the General Assembly of the international association of the "cities of good living" is presented 

The Cittaslow International Assembly will be held in Parma on Saturday 24 June 2023, while on 23 June the 1st International Summit "Cittaslow Rivers and Lakes” is scheduled in Polesine Zibello, in the province of Parma. 

More than 200 mayors and delegates from all over the world will gather in Parma for the International Cittaslow Assembly 2023. Among the planned topics: the 550th Anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus 1473-2023, the Chiocciola Orange Awards 2023 for the best projects in the world's Cittaslow, Agroforestry and Forest School: forest policy projects to combat climate change and educate on the environment. And also the projects that the association has been carrying out for years, such as Metropolis, Education, Tourism and CittaslowBee,for the protection of pollinating insects. 

In addition to the patronage of the City of Parma and the Parma Chamber of Commerce, the Cittaslow Assembly takes place with the fundamental support of the Fondazione Parma Città Creativa Unesco per la Gastronomia. Parma is the epicentre of Italy's Food Valley and is one of the tourist destinations with the largest number of typical products protected by quality indicators in Italy: from Prosciutto di Parma Dop to Parmigiano Reggiano Dop, to Culatello di Zibello Dop (whose Consortium is a sponsor of the Cittaslow Assembly), just to name a few. This protects the quality of typical local products and guarantees authenticity and uniqueness to the travel experience. 

'It is truly a privilege to be in Parma with the Cittaslow General Assembly,' says Mauro Migliorini, President of Cittaslow International and Mayor of Asolo, 'with mayors and delegates from 33 countries, and also an opportunity to share good practices and the many projects that our cities implement on a daily basis: positive slowness, circular economy, resilience, sustainability and culture, social justice. It is a current global challenge for communities that want to reconcile with the planet, progress and grow in balance while respecting their limits, starting from their roots, traditions and history.  But it is also an opportunity to introduce the international Cittaslow network to the City of Parma, capital of food and wine and example of a resilient city. Your history shows us an active and resilient community that always defends its values and its cultural and social capital: this is also one of the cornerstones of Cittaslow. I am sure that the assembly will be a useful moment for all  of us to deepen the wide area of convergence, also in terms of projects, between us: it is no coincidence that for more than a year we have been working on creating a stronger bond with the University of Parma and we are close to signing a framework agreement between the Dean, six departments and Cittaslow'.                                                                                                                                    

"I am happy,' says the Mayor of Polesine Zibello, Massimo Spigaroli, 'in my role as mayor and president of the Parma UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Foundation to have brought the Assembly of Cittaslow International to Parma. Time is a fundamental factor in the production of the excellent products that make the Parma Food Valley famous throughout the world. A slow approach to time and a patient attention to detail are the common thread between Parma and the Cittaslow International Assembly. And as a Foundation we have chosen to support the event to accompany guests on a gastronomic journey through the supply chains thanks to the dishes created by the ambassador chefs of Parma Quality Restaurans. Polesine Zibello, along with the other three Cittaslow in the Parma area, Borgotaro, Fontanellato and Pellegrino, are the standard-bearers of an ancient yet very modern way of conceiving local development. We are leaders in territorial food and in the defence of our traditions of gastronomic excellence, starting with the emperor of cured meats, our precious culatello, but as Cittaslow mayors we add to this our commitment to improving the good life of our communities every day, without rhetoric but with great concreteness, with each project and action we carry out. And Cittaslow gives us the direction, a 'slow' one,  in the name of environmental and social sustainability. A challenge that we accept on a daily basis with our citizens and businesses'.   

"Starting from the land of Parma and its extraordinary products is undoubtedly a 'slow' way of reading the present and the future that, today more than ever after the pandemic, is good for the whole world,' explains Pier Giorgio Oliveti, Secretary General of Cittaslow International. 'The presence in Parma of the annual assembly of Cittaslow International highlights a territory but also a possible perspective that is present here and now for Parma and its economic and social system. A decision must be made, either you are fast or you choose slow. For two days we will talk about 'reflexive modernity' and sustainability projects not only in words but in deeds: delegates from Holland and Belgium, Poland and France, Germany and Croatia, Turkey and South Korea, the United States and China, as well as many other countries, will meet with the Italian Cittaslow, the progenitors of a global movement that today positively interferes in the development model and in the conception of old and new cities. This is no small thing. It also deserves special attention from the citizens of the city of Parma that is hosting us: today slow is synonymous with 'reflexive modernity', i.e. for mayors and Cittaslow communities it is possible to reconcile good living with a sense of limits, social justice with enterprise, and to promote qualitative and relational growth rather than quantitative growth. In this sense, mayors and citizens of the Cittaslow are, with their work, an example and a beacon for all others". 

"Parma has a strong responsibility," said the mayor of Parma Michele Guerra, "which comes from the Unesco recognition that we want to honour on a daily basis by carrying out the most difficult challenge: creating awareness and consciousness in citizens. The assembly we are presenting today is fully in line with the policies we are pursuing as an Administration, aimed at positively re-evaluating the meaning of 'slowness': slowing down means making sure that the goals we have set ourselves really permeate our cities, and this is only possible by making all citizens responsible and aware. This is why we need events such as Cittaslow, which come to our cities to make us compare perspectives, based on the public-private synergic system that Parma has already been fruitfully building for years".


The 1st International Summit "Cittaslow Rivers and Lakes”

At the centre of the debate is the great theme of the river with its criticalities (such as droughts caused by the climate crisis) and its opportunities. To name a few: tourism in its various forms, nature, cycling, natural biodiversity. 

A 360° dialogue with the world partners of the Cittaslow Network, including Polesine Zibello and Parma, territories where the great river, the Po, is truly the protagonist. But also a partially virtual tour of the Cittaslow municipalities around the world and their fresh waters, including rivers, lakes, wetlands and protected areas. 

The Summit will include the technical contribution of several mayors of national and international river Cittaslows from various non-European and European countries, including China, Poland, Germany and Turkey. There will also be technical-political representatives, experts and scientific contributions from the University of Parma and the Cittaslow Scientific Committee.



POLESINE ZIBELLO (IT) Cittaslow is an Italian town in the province of Parma that lies along the course of the River Po. The name Polesine encapsulates the town's history, which is punctuated by violent floods: Polecini or Polesini are the name given to the small islands that, dragged by the river during each flood, have expanded until they welded to the bank. 

Zibello is an agricultural and industrial centre running parallel to the Po embankment and renowned for the production of the famous Culatello di Zibello, from which the Strada del Culatello di Zibello. To learn more about this local product, the Antica Corte Pallavicina in Polesine Parmese now houses the Culatello Museum, which is part of the Food Museum circuit.

Zibello is also the land of illustrious personalities such as the writer and cartoonist Giovannino Guareschi and the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. 

Among the city's tourist attractions, mention must certainly be made of the Portico Palazzo Pallavicino, also known as Palazzo Vecchio, a Gothic-style building in the central Piazza Guareschi. Also not to be missed is the 15th-century parish church, the cloister of the former Dominican convent with its Renaissance and neoclassical forms founded in 1494 and now housing the Museum of Rural Civilisation, and finally the Church of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie (14th century), the oldest preserved building in the town to this day. 



PARMA (IT), Italian Capital of Culture 2020-2021, is an Italian municipality in Emilia-Romagna Parma with a very rich historical and cultural heritage, being the former capital of the duchy of Parma and Piacenza (1545-1859) as well as a University town since the 11th century.

Starting from Piazza del Duomo, tourists can enjoy a historically significant setting among beautiful Romanesque buildings, including the Parma Cathedral with its frescoes and pink marble Baptistery that adorn the historic centre. 

No less important is the Teatro Regio di Parma, which dates back to the 19th century and still hosts classical music concerts. It is considered one of the most important traditional theaters in Italy as well as one of the homes par excellence of the great Italian opera tradition. Not to be missed is a visit to the National Gallery, inside the imposing Palazzo della Pilotta. In the past, the Farnese collection of works was much richer than the present one, but the last descendant, who became King under the name of Charles of Bourbon, decided to transfer it to Naples. The current collection, which is nevertheless exceptional, exhibits masterpieces by the painters Correggio and Canaletto and many others. 

The city of Parma's tourist offer cannot fail to take into account the impressiveness of its gastronomic heritage: this part of the Po Valley is home to two of the world's most famous products, namely Prosciutto Crudo DOP (PDO ham), as well as the world's most famous cheese, Parmigiano.