If I tell you what my husband is doing right now, you are going to get jealous. (I certainly am.) And your stomach is going to start growling. Cristiano Bonino is nearing completion of a 21-day odyssey by bike to meet “the faces and hands of the people who make our food.”
Since mid-August, the Somerville, MA based travel consultant, tour designer and cyclipreneur has been biking mainland Italy with his buddy Alessandro “Sandro” Draghi – owner of Il Molinello, an idyllic agriturismo in Asciano, Tuscany. (Staying there, with Sandro, his wife Elisa and their three children is like stepping inside a commercial for pasta: perfect, inviting, cozy. You will never want to leave their table.)
“Sandro and I are combining our passions for cycling, sustainability, farming, traditions, meeting locals, agriturismi, nature, animals, traveling, social entrepreneurship, and food and wine —as much as possible ‘good, clean and fair’. This journey by bike touches all 18 regions of the Italian peninsula, for a total of 1500 miles and 100,000 feet of elevation gain.”
With sponsorship from La tua grande sfida (“your big challenge”), an initiative of Polase Sport, Cristiano and Sandro have been discovering Slow Food-esque farmers and food makers in the hidden corners of Italy.
This List showcases some of the remarkable people they met -- true food heroes who love the land, their communities, and crafting what is natural, traditional, and honoring of their environs. It is powerful to name the person who makes your food. It takes back a food supply chain that has become serpentine in its length and (sometimes) sneakiness. Hint: a bunch of these folks are on Facebook.
Follow the journey on Cristiano’s Facebook. Just watch out for travel bug bites.