The Veronese are proud of it. For them it's one of the most important events in the world. But, unless you're from Verona or you're in the wine industry, you've probably never heard of it.
So, what is Vinitaly, and why is it so important?
Wine is crucial to the fragile Italian economy. With 2.3 billion litres of wine produced in 2015, Italy is second only to Spain as a global wine producer. Wine exports are worth over €5billion (only France has a higher wine export value).
And if you import or export Italian wine, Vinitaly is the place to do it.
Now in its 51st year, Verona has been hosting an annual wine festival since 1967. From modest beginnings, the fair now boasts 4120 exhibitors from 27 countries.
In 2016, over 49,000 visitors attended from 140 countries including 28,000 registered buyers. With an ever increasing focus on the lucrative export market, Chinese and American buyers are particularly welcome.
One group who are not encouraged to attend are amateur wine enthusiasts.
For years the event has been criticised by serious wine professionals because of the preponderance of day trippers with dodgy entrance passes who come just to take advantage of the free wine on offer.
In recent years, the organisers have made a number of changes to the event, including re-scheduling it during the working week rather than over the weekend and increasing ticket security, to try and ensure that the focus of the event is on the important business of buying and selling wine, rather than on the less important pastime of simply enjoying good Italian plonk.
With this in mind, the organisers have recently launched Vinitaly in the City, a break out event of music, culture and tastings, aimed at the wine enthusiast. With numerous events taking place in the historic old town, Vinitaly in the City is much more accessible than the trade fair itself, which takes place in the city's sprawling conference centre.
Another criticism of Vinitaly has been the transportation issues that arise during the week of the fair. Unlike many international conference centres which have out-of-town locations, Verona Fiere is just a short walk from the city's main train station and less than 3km from the Roman Arena at Piazza Bra. While this makes the event more accessible, it also causes massive traffic problems in the city centre. Many attendees travel by car, so parking and traffic jams are a particular problem.
So, while Vinitaly is primarily a trade fair, it's also one of the most important events in the city's calendar. For a week in April the city is awash with wine and wine afficianados who flock to the city to buy, sell, taste and trade. If, like me, you're just an enthusiastic amateur, there's still plenty to enjoy.
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