The italian artisanal gelato was celebrated in Palazzo Metternich in Vienna


Italian gelato, strictly artisanal, has been present in Austria for over 150 years. And a few days ago it was celebrated in Palazzo Metternich, seat of the Italian Embassy in Vienna, with a special meeting, in which its history was outlined, starting with the Dolomite valleys. In attendance were Italian Ambassador Giovanni Pugliese, AGIA – Association of Italian Gelatieri in Austria with its president Silvio Molin Pradel, and Michele Dal Farra, president of Longarone Fiere Dolomiti, home of MIG – International Exhibition of Artisanal Gelato and Artglace headquarters.

Gelato arrived in Austria thanks to the mastery of gelato chefs from Belluno and it made the subjects of the Habsburg emperor fall in love with it. Historical sources say that the inhabitants of the Dolomites, engaged in the timber market for shipbuilding, had to reinvent their trade with the advent of iron hulls. It was the middle of the 19th century. They first became sellers of cooked and caramelised apples, then refined their technique and invented gelato. They were able to produce cold by loading the machine with four parts ice and one part salt, and then they drove around the Austrian cities in their carts. Today a lot of artisan gelato parlours throughout Austria bear names that recall their Belluno and Dolomite origins, and represent a highly appreciated example of Made in Italy.

Michele Dal Farra, president of Longarone Fiere Dolomiti was present at the meeting in Palazzo Metternich in Vienna and then at Itkam, the Italy-Austria Chamber of Commerce, on a morning when synergies between the trade fair and its Austrian partners were discussed.

“Looking North, towards Mitteleuropa, is very important for a structure like ours, which is to all intents and purposes an incubator of ideas and an amplifier of synergies between territories and companies. We are halfway between Venice and the Dolomites, naturally projected towards Central Europe. And the history of gelato and gelato chefs is a bit of a trail that we want to follow to bring Belluno know-how to the world’.

At Itkam, a tasting of homemade gelato was proposed, with Italian and Austrian km0 products. And the idea of combining gelato with a specific territory was launched, in what was defined as ‘the perfect liaison’ between the ‘cold dessert’ and tourism. The experiment will be proposed to Mig by the Austrian partners and encourages to continue towards the project of building the European Artisan Gelato Route, an itinerary to jointly promote gelato and the territories where it is produced and consumed, with a digital guide indicating all participating gelato parlours. “GELATOn the ROAD” is an itinerary born in Longarone and also recognised by the Venice Office of the Council of Europe: the road is made up of 12 countries, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Luxembourg, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Spain, Poland and Bulgaria, and becomes the perfect occasion for partnerships and business projects.

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