Natale con i tuoi, sempre e comunque!

Ciao a tutti, di nuovo, dalla Grecia! Con il nuovo anno ricomincio anche a scrivere dopo la pausa per le vacanze di Natale, delle quali ho approfittato per tornarmene un po’ a casa, nel Nord Italia. Vorrei quindi raccontarvi le mie avventure durante le due settimane trascorse tra cibi e tradizioni che per la maggior parte dei lettori italiani potrebbero risultare solo un elenco di cose normalissime e banali, ma che invece per qualsiasi altro connazionale risiedente all’estero potrebbero diventare oggetto di nostalgia e brama, o almeno così succede a me: quando vivo all’estero iniziano a mancarmi le piccole cose dell’Italia che, quando invece mi trovo a casa, trovo a tratti scontate o noiose. Iniziamo quindi.

Sono partita il 23 dicembre da Salonicco, in modo da arrivare in tempo per godermi appieno l’atmosfera natalizia e i festeggiamenti per la vigilia. Ad accogliermi, una volta arrivata a Padova, ho subito trovato abeti decorati e lucine appese per tutta la città. Quando ho finalmente raggiunto casa, in un piccolo paese dell’Alta Padovana, la prima cosa che ho desiderato è stata, ovviamente, la pizza! Noncurante dei pranzi e delle cene luculliane che mi aspettavano per i giorni a venire, mi sono quindi fiondata sul piatto più conosciuto e più cucinato al mondo, ma che difficilmente riesco a trovare buono come a casa. Infine, soddisfatta della mia cena, ho concluso la serata in compagnia per una birra con i miei amici e il mio ragazzo, ritrovando già il calore che tanto avevo atteso nei mesi estivi e autunnali trascorsi a Nea Moudania.


Centro di Padova, di fronte a palazzo Moroni, sede del comune.

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Stazione ferroviaria al tramonto.

La vigilia di Natale è stata poi dedicata ai pacchetti regalo e al tradizionale cenone: devo precisare tuttavia che la mia famiglia non è mai stata solita riunirsi la sera del 24, ma solamente per il pranzo il 25. La cena a cui ho partecipato era infatti con la famiglia del mio ragazzo, e in questo modo non avremmo lasciato i nostri stomaci tranquilli nemmeno per un secondo. L’incredibile quantità e varietà di pesce che ci si è presentata davanti una volta preso posto a tavola non lasciava margine all’inappetenza, anche perché, neanche a dirlo, era tutto squisito. Cape sante, vongole, polpo, cicale di mare (in dialetto chiamate “canocie”) sfoglie con verdure, insalata all’arancia, e naturalmente i dolci: pandoro e panettone con annessa crema allo zabaione. Pieni come uova, dopo la mezzanotte e con l’aiuto di uno “sgroppino” (il nome parla già da sé) siamo giunti al momento che tutti adorano del Natale, ovvero lo scambio dei regali! Quest’anno in molti hanno scelto un libro per me (ne ho ricevuti ben sette), cosa che mi ha fatto un immenso piacere, ma subito dopo il pensiero: e come me li porto tutti in Grecia?
Andando a letto però una sola domanda si affacciava alla mia mente: come fare a ricominciare a mangiare tra solo poche ore?
Senza aver avuto troppo tempo per riflettere su come trovare una strategia, eccoci di nuovo attorno a un tavolo su cui stavolta compariva anche la carne, sempre secondo le usanze delle festività natalizie. Si comincia con biscottini al grana e tortini alla rucola, proseguendo con un pasticcio di ragù e uno alla zucca e formaggio morlacco. Per quanto il mio stomaco mi stesse chiedendo non solo di aprire un bottone ai pantaloni ma di prendermi una pausa, non potevo resistere alle bontà che da sola non sarei mai stata in grado di preparare, e quindi per inerzia e spirito d’opportunità ho proseguito con arrosto di vitello e contorni di ogni tipo, arrivando vittoriosamente fino al dolce. E quando mi ricapita?

