Practice-theory relay: Comunità Frizzante – making drinks to make community

Comunità Frizzante [komuniˈta fridˈdzante] literally means “sparkling community”. Our slogan is “making drinks to make community”. We are a diverse network of organisations and informal groups who are passionate about the Vallagarina valley in the Italian Alps. We want to catalyse the way we live, make community, approach social inclusion and do economy in the Vallagarina valley (Trentino, Italy). Since January 2019, we are working on inventing, hand-crafting and selling non alcoholic fizzy drinks with delicious yet thought-provoking flavours. In each step of the drinks cycle we focus on participation and ecological respect, from ideation and production to circulation and reinvestment. The drinks production is a method to cultivate relationships, stimulate local knowledge and increase the sense of belonging to Vallagarina.

We mobilise the participatory production of drinks as a tool to challenge individualised ways of life and alienation from the mountains we live in. Since we started, we have created an inspiring example of how activities of social inclusion can take a non-stigmatising form, which has led us to work on the establishment of a “school of well-being” in collaboration with the local mental health center. Moreover, the drinks have proved a great tool for investigating and challenging destructive economic practices: with our cola, we inquire together with teenagers into the politics of multinational food corporations; with our orangeade – produced from the left-over orange pulp from an organic bakery making candied fruit – we support the fight against hyper-exploitative labour of undocumented workers in the orange production; with our grapes drink, we question the grapes monocultures invading our valleys, while campaigning for regenerative agriculture.


The people involved in Comunità Frizzante on a daily basis are:

  • Carlo Bettinelli, who deals with the participatory production of soft drinks;
  • Chiara Mura who deals with participatory activities;
  • Fabio Franz who deals with visual communication;
  • Bianca Elzenbaumer who deals with social innovation and community economies;
  • Irene Bettinelli who deals with botanical research;
  • Irene Manfrini who takes care of the communication work and interviews with those who circulate the drinks.

The project is supported through a grant by Fondazione Caritro and is supported also by the Municipality of Rovereto and the Valley District Management Vallagarina.