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Culture flows in (E)U – Preparatory Visit


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The international project “Culture flows in (E)U” in Chiari officially started on July 5th, as team leaders from Latvia, Spain, and Sweden arrived for a preparatory visit with the YOUMORE team. The gathering of these diverse groups marked the beginning of an exciting cultural exchange.

Once everyone arrived, we visited the local youth camp in Chiari, where the city’s youth spend their summers socializing and having fun. We toured the camp, interacted with the organizers, and got a taste of local dishes like tagliata and panini.

After the camp visit, we explored the charming streets of Chiari. We wandered through the narrow alleys of the city center, enjoyed some traditional gelato, and experienced the lively atmosphere of a music festival that was happening at the time. The city was full of energy and people, making it a perfect start to our project.

The second day of the project began with a traditional Italian breakfast of cornetto and coffee, setting a delightful tone for the day ahead. Our first stop was the local market, held every Saturday, where locals shop for food, household supplies, and clothes. We immersed ourselves in the vibrant market atmosphere, sampling local delicacies, with Italian cheese being a particular highlight.

Returning to our meeting location, we participated in ice-breaking games to get to know each other better. This was followed by the official project preparation session, where Paola and Giulia from YOUMORE outlined the organization’s mission and the project timeline. We shared our thoughts and expectations for this cultural exchange. The session concluded just in time for lunch, where we cooked as a team, using local ingredients.

After discussing all the project details—including information about participants from each country, recipes, and the reimbursement procedure—we took a thorough tour of the cultural exchange venue. Familiarizing ourselves with the location will help team leaders better support the participants by addressing their questions and concerns more effectively. 

We finished the day with the opportunity to try the most iconic Italian dish in a local restaurant – pizza! After dinner, we visited a local fair in Coccaglio, where locals played live music, had drinks, bought second-hand clothing, and met each other. Getting more involved with the local community helped us understand the essence of Italian living, which is beautifully captured in the phrase “Dolce far niente” – or, in English, the sweetness of doing nothing. We think that embracing all these little moments where you can relax and enjoy yourself is the essence of Italian living. 

The last day we had breakfast together, again, enjoying all the flavors of Italian cuisine. Later, we worked together on writing this article and creating some content with the pictures we had taken and making a banner with them. We had an amazing lunch, where we could try the real Italian pasta and then we left one by one because we had different trains to take, nevertheless we will be together in a week and a half to continue living and experiencing this great adventure but with all the participants. 

We had an amazing time these three days, and we can’t wait to come back again and learn even more about Italian culture with all the participants, we are sure they are going to enjoy it as much as we did with this small taste we were able to have these past days.

Thank you so much to Paola and Giulia for making this experience one of the best of our lives. 

See you soon! 

Despoina, Lelde, Janet

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