From the 6th to the 15th of October, the Consortium will take part in this prestigious international conference to discuss the heroic viticulture on the terraced hills of Soave and a radical change of vision in man’s role as central to maintaining biodiversity and landscape conservation. 


Soave, Verona – ITALY. From the Tolentini Cloister in Venice to the Botanical Gardens in Padua:  the center of the Veneto region, graced with remarkable landscapes and hills, will be the setting for the Third World Conference on Terraced Landscapes to be held from the 6th to the 15th of October, organized by the independent movement, “International Terraced Landscapes Alliance (ITLA), along with IUAV Venice and the University of Padua.


At the international conference, which opens in Venice on October 6th-7th at the Tolentini Cloister, and closes in Padua on October 13th-14th at the Botanical Gardens, Soave will participate in virtu of its recent recognition by the Italian ministry as a first rural landscape of historic interest in Italy. The event will be itinerant, with the delegation traveling to study areas of interest throughout the region, including the eastern hills of the Verona province.


Expectations are high for this international event: terraced landscapes can be found throughout the world, tangible evidence that indeed, mankind can thrive even in the most hostile and difficult environments, from the steepest mountain slopes to remote coastal areas. Making a return to terraced landscapes as a model for sustainable development, also means recognising that they can adequately respond to a number of different needs: to preserve historical and cultural values, to understand environmental and hydrogeological functions, to improve quality of life and food sources, to create empowered and inclusive communities.


The participation of Soave at the Third World Conference on Terraced Landscapes is a natural continuation of a project which culminated in the recognition of the Soave appellation as one of the first rural landscapes of historic interest in Italy. Given the characteristics of Soave, it is clear that today, there is a radical change in how man’s role in the environment is perceived – no longer seen a disturbance to the ecosystem, but instead, key to maintaining biodiversity and landscape conservation. 


In recent decades, terraces have been given little consideration. Since the turn of the century, however, there has been renewed interest and a deeper understanding of a number of these impervious landscapes. Among the terraced landscapes which have been recognized internationally, are: Ifugao in the Philippines, Yuanyang in Yunnan China, Bali in Indonesia, Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast in Italy (UNESCO Heritage sites).  Despite these acknowledgements, and increased public awareness, many terraced landscapes remain abandoned or precarious due to the threat from natural geological phenomenons.


The third International Conference on Terraced Landscapes intends to give further impetus to international efforts toward the protection and conservation of these landscapes. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and study the remarkable and diverse terraced landscapes located in Italy, other countries in the Mediterranean basin and Central Europe.


Aldo Lorenzoni, Director of the Soave Consortium, remarks, “To take part in this prestigious international conference, represents our continued commitment to a long-term project which has, over the past several years, highlighted the vital importance of the terraced hills of Soave. Within the zone of the Soave Classico, 1,700 ha of hillside vineyards comprised of small plots are still cultivated with same heroic, ancestral techniques. In fact, the first mapping of Soave’s vineyards can be seen in the land register, commissioned by Napoleon in 1816. This land census laid the groundwork for the creation of Soave as one of Italy’s first appellations, by royal decree in 1931. In this small area, perceived as a rural oasis in the Veneto countryside – one can nearly step back in time to observe well preserved historic buildings, peasant shrines, trellised “pergola” vines, stone walls and above all, still vigorous, century old vineyards.”



The first International Conference on Terraced Landscapes was held in the People’s Republic of China, Mengzi (Yunnan) in November 2010, and was attended by more than 90 international experts from 16 countries, and over 150 specialists from China. The conference was held under the auspices of UNESCO, FAO, the Ramsar Convention and various Chinese ministries and institutions.

The 2nd International Conference on Terraced Landscapes was held in Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes, in 2014, with the participation of researchers, terraced landscape activists and farmers from around the world, to discuss and agree on actions aimed at protection, conservation and promotion.