Awareness of the cultural and creative relevance of ‘savoir-faire’ has enabled the cheese-making tradition of Bergamo and the surrounding valleys to assert and perfect itself over the centuries. This heritage is a significant element of Bergamo’s economy and identity. Strategic assets such as the territory with the Cheese Valleys, the gastronomic excellence with its various certified products, the Biodiversity Valley of Astino (European Landscape Award 2021), together with the creative and social energy of the territory, have contributed to defining the application process. The latter has been attested by the signing of a memorandum of understanding promoted by the Municipality of Bergamo, Associazione San Matteo Le Tre Signorie , International Traditional Knowledge Institute Foundation, to which more than 20 institutional subjects have adhered since December 2018.
Thanks to the combination of such territorial, gastronomic, cultural and creative factors, on 31 October 2019 Bergamo was designated UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy, joining Parma (2015) and Alba (2017). The ‘UNESCO Creative Cities Network’ was created in 2004 to promote cooperation between cities that have identified creativity as a strategic element for sustainable urban development and is divided into seven areas corresponding to as many cultural sectors (Clusters): Music, Literature, Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Media Arts, Gastronomy, and Cinema. The ‘UNESCO Creative Cities Network’ (UCCN), is aimed at cities that identify culture and creativity as essential and unavoidable factors for their own local economic development, in a vision not anchored to individual administrative borders, but closely interconnected with the subjects that in various capacities promote creative culture at national and international level. The use of the commercial logo of Bergamo UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy is an opportunity to convey the values that Bergamo represents as Creative City.