The city of L’Aquila, capital of the Abruzzo Region, lies at 720 meters above sea level in the Abruzzo hinterland, at the foot of the Gran Sasso massif. It covers an area of 467 km2, making it the ninth largest municipality in Italy. Part of the municipality is in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park at an elevation of 2,000m above sea level. L’Aquila boasts a varied and original centuries-old heritage, even despite the repeated seismic events that damaged the city in 1461, 1703, and 2009.
The L’Aquila market was founded in 2016 with the aim of creating an outlet for sales for farms damaged by the violent earthquake of 2009. At the same time, the space offers residents a safe and welcoming place to buy local products and thus support the revitalization of the local economy.
The building that houses the market was built on state land granted by the City of L’Aquila thanks to a fundraising campaign activated by Slow Food and the Italian Confederation of Farmers (CIA). The market was launched by the Farmers’ Market Management Committee, which is composed of members of the CIA, Slow Food, and contributing farmers.
Many other organization, including the LAG of the province of L’Aquila and the starred chefs of Abruzzo, promoters of effective fundraising campaigns, have played an important supporting role.
The market offers a rich selection of foods: Fruits and vegetable are always local, fresh, and in season, and dairy products, cheeses (including Pecorino Canestrato di Castel Del Monte, a Slow Food Presidium), meat, and charcuterie (such as Vastese Ventricina, a Slow Food Presidium) are also available.
The area is particularly suited to the cultivation of wheat and legumes, which are the basis of many traditional recipes. Many of these products are Slow Food Presidia—in particular, the market offers numerous products and flours made from Abruzzo Apennine Solina Wheat and different varieties of legumes, including Paganica Beans, Santo Stefano di Sessanio Lentils, Navelli Chickpeas (all Slow Food Presidia) and tondino del Tavo beans (an Ark of Taste product).
A large section of the market is dedicated to drinks, including fruit juices, typical wines, and craft beers, and there are also traditional handicrafts (especially wool yarn and textiles) and natural cosmetics available, secondary products of farms based on a diversified model.
The CIA and Slow Food organizations selected the producers, with a focus on organic production and environmental sustainability. The members then formed an association that closely follows the management of the market.
At the moment there are about 80 producers, though this number is subject to change, as it is possible for local companies to request market entry as long as they share the market’s ethical principles and quality standards.
The market hosts Slow Food activities in the area as well as events to present producers and their products. Producers can also offer artisan workshops open to regular customers and others.
The Farmers’ Market is located near the railway station, is easily accessible by car, and has a large car park reserved for customers.
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