Italy is the nation with the highest biodiversity in Europe, a fragile and inestimable wealth that makes us unique in the world. We are a bridge built in the heart of the Mediterranean, with an extraordinary
range of climates, ecosystems, and landscapes, from the Alps to Sicily. But that is not all: the same reasons that have produced this diversity of plants, animals, and soils underlie the enormous cultural, linguistic and artisan diversity that exists in our nation. The Italian cuisine, the Mediterranean diet, the landscapes of the peninsula, originate from this biological and cultural diversity. The installation represents the nation through a selection of plants that are symbols of its history, of its cuisine, of its ingenuity in constructing a sustainable environment, of its traditions, and also of its future. And it bears witness to the fact that our peninsula has always been at the centre of trade. For example, it was from Padua Botanical Gardens – the oldest University Botanical Gardens and today a UNESCO heritage site – that the potato, jasmine, rhubarb, and the banana were imported into Europe; and here, too, coffee was first described: an African plant with extraordinary properties. The ways in which plants have travelled show how the world nourished Italy and Italy nourished the world. And this mosaic of diversity can become a reservoir of innovations, the Italian response for a sustainable future made up of quality.