The Cairo Montenotte Earth Market was inaugurated on 18 October 2008 and takes place in Piazza della Vittoria, the heart of the city and the link between the historic centre and the new districts.
Cairo Montenotte is a municipality in the province of Savona with around fifteen thousand inhabitants, the main town in the Bormida Valley. Despite its recent history linked to industry, today this is an area in ferment in many sectors, not least the gastronomic one. The creation of a market gives continuity to an ancient vocation: Cairo and Val Bormida have always been crossroads of exchanges and meetings, between the sea, the Ligurian mountains and the northern plains, in the shadow of the Del Carretto castle.
Set up on the initiative of Slow Food Alta Valle Bormida and the Cairo Montenotte municipal administration, which brought together all the trade associations and organisations involved in promoting the area and local products, the Market is an inclusive and participatory project that has grown over time, offering producers a place to present quality products directly to consumers. Over time, a small community has been created, thanks to which local producers can meet and compare notes, offering the best of their production.
Each edition of the market is attended by around 30 small or very small producers from the Val Bormida, the Riviera Ligure di Ponente and Basso Piemonte, at a maximum distance of 50 km from the market town.
All local products are present: fresh vegetables and fruit, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, cured meats and cheeses from the hinterland, fish from the Vado and Albenga fishermen. When available, the market also offers the various Slow Food presidia present in the area (such as Chinotto di Savona, garlic from Vessalico, chestnuts dried in the Tecci di Calizzano and Murialdo).
The producers sell their products directly, telling in the first person about their commitment and experience, so as to create a transparent link (on quality and price) with consumers. For this reason too, a workshop is held every month to learn more about certain products.
Since 2013, a common path has started with the Unione Regionale Cuochi Liguri (Ligurian Regional Union of Chefs), to promote and raise awareness of the territory through local gastronomy. Since 2015 the Cairo Montenotte Earth Market has been part of the coordination of the "Gruppo Eccellenze Liguri".
The market takes place in Piazza della Vittoria, on the left bank of the river Bormida and is easily accessible from Via Roma, the main pedestrian street of the city. Cairo Montenotte can be reached by bus from Savona and Carcare and by train, on the Savona – Acqui Terme line.
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