`Umbrian Mills Open their Doors - Olive Oil Times

Umbrian Mills Open their Doors

Oct. 21, 2014
Luciana Squadrilli

Recent News

Emilio Bartolini

Right in the cen­ter of Italy, with no coast­line or view to the sea, Umbria is also known as Italy’s green heart” due to the many olive trees that grow on its hills and slopes.

Many of the best Italian extra vir­gin olive oils orig­i­nate here, in one of the five sub­ar­eas of the Umbria Pdo: Colli Amerini, Colli Orvietani, Colli Martani, Colli del Trasimeno and Colli Assisi-Spoleto. This is not a huge area, but very rich indeed in his­tory, art and nature.

Here one can find old and pic­turesque vil­lages such as Spello or Trevi, artis­tic and reli­gious cen­ters such as Todi and Assisi and beau­ti­ful lakes sur­rounded by vine­yards and olive groves.

Moraiolo is the main cul­ti­var, asso­ci­ated with Frantoio and Leccino or with lesser, local vari­eties such as Dolce Agogia and San Felice. Wine and oil con­sti­tute major ele­ments Umbria’s econ­omy along with tourism, and the three often go together.

Olive oil-related tourism in Umbria is prob­a­bly more devel­oped and bet­ter orga­nized than in some other parts of Italy, and the annual event Frantoi Aperti, or open mills,” is good evi­dence of that, as well as the Strada dell’Olio dell’Umbria (Umbria’s olive Oil road) orga­ni­za­tion.

This year again, from 1 to 30 November, the region’s main mills will open their doors to the pub­lic to greet tourists, cos­tumers and olive oil enthu­si­asts. This will be the 17th edi­tion of the ini­tia­tive, orga­nized by the moun­tain com­mu­nity of Monti Martani Serano and Subasio in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Strada dell’Olio.

The aim is to pro­mote local extra vir­gin olive oils and the region’s rural des­ti­na­tions. The 35 mills will host guided tours and tast­ings, but other venues will host events related to the olive oil theme: olive groves, coun­try houses, his­toric vil­lages and their beau­ti­ful squares, the­aters and trat­to­rias will all be involved in this local rural cel­e­bra­tion.


The pro­gram is very rich, and con­stantly grow­ing: those who will visit Umbria in November will have the chance to take advan­tage of free guided tours of the par­tic­i­pant cities and vil­lages, music con­certs, cook­ing classes, horse rid­ings, trekking through the olive groves and wit­ness­ing the olive har­vests. Every visit at a mill will end with a tast­ing of freshly milled oil with a slice of warm, fra­grant bread, fol­low­ing the local tra­di­tion of bruschetta.

Visitors will dis­cover typ­i­cal prod­ucts of Umbria such as the deli­cious Castelluccio lentils and the excel­lent Umbrian wines, thanks to the col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Consortium of Castelluccio Lentils PGI and the Wine Tourism Movement of Umbria.

A free shut­tle ser­vice from the main vil­lages to the mills will be avail­able.

During Frantoi Aperti, the Strada dell’Olio will sug­gest a selec­tion of rural hotels and coun­try houses — Le Dimore dell’Umbria Dop” — where tourists will receive a com­pli­men­tary bot­tle of freshly-milled local PDO extra vir­gin olive oil.

More infor­ma­tion can be found on the Frantio Aperti and Strada dell’Olio web­sites. The free app Frantoi Aperti for iPhone and Android, offer easy access to the expand­ing pro­gram.


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