M9 Museum – Museo del ’900

Venezia Mestre

25 March – 25 September 2022

Is there an ‘Italian taste’? Past, present and future of Italian cuisine 

Today the exhibition “Gusto! – Gli italiani a tavola 1970-2050” (Gusto! Italians at the table 1970-2050) opens at the M9 Museum of Mestre (Venice). It is curated by Massimo Montanari e Laura Lazzaroni, together with many experts of Italian cuisine and culture. The exhibition, as its title implies, analyses the relationship between Italians and food. Gusto! traces all the steps of the evolution of Italian cuisine and its main protagonists, both the most renowned and the less-known ones, the latter being often ordinary citizens who were the first to come up with a new ingredient – inadvertently causing changes both in the society and in the national taste.

The exhibition programme goes through all the recent past of Italian cuisine, from the 70s up to the present, and then takes a peek at the future, trying to imagine some new possible scenarios. A part of the exhibition takes in consideration both the innovation brought by new technologies and the change that is bound to occur in the eating habits of Italians. 

And it’s indeed in this part of the visit, the one dedicated to the future shaped by technologies, that the curators and the scientific board placed Saturnalia and our work with the analysis of satellite-derived data to determine and track the vegetative growth of vineyards. Indeed, also the wine industry is destined to undergo – and partially it’s already happening – some changes and incorporate some new technologies into its framework in order to tackle some increasingly pressing matters. First and foremost, climate change, which is affecting and changing the growing season of many renowned production areas. 

Here is what Daniele De Vecchi, Saturnalia project manager, said about the inclusion of Saturnalia in the exhibition:

“We feel honoured to be part of the exhibition, as it promotes the enogastronomic wealth of our country. Wine has been all along part of the backbone of Italian cuisine and material culture. It’s an industry which is going to benefit a lot from new technologies, such as the analysis of the data provided by satellites. With satellites we can in fact track the development of the vegetation and understand the quality of the vintages for many fine wine production areas in the world, including of course Italy and its long-established and distinguished tradition in wine-making".

The exhibition “GUSTO! Gli italiani a tavola 1970-2050” has been made by M9 – Museo del ‘900 thanks to the contribution of a scientific excellence committee, which supports the curators Massimo Montanari (Professor of history of food at the university of Bologna and also founder of the Master programme “History and culture of food”) and Laura Lazzaroni (journalist, writer and expert of bread and wheat) and is composed of: Marco Bolasco (food and wine journalist and scientific director of the enogastronomic area for Giunti Editore), Fabio Parasecoli (professor of Food Studies in Nutrition and Food Studies Department at the New York University), Ilaria Porciani (professor of contemporary history, history of historiography and history of the 19th century at the university of Bologna), Emanuela Scarpellini (professor of contemporary history at the university of Milan). The exhibition benefited from specific counseling for particular topics: Eliana Liotta (journalist, writer and science communicator) for the relationship between environnement, nutrition and health; Emilio Cozzi (journalist, writer, science communicator in space, new technologies and videogames) and Valentina Sumini (MIT Media Lab Space Architect, Visiting Professor at the Milan Politecnico university, Innovation&Product Designer for Coesia), for the area dedicated to space and space food; Giulio Iachetti (designer and academician) for design applied to cuisine. 


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Saturnalia attending the exhibition GUSTO! in Venice