involved in the management and protection of the wine-growing landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato; universities and research institutions.


Activities in schools

Children, during school hours, give life to a micro-society, heterogeneous and complex as it is characterized by multiple social, cultural, relational, autobiographical, linguistic references. On the one hand, the project wanted to understand the nature and lifestyle of the new generations living in the area. On the other hand, through the workshop, we worked to transfer to the children a sense of awareness of the place they live in and to enhance participation and the exchange of experience. Due to the Covid-19 emergency, the activities were developed remotely thanks to the collaboration of teachers. At first, videos on the Vineyard Landscapes were proposed to the students (the format consists of an introductory video and six videos on the components of the UNESCO Site), to which a supporting powerpoint was added. After the vision of the videos, the children were asked to develop two tasks: a drawing and a short text. The collected materials will be presented in the final dossier which will include the other activities planned for the project.



The project launches an experimental activity aimed at agricultural workers of foreign origin. In collaboration with organizations and educational institutions of the agricultural sector, a technical training course is promoted with the following topics: physiology and botany of the vine, theoretical and practical notions of pruning, notions of general agricultural mechanics and a cultural module aimed at the knowledge of the Vineyard Landscapes of Southern Piedmont, UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a final visit to the historic cellars.



All activities will be collected and presented in a White Paper of good practices that will include data for the scientific framework of the topic, interventions by experts, papers made in schools and the synthesis of video interviews conducted with local operators.

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Culture and wine: Piedmont walking on the New Silk Road

Written by Segreteria,

The twinning between the Vineyard Landscapes of Langhe Roero and Monferrato and the Rice Terraces of Honghe Hania opens the door to interesting prospects for collaboration between Piedmont and China.

The balance of the first visit to the UNESCO site in Yunnan, one of the most economically dynamic provinces in China, is positive: 50 million inhabitants over an area of ​​394,000 square kilometers (more than Italy) and a GDP that grows by 9% per year.

The Piedmontese delegation assisted by Davide Castellani, vice consul at the Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing and by his staff, from 11 to 14 December had a busy schedule of meetings with the highest political and administrative authorities of the Yunnan Province, of the prefecture of Honghe and with the universities of Yunnan. Representing the Piedmontese reality were the Vice President of the Piedmont Region Fabio Carosso, the president of the Association for the Heritage of Vineyard Landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (UNESCO site management body) Gianfranco Comaschi, the director of the Unesco site Vineyard Landscapes of Langhe -Roero and Monferrato and expert of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism Roberto Cerrato, the head of communication and external relations on the Unesco site Roberta Favrin, for the academic part Marco Valle Head of Cultural Heritage & Regional-Urban Development Links Foundation (founding members Compagnia di San Paolo and Politecnico di Torino), Federica Larcher, representative of the University of Turin, Researcher at the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences and Director of the Study Center for the Rural Development of the Hill.

The multimedia exhibition inaugurated in the new Hani Culture Museum in Yuanyang was dedicated to the Piedmontese site, a reference point for the enhancement of the rice terraces UNESCO World Heritage since 2013.

With the Chinese site, the Piedmont Vineyard Landscapes have signed the Twinning agreement included in the international Memorandum The New Silk Road signed in March during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Rome.

Yuanyan County is characterized by the beautiful terraced rice fields that descend from the slopes of the Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River, the Red River. “We were struck by the beauty of the landscape with the extraordinary geometric shapes of the water mirrors and the terraces dedicated to the cultivation of red rice”, comment Gianfranco Comaschi and Roberto Cerrato. “Through the visit to the museum and then to the millennial village of Azheke, under the guidance of the Governor Luo Ping, we have grasped the richness of the culture and traditions of the Hani minority that populates the terraces, preserving their uses, customs and traditions as in an “open-air museum”.

However, the philological preservation of history does not preclude the introduction of forms of innovation. The Prefecture of Honghe has in fact illustrated several projects to encourage and increase tourist flows in the area: from the construction of an airport and a highway, to the creation of an App on 5G technology that will also have contents in Italian.

