Italy's bid underlines close links between culture, food and lifestyle.
Italy is bidding to have Italian cuisine inserted on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, the government announced in Rome on Thursday.
The bid for UNESCO recognition for Italian cuisine, underlining its "sustainability and biocultural diversity", is the result of a joint proposal from the ministries of culture and agriculture.
The bid emphasises Italy's close links between culture, food and lifestyle in a "mosaic of traditions" based on a set of "social practices, rituals and gestures based on much local knowledge" handed down between generations.
Italian cuisine is "the collective ritual of a people who conceive food as a cultural element of identity", states the culture ministry website
, part of the history and heritage of Italy and the Italian diaspora, and beloved by foreigners.
Launching the initiative, culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano told reporters: "From me there will be full support, because Italian cuisine means promoting the idea of quality of life and Italian living which is made up of art, culture, landscapes, monuments but also experiences such as those of food excellence."
Italy's foreign affairs ministry will send the bid to UNESCO to begin the evaluation process which should be completed by December 2025.