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UNESCO: Italian espresso officially nominated for intangible heritage list

ROME, JANUARY 21 – The “tazzulella” made it and Venice and Naples are joining efforts. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has unanimously approved the candidacy of Italian espresso coffee to UNESCO’s lists of Intangible Heritage of Humanity: “In Italy, coffee is much more than just a drink: it is a true ritual, an integral part of our national identity and an expression of our sociability that stands us out in the world”, explained Undersecretary for Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies, Gian Marco Centinaio, while announcing the denomination of the candidacy: “Italian espresso coffee between culture, ritual, sociality and literature in emblematic communities from Venice to Naples”.

Toast inside the Gambrinus

“We are extremely pleased to have been able to achieve a unitary candidacy”, said Centinaio announcing that “today the candidacy of Italian espresso coffee will be transmitted to the Italian National Commission for UNESCO and we trust that it will be approved and transmitted to Paris by 31 March. The espresso cup represents a social and cultural ritual for all Italians, this is also reflected in literature and encompasses the whole country, from Naples to Venice and Trieste, through Rome and Milan. A candidacy that is much more important because of the historical times it comes in, when the restrictions caused by the pandemic have penalised social relations, many of which were framed by the counter or the outdoor tables of a café in front of a good cup of Italian coffee”.

Today’s formalisation has put together two different proposals: the one started by the “Comunità del Rito del Caffè Espresso” born from the input of the Consortium of Protection of Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee based in Treviso, and the Neapolitan one. In this case, Massimiliano Rosati and Michele Sergio, owners of the Gambrinus café, historical symbol of the coffee ritual in Naples and in the entire world, worked to recognise the great value of espresso coffee as a social and cultural aggregator and started a very successful collection of signatures. And the first toast to celebrate the news took place right inside the Gambrinus. (@Giorgiodelgallo)

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