Senatore Cappelli is a special durum wheat cultivar introduced in the early 1900s in Italy whose compelling history is a tale of Italian resourcefulness and devotion to science.
Nazareno Strampelli, an Italian agronomist and plant breeder from the Marche region (left), is the man we have to thank for the advent of Senatore Cappelli durum wheat. He moved to Apulia in 1906 following an invitation from Marquis Raffaele Cappelli, who wanted him to carry out some in-depth research on wheat.
The aim of Strampelli experiments was to identify a more resistant wheat variety that could easily adapt to different climates and ultimately increase production in a historical period where a large percentage of Italy’s population was experiencing famine.
The outcome of Strampelli’s studies was a huge success, resulting in the development of the Senatore Cappelli durum wheat variety, which was improved in 1915 and whose name is clearly a tribute to the man who commissioned the research.Strampelli in his career created more than 50 different kinds of wheat, nevertheless the game-changing Senatore Cappelli has remained the flagship of his work, as it ended up being the most widespread wheat variety in Italy up until the end of the 1960s.