Meeting at the University of Yunnan

The UNESCO site delegation met with representatives of Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming University of Science and Technology Oxbridge College, Yunnan Technology and Business University, Wenhua College of Yunnan Arts University, College of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and College of Plant Protection.

President Comaschi and director Roberto Cerrato presented the UNESCO site and the ongoing collaborations with Piedmontese universities, Professor Federica Larcher, representing the University of Torino, described the University of Turin in its teaching aspects , research and international relations. She then illustrated the educational and scientific structure and organization of the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences and the activities of the Study Center for the Rural Development of the Hill, of which she is the Director. Marco Valle, expert on Cultural Heritage, illustrated the international projects of the Links Foundation research and innovation center. In the exchange of experiences in the academic field, possible themes of collaboration were identified in the sectors of sustainable development, agriculture, management and landscape planning, management of cultural heritage and technological innovation. The first contacts were established to stipulate the Memorandum of Understanding in the short term in order to start the collaboration.

The Piedmontese delegation closed the visit to the College of Plant Protection, where the experimental viticulture project was presented on the highlands of Shangri-La (North of Yunann) ranging from 1600 to 3000 meters above sea level; some wines already in production were tasted, from Chardonnay and Cabernet grapes.

Future prospects

“Piedmont is the first Italian region to exploit the potential of the New Silk Road in Yunnan”, comments Davide Castellani, Vice Consul at the Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing. “Thanks to the contacts developed during the mission, interesting prospects for collaboration not only cultural but also of an economic nature for companies in the region. Among the opportunities reported by the Yunnan government, the participation in the sixth edition of the China South Asia – Expo, the most important fair in Yunnan with a strong focus on South East Asia, is particularly highlighted ”.

For the Vice President of the Region, Fabio Carosso, “the visit went beyond the best expectations, I did not imagine that such interesting prospects could be opened up for our companies. There is a lot of work to be done, but the twinning between the Langhe Roero and Monferrato Vineyard Landscapes and the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces has proved to be a precious opportunity to be developed not only from a cultural but also from an economic point of view.

The UNESCO recognition, which affects 40% of our territory, is the passport that favors the internationalization of our companies and at the same time attracts an increasing number of foreigners to our hills “.

Gianfranco Comaschi and Roberto Cerrato commented “We had the opportunity to discuss a first series of issues that in the coming months will reach a shared choice of the two sites. We are thinking of cultural exchange projects and activities that will concern climate change, environmental sustainability, tradition and heritage conservation. Our site was envied for the “best practices” in the management of cultural and landscape heritage and on this issue a collaboration was explicitly requested.

2020 will be “the year of Italy-China Culture and Tourism” and will represent the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between Italy and China: “We invited the delegation of the Yunnan Province to visit the UNESCO site Langhe Roero and Monferrato in the month of September which represents one of the most beautiful and evocative moments of the year from the point of view of the landscape and traditional festivals.


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Enhancement of wine architectures through cataloguing, education and fruition activities

Written by Segreteria,

The project aimed to enhance the heritage of the wine architectures of the UNESCO site through two main areas of action: education / teaching and cataloguing.


Educational workshops on UNESCO heritage were promoted involving primary, secondary, high school and vocational schools in the provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo.

Cataloguing of wine architectures

The second part of the project was integrated with activities already underway in the area with the aim of systematizing and homogenizing the numerous types of existing census, and underway, by different subjects. At the same time, new census campaigns were activated for the categories of goods that required in-depth analysis.

The categories considered are:

Places of cultivation (farms, “ciabot”)

Distribution and promotion places (wine shops or municipal cellars, regional wine bars, museums of the regional wine tradition)

Places of production and conservation (wineries and winemaking industries, social wineries and cooperative companies, Infernot)

Cultural heritage subject to monumental protection

Fortified structures related to the wine sector

The data obtained from the cataloguing flows into a georeferenced database, created through the use of GIS systems.