La mattina di Santo Stefano ci ha dato il buongiorno con un sole magnifico, che mitigava un pochino il freddo, invitandoci ad approfittarne per stare all’aria aperta e fare un po’ di movimento. Dopo le terribili maree che hanno sommerso Venezia durante il mese di novembre, ero curiosa di tornarci per vedere come fosse la situazione e per salutare questa città che mi ha ospitata durante gli anni degli studi all’università. Fortunatamente devo dire che le attività sull’isola sembrano aver ripreso il loro corso nonostante gli ingenti danni, e sicuramente bisognerebbe restare un po’ più a lungo sul luogo per capire i disagi a lungo termine che gli abitanti stanno ancora vivendo. Tuttavia, i musei e le mostre erano regolarmente aperti, e abbiamo così raggiunto la Giudecca, isoletta giusto di fronte a San Marco, per visitare la mostra fotografica alla Casa dei Tre Oci (http://www.treoci.org/index.php/it/). Sono molto affezionata a questa fondazione, probabilmente perché in una posizione più isolata rispetto ai grandi palazzi veneziani che possono accogliere centinaia di turisti, e questo clima di tranquillità che regna all’interno del palazzo giudecchino regala immediatamente un senso di rilassamento e di vacanza vera e propria.

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Campanile di San Marco visto dal vaporetto per raggiungere la Giudecca.

Uno dei momenti di convivialità che più mi era mancato è quello dell’aperitivo con l’amato Spritz Aperol, su cui il Veneto ha messo il copyright per la ricetta replicata ovunque nel mondo, ma che rimane l’unico posto anche in Italia in cui è possibile trovarlo a prezzi abbordabili. Dove quindi, se non a Venezia, concedersi il momento dello Spritz con qualche “cicchetto”? Con questa parola si definiscono tutte le piccole cose che si mangiano per accompagnare le bevande dell’aperitivo: possono essere dei pezzettini di pane con sopra formaggio, verdura, pesce o carne; oppure delle polpettine, o piccoli pesci fritti. Può sembrare molto semplice e niente di speciale, ma l’aperitivo è uno dei miei momenti preferiti, come ho già detto, e assaporarlo alla tipica maniera veneziana è stata letteralmente una goduria per me.
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Ho poi trascorso i giorni seguenti sempre in compagnia della mia famiglia e dei miei amici, cercando di incastrare gli impegni in modo da vedere un po’ tutti (amici di scuola, d’infanzia, dell’università..) nel breve periodo che avrei trascorso a casa. Devo dire che le giornate sono passate in maniera assolutamente piacevole ed è stato bello riscoprire le mie abitudini dopo diversi mesi.
Il capodanno è arrivato in fretta e con lui i festeggiamenti per il mio compleanno, che, il caso vuole, cade proprio il primo gennaio. Altro giro altra corsa quindi di cenone, cenetta, auguri e regali, che mi hanno fatto sentire estremamente coccolata e che mi hanno fatto un po’ passare la voglia di riprendere un aereo per tornare al mio progetto all’estero. Ma come si sa, tutte le cose belle devono finire, e così anche le vacanze invernali sono volte al termine, lasciandomi quel calore nel cuore che avrei sicuramente portato con me.
Vi lascio con la foto della seconda e ultima pizza mangiata nei miei dieci giorni a casa, yummy!

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Penso che il mio racconto sia simile a quelli di molti altri, ma volevo comunque condividerlo con questo articolo che spero sia stato piacevole da leggere. Augurando a tutti un felice inizio dell’anno nuovo vi saluto, grazie come sempre per aver dedicato del tempo alla lettura, alla prossima!

Federica

EDUCATION, TRAINING AND YOUTH IN THE EU

Education is one of the most importants things and nowadays it’s compulsory in most of the countries in the world.

Supporting quality education, training and social cohesion

The EU supports Member States in their efforts to provide the best education and training for their citizens. It also promotes multilingualism in Europe, helping with the teaching and learning of languages, encouraging mobility of students, trainees, teachers and young people, and facilitating exchanges of information and experience.

