Olive trees have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Sabina region, traces of the use of olives have been found dating from the sixth and seventh centuries BC. The mild climate and southerly exposure of the region create the ideal conditions for olive cultivation, whereas the hilly nature of the landscape makes modern intensive agriculture impractical. Because of this the olive groves have remained, most of them in family owned smallholdings, and the olive harvest is still carried out by hand.
Olive trees are well suited to organic cultivation because they suffer from few pests. In the last few years organic methods have become popular in the region, with the help of grants from the European Union.
In recognition of the high quality of the region's olive oil it was the first in Italy to receive the 'D.O.C.' quality mark. As with fine wines, this means that the oil conforms to certain quality and taste standards typical of a particular area.
|In Canneto (Fara in Sabina