The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has named Thessaloniki a “City of Gastronomy,” making it the first city in Greece to receive the accolade and join the organization’s Creative Cities Network.
UNESCO announced the northern Greek capital as a “City of Gastronomy” on November 8. The organization created the Creative Cities Network in 2004 to promote cities which are creatively pursuing sustainable urban development.
Thessaloniki received the recognition based on its traditional culinary practices, vibrant gastronomy community and unique local food, among other factors.
“Gastronomy is, after all, a key comparative advantage of Thessaloniki,” Mayor Konstantinos Zervas said in a press release. “Our city is a crossroads of tastes and cultures, now with the UNESCO stamp.”
UNESCO awards its “Creative Cities” based on seven primary criteria: Crafts and folk arts, media arts, film, design, literature, music and gastronomy. In order to be named a “City of Gastronomy,” honorees must first submit a bid.
Maria Karagianni, Thessaloniki’s deputy mayor of culture and tourism, said the new award will put culture, creativity and gastronomy at the center of the region’s tourism development while boosting its social, creative and economic potential.
Thessaloniki has 15 monuments included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as paleochristian and Byzantine monuments.
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