V International Student Competition on Place Branding and Mediterranean Diet

Inizio: Martedì, 5 Maggio, 2020 fine: Domenica, 10 Maggio, 2020
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student competition is an event between students or teams of students within a classroom or across different schools and across geographical regions which compete for a prize. 

Students are the protagonists and education, enjoyment, creativity and skills playing a fundamental role.

The International Student Competition on Place Brand and Mediterranean Diet is a competition among international students organised by the University of Macerata in collaboration with the Piceno Lab on Mediterranean Diet,  aiming at increasing the attractiveness of the inner area of Marche Region according to the Mediterranean Diet umbrella brand, by promoting sustainable tourism in small villages and rural areas (educational tourism through experiential learning).

Due to the involvement and direct dialogue between students and many local stakeholders to stimulate the co-creative process, the ISC has been included as a case study in the handbook “Higher Education for Smart Specialisation” (https://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/-/higher-education-for-smart-specialisation-a-handbook).



The ISC takes place every year in Fermo area.


This territory was chosen by the american biologist Ancel Keys and the Italian food scientist and university professor Flaminio Fidanza to study the effects that Mediterranean Diet could have on health. Their study, known as the Seven Country Study, lasted about 32 years and attested the excellence of Montegiorgio’s food and lifestyle to improve health and longevity. Montegiorgio and Fermo area became in this way a reference place about the Mediterranean Diet.



This year the ISC will take place from may 5th to may 10th


During the ISC, students have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing experience!

Thanks to courses and experiential learning activities, held in different locations (historical theatres and buildings, wineries, agritourism facilities, etc.), students have the opportunity to:

  • discover linkages between gastronomy, events and place branding;
  • understand the potential of food and gastronomy for sustainable development;
  • develop skills for destination management challenges;
  • understand the potential of ICT for place branding activities;
  • discover Italian culture, lifestyle and gastronomy.


The fifth edition

For its fifth edition, the ISC design has been renewed!

To create a real and concrete impact for the territory and enhance the potential learning outcomes for the students, the focus of this edition will be on the promotion of 4 historical villages.

Each team will “adopt” a village and, supported by tutors, will receive some theoretical tips in order to elaborate some concrete outputs for the promotion of the area.

Participants will also experience the territory, its cultural heritage and the local food traditions and habits. Students will work in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.


During the week a social challenge will take place!

Students will provide promotion of visited places on real time, by exploiting the potential of social media and ICTs and adopting some tools developed by the Polytechnic University of Marche.


How does it work?


All activities will be in english



  • Experiential learning (field trips, cultural visits, educational tasting sessions, show cooking, workshops, folkloristic dinners and events in historical towns and villages etc)
  • Problem based learning (meetings and workshops with producers, community, policy makers, and other stakeholders)
  • Blended learning (lessons and seminars led by academics through participatory and innovative methods),


Main contents

  • The Seven Country Study and the Mediterranean Diet as a lifestyle
  • The Piceno Lab on Mediterranean Diet, Fermo Area and the International Student Competition: background context and development paths
  • Tourism, hospitality and sutainability for rural areas
  • Wine and food destinations: challenges and opportunities
  • ICT, social networks and place branding: theory and tools
  • Wikipedia as a web marketing tool for territories


Winners and prizes

At the end of the competition the team who presented the best idea for the promotion of one of the 4 historical villages involved will win a week end in Fermo area, the Mediterranean Diet land.

During the week, there will be special prizes for participants who will receive the best results, in terms of impact and performances, on social media.