The EU sets out the framework for EU countries to exchange best practices and learn from each other, with an aim to:

– make lifelong learning and mobility a reality

– improve the quality and efficiency of education and training

– promote equity, social cohesion and active citizenship

– enhance creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

To reach the objectives set out in the education and training framework, the EU implements policies in sectors such as:

– early childhood education and care

– schools

– vocational education and training

– higher education

– adult education

In the field of youth, the EU sets out a framework for cooperation among Member States through the EU Youth Strategy.

Through the Erasmus+ programme, the EU also provides funding, tools and resources for individuals, organisations and policy reform, in areas such as:

– study, training and development for students, trainees and education professionals abroad

– opportunities abroad for young people and youth workers

– opportunities for organisations to develop partnerships for innovation in education, training and youth

– knowledge exchange and policy reform to support growth, jobs, equity and social inclusion within Europe.

The European Solidarity Corps creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.

Source:

Education, Training and Youth, European Union. Address: https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/education-training-youth_en (page visited on 18/12/2019)

Il ritorno dopo Natale…

Ciao a tutti,

and a Happy New Year!!

I am back here to start the 2020 with a lot of energy, new experiences and food, of course. For the Christmas holidays I went back in Greece to see my family and my friends and enjoy some time in my home.

My feelings were mixed…

2019 memories photo

Before even leaving from Faenza to start my trip back to Athens I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to return. I had to stay in Italy to see how is Christmas time for the Italians and have this experience, too. But, my tickets were already paid and I couldn’t chance my mind so easily -after all, I think I already told you that I don’t have that much money to spent…-.

So, I returned in Greece and I landed in Athens. After a long journey I was finally home, in my bed sleeping during the afternoon because I was really tired from the flight and the change of the environment. I woke up at the right time to start my first night out in Athens and meet my friends. And that is how everything started….

I spent a week in Athens going out every single night and having fun. Of course with a bit of sleep and a lot of food. I saw all my friends and we had so much fun that after a point I almost forgot that I live in Italy now. After this fun and exhausting at the same time week, I took the bus to visit my parents and surprise them. They had no idea that I am going to my hometown to see them, even though they were literally begging me to go I was always telling them that I don’t have the time. Their reaction was precious!

I spent New Years Eve with them in our small village, in which they have a small, beautiful and traditional coffee shop. It was exactly what I needed after the previous week. I relaxed near the fireplace, I drunk coffees and hot chocolates, I took long walks with my dogs and I ate a lot for an other time. I also helped them if it was needed.

After 4 days with them, I returned to Athens to start getting ready to come back here, in Italy, in the magical Faenza. But, I never expected that for another time I didn’t wanted to go away. I got comfortable in Greece, with all these people around me that I love and it was really hard to come back here. I had to sit and think about all the positive and negative things to realize for another time that the opportunity to be here is amazing and I don’t want to change a thing.

After all, I am going back in Greece soon…

Danai, Greece

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS!

5 participants (15-30 years old) from Italy are looked for an Erasmus+ project FOCUS!

The mobillity period is 11.01.2020 – 20.01.2020 (excluding travel days).
Participation is free of charge!! All expenses (accomodation, meals activities, transport etc) are covered by the project. For registration, a CV is needed.

Check the infopack fore more details:

FOOD SAFETY IN THE EU

Every European citizen has the right to know how the food he eats is produced, processed, packaged, labelled and sold. The central goal of the European Commission’s Food Safety policy is to ensure a high level of protection of human health regarding the food industry — Europe’s largest manufacturing and employment sector. The Commission’s guiding principle, primarily set out in its White Paper on Food Safety, is to apply an integrated approach from farm to fork covering all sectors of the food chain.1

Ensuring safe food from farm to fork

Health protection is the aim of all EU laws and standards in the agriculture, animal husbandry and food production sectors. An extensive body of EU-wide law covers the entire food production and processing chain within the EU, as well as imported and exported goods.2

EU countries implement these harmonised standards and establish controls to enforce them. The EU audits the application and effectiveness of the laws and controls, and also provides training to the responsible EU and international authorities.3

EU food safety policy and action is concentrated in 4 main areas of protection:

* Food hygiene: food businesses, from farms to restaurants, must comply with EU food law, including those importing food to the EU.

