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  Editorial Issue 147, January 2016   
Milan Pays a Tribute to Luigi VeronelliMilan Pays a Tribute to Luigi Veronelli  Contents 
Issue 146, December 2015 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 148, February 2016

Milan Pays a Tribute to Luigi Veronelli


 I am very glad to see Milan, after eleven years he passed away, finally pays a tribute to Luigi Veronelli, one of its most famous sons, fundamental figure in the history and communication of Italian wine and food. To tell the truth, the tribute of Milan to Luigi Veronelli has begun on January 2015, by dedicating to him an interesting exhibition with the evoking title “Camminare la Terra” (Walking the Land) at the “Triennale” building. The exhibition has therefore moved to Bergam in the Monastery of Astino and ended on 31 October 2015, the same day in which Expo 2015 ended too. After eleven years, Milan finally dedicates a street of the city to Luigi Veronelli, the city where he was born in 1926. This street, a “promenade” to be precise, is in the Isola district where the Veronelli family had a house in Carlo Archinto square and where the great Gino spent his youth. On this regard, Isola district of Milan certainly is the best way to pay a tribute to Luigi Veronelli.


 

 The decision has been announced on September 2015, however the official inauguration of “Passeggiata Luigi Veronelli” has been celebrated on 30 November 2015. The promenade is found in the new urban complex called “progetto Porta Nuova”, built in the Isola district and culminating in Gae Aulenti square, near the Pelli tower and the residential center called “Bosco Verticale”. Passeggiata Luigi Veronelli in fact joins Gaetano De Castilla street to Gae Aulenti square, not so far from Carlo Archinto square, where the great Gino was born in February 2nd, 1926. Today this area has of course changed since the times of Luigi Veronelli: something normal as things change and evolve according to needs and time. From Gaetano De Castilla street, the promenade offers a beautiful sight to the complex built in Gae Aulenti square, whereas from the opposite side it is possible to see “Bosco Verticale”.


The plate of ``Passeggiata
Luigi Veronelli'' near Gae Aulenti square
The plate of “Passeggiata Luigi Veronelli” near Gae Aulenti square

 As far as I know, Milan is the seventh municipality in Italy to dedicate a street or square to Luigi Veronelli and I wish it will not be the last. The other municipalities of Italy to dedicate streets or squares to Luigi Veronelli are Bergam, Fivizzano (Massa Carrara), Vigolzone (Piacenza), Zola Predosa (Bologna), Castelvetrano (Trapani) and Menfi (Agrigento). Fundamental figure for the communication of wine and food in Italy, it is undeniable the huge job done by Luigi Veronelli has strongly influenced the recent history and development of wine, grapes, food and olive oil in Italy. I in fact believe no one can deny this: without the contribution of Luigi Veronelli, today the world of enogastronomic communication in Italy would not be the same and would not get so much attention. I am also convinced without the effort and commitment of Luigi Veronelli - he began writing about wine and food in the 1950s - today many writers would simply do something else.

 I am also aware this is particularly true for myself - although I am absolutely aware to be so far away from his greatness and style - as I admit I owe very much to the reports and books written by Luigi Veronelli. My very first readings about wine were in fact written by the great Gino, charmed by his inimitable style in telling wines and food, a style sometimes badly and awkwardly copied by presumptuous pens or keyboards with ridiculous and piteous results. Luigi Veronelli's style belonged to him only, fruit of his culture and knowledge, great artist in creating neologisms of great effect, still today alive and significant. I like to mention, among the many expressions created by Luigi Veronelli for wine and still today alive, vino da meditazione (meditation wine), vino da favola (fabled wine) and vino di zerga beva (a wine with personality inviting to enjoy it more and more), to which are added the terms nerbo (vigorous wine), stoffa (texture) and the list would be long and amazing. Luigi Veronelli has been the first one to describe wines and food in a very personal way, a very personal style and belonged to him only, genuine and credible only in case it was created by the pen of Veronelli.


``Passeggiata
Luigi Veronelli'' as seen from Gaetano De Castilla street
“Passeggiata Luigi Veronelli” as seen from Gaetano De Castilla street

 Also unforgettable, the TV shows in which he took part, such as the well known “A tavola alle sette”, with the Italian actress Ave Ninchi and, before her, Delia Scala and Umberto Orsini, including the extraordinary “Viaggio Sentimentale nell'Italia dei Vini” (sentimental journey to the Italy of wines). This latter TV shows has been a fundamental moment for Italian wine - it was 1979 - a report, sometimes provocative, about the condition of wineries and vintners of that time. Not to mention the huge production of books, reports and articles Luigi Veronelli has written in the course of his career and, it should be said, not only about wine. Luigi Veronelli was also involved in writing about gastronomy and olive oil, as well as philosophy and politics. On this regard, it should be noticed Luigi Veronelli was graduated in philosophy and he also had the chance to attend some lessons of Benedetto Croce in Milan, something which influenced his political views.

 Milan, the city where he was born, ends the year dedicated to Luigi Veronelli with many events, also by dedicating to him a street in his Isola district. A right tribute finally paid to this great figure of the 1900s, someone who played a fundamental role in reevaluating and revolutionizing the culture of wine and food in Italy. A way to let Milanese people keep a memory about one of the greatest sons of their city, by walking a street which is quite busy already and leading to Gae Aulenti square, an important meeting place of Milan. I wish Milanese people, by walking this street, to take a look to the plates at the sides of this promenade, in order to remember about Luigi Veronelli, journalist and writer. A wish also to all Milanese youngsters - who are used to speed this promenade with their skate boards, rollers and bicycles - in the hope they will at least ask themselves who was the man to whom this street was dedicated to. Because it is youngsters turn, today, to benefit from the teachings of Luigi Veronelli and to perpetuate his job, a giant of enogastronomy and a free man, in his life, thoughts and ideas.

Antonello Biancalana






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  Editorial Issue 147, January 2016   
Milan Pays a Tribute to Luigi VeronelliMilan Pays a Tribute to Luigi Veronelli  Contents 
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