La route de l’huile
Venez découvrir les secrets du trésor traditionnel du terroir de Sabina.
The Sabine hills explode in colourful yellow brooms and green olive trees. The landscape is filled with olive groves where the people of the Sabine have been producing one of the most prestigious oils in Italy for centuries. It was the first to receive protected designation of origin certification in Italy because of its superior quality. The velvety flavour of this oil makes any dish special, even the simplest.
The deep-rooted culture of oil in the Sabine area offers visitors the possibility of a true voyage where the protagonist is the olive tree and its fruit. From the Cantina Sociale of Magliano Sabina (where you can taste oil and wine from the land that surrounds the Agriturismo) one can start the excursion to discover the worldwide famous oil of Sabina. A visit to Canneto is a must. This small town in the municipality of Farfa is home to the largest olive tree in the world. In the Museum of Sabine Oil in Castelnuovo di Farfa, one can read about how the tradition of oil inspired some prominent contemporary artists. Everything comes to a climax at the Regional Oleoteca of Farfa, the first of its kind in Italy. It opened in 2004 and was designed to exhibit the extra virgin oils produced in the five provinces in the Lazio region as works of art. Gourmet cooks and anyone who enjoys fine foods will get the unique chance to see a complete panorama of products from Lazio, a carefully chosen selection of “masterpiece” oils of the region.
Tasting section is the heart of the Oleoteca. All the products displayed can be sampled and bought according to your palate. The UMAO (Mediterranean Union of Olive Oil Tasters) promotes guided tasting sessions that teach visitors how to associate a precise flavour, aroma and taste to an oil. These sessions can be booked in advance at the Erboristeria dell’Abbazia di Farfa.
Visitors can also be updated on news from the world of oil and on prizes awarded to the Lazio oils thanks to the hit parade of products awarded in the most prestigious competitions.
At the end of the journey into the traditions of oil, another surprise is at hand: the peace and enchanting beauty of Farfa where the Oleoteca is located. One can still feel the atmosphere of the great markets that used to take place along the narrow streets of the town. Farfa was at one time the seat of one of the largest trade fairs in Medieval Europe: merchants, spices and goods from all over the world would converge towards this tiny corner dominated by the Farfa Abbey. One can still visit the priceless treasures in the Abbey including paintings by Orazio Gentileschi and Zuccari, the Museum, and the Library which houses ancient illuminated codes.