SAÓR – Saperi e Sapori Veneziani in Festa  is a brand new festival taking place in Venice that aims to promote and enhance local products and gastronomy as integral parts of local culture and heritage.

It is based on identified best practices for the promotion of gastronomic and cultural heritage (Slow Food projects such as the Cooks’ Alliance, Slow Food Travel, and the Earth Markets) and on other successful experiences from the territory (such as Venice Glass Week and Venice Fashion Week).

As a key element of a larger system, the SAÓR – Saperi e Sapori Veneziani in Festa are going to boost community identity and values to connect consumers and producers and to foster the development of innovative policies. Through the promotion of the region’s gastronomic cultural heritage, citizens and producers are encouraged to respect local traditions. Furthermore, experience-based tourism, as opposed to the “touch and go” model, is strongly enhanced.

The SAÓR – Saperi e Sapori Veneziani in Festa were officially endorsed by the Organization for Destination Management (Organizazzione di Gestione della Destinazione Turistica “Venezia”), an institutional tourism-related board of the City of Venice. The festival is chaired by a Permanent Committee composed of key institutional actors from the territory and it is co-designed and organized in close cooperation with relevant food, gastronomic, and cultural stakeholders (such as producers, restaurateurs, traders, cultural associations, and sustainable tourism operators).

To connect all of the areas of Venice and to involve all key stakeholders, the SAÓR – Saperi e Sapori Veneziani in Festa will include several different initiatives taking place in the historic heart of Venice, in the other islands of the Lagoon, and on the mainland. These initiatives will include:

    • food tours, to discover the toponymy and the history of the city;
    • cooking shows and practical hands-on workshops (pastry, baking, etc.);
    • farmers’ markets;
    • food contests involving hotel and restaurant schools;
    • tastings;
    • food & art exhibitions.

For the organization of such events, the Permanent Committee in charge of the festival will identify proper public spaces, while local stakeholders may use their own premises (restaurants can host cooking shows, food & art exhibitions can take place in museums, etc.).

SAÓR – Saperi e Sapori Veneziani in Festa has a strong link to the territory at many levels, for stakeholders from citizens to policymakers. The festival should function to leverage future public and private investments, and conditions have been established that will allow the event to continue even after the end of the Slow Food-CE project period.