Saturday, April 23, 2011

San Patrignano - What a wonderful story

After Vinitaly, we had the opportunity to visit San Patrignano*, located near Rimini in Emilia Romagna.  And what a touching and memorable experience we had...

Trying to express in a few words what I saw (and felt) during the few hours that I spent there was not going to be an easy task, but I got lucky and found this concise article by Lorenn Walker - - who portrays with excellence what the institution is all about:

"San Patrignano is considered one of the world’s finest drug rehabilitation programs, and after visiting it I can easily understand why.  I believe San Patrignano is a model for building peace and is an example of an effective restorative justice and solution-focused response to conflict and dealing with serious social problems.
Addiction creates conflicts and San Patrignano deals with it restoratively and in a strength based manner.  It is an incredible place that is deeply inspirational.  San Patrignano teaches us that we can find positive solutions to our most difficult problems by looking to the strengths that we all have.
San Patrignano is a remarkably beautiful place that is completely free for all of its approximately 800 hundred residents. It takes no government money for support.  It is 50% to 60% self-sufficient and gets the remainder of its support from donors who believe in its social mission.
San Patrignano’s main strategy for helping people overcome addiction is simply taking responsibility, which is exactly what restorative justice is all about."

* San Patrignano is also a winery (and that's why I went there in the first place) that is making wonderful wines. They have an incredible team of winemakers (Ricardo Cotarellla being the most famous of them) and Joseph Bastianich included their Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Avi Riserva in his "Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines". 

Click here if you want to donate to help their cause:

San Patrignano welcomes all young men and women who have serious drug abuse problems, regardless of ideology, social background, or religion, and completely free of charge, accepting no payment or funding from their families or the government.
Since 1978, San Patrignano has taken in over 18,000 people, offering them a home, healthcare, legal assistance, and the opportunity to study, learn a job, change their lives, and regain their status as full members of society.

The pictures taken that day show some of the vineyards, the winery, and a little part of the community.

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