How does a popular wine country town just outside of San Francisco become America’s first “cittaslow” city?

Apparently, as Sonoma discovered, by just being itself.

Being slow is considered a bad thing in many parts of the world, but in Sonoma they embrace their slowness. As a result, they meet all the requirements set out by the Cittaslow International, a network of slow cities around the world.

Obtaining the cittaslow ((Italian for  “slow city”) designation isn’t easy.

To start with, it’s invite only.

And then, just because a city is invited to apply doesn’t mean it is a shoe-in.

Invited cities go through a rigorous application process to prove they embody Cittaslow values. Chief among these is the concept of the slow food movement, sustainable agricultural practices, conservation of and support for traditional artisan products, hospitality programs, historic preservation, and educational programs for all ages.

The next time you are in Sonoma, “sit a down” and relax.

Enjoy the sun.

Enjoy the wine.

Enjoy the town.

In fact, you can do all that with a Segway tour.

There’s no reason to hurry.

After all, you are now in a cittaslow city.

Aside:  The only other two cittaslow cities (Sebastopol and Fairfax)  in the USA are also in California.

 

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.