Sunday, June 17 at the Monastery of Astino, prestigious lounge of the City of Bergamo, we were guests of the Linificio and Canapificio Nazionale to attend the event “Il lino si racconta” (Linen tells about itself), an event organized by the Italian spinning company, world leader in the production of superior quality linen yarns, in collaboration with the cultural association Il Cavaliere Giallo, cultural reference of the Bergamo area and strongly rooted in it.
The absolute protagonist of the day was the Flax field replanted in the Valley just 50 days before, after about a century and that enchanted all participants in the day for its beauty.
Immersed in an agricultural oasis that we can usually only see in photography (the famous fields of Brittany and Belgium), we finally touched with our hands those delicate blue flowers that have taken care of man for thousands of years, so as to become a symbol. In fact, the oldest garment in the world was made with linen, and since then this precious plant has not stopped resembling us and talking to our most intimate chords.
For this reason, under a clear sky and blinding light, we crossed the fields of flax and hemp looking around with amazement and wonder, a bit fatigued by the heat but amply rewarded by emotions. The technical staff of the Linificio and Canapificio Nazionale accompanied us along the way telling us the story of these two wonderful plants, flax and hemp, with incredible properties, growing proudly right under our feet. A memorable experience: a large group of people united to celebrate nature and their relationship with it, as we hardly have the opportunity to do in our daily lives.
After visiting the field we moved to the Botanical Garden of the Biodiversity Valley, where the director Gabriele Rinaldi told us about the extraordinary developments that technology is bringing to the agricultural sector. It was immediately clear to us that the acronym 4.0, far from being just a way of saying to set a trend, reflects a real project of technological innovation applied to the agriculture of the present and the future, without forgetting the ancient history, the reasons for sustainability and the multiplicity of uses of these crops. Moving on to the historical hall of the Monastery of Astino, we listened to the speeches of Fabio Bombardieri, President of the MIA Foundation, Oscar Locatelli and Angelo Colleoni – who gave voice to the Parco dei Colli, defining it as “the perfect interlocutor to open the factory to the territory” the perfect interlocutor to open the factory to the territory” – and the Councillor of the Municipality of Bergamo Delia Ciagà, convinced that this project, possible above all thanks to the farmers, can strengthen the position of the Astino Valley and of an agriculture that focuses on biodiversity.
Cavaliere Giallo then presented us with the original initiative “Caccia fotografica Lino & Canapa, il ciclo della coltivazione nella Valle di Astino” (Flax & Hemp photographic hunting, the cycle of cultivation in the Astino Valley), a competition that will see a pool of expert photographers select, evaluate and reward the best shots taken by visitors during the growth of the two crops in the coming months. The winners will see their works exhibited in September, on the occasion of the closing event of the activities that will be held at the seat of the Parco dei Colli.
Pierluigi Fusco Girard, managing director of Linificio and Canapificio Nazionale, joined the speeches to thank all the parties that have signed the two-year agreement strongly wanted by the Linificio:
“When I speak of territory,” he said, “I mean the set of four elements: environmental, human, entrepreneurial and institutional. Today the Bergamo territory is gathered here. The secret of the richness of this territory is precisely the collaboration between these four elements, a synergy that brings added value by allowing the territory to grow and grow excellence, of which we become ambassadors in the world.” The managing director then reserved much of his speech to those who have always considered the cornerstones around which it is possible to generate added value for the territory: innovation, tradition and sustainability. This agricultural re-qualification project in the Astino Valley is a synthesis of these three cornerstones.
The speech by Alessandra Civai on the “Suggestions on Linen”, finally, led us into the magical world of the use of Linen within the Accademia Carrara, with a fascinating story about the history and tradition of linen within the art and territory of Bergamo, which has always been the cradle and forge of knowledge for the use of this noble fibre. A fibre that she herself defines as “identity fibre”, asserting that “By valuing this material, especially in the historical identity values that have made it possible for it to accompany human history for millennia, we can enhance our own identity”.
Lunch, included in the initiative and consisting of dishes based on flax and hemp, allowed us to feel part of that territory until the end.
The event has left the public enthusiastic, for the excellent organization and all the emotions it has managed to arouse, and who knows if next year the yarn will become fabric and will return to dress once again in linen and hemp the city of Bergamo.