* Animal health: sanitary controls and measures for pets, farmed animals and wildlife monitor and manage diseases, and trace the movement of all farm animals.

* Plant health: detection and eradication of pests at an early stage prevents spreading and ensures healthy seeds.

* Contaminants and residues: monitoring keeps contaminants away from food and animal feed. Maximum acceptable limits apply to domestic and imported food and feed products.4

Food Hygiene

Rules on hygiene of foodstuffs were adopted in April 2004 by the European Parliament and the Council […]. They became applicable on 1 January 2006.5

The 2004 rules merged, harmonised and simplified detailed and complex hygiene requirements previously contained in a number of Council Directives covering the hygiene of foodstuffs and the production and placing on the market of products of animal origin.

The rules in place since 2006 innovate in making a single, transparent hygiene policy applicable to all food and all food operators right through the food chain (“from farm to fork”), together with effective instruments to manage food safety and any future food crises throughout the food chain.

A Commission report (2009) recounts the experience gained, including the difficulties encountered (in 2006, 2007 and 2008) from the implementation of the hygiene package by all interested actors. It does not suggest any detailed solutions to the difficulties reported and is, therefore, not accompanied by proposals.

1Food safety, European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/food/overview_en (page visited on 17/12/2019)

2Food safety in the EU, European Union. https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/food-safety_en (page visited on 17/12/2019)

3Ibid.

4Ibid.

5Food Hygiene, European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/biosafety/food_hygiene_en (page visited on 17/12/2019)

Il primo addio…

Hello from the other siiiiide (a little bit of Adele suits this sad article),

I am the Greek one, the known, the entertaining one that likes to speak about her weekends, Italian food and drinks. This blogging thing is starting to kinda like me…

My last blog was a travel blog, giving you some new information about Brisighella, a small but beautiful city of Italy, just ten minutes away from Faenza. So, I covered the travelling part and I am coming for another time to talk to you about the drama part of the everyday life of a volunteer in Faenza.

Brisighella

Well, we are doing international projects and taking this amazing opportunity that European Union is giving us. Of course, there are a lot of good things to tell about this experience, but there also some bad things and this is the main reason that I am writing this article.

Let’s start from the good parts so we can proceed to the sad and difficult parts…

One of the best things is the contact with the new culture. For me the Italian culture wasn’t so unknown. I was studying Italian Language and Literature back in Greece and I had a basic knowledge of the language, the culture and the Italian lifestyle. In this way, you might never read from me that I have a huge cultural shock or something like that. Also, as the time passes by I am realizing more and more how similar are the Italians with the Greeks. Regarding the lifestyle it is like I am still living in Greece, going out the same amount of time, be socialized and it is not a big deal if I talk with people I don’t know. The only difference is that I am speaking Italian.

Another really interesting fact is the job that I am doing here. It is not a regular work, you don’t feel like you are having a boss upon your head that anytime can start screaming at you. Also, it is pretty cool the fact that as a volunteer there are a lot of things that you can do. I mean, I am a volunteer, if help is needed and I can contribute, I will be there. In this way, the activities that I am choosing are a lot and different also. I am really enjoying this variety of occupations.

But, sadly I have to move one to share with you a really difficult part of the ESC life and in general of the life living away from your home. There are times that you are feeling home-sick and that’s logical. Your friends and your family are away, you are talking with them on phone or Skype but there aren’t next to you when you need a hug. Especially the first days of the arrival in a new country, a new city and society you have this feeling all the time. You are feeling alone…

Here comes the EVS opportunity to shine up your day and put some other volunteers beside you to share this experience and of course these emotions. When you are with people, even unknown at the moment, that you are sharing all these new things; it could make you feel more safe and loved and can help you to overcome a little bit your loneliness.

