Lake Garda, Northern Italy

You don’t really need an excuse to visit Italy and its beauty, such as the evocative town of Verona — where Romeo and Juliet lived and died, according to Shakespeare’s drama — and the picturesque olive groves that surround the Garda lake.

In case you need another reason to visit Verona, consider the international wine competition and exposition Vinitaly, from 22 to 25 March 2015, and the simultaneous Sol&Agrifood event dedicated to extra virgin olive oil and other excellent food products. The event is important for those who work with wine and oil, or are still studying the subject.

O’Live & Italy, a project for the promotion of olive oil culture in the Garda Lake territory, will offer two courses held the week before Vinitaly which will bring participants to local farms to sample extra virgin olive oil directly from the producers who will be Sol&Agrifood’s exhibitors.

The courses will be directed by a high-level team of experts, featuring Dr. Barbara Alfei (panel leader and expert taster of monovarietal extra virgin olive oils), Dr. Antonio Giuseppe Lauro (panel leader of the New York International Olive Oil Competition) and Dr. Marco Antonucci (writer and journalist in the EVOO sector).

The 6-day, professional course, approved by the Region of Lombardy, is directed by Lauro. The course will be held March 16-21, and will allow those who pass the four tasting tests to obtain the Sensory Aptitude Certificate which is necessary for enrollment into the National List of Technicians and Olive Oil Expert Tasters in Italy.

Dr. Antonio G. Lauro will direct a six-day, professional tasting course next March in Toscolano Maderno, Italy. (Photo: NYIOOC)

The International Master will last five days, from March 16th to 20th, and it will be held under the patronage of ASSAM, the Agricultural Services Agency of Marche region which is particularly devoted to preserving and promoting monocultivar extra virgin olive oils.

The International Master is intended for those who want to attend an exhaustive course that will allow them to return home with a great wealth of culture, experience and knowledge about olive oil.

In both cases, the official languages of the courses will be English and Italian and the teaching plan involves more than 40 guided tastings of extra virgin olive oil from around the world, 4 cultural dinners to explore the possible matches between food and olive oil and complete educational materials that will be given to participants at the end of the experience.

The courses will be held in Toscolano Maderno, a beautiful village on the western shore of Garda, in the headquarters of the Association, the Casa del Tempo Ritrovato. This is an old restored country house with a small B&B and a private mill. The courses’ attendee will be accommodated there and in other local inns.

The programs offer a rare opportunity to broaden one’s knowledge about olive oil, while visiting a charming area of Northern Italy, and attending Vinitaly and Sol&Agrifood.

See more: Course Information and Signup Form (PDF)

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