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Why Italy is mulling wine classes for schoolchildren

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Why Italy is mulling wine classes for schoolchildren
Will wine be on Italy's national curriculum soon? Photo: Juanpedraza
16:21 CEST+02:00
Plans that could see children aged between six and 13 taught about Italian wine in schools across the country are being mulled by the government.

The proposals, which have been laid out in a draft bill, would see schoolchildren spend one hour a week learning about Italy's thriving wine industry as part of the national curriculum.

The plan was put forward by Dario Stefàno, from Italy's Left Ecology and Freedom party.

“We're not trying to teach kids to drink – although even if we were it wouldn't be so bad,” Stefàno told Il Fatto Quotidiano.

“It's been shown that knowledge creates responsible drinkers. But this is just an extra subject that will enrich the education of our students. We make children study music in school without expecting them to become musicians.”

The bill is still in its early stages and will need to complete a lengthy legislative journey through parliament before becoming law.

If successful, the subject of wine will be introduced to the national curriculum and taught for one hour a week - the same amount of time children spend studying music and religion.

Alternatively, it could be incorporated as modules into existing subjects such as biology, history and geography.

It is predicted that the cost of training teachers to educate students about wine would not exceed €12 million.

“I've put the idea out there and it's been met positively," Stefàno said.

"I'll be sitting down to talk to [education minister] Stefania Giannini and [agriculture minister] Maurizio Martina about the idea very soon,” he explained, adding the new subject could be given a trial run in some Italian regions as early as September.

“Puglia and Veneto have already expressed an interest, so too Lazio and Umbria. There's not one region in Italy that doesn't make wine – it is a defining feature of our country.”

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