So, one of these guys, next to my side, sleeping in the next room of mine and sharing the everyday life in work and in the apartment, was Raquel. She was a Spanish, crazy and really interesting girl that we lived together for 2 and a half months. We became friends from the first moment -but no, to be sincere, we needed about a week to be sure-. We used to study together but in the middle of studying we started talking and stopping at midnight. Raquel was the reason that I put apart my fear and stress to talk in Italian and I actually started communicate with the locals. She, Greta -our other flatmate that I am promising that I will write something about her, too- and me had a lot of fun, a bunch of amazing moments and an extraordinary everyday life.

But, in conclusion, and of course the reason that I said that this is one bad and sad parts of the international volunteering experience, the project of Raquel finished and she had to return to Spain. We had a party, an after party and a tearful goodbye session. I still can’t realize that she is gone and I am expecting her to return for a trip in another city of Italy or something like that. In any case, I hate goodbyes, I am really bad at those…

Goodbye -the irony-,

Danai, Greece

La nostra Web Radio!

Carissimi, qui la volontaria italiana di SE.M.I. in Grecia. Quest’oggi voglio raccontare in cosa consista un progetto a cui la mia organizzazione ospitante, You in Europe, ha preso parte e ha reso partecipi anche noi volontari del Corpo Europeo di Solidarietà. Si tratta di una web radio creata per iniziativa di un’organizzazione italiana nell’ambito della Key Action 2, azione del programma Erasmus+ che mira alla cooperazione per l’innovazione e lo scambio di buone pratiche; questa tipologia di progetti è indirizzata a tutte le associazioni e ONG che lavorano all’interno di progetti Erasmus e che vogliano iniziare delle collaborazioni, anche di lungo periodo, con altre organizzazioni europee. È questo il caso del progetto “Broadcasting Europe”, questo il titolo scelto, che coinvolge quattro organizzazioni e le loro web radio. L’idea del progetto “Broadcasting Europe”, nato nel 2018, parte dal desiderio di creare una rete di cooperazione e scambio transnazionale tra diversi enti europei situati in quattro stati: Italia, Grecia, Polonia e Spagna. Lo scopo del progetto, globalmente, è quello di promuovere abilità e conoscenze dei partner coinvolti e metterle in atto attraverso tale rete internazionale, in modo da sviluppare sempre di più la consapevolezza sulle proprie competenze condividendola con altre persone.

Ma a livello pratico, che cos’è una web radio, e come funziona? All’inizio, non appena i nostri coordinatori e il nostro mentore hanno iniziato a parlarci di questo progetto, non ci è stato chiaro sin da subito come potessimo fare per mandare in onda il nostro programma, dove registrarlo e come farlo. Poco a poco però ogni cosa è apparsa più chiara, quando ci è stata mostrata l’apparecchiatura che sarebbe servita al nostro scopo. Tutto ciò di cui si ha bisogno è un mixer a cui vanno collegati un microfono, delle cuffie e delle casse, per poi collegare a sua volta il mixer ad un computer, tramite il quale verrà mandata in onda la puntata radio, o registrata e poi caricata sul sito dedicato. Broadcasting Europe si serve infatti di un sito internet, Spreaker (https://www.spreaker.com/), dove ogni partecipante può pubblicare le puntate del proprio programma, che rimangono poi visibili e ascoltabili da tutti.

In questo modo è quindi iniziata anche la nostra collaborazione con questo progetto, e insieme agli altri volontari ESC con cui sto condividendo questa esperienza abbiamo iniziato a pensare a un titolo per il nostro programma, i contenuti, come lo avremmo strutturato e via dicendo. Data le nostre diverse provenienze e nazionalità, ci piaceva l’idea di trovare un punto d’incontro tra i nostri paesi, che ci permettesse di aprire dei confronti e scoprire in ogni puntata qualcosa di nuovo riguardante Italia, Polonia, Portogallo e successivamente, all’arrivo del quarto volontario, Spagna. Il risultato finale delle nostre riflessioni è stato “The Random Show”, un programma casuale, senza un tema fisso ma con un argomento diverso in ogni puntata, in cui ognuno di noi avrebbe raccontato le proprie tradizioni, usanze e costumi, e in questo modo tutti avremmo potuto sentirci inclusi nella discussione e avremmo potuto portare le nostre opinioni e idee. Gli argomenti trattati sono stati i più variegati, dal cibo alle vacanze, dal cinema al Natale, il tutto condito da canzoni sempre legate al tema della puntata.
Random Show

Abbiamo quindi caricato sul sito web la prima puntata all’inizio del mese di agosto, con l’aiuto indispensabile del nostro mentore, membro dell’associazione You in Europe, il quale tra noi è l’unica persona ad essere in grado di utilizzare l’apparecchiatura necessaria. Abbiamo stabilito che avremmo registrato gli episodi ogni due settimane, per un totale di due al mese. Durante la prima registrazione l’imbarazzo e l’agitazione ci hanno accompagnati, ma poco a poco abbiamo preso familiarità con questo tipo di lavoro e adesso è diventato un gioco in cui ci divertiamo e riusciamo davvero a parlare delle nostre diverse culture in un clima informale ma al contempo con la consapevolezza di star contribuendo ad un progetto europeo molto più grande. Per ascoltare l’ultimo episodio dedicato alle tradizioni natalizie e per trovare tutte le puntate del programma seguite questo indirizzo: https://www.spreaker.com/user/broadcastingeurope/the-random-show-episode-8
Insieme a You in Europe abbiamo poi organizzato una festa nella piazza principale di Nea Moudania, il paesino dove sto svolgendo il volontariato, per promuovere non solo il nostro show ma tutto il progetto della web radio. Durante la serata abbiamo presentato il nostro lavoro, preparato e offerto cibo tipico dei nostri paesi a tutte le persone che si erano riunite in piazza e attraverso musica e balli abbiamo provato a promuovere questo progetto.
WEB Radio Party
E per l’occasione abbiamo anche stampato delle magliette con il logo della nostra radio:
WEB Radio Party
Da sinistra: Igor, il nostro mentore e Bartek, entrambi polacchi, Federica, ovvero l’autrice di questo articolo che state leggendo, Sofia dal Portogallo e Jorge dalla Spagna.

Per concludere, quindi, creare una web radio non è difficile, tutto ciò di cui avete bisogno è la giusta strumentazione! Vi saluto con l’augurio di aver reso l’idea di cosa sia una web radio e con l’invito ad ascoltare il nostro show in onda ogni due settimane. Stay tuned!

A presto,
Federica

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level. The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically. The Parliament represents the second-largest democratic electorate in the world (after the Parliament of India) and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. The President of the European Parliament (Parliament’s speaker) is David Sassoli (elected in July 2019).

European Parliament in Strasbourg

The Committees of the European Parliament

In order to do the preparatory work for Parliament’s plenary sittings, the Members are divided up among a number of specialised standing committees. There are 20 parliamentary committees that meet once or twice a month in Brussels and whose debates are held in public.

Languages, translation and interpretation

Speakers in the European Parliament are entitled to speak in any of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Simultaneous interpreting is offered in all plenary sessions, and all final texts of legislation are translated. With twenty-four languages, the European Parliament is the most multilingual parliament in the world and the biggest employer of interpreters in the world. Citizens may also address the Parliament in Basque, Catalan/Valencian and Galician.

Plenary

Plenary sittings are chaired by the President of the European Parliament. The President of the European Parliament is assisted in this task by the 14 vice-presidents, who can take over the chair. The President opens the sitting, sometimes with a tribute or a speech on a current topic. Parliament is in fact constantly concerned to respond to the latest developments in any major issue and has no hesitation in changing its agenda in order to call on the Union to act. The President’s influence can be decisive in this respect.

European Parliament 2019

References

About Parliament. European Parliament, web: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/about-parliament/en (page visited on 09/12/2019)

Wikipedia, European Parliament, web: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament (page visited on 09/12/2019)

Brisighella sei bella!

Ciao carissimi lettori,

We are here to entertain you for another time! Well, let’s see want is going on this week. We don’t have a lot of changes, the everyday life goes on pretty smoothly and I am working in different things.

As you can easily understand in this point, I am usually talking about my weekends so I can describe better the life in Faenza. The weekends I am going out, I am travelling and actually enjoying some alone time.

Something like that happened this weekend, too. Friday night we had our traditional dinner with pizza and wine, as we do every Friday. Thankfully, we found a cheep pizza place and also we don’t have preferences in our wine, so we don’t spent a lot of money every time. The difference of the past Friday with the previous ones is that finally I convinced the others to go and dance a little bit. So we did! Faenza is small -fact that I am repeating in every blog- but it has things to do and places to go out and also has a place that you can go and dance until the morning. After some hours, at 4.00 o’clock in the morning we returned home with my Lithuanian and blond friend to sleep until the next evening -because is Saturday and I don’t care if I am waking up late.

Saturday wasn’t a lot fun and it was certainly chill. I had a breakfast with my roommate and then with chilled all day in the apartment watching Netflix and eating. It is not ”party hard” kind of weekend, but I was really needed to stay in my warm couch all day and do nothing. I love myself, I have to respect its needs.

Sunday on the other hand was pretty interesting. We planned a small visit to Brisighella, a picturesque, tiny city near by. We spent only 10 minutes in the train and we were there, somewhere between 21th Century and Medieval Times.

Brisighella has the tittle of the most beautiful small city in Italy and I can’t give them wrong. Within 5 minutes walk from the station we were in the city center, which was full of little shops and restaurants. It is easy to notice from the first minute in this city the beautiful towers around its hills. Using the stairs we got to one of them and after 10 minutes we got to the highest point. The view from up there is certainly breathtaking and combined with the warm and nude colors of Autumn it was one of the best things I saw lately.

After a small walk upon the hills and enjoying the view, we decided to take a break and something traditional. As you may know one of the traditional dishes of Emilia Romagna is the ”piadina”. It is a kind of wrap, but a different one depending the area, stuffed with whatever you want. It is delicious, I love it, I ate it in 5 minutes.

So, that was it for today, I don’t have anything else to describe you.

Until the next time, have fun and eat italian food..

Danai, Greece

European Union: Agriculture

Vibrant rural areas and quality agricultural products

World food production needs to double by 2050 to cater for population growth and evolving food habits. It faces the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, soil and water quality, and the demands of the global marketplace.

EU farm policy has changed considerably in recent decades to help farmers face these challenges and respond to peoples’ changing attitudes and expectations. EU agricultural policy covers a wide range of areas, including food quality, traceability, trade and promotion of EU farm products. The EU financially supports its farmers and encourages sustainable and eco-friendly practices, while also investing in the development of rural areas.

EU institutions collaborate on food and farming policy-making, implementing, monitoring and evaluating it. National and local authorities implement the laws agreed at EU level. Through the EU budget, funds are made available to member states in accordance to rules set at EU level. The EU also monitors how laws are applied, how effective they are, and coordinates amendments.

Agriculture and food related industries and services provide over 44 million jobs in the EU, including regular work for 20 million people within the agricultural sector itself. Thanks to its varied climate, fertile soil, the technical skills of its farmers and the quality of its products, the EU is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of agricultural products.

Agriculture and rural development in EU: Rural development 2014-2020

The EU’s rural development policy helps the rural areas of the EU to meet the wide range of economic, environmental and social challenges of the 21st century. Frequently called “the second pillar” of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it complements the system of direct payments to farmers and measures to manage agricultural markets (the so-called “first pillar”).

There are 118 different rural development programmes (RDP) in the 28 Member States for this period, with 20 single national programmes and 8 Member States opting to have two or more (regional) programmes.

EU framework for rural development programmes

Member States and regions draw up their rural development programmes based on the needs of their territories and addressing at least four of the following six common EU priorities:

* Fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas

* Enhancing the viability and competitiveness of all types of agriculture, and promoting innovative farm technologies and sustainable forest management

* Promoting food chain organisation, animal welfare and risk management in agriculture

* Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems related to agriculture and forestry

* Promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors

* Promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas

Source: Official website of the European Union