Gubbio, Italy

Gubbio Community In Brief:

The Municipality of Gubbio is located in the heart of Italy, in the North-West of Umbria Region, Province of Perugia. The Municipality stretches over a mountainous area of 525 km2, bounded to the east and west by the Apennines.

Gubbio Image: Gubbio_location

Caption: Location of Gubbio, Italy

Natural and cultural heritage

The town is situated on the slope of Monte Ingino, bounded by the Camignano River, and surrounded by several protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites, and the Monte Cucco Regional Park (1995), with Grotta del Monte Cucco - one of the most extensive karst systems in Italy. Gubbio is a historic town and retains testimony of the medieval era, with Its monumental works of architecture and century-old artisanal and artistic tradition, especially known for its ceramics. Many visitors come here for the annual Corsa dei Ceri Festival, held in May. The town remains a hidden treasure – the only way to get there is by a bus or a car, via a winding road, on the way from Perugia – the nearest city. The closest train station is 7 km away.

Demographics and economy:

The population of Gubbio comprised 32402 inhabitants in December 2011 1, The proportion of elderly with respect to the younger population has increased in the last ten years 2.

Production of cement and the construction sector are among the most important activities in the area. The other key sectors for economic development of the municipality are cultural and religious tourism, trade and agriculture

The Municipality is investing in the social sphere, especially geared towards the youth, including promotion of the National Youth Information Network Intranet, growth of association, and a wide range formal and informal education and leisure opportunities.

Activities linking Intergenerational Learning, ESD, Traditional Recipes and Tourism

The first Intergenerational initiative in Gubbio organized mountain hikes, examining herbal plants and animal spices, pasta and bread making classes, courses in gardening, and other joint activities among the local young and elderly residents.

The Big Foot project, explicitly focused on intergenerational dialogue, highlighted mutual learning between the older and the younger generations and focused on social cohesion and sustainable development of the Gubbio Municipality.

Based on the community consultations in Gubbio and surrounding villages, the local cooking tradition was acknowledged to be the most appropriate tool for transmitting traditions linked to the cultural heritage of the area, and to promote preservation of natural resources, sustainable consumption and the importance of buying local products

As a part of the experiment, Intergenerational Cooking Courses were held, led by the members of the Elderly Center in Gubbio. The adults were the ‘trainers’ of the youngsters, and provided them both with the skills of how to become a great master chef, but also with information about their cultural Identity and traditions. In exchange, the young master chefs showed their mentors how to use ICTs and Social Networking Sites.

In addition, eight monthly intergenerational courses ‘Food and Thoughts’ and ‘Culture and Intangible Heritage in Today's Life’ were held in the schools. The elderly adults shared their own life stories, connected with each traditional recipe, fostering reflection among the students on the local traditions and the importance remembering them today, for the development of a better community.

Moreover, “Big Foot” grandparents were for the first time involved as master chefs during at 31st Truffle Event in Gubbio: the most famous event in Italy, which celebrates the precious white truffle, the cooking traditions and the natural beauty of the area. The youngsters coming from all Italy got the chance to cook the traditional recipes, such as the Gnocchi, Tagliatelle, Crescia. This high-level attention to intergenerational exchange was evidence of a growing importance given to the Intergenerational Learning Service.

Another part of the experiment were several cooking courses with the immigrant women in Gubbio, which both enabled the newcomers to feel welcome, and of interest to the local community, and brought variety to the traditional Italian cuisine, familiar to the young participants.

The Final Product

The final Big Foot product – a Digital Intangible Heritage Guide Book, made by the local residents, in a way tells their personal stories about Gubbio. It includes videos describing the steps for the preparation of some local recipes, traditions linked to particular recipes, as well as interviews with the main actors of the project. As such, the Guide Book is a tool for the community itself – an original result of a participative process, of knowledge sharing among the members, and discovering the value of traditions for the sustainable development.

The digital Book will be updated further with information about the natural beauty and description of some routes through the mountains of Gubbio, where ingredients for the traditional recipes can be found. Eventually, the participants are planning to make the Guide Book an innovative tourist attraction to the area.


Peppe (70)

I couldn't believe it was so much fun to work with the youngsters. With my grandchildren sometimes it is always a dispute"

Miriam (12)

"I believe that I could spend more time with my grandfather...I wonder if he has so many things to tell me"

1 (ISTAT Data

2 In 2012 there were 179,3 elderly for 100 young.