92% of Made in Italy high-quality products are produced in small villages, counting no more than 5.000 inhabitants. This is what emerged from a joint study by Coldiretti, the greatest collective body representing Italian farmers, and Symbola Foundation, one of the most active institutions in promoting Made in Italy, titled "Small villages and specialties".
The study mostly stresses the preciousness of the food & wine heritage Italy has outside the traditional touristic circuits, which could finally be promoted thanks to a new law giving more prominence to small Italian villages. More specifically, the new law establishes an adequate provision of services, more investments in culture, land conservation, environment protection, but also for the security of roads, schools and buildings.
The virtuous system characterizing small Italian villages represent 69,7% out of 7.977 Italian municipalities. The report has identified Piedmont as the region hosting the major number of small villages (1067), followed by Lombardy (1055) and Campania (338). Still, the highest percentage of villages with less than 5.000 inhabitants is located in Valle d'Aosta (99%) and Molise (92%).
In particular, 270 out of the 293 Italian products presenting a designation of origin recognized as such by the European Union are bred in small villages, working on the production of 52 kinds of cheese, 97% of the 46 extra-virgin olive oils, 90% of the 41 dried meet products and many more delicacies.
In small villages 279.000 agricultural business are operating, working hard to protect the ancient crops and the territory in general, also keeping the food traditions. Roberto Moncalvo, Coldiretti President, has also remarked the important implications on the job market that the activities in small villages have: "the promotion of the food & wine treasures kept in small villages means to secure a job position for 3,9 million young people under 40 who chose to stay in their villages".