Breaking the Bread in L’Aquila – Food Inspired by L’Aquila for L’Aquila

Join us in honouring Southern Italy’s fine food & wine, with a L’Aquilian twist, with the author of Breaking Bread in L’Aquila, Maria Filice, on Saturday the 15th of May 2010 @ 5pm in Santo Stefano di Sessanio’s wonderful Sextantio Albergo Diffuso

All net proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the earthquake restoration efforts of L’Aquila

About the Author – Maria Filice

Maria Filice, a first-time author, food stylist & food blogger, is a first-generation Canadian-American Italian. Born & raised by immigrant parents from Calabria, Maria grew up following her family’s old-country, old-school values. She learned from the best; her mother, grandmother, and aunts, whom she watched from the time she could barely walk. Filice traveled many times to L’Aquila, the hometown of her late husband, Paul Piccone. READ MORE

About the Book

49 colourful and easy to prepare recipes, many inspired by the restaurant San Biagio in the center of L’Aquila, where the author was able to taste the traditional cuisine of L’Aquila and be consistently impressed by the freshness, purity and the incredible flavour of the regional produce. This delightful book provides not only a culinary guide organised into days of the week, but also an insight into the story of a personal journey through one of the most beautiful, uncorrupted and undiscovered of rural Italian’s landscapes.

About the Event
Join Life in Abruzzo and many others for the Breaking Bread in L’Aquila Italian book launch, with author Maria Filice in attendance, and bring a friend! The launch will be hosted by renowned Italian food critic Antonio Paolini, writer for Il Messaggero.

Saturday, May 15th 2010 at 5pm, at the Sextantio Hotel, Via Principe Umberto, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, 67020 (AQ) Italy. For further information about the event or accomodation please contact: Sig. Giovanni Pacifico, Tel. +39 0862 899 112 & Mobile +39 348 240 2967, or email.

RSVP to lifeinabruzzo  (


Abruzzo’s regional legislature approved yesterday an initial contribution of 50 thousand euros in support of L’Aquila’s candidacy as European Capital of Culture in 2019.

The news comes from phone calls to regional legislators who took part in the unanimous vote. As soon as we get a hold of a copy of the approved emendment we’ll post the text here.

In announcing his support for L’Aquila’s candidacy, Abruzzo’s president (governor), Gianni Chiodi announced that in a letter that letter that he and Mauro Di Dalmazio recieved from Premier Silvio Berlusconi and Undersecretary Gianni Letta expressing their full support. The note aslo said that the national government will post a call for bids in 2012. Chiodi also thanked opposition leader Carlo Costantini for his support.

Over 7000 people the world over have already expressed the L’Aquila’s candidacy to become European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Where? On Facebook.
This is in addition to the people who have signed on here or on the Italian language blog. This is also in addition to the official letters and faxes of support from local and national cultural, civic, business and institutional leaders who have signed on. 
We hope to be able to give you all more concrete information soon. All I can say is that institutional support is bipartisan (or rather, multi-partisan) and comes from both the private and public sectors.
We hope to be able to give you more concrete news soon.
For now, please keep supporting L’Aquila’s candidacy and spreading the word. Ask your friends who you think might support this Earthquake devastated city to comment and sign up for updates here or send them to the group on Facebook. Part of the page on Facebook is in English (please sift through the “info” page:
Cities are made of more than just houses. L’Aquila was one of Italy’s and Europe’s lesser known but still amazing jewels. Even with the damage and the rubble and the scaffolding it is still beautiful. And most of the historical center is still off-limits without a firefighter escort.
We believe that if L’Aquila becomes European Capital of Culture in 2019, in 9 years it will be a cultural center of Europe.

We believe that L’Aquila should be the European Capital of Culture for many reasons. It’s unique and rich cultural, architectural, artistic and musical heritage made the city one of Europe’s most overlooked city’s of art.
Unfortunately it took a disastrous earthquake to let the world know about L’Aquila.
The choice of L’Aquila as Capital of Culture will not only highlight what L’Aquila was, but it will show what it can once again become by 2019 and beyond. Reconstruction will have more than a goal, but a reachable dream.
And the city will become a showcase of what European, if not worldwide, cultural co-operation.

Please support us by joining our group on Facebook ( or by subscribing to this blog. We will be able to keep you informed on our progress and how to help, and you will demonstrating your support.

This is the translation of the article by Peirluigi Mantini e Roberto Danea that pushed us to work to support L’Aquila’s Candidacy


We have launched a wonderful project for the future of L’Aquila and the rebirth of its territory: the candidacy of the city of L’Aquila as European Capital of Culture 2019
The European Capital of Culture programme was called the European City of Culture and was conceived in 1983 by Melina Mercouri, then serving as Greek Minister of Culture as a way of bringing culture closer to European citizens. Since then the intiative has enjoyed growing success with the European public and an ever greater social and economic impact thanks to the many visitors the Capitals of Culture have attracted.
In 1999 the European City of Culture was renamed “European Capital of Culture and it is now financed by the Culture 2000 programme. Three Italian cities have already held the honour: Florence in 1986, Bologna in 2000 (with many others in the special millennium edition) and Genoa in 2004.
The European Parliament and and Council established a calendar in 2006 that assigns the title to two EU member countries every year. Cities in both Italy and Bulgaria will hold the title in 2019.
Its well within our reach!
The cultural, architectural and artistic heritage of L’Aquila caught the attention of the media and the general public only after the devastating earthquake that hit L’Aquila and surrounding towns on April 6th 2009.
The choice of L’Aquila as European Capital of Culture for 2019 will be important for the city’s rebirth for many reasons.
L’Aquila history is important as it is unique. It is a city with strong cultural traditions, starting with its architecture: the Basilicas of Collemaggio, S. Maria del Suffragio and S. Bernardino, the churches, the famous “Fountain of the 99 spouts”, the many castles and palaces spread throughout its territory. L’Aquila is home to one of Italy’s  “Teatro Stabile” public theatres, boasts a rich and ancient music and opera tradition and is active in cinema..
The 2019 date gives a reasonable goal for the restoration of its’ rich architectural heritage, giving the population a solid forecast regarding the timetable for the city’s rebirth.
The resources already earmarked for the reconstruction will be transformed from simple “rebuilding resources”, in an effective investment for the city’s development thanks to the promotional impact that being an Big Event can bring. It will no longer be “Europe’s biggest building site” but rather a skill intensive workshop rich in ideas and values.
As often happens with big events, being the European Capital of Culture is a important “driver” for change, capable of reorienting the territory’s vocation along new areas of specialisation (culture, tourism, etc.), with positive effects for it’s economy.
Many national and international institutions and governments (Germany, Spain, France, USA) have made comittments to the reconstruction effort and this makes L’Aquila a prototype for international cultural co-operation and is supporting the city’s European dimension.
The choice will also reinforce L’Aquila’s candidacy as an UNESCO World heritage site.
It will revitalise L’Aquila’s role as a university city, and a centre of excellence as proposed by the O.C.S.E., a capital of knowledge, once again able to attract students from the all over Italy, Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond.
In summary, the reconstruction of L’Aquila will become a model for how to plan the future of a city through the careful reading of its past, identifying an urban equilibrium between human and cultural space that links history and modernity, that respects the territory and its dangers. It is an opportunity to transform a disaster for a community into an opportunity to change for the better. It is a challenge to become an example for Europe and the world.
We have proposed the creation of an “honour committee” with exponents of Abruzzo’s institutions,cultural activities, business and the media. We have formally advanced the question with the Italian Government through the Minster of Culture.
The project is being assisted by young professionals who worked on Milan’s successful EXPO 2015 candidacy.
In December we will present the initiative in L’Aquila together with the local authorities, institutions and public figures who want to support the Promoting Committee and the Foundation.
But none of this would be possible without the the support and passion of the citizens of Abruzzo. We want our dream for L’Aquila,  it is our right, and we can achieve it.

By  Pierluigi Mantini and Roberto Daneo
Published in  Il Centro, 16 November 16th, 2009

We support L’Aquila’s candidacy to be European Capital of Culture 2019. But what is a European Capital of Culture?

The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development. A number of European cities have used the City of Culture year to transform their cultural base and, in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally. During the first two decades, cities were chosen primarily based on cultural history, scheduled events and the ability to provide infrastructural and financial support. A 2004 study by the European Commission by Robert Palmer (Palmer Study) demonstrated that the choice of European Capital of Culture served as a catalyst for the cultural development and the transformation of the city. Consequently, the beneficial socio-economic development and impact for the chosen city are now also considered in determining the chosen cities.

The European Capital of Culture programme was initially called the European City of Culture and was conceived in 1983 by Melina Mercouri, then serving as Greek Minister of Culture. Mercouri believed that at the time, culture was not given the same attention as politics and economics and a project for promoting European cultures within the member states should be pursued. The European City of Culture programme was launched in the summer of 1985 with Athens being the first title-holder. During the German Presidency of 1999, the European City of Culture programme was renamed the European Capital of Culture.

Developing the potential of the European capital of culture
A study carried out by an independent expert between 1995 and 2004 confirms the positive media response to the event. It has improved the image of the chosen cities in the eyes of their inhabitants and helped develop culture and tourism there. The EU wants to see the forthcoming cultural capitals do yet more to encourage the long-term impact on the cultural development of the cities and their environs. The new procedure includes a key follow-up phase once the cities have been selected.

How cities are selected
Cities wishing to become European capital of culture must prepare a cultural programme that meets rather specific criteria: it must reflect the European character of the event and involve the participation of the people who live there.

The European flavour can be seen in the themes chosen and the artists and cultural organisers from different countries cooperating to put on the event. The programme must also have a lasting and sustainable impact on the city’s long-term cultural, economic and social development.

Source: Wikipedia

Source:  European Union: