pici course montepulciano
13 Sep

Pici run for UNESCO Heritage

The Union of Municipalities has approved the application, which opens the way for pici to become a UNESCO cultural heritage.

VALDICHIANA – The Municipal Council of the Union of Municipalities of Valdichiana Senese has just decided to nominate pici for becoming an intangible asset recognized by UNESCO.

The announcement was given in conjunction with the opening of the traditional festival, which more than any other gives voice to this passion, namely, the Pici Festival of Celle sul Rigo, now at its 48th edition.

Having identified the peculiar character, the value of “intangible asset” (and not that of the food – albeit excellent – in itself, as it would seem more immediate) of pici, means carrying out a cultural operation, which actually involves all ten Municipalites in the area, and brings to light the importance of the peasant food par excellence. On the other hand, to emphasize precisely this cultural value, it is worth considering that there is no other dialectal verb but “appiciare” (basically meaning the act of stretching the dough) to define the act of creating a typical product.

The project for submitting the dossier to UNESCO was drafted by the company “Qualità e Sviluppo Rurale srl, which also carried out the activities in cooperation with the people operating in the area, reaching the identification and sharing of the intangible asset to be proposed.

Starting from the social reasons, it is clearly explained why pici can legitimately aim at being recognized by UNESCO, which would ensure its safeguarding. Valdichiana Senese has nominated pici as an intangible asset recognized by UNESCO, identifying them as one of the distinctive features of local sociality, which in turn is one of the basis of the quality of life, which you can enjoy here.

Pici find in Valdichiana an authentic homeland, they are a typical dish of peasant tradition, strongly related to the rural culture, which has characterized this territory for centuries. The link with the past, with the most authentic tradition, is first of all determined by its quality of peasant recipe, based just on water and flour, which for this reason has characterized the life and food of the countryside.

Pici are present in all ten municipalities of the Valdichiana, and are a must-eat in ritual situations, such as public holidays, folklore events, family tables, and tourist welcoming (their absence in such occasions is an exception).

Then, pici represent a different practice of sociality, which finds its best expression in the act of “appiciare“, than other typical products. Everyone can “appiciare“, since this act does not require a particular skill: practice leads to sharing spaces and times, turning this act into a shared practice of sociality, with strong references to the tradition of staying up late. Finally, we must not forget that pici are recognized as a gastronomic excellence.

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