Kept at the headquarters of the Territorial Offices of the Association for the Heritage of Vineyard Landscapes of Alba, the database is accessible to all online.

The Association has also created the documentary center for the promotion of research and archiving of volumes relating to the UNESCO Vineyard Heritage. The consultation space is open to the public and allows the consultation of books, maps, prints, illustrations and material relating to UNESCO landscapes and territories.

Access Open Data

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Memories and Traditions of the Vineyards

Written by Segreteria,

Intangible knowledge and traditions play an essential role in ensuring the maintenance of the authenticity aspects of the UNESCO site. This is the starting point for the “Memories and Traditions of the Vineyards” project financed by MIBACT thanks to the funds of law 77/2006. The “heart” of the project is the creation of a multimedia archive of memory, which can be easily consulted from all over the world.


The Multimedia archive

The online platform takes the visitor by the hand and accompanies him through the history of the hills, a map, many places where past and present speak through images and sounds. The thematic areas are those that constitute the intangible cultural heritage for UNESCO: the set of traditions, oral expressions, performing arts, rituals, festive events, crafts, traditional agricultural practices that are a “living” expression of the identity of the communities and of the populations who recognize themselves in them. The multimedia archive is already populated by hundreds of files: vintage photographs, posters and postcards, historical films recovered from national archives, more recent videos. The proposed themes are: the management of the vineyard, the winemaking techniques, the festivals and traditions related to wine, the typical local productions connected to viticulture, the calendar of work in the vineyard, traditional recipes. The archive is available to anyone, public or private, who wants to deposit and share “pieces” of memory.

The Interviews

As part of the “Memories and Traditions of the Vineyards” project, 24 video interviews were carried out with expert connoisseurs of the area and its literary and popular culture, the wine production chain, events and traditions. Women and men from Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, with their generous testimony, help us to reconstruct and understand the world of wine, from vineyard management to winemaking techniques. The construction and architectural typologies of our countryside with their materials, from raw brick to canton stone. And then, again, the great writers of the territory (Cesare Pavese, Beppe Fenoglio, Davide Lajolo), peasant rites and religious festivals, songs, dances, popular theater.


The docufilm VITE! Journey to the center of an Earth

Play on the double meaning of “VITE!” (in italian both “vine” and “lives”) the first docufilm that tells the Vineyard Landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, among the Italian World Heritage treasures.The body for the management and protection of the UNESCO site has entrusted the director Tiziano Gaia with the task of unearthing the baggage inimitable knowledge, knowledge and agricultural practices handed down from generation to generation, from the ancient Romans to the present day. Shot over two years, following the unchanging rhythm of the seasons, the film follows, portraits in their daily lives, pruners, winemakers, coopers , cellar masters, young students of the Alba wine school, historians, researchers. An epic journey through the hills and villages that dot the area of ​​Southern Piedmont, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014. Harvest, festivals and popular games, rural architecture, futuristic cellars alongside “ciabot” and “infernot”: the images compose a variegated and complex mosaic, as well as complex is the socio-economic and cultural fabric that animates one of the most prestigious wine districts in the world.United by the thin and symbolic thread of a red ball, on the great green stage are intertwined stories and traditions, memories and hopes, challenges and restarts, as in any self-respecting great journey. And so it is no coincidence that the beginning of the story is entrusted to that ancestral sea that once covered much of today’s Piedmont. A reference to the origins, a step into the myth. As the anthropologist Piercarlo Grimaldi says, in his role as “Virgil” in the film, “there was no interruption of knowledge from father to son, from grandfather to grandson : all generations continue to incessantly narrate the myths of this land. The hope is that this model will be able to maintain and know how to relentlessly narrate and re-narrate the myths of this territory. “

Learn more in the technical sheet

The Box Set 

To preserve and disseminate the material collected as part of the project, a box containing a summary booklet and a USB key was created. The key contains the 24 video interviews made with local experts and the VITE! Documentary film. The intent is to deliver a work tool to students and researchers and leave a legacy to future generations.


