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Italian towns exploring food and energy sustainability

The story of Varese Ligure proves that the transition towards sustainability can benefit both the community and the economy

Claudia Astarita

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Twenty years ago, a small Italian town called Varese Ligure (La Spezia province, in the North) decided to embrace self-sustainability for both food and energy. Since then, 108 organic farms supply 98 percent of the town's produce, meat, and dairy.

This incredible story has been recently told by The Christian Science Monitor, reminding that everything started in the late 1980's, when this little town was at the edge of collapse. "With no jobs and no industry, its population dropped from 6,000 to 2,250. But town leadership refused to accept their fate and decided to find a way to strengthen their community and economy". They turned towards sustainability, and they were successful, as this change benefited both the community and the economy, which is now much stronger than before.

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