GirOlio 2013: Around Italy in 90 Days
By Luciana Squadrilli
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Rome
On the 20th September, the third edition of GirOlio will get under way. The traveling event organized by the National Association of Oil Cities (Città dell’Olio) will have 16 stop-overs, one for every Italian region that counts olive growing and oil-making among its traditions.
The starting point will be Ragusa, the picturesque city built on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys in one of the most beautiful areas of Sicily, Val di Noto, listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Representatives of the 16 cities will attend the opening ceremony and the congress dedicated to the Mediterranean diet and healthy food, that will also be one of the main themes of the next Expo 2015 in Milan.
After that, the tour will reach 15 more cities, crossing the whole country up to the North (Duino, in Friuli, will be the second stop-over on the 22nd) and then untidily traveling trough the Italian boot again south every weekend: Arco in Trentino region on Saturday the 5th October; San Paolo di Jesi (Marche) on Saturday the 12th; Lerici (Liguria) on Saturday the 19th; Saracena (Calabria) on Sunday the 27th; then in November Dolianova (Sardinia) on the 3rd; Melfi (Basilicata) on the 9th; Caiazzo (Campania) on the 16th; Parma (Emilia Romagna) on the 23rd; Pove del Grappa (Veneto) on the 24th, then Castagneto Carducci (Tuscany) on the 30th.
In December the next stopovers will take place in Giano dell’Umbria on Sunday the 1st, and Pescara (Abruzzo) on the 14th, while the Italian Bank Holiday dedicated to the Holy Virgin (on the 8th of December) will be the date for the Annual Conference of Città dell’Olio in Canino, Lazio. The final stop-over will then be on the 21st of December in Bitonto, in Apulia region.
Exactly three months will thus be dedicated to the newly-milled olive oil and to the typical products of every region. Public tastings will follow the official opening ceremony involving authorities and local schools, as children will be one of the main participants of the educational program of the event.
GirOlio will also have a special focus on taste, as extra virgin olive oil will not only be offered in straight tastings and panels but also in the chefs’ recipes. Local “Oil Restaurants” will have Mediterranean diet-themed menus and will set up dedicated “oil menus,” while the local olive oils will also be part of shopping itineraries and “happy hours.”
In every Oil City, there will be a special dinner based on the local extra virgin olive oil and the one coming from the previous stop-over. The dinner will be prepared by a local chef and one of the previous region, to strengthen the twinning and collaboration between different territories.
And this year, GirOlio will go social: the public will be invited to take pictures of the events and share them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #GirOlio2013.