Granaries of Memory

Michele F. Fontefrancesco

Research Fellow, University of Gastronomic Scienze, Pollenzo

University of Gastronomic Sciences

University of Gastronomic Sciences Vittorio Emanuele II Fraz. Pollenzo 12042 Bra (CN) Italy

European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2016


We Listen To Your Stories, We Share Your Lives




The past decades have seen a widespread erosion of biological and cultural diversity. This phenomenon has proceeded along with a marginalisation of local communities and abandonment of rural areas. Facing this anthropological turning point, in 2012 the University of Gastronomic Sciences launched the "Granaries of Memory". As pointed out by Carlo Petrini, president of the University and one of the promoters of the project: "Today we need authentic granaries to fight such a famine of ideas, to contrast the dominant and massified culture that has silenced the precious knowledge of our forefathers."

/The Granaries of Memory aim at preserving the experiences and world views of local communities. In the past five years, researchers from the University of Gastronomic Sciences have conducted over 1000 interviews based on the methodology of the life stories. These narrations capture people's memories, the last and fundamental elements of local intangible heritage and oral history. Particular attention is given to food culture, one of the most representative expressions of the link between local biological and cultural diversity.

All the interviews are recorded and the documents are available on an online web archive ( documents that present the recent transformation of hundreds of communities around the world.


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