Training excellence for restarting:  ALMA inaugurates its XVIII Academic Year

This past Saturday marked a ceremony that was intimate yet enriched by authoritative, institutional guests among others. ALMA, The International School of Italian Cuisine, honored its 18th Academic Year in the name of training and endurance in this phase of restart, always acknowledging Gualtiero Marchesi’s teachings. We also had the opportunity to welcome an exceptional guest:
Marco Bizzarri, President & CEO of Gucci.


Parma, 2 October 2021 – In the setting of the Reggia di Colorno, ALMA hosted a multitude of guests and institutions. The President & CEO of ALMA, Enzo Malanca, officially opened the eighteenth academic year of the school and took the opportunity to demonstrate the achievements of the school and outline future goals.

In full compliance with current regulations regarding Covid-19, teachers and students, partners, sponsors, guests and directors of the Schools of Art and Craft gathered in ALMA’s Aula Magna for the event. Among the speakers included: the Mayor of Colorno, Christian Stocchi, the President of the Province of Parma, Diego Rossi, the Councillor for Agriculture and Agrifood, Hunting and Fishing, Alessio Mammi, the Governor of the Emilia Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini, Lorenzo Angeloni, Director General for the Promotion of the Country System of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Carla Galdino, from the Directorate General for School Regulations and System Evaluation of the Ministry of Education, University and Research. The list of speakers was concluded by Marco Bizzarri, President & CEO of Gucci, of the Florentine fashion house that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

President Malanca's speech

As usual, the Opening of the Academic Year for ALMA is an opportunity to describe our current situation and outline the future prospects of the school. President Enzo Malanca commented: ‘I must thank all those who, in recent months, have helped us to keep the school active, through very important organizational and economic efforts that allowed us to ensure the provision of teaching and maintain, above all, laboratory operations, in accordance with our strict protocol and in full compliance with the regulations. In this year and a half, ALMA has not stopped in the face of difficulty, but has concentrated its efforts on developing innovative projects. In this sense, the school is now structured to deal with strategic projects both at national and international level, with agreements that we are currently in the process of concluding, in order to export our teaching to various countries around the world.

The professional and cultural development of our students is the goal that we continue to pursue, with the acknowledgment that both a cultural and technical background will allow them to develop their professionalism over time. Within the past two years, we have seen the most figures graduated from ALMA established in gastronomic guides and rankings. It is with this hope that I open this eighteenth academic year, thanking all the people at ALMA, starting with the teaching staff and the scientific committee who, despite the difficulties, have shown a sense of belonging and commendable sacrifice. I also thank the students who have attended our courses during this period.

Among the many developments from this past year, the following stand out: the updating of the school’s brand, the new thematic courses dedicated to professionals, the donation of 700 volumes by the Spagnol family to ALMA’s library, and the ongoing important work on the preservation and improvement of its wonderful premises.

Special guest: Marco Bizzarri

After the greetings of the institutions and the inauguration message from President Malanca, it was time for the contribution of one of the figures who has notably enhanced the great Italian fashion tradition during his many years of international experience in the luxury world. Marco Bizzarri, President & CEO of Gucci, presented his point of view and his experience at the helm of a unique brand that has successfully interpreted its creativity worldwide. The speech, aimed primarily at inspiring the hundreds of students and thousands of ALMA graduates, proved to be a valuable opportunity to reflect on fashion and gastronomy, two related worlds with their common denominator: the excellence of Made in Italy craftsmanship and creativity.

During the conversation, Bizzarri commented: “Strategies do not exist without the right people to create and grow them: in this sense, the role of training is key to bringing the values of Italian know-how to the world. Made in Italy is not a ploy to sell a product, but a reality made up of people whose creativity and tradition must be nurtured and allowed to grow. This is how Italy manages to speak to the world, in the transparency of its values and tradition, and in the constant need to surpass itself through ingenuity, innovation and passion for what we do best‘.

President and CEO of Gucci since 2015, after graduating in economics Marco Bizzarri began his career at Accenture (then Arthur Andersen) and seven years later joined Mandarina Duck, where he quickly became CEO. The following years marked his consecration in the fashion industry: Stella McCartney, Bottega Veneta and then again “Couture and Leather Goods“, a division of Kering where François Henri Pinault wanted him as CEO. After only eight months, he was appointed President and CEO of Gucci.


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