The Touristic Association Pro Loco Cartoceto is a perfect example of all the characteristcs listed in the “What’s a Pro Loco?” section.
One of the oldest in the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, our Pro Loco was born in 1963 from the initiative of a group of inhabitants of the town of Cartoceto who wished to promote and enhance their territory in terms of tourism.
In that same year, the newly formed Pro Loco organized the first Sagra dei Vincisgrassi, a summer festival dedicated to a particular type of lasagna (the vincisgrasso) from the Marche region.
A regular event of the summer season, the Sagra of Vincisgrassi became very famous and participated in the late ’70s and the first half of the’ 80s, seeing among its guests some of the most famous bands and singers of the Italian music scene of the time: Mino Reitano, Bobby Solo, Iva Zanicchi, i Ricchi e Poveri, Viola Valentino and others.
In 1977, a group of young people who had just entered the Pro Loco decided to organize a new event to promote the most important products historically of the Cartoceto territory: the olives and the extra virgin olive oil. This is how the Mostra Mercato dell’Olio e dell’Oliva was born (“Market Exhibition of Olive Oil and Olives”). In addition to offering the sale of these products, the event was enriched by conferences dedicated to the cultivation of the olive tree chaired by several great experts and researcher, who greatly helped over the years the local growers to improve the yield and quality of the olive oil of Cartoceto. In 2004 an important milestone was achieved with the recognition of the DOP Cartoceto brand by the European Union (DOP, or “Denominazione d’Origine Protetta”, in English PDO, “Protected Designation of Origin”).
The Market Exhibition of continues today and is organized on the first two or three Sundays of November; in 2018 he celebrated the 42nd edition. After the PDO recognition, and since 2014, the event has become known as Cartoceto DOP, il Festival – Mostra Mercato dell’Olio e dell’Oliva.
Over the years, the Pro Loco has also contributed to the cultural enrichment of Cartoceto, organizing art and photography exhibitions, painting competitions, book presentations; it financed the printing of books dedicated to the history of the ancient castle and it has promoted the recovery and restoration of several palaces and historic buildings. The Pro Loco also participates as a guest at various events of local, regional and national level, with a staff capable of cooking and offering dishes and recipes typical of the territory of Cartoceto, promoting at the same time the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the country and of its inhabitants.
All of this work has been done for over half a century thanks to the commitment of the members of the Pro Loco, in the form of volunteering.
In many initiatives, Pro Loco Cartoceto has collaborated with the Municipality of Cartoceto, but also with the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, the Marche Region and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage in Rome. The Pro Loco Cartoceto also participates as a guest at various events of local, regional and national level, with a staff capable of cooking and offering dishes and recipes typical of the territory of Cartoceto, promoting at the same time the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the country and of its inhabitants.
Over the years, Pro Loco Cartoceto has promoted numerous research and surveys in the scientific and historiographical field. Among these initiatives, we can cite the investigation and the transcription of the historical documents kept in the municipal archive, the creation of a photographic archive through the recovery and digitalisation of historical photos, and the coordination of a genetic research on the secular olive trees present in the territory of Cartoceto, in collaboration with the University of Ancona and the Consortium of the PDO Cartoceto.
Since 2008, the Pro Loco Cartoceto manages the local IAT (Tourist Information and Reception Office) point, offering information to visitors and tourists, and organizing guided tours in the territory. In this way the Pro Loco Cartoceto plays an essential role in favoring gastronomic tourism, inviting tourists to visit farms and wine cellars, to stay in accommodation facilities located in the territory and to eat in restaurants, thus boosting the economy of local businesses.