The Gorizia-based company Biolab, specialized in plant-based organic products, in cooperation with Eventgreen, is organizing the fourth edition of the Festival Vegetarino (Vegetarian Festival) in Gorizia from 31 August to 01 September 2013. Ample space will be dedicated to green living and working. and well-known Italian speakers will be featured. Meetings will take place as well as cooking classes, children’s’ workshops, exhibitions and – of course – vegetarian food will be offered. Massimo Santinelli founded Biolab 22 years ago, when vegetarians were hard to find. The number of people following a plant-based lifestyle has since then been constantly on the rise. According to the Eurispes Report 2012, 1.1% of Italians are now vegans and 4.9% are vegetarians. Since more and more people asked questions, gathered information and were looking for different possibilities for their daily choices, Mr. Santinelli launched the first vegetarian festival in 2010. Two points were clear right from the start: the vegetarian route is chosen for a variety of reasons – for ethics and health, the environment and for animal welfare – and is a broader choice than food and, therefore, the offer also must include more than food. The festival should appeal not only to vegetarians but be attractive for everyone. This is why the festival offers a full cultural programme.
The festival has constantly been developing and has evolved into one of the most important of its kind. The first edition was seen rather as a “test”, which confirmed that the vegetarian approach is shared by many people, and it was able to raise further interest. Public response has led to enriching the festival with meetings, courses and workshops. In 2011, 10,000 people came to visit the festival. In 2012, it was expanded from one to three days, moved from the industrial area to the historic centre of the city and saw 25,000 visitors. (Picture: Festival Vegetarino 2012)