Access the multimedia archive

Guide to the platform

Access the Docufilm VITE!

Go to VITE!

Download the booklet of Memory and Traditions of the Vineyards

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Land(e)scape the disabilities – A landscape for all

Written by Segreteria,

The “Land (e) scape the disabilities – A landscape for all” project, financed by Law 77/2006 in 2016 and by the Association of Piedmont Banking Foundations, has set itself the goal of making the UNESCO Site of Wine Landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato to all those who are interested in knowing their values and enjoying the varied aspects that characterize the cultural landscape, according to the “accessibility chain” approach and universal and inclusive design. The Association for the Heritage of Wine Landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato initially surveyed the places of wine in the area, and then identified two accessible itineraries in each component of the UNESCO site.

The map of accessible routes

Thanks to the involvement of SportAbili Alba, which made available qualified testers such as Francesca Fenocchio, Olympic medalist at the London 2012 Paralympics, Valentina Alessandria and Fausto De Piccoli, a geolicalized map of the accessible routes has been created concerning: the Castle of Grinzane Cavour was created , the WiMu of Barolo, the Tower of Barbaresco, the Regional Enoteca of Barbaresco and the cellar of the Producers of Barbaresco, the infernot of Rosignano Monferrato, the Regional Enoteca of Nizza Monferrato, the Palazzo del Gusto and the Information Office of Asti Turismo in Nizza Monferrato, in Canelli the underground cathedral of Contratto, the Regional Enoteca of Canelli and Astesana and the MUSA (Multimedia Museum of Southern Asti).

The exhibition “Sensory path of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”

It is a multisensory project capable of communicating the values of the UNESCO site through a “for all” approach, that is, through objects that can be used and accessed even by people with specific needs. The set-up was also designed to be completely reversible and removable to allow and facilitate a periodic movement to the most representative places of the World Heritage Site. The path consists of completely accessible panels, through which it is possible, through reading or sound narration, to know the values and peculiarities of the territory and of the six components that make up the UNESCO Site. What makes the exhibition unique is the presence of a material path in which objects and furnishings relating to the wine industry and the characteristics of the Piedmontese vineyard are presented.

Below is the link to the audio guide:

Coperniko, 360 ° landscapes

As part of the project, the first virtual tour of the Piedmont Wine Landscapes was created. The six components of the UNESCO site Langa del Barolo, Castle of Grinzane Cavour, Colline del Barbaresco, Nizza Monferrato and Barbera, Canelli and Asti Spumante and Monferrato degli Infernot are fully accessible through videos, 360 ° images of internal and external environments. developed through Experientia – Coperniko (winner of the SMAU Innovation Award 2016).

Click here and start the  virtual tour!

Guidelines for the accessibility of Piedmont wine landscapes

The monograph is part of the activities carried out and included within the “Land (e) scape the disabilities – A landscape for all” project, and was made possible through the collaboration with IsITT, the Italian Tourism Institute for All. This important tool represents a way to contribute to the diffusion of a concrete culture of “for all” design, which knows how to consider the different and diversified needs of the population in a constructive and creative way.

The primary objective is to provide local administrators, operators and the population with a reflection tool capable of proposing stimuli and suggestions to undertake a path of growth and improvement that aims at developing a more inclusive and aware territorial system, creating solutions and increasingly diversified, modular and adaptable proposals also to the specific needs of people with disabilities.

This publication is therefore an operational tool useful for: companies or associations, public bodies and private foundations, managers of communication and marketing events for companies, suppliers of goods and services for events, managers of locations for events, curators of exhibitions and festivals as well as members of pro loco, cultural associations.

Download the Accessibility Guidelines

The map of accessible routes

Reports of the conferences on the project “Land(e)scape the disabilities – A landscape for all”

Coperniko, the virtual tour of the Vineyard Landscapes of Piedmont

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