Alec Hills - Oct 18, 2010
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In our fast world many people look for haven of peace. The Italian town of Abbiategrasso offers that. It is part of the Cittaslow movement that promotes slower and thus more enjoyable life. The lifestyle involves fewer cars, good food, silent streets and better relations with people.


Abbiategrasso is approximately twenty kilometers far from Milan, one of the fastest cities in Italy. The town proudly presents itself as a slow town as it is involved in the "Cittaslow" movement. The idea behind the movement is to enjoy life, relax and slow down. It was founded in Italy in 1999 and Abbiategrasso became part of it in 2000.

Nowadays, over 140 towns from ninety countries participate in the movement. There are ‘slow towns’ in France, Germany but also in the USA or South Korea. However, half of them are in Italy. Through ecological, social, urbanistic or gastronomical policy, the members of the movement try to preserve the identity of their communities that have to face the fast modern world every day. Slow towns with less than 50,000 inhabitants do not have factories where working could be dangerous and there are also no large shopping areas in such towns.

Abbiategrasso prohibits cars from going through the town center at weekends. According to the latest survey done by the town authorities, there are about 9,000 bikes in the town with the population of 32,000. According to the server, living at slower pace is actually quite popular with the local people. Moreover, it also attracts inhabitants from other towns and cities such as Milan. People appreciate that in smaller towns everybody is closer to one another and that there are better interpersonal relations. In ten years time, the inhabitants of Abbiategrasso increased from 28,000 to 32,000.  

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