1959 – Gelato, gelato makers and producers on display in Longarone

A great event for artisanal gelato makers

On January 26, 1959, the Assembly of the Longarone-Zoldo Consortium, chaired by Giuseppe De Vecchi, Mayor of Longarone – Castellavazzo, Soverzene, Forno di Zoldo, Zoldo Alto and Zoppè di Cadore were the adhering municipalities – decided to formalize the International Fair of Gelato and instructed the City of Longarone to organize it annually. The headquarters in Longarone were chosen for their barycentric location compared with the valleys where the majority of gelato makers lived, and because they were easily accessible even during the winter. This was the first stage of a process destined to mark the history of modern gelato making. The first edition of the International Gelato Exhibit (MIG, December 6-13, 1959) was attended by 18 national and international companies.

 

A showcase for gelato makers and manufacturers

Since its first edition, the Longarone Fair collected a considerable success in terms of audience. At that time, gelato makers from Zoldo, Cadore and Friuli who had moved in Northern Europe would usually spend the winter in their home countries, where they could meet each other. The bond was especially strong: many of them had left part of their families in Italy. Also, finding a convenient showcase of novelties proposed by Italian companies was, for gelato makers, a great opportunity. Thanks to the meetings and conferences organized at the Longarone Fair with the Committee for the Defense and Diffusion of Artisanal Gelato, even Italian gelato makers operating in Germany founded, in 1969 in Cologne, their trade association: the Uniteis.