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A street food project to help youngsters and those with disabilities, transforming life in one particular neighbourhood


It was thanks to the support of Enel Cuore, the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì and other institutions that Piada52 – a piadina cafe offering the Romagna speciality street food and other refreshments – managed by the Cooperativa Sociale Paolo Babini opened in September 2014 in the park on Via Dragoni, Forlì. The piadineria is located in the Musicisti e Grandi Italiani neighbourhood, where the Babini Social Cooperative has been working with local institutions since 1987 to provide educational services and spaces specifically for young adults in Romagna’s principal town.

From so many perspectives, the Piada52 project is a successful case history: it all began with the piadineria which was created to support the social inclusion and introduction into the labour market of disadvantaged young adults and give them a new outlook.

This workplace is also a community, encouraging the youngsters involved to grow and develop through learning a profession and starting out in employment. The project, which is aimed at unemployed young adults, those with disabilities or leaving foster care and single mothers, has brought new vitality to the neighbourhood and stimulated the involvement of local people.

One group of young adults was involved in a training course teaching them how to produce and serve food and drink, while others learnt about alternative activities, such as garden maintenance in public parks.

The positive effect of the initiative has multiplied: not only has it managed to combine a market presence and social solidarity, the cafe set up by Cooperativa Sociale Paolo Babini has also contributed to the revitalisation of an urban park in Forlì which has now been enhanced through activities aimed at improving the gardens and structures for park visitors, as well as projects to encourage inclusion and the active involvement of local citizens. This is how the Musicisti e Grandi Italiani neighbourhood has become a reference point for all the town’s inhabitants: a social, meeting place and venue for numerous events, bringing together young people, families and professionals from the social assistance sector.

Our role in this project was to provide the resources required to fit out the professional kitchen and the Piada52 premises.



Location: Forlì

Organization: Cooperativa Sociale Paolo Babini

Beneficiaries: disadvantaged and unemployed young adults

Contribution: 50,000 euro

Year/Duration: 2014