Italy in campaign to give espresso coffee UNESCO heritage status

Photo by Engin Akyurt

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The Italian government has applied for traditional Italian espresso coffee to be added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

After UNESCO recognised the cultural importance of Neapolitan pizza-making in 2017, Italy now says its coffee too deserves a spot on the list – or at least the traditional way of making and drinking it.

The UNESCO application was finalised this month for the government’s nomination of “traditional Italian espresso” for Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The initiative came from the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee, “whose originality and peculiarity must be preserved”, according to MP Maria Chiara Gadda,of the Italia Viva party, who spoke as the application was presented in the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

“We know very well how important coffee is to Italians, to Italians living abroad and to people around the world who have learned to appreciate something that is also a ritual and an occasion for meeting,” she stated.

The application must now be assessed by UNESCO before a decision is made, possibly as early as 2020.

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