Events Across Italy Set to Celebrate Traditional Olive Groves

Nearly 170 cities across the country will hold educational, cultural and tasting events in traditional olive groves and mills.

By Paolo DeAndreis
Oct. 27, 2022 14:48 UTC

A record-break­ing num­ber of Italian munic­i­pal­i­ties have cho­sen to join a nation­wide ini­tia­tive to pro­mote oleo­tourism.

On October 30th, events in 168 loca­tions will bring thou­sands of locals and tourists to olive groves, small vil­lages, his­toric sites and ancient mills.

We intend to raise aware­ness among the pop­u­la­tion and encour­age the gov­ern­ment to pro­mote tra­di­tional and sus­tain­able olive grow­ing.- Michele Sonnessa, pres­i­dent, Città dell’Olio

Visitors will have the chance to taste local extra vir­gin olive oil and other tra­di­tional olive oil-based food spe­cial­ties.

Since the event coin­cides with the start of the olive har­vest in many parts of the coun­try, vis­i­tors will also have the oppor­tu­nity to try freshly-pro­duced olive oil.

See Also:A New Project to Promote Olive Oil Roads in Puglia

The Walking Among Olive Trees Day’ includes var­i­ous events designed to allow par­tic­i­pants to embrace the olive trees,” accord­ing to the orga­niz­ers.

Visitors will be invited to join hands and form cir­cles to hug the olive trees, cel­e­brat­ing the ancient rela­tion­ship between the local peo­ple and trees.

In the 17 Italian regions involved, there will be itin­er­aries for a walk from two to seven kilo­me­ters through the olive groves.

Each munic­i­pal­ity has selected a route among the olive trees with unique char­ac­ter­is­tics from the his­tor­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal point of view that ends in a mill, an olive farm or a his­toric build­ing where par­tic­i­pants will be offered a tast­ing of bread, oil and typ­i­cal prod­ucts,” orga­niz­ers said in a press release.

In Fasano, in the heart of the south­ern region of Puglia, vis­i­tors will explore a unique area known as Lama del Trappeto (Blade of Trappeto, in Italian), which was named for the shape of the chan­nel that col­lects rain­wa­ter and brings it to an ancient under­ground olive mill.

In the mill, par­tic­i­pants will assist in the olive oil pro­duc­tion process fol­low­ing ancient tra­di­tion and using his­tor­i­cal tools such as mill­stones and presses. The event will also include a guided walk through the cen­tury-old olive grove and end with a tast­ing event.

Meanwhile, in Chiavari, Liguria, in north­west­ern Italy, vis­i­tors will walk from the city cen­ter to the olive groves with a local guide who will explain the city’s his­tory and dis­cuss the specifics of local olive grow­ing.

A local the­atri­cal asso­ci­a­tion will per­form in the groves, and tast­ings will be offered in the his­tor­i­cal site of Palazzo Rocca, once home to many olive trees.

The net­work of involved munic­i­pal­i­ties is part of the Città dell’Olio, an asso­ci­a­tion that includes more than 400 olive-grow­ing munic­i­pal­i­ties.

Michele Sonnessa, the asso­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent, told Olive Oil Times that the even­t’s goal is to raise aware­ness of the envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits of olive tree cul­ti­va­tion and the risks posed to tra­di­tional olive groves by the pat­tern of aban­don­ment among the younger gen­er­a­tion.

According to research from the International Olive Council, in the pro­duc­tion of 1 liter of olive oil, olive trees remove 10 kilo­grams of CO2 from the atmos­phere.”

“[With this ini­tia­tive] we intend to raise aware­ness among the pop­u­la­tion and encour­age the gov­ern­ment to pro­mote tra­di­tional and sus­tain­able olive grow­ing,” Sonnessa said, warn­ing that the gov­ern­ment must act soon to address the impend­ing demo­graphic cri­sis fac­ing tra­di­tional olive oil pro­duc­tion.

That is why we planned a sym­bolic and con­crete ges­ture, a shared and col­lec­tive hug which will help wit­ness the pas­sion we nur­ture towards the plant that, more than any other, pro­tects the envi­ron­ment,” he added. And to wit­ness the com­mu­ni­ty’s com­mit­ment to pre­serve the grow­ing olive land­scape and restore aban­doned farm­land.”

According to the pro­mot­ers, there are many sim­i­lar­i­ties in local olive oil cul­tures through­out the coun­try, but spe­cific dif­fer­ences exist in the dif­fer­ent regions.

Therefore, such an ini­tia­tive is a way to pro­mote oleo­tourism based on the endur­ing her­itage of our ter­ri­to­ries, a value that will build wealth for future gen­er­a­tions,” the asso­ci­a­tion said in a press release.

From north to south, thou­sands of par­tic­i­pants will join hands and cre­ate human cir­cles around the olive trees in the Cities of Olives,” Sonnessa con­cluded. Small ges­tures [such as this] might have a mul­ti­ply­ing effect on the pop­u­la­tion and [ulti­mately] change things.”

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