A few hours after the award, there is great satisfaction on the part of all the Mayors of the Cittaslow Network - 142 towns in 21 countries.

The news has finally arrived - after years of projects and effort on the part of so many, above all Angelo Vassallo and Carlo Petrini from Slow Food, we have reached our goal.

Read ANSA Italy Press translation.

The first comments:

"It is confirmation of the extraordinary worth of our dear Slow Mayor, friend and colleague, Angelo Vassallo" - affirms President of Cittaslow International Gian Luca Marconi (Mayor of Castelnovo ne' Monti) - "and of the importance of working for shared goals, in the certainty that even a small town like Pollica, even the small Cittaslow towns spread throughout the world, can carry out projects that change the economic and social perspective of entire nations and peoples. Angelo would have been so happy to see his dream come true, that dream born on the Cilento coast several decades ago, thanks to the intuition of the American scientist, Ancel Keys, who fell in love with Pioppi, the small port attached to  Pollica, and studied in depth its food and farming practices. Today, after recognition by Unesco, everything is changed: Cittaslow, together with Slow Food, Legambiente (Environmental League) and the  Associazione Libera (Free Association), is committed to realising in Pollica, in Southern Italy, a permanent body engaged in study, taste education and research, capable of giving a future to the young people of the Cilento and a solid and enduring future for the Mediterranean Diet".

"I have no words" - states Stefano Pisani, Vice Mayor of Pollica, moved and passionate. "Our Mayor Vassallo was so great a figure that things continue to happen after he has gone .... We have a custom in Pollica: when you set yourself a goal, you don't stop until you reach it. Angelo started the ball rolling with Unesco 4 years ago, involving the Head of the Cabinet of the Prodi government and subsequently the Minister of Agriculture of the Berlusconi government as well as all the MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) from the Campania region. In the last few months, together with Cittaslow, Angelo had worked hard in meetings with Spain, France and Morocco to reassert the centrality and the value of the Mediterranean Diet. He was convinced, and rightly, that this was the only way to give a definitive and eternal value to the Mediterranean and its produce".

"As Coordinator of the Cittaslow Italia network, and as a citizen and administrator of the Campania region" - affirms Tommaso Sgueglia, Vice Mayor of Caiazzo - "I am particularly proud of the battle won thanks to Angelo Vassallo and to all those who have contributed to proclaim to the world the value of the Mediterranean Diet. In constant memory of a Slow Mayor, the emblem of civilisation and progress, whose entire life was an example to all Southern Italy of the redemption of our country, I express the satisfaction of the 71 Mayors of the Italian Cittaslow network".

"Angelo Vassallo continues to surprise us all and the world", says Director Pier Giorgio Oliveti from the head office of Cittaslow International in Orvieto. "Thanks to his teaching and his commitment, the network of the small towns connected to Slow Food has grown quantitatively but above all qualitatively, proclaiming internationally that a new style of life is possible based on saving, reuse, the value of our territories, social activity and responsibility. The acceptance of the Mediterranean Diet as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco serves to reaffirm the value of our vision of politics, culture, economy and social engagement. That same vision that has made Pollica a small corner of Paradise where the aquamarine sea has been crystal clear and pure for years, where the percentage of recycled waste approaches Scandinavian levels, where speculative building is held in check and town planning proceeds as it should, where the produce of the territory - above all grain, olive oil and wine as lynchpins of the Mediterranean Diet - is accorded the esteem that Carlo Petrini has called for. Last but not least the fish: Angelo was a fisherman as well as a Mayor and he came from a family of fishermen. It is not chance therefore that a Slow Food presidium is dedicated to the Anchovies of Menaica, caught with traditional nets, respecting the local marine biology and habitat".