ICRPS 2013: Off To A Great Start!

by Rose Hickman 18/6/2013, on day 1 of the 2013 Summer Insititute

The 2013 ICRPS is off to a great start. But what else could be expected when the Institute is housed in a castle overlooking rolling hills of vineyards and fields in the idyllic region of Emilia Romagna, Italy? Our home for the next two weeks will be the Bishop’s fortress at the University Residential Centre of Bertinoro, hosted by the University of Bologna.

Today our fantastic organizing team of Mateo Vittuari, Francesca Regoli, Claudia Giodano, Fabio De Menna and Roberta Partisani led us through the ICRPS Program for the next two weeks. After discussing the exciting activities that lay before us, including field visits to local cooperatives and food product manufacturers, we had the opportunity to formally meet all of the students and faculty what will participate in this year’s ICRPS.

We also had a visit from the Agro-Food Policy Councillor of the Forli Province, who introduced us to the local region and agri-food sectors that we will be learning about over the next two weeks. The group was also divided into five subcommittees for the final group presentations, which will explore topics related to social structure and change, governance and rural policy, agri-food systems and policies, rural tourism, and sustainability/resource efficiency and rural development.

We completed the first day’s session with a tour of the Interfaith Museum, which pays tribute to the commonalities and uniqueness of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths. Dinner was spent in the local Osteria, where we had the opportunity to taste some of the local specialties such as tortellino and la piadina. I’m looking forward to learning from my colleagues here at ICRPS and exploring Italian rural policies.