Last Saturday, June the 20th, a new social hangout was born in the historical centre of Perugia city, in Umbria region – central Italy, thanks to the association ARCI (association which is the mother of the project idea) to tie the culture to the food&wine world.
Umbrò is a new big space which includes:
- bar with typical pastries
- restaurant and self service with local products
- mini market
The project is entirely dedicated to Umbria and its regional specialties.
I had the pleasure of being there and live this ferment from the inside. The style is bright and friendly, the staff is helpful and approachable; I see no flags, colors or classes.
I take this opportunity to ask a couple of questions to mr. Franco Calzini, President of ARCI Association.
Franco, is Umbrò a concrete answer to the ongoing discussions about the difficult opening of the more popular and similar Italian chain “Eataly” in Perugia? (Eataly is a similar space available in many italian city where it’s possible to find typical products from all over the country)
Franco’s answer is simple and sincere: “the idea was born out of Eataly as a result of my visit to the Eataly store in Bologna, but there are differences that we wanted for our region, Umbria:
- the companies and the products are only the regional ones for a percentage that goes over 90%, we have added some items from other regions if considered widely used, only to allow each one to do a complete shopping for those who will access out market daily;
- but especially the price policy: we want Umbrò really accessible to all!”
I ask also about the picture of him used on the magazine distributed on this occasion, it is a particularly spontaneous photo that shows him in work clothes.
Franco tells me that the photo was taken just while they were physically working at the building, he did not expect to find it on display!
It can seems irrelevant but the picture strikes me, it makes the idea of its direct involvement rather than a President who “does want to dirty his/her hands”!
“Umbrò with the accent (emphasis) on quality” is the fun and engaging communication campaign they have built: I invite yo
u all to join the FB page to follow it with video of Italians and foreigners who try to pronounce some local words to underline “the importance of the accent”. A project which reflects the current philosophy which sees a return to territoriality and traditions, those differences that unite because they attract the curious from every corner to discover new products and customs. Differences that unite because they bring new ideas to the conversation. Differences that unite because combine (as the pairing of a wine to thousands of regional products) basing on the impossibility of their inherent diversity.