Turin Becomes Italy's First 'Vegetarian City'
In terms of vegetarian and vegan cities, Americans have Portland, the Spanish have Barcelona, Germans have Berlin, and now Italians have Turin. Katie Forster of The Guardian writes, “Turin is famous for cars, football, the winter olympics – and now vegetarianism, after new mayor Chiara Appendino announced plans to turn it into Italy’s first “vegetarian city” earlier this year.”
Armed with the “city’s “veg map” for tourists,” Forster samples from just a few of Turin’s vegetarian and vegan hotspots, with dishes that include vegan chop sandwiches, gnocchi with red pesto and ground nuts, vegetable focaccia, a quinoa bake, garlicky mushroom lasagna, dairy-free chocolate and almond torte, rice milk-based pistachio ice cream, and a “tegamino”-style pizza, with “vegmozzarella” and Quorn sausage. The availability of these mouthwatering options should come as no surprise, since according to deputy mayor Stefania Giannuzzi:
“In Turin, there are now more than 30 restaurants and shops serving vegan and vegetarian food, which for a city this size, is possibly the highest number in Italy. We wanted to value and recognize this aspect of the city.”
Claudio Viano, one of the founders of Mezzaluna, the first vegetarian restaurant in Turin, notes the progressive nature of the city and states that “Turin and maybe Milan are now the best places in Italy to visit for vegan food.” The proposals of the mayor’s “controversial decision” earlier this year included “introducing a weekly meat-free day, and teaching schoolchildren about animal welfare and ecology,” and despite some protest from the city’s meat producers, butchers and agricultural associations, the initiative seems to be a very promising one, grounded in the environmental and health benefits of cutting down on meat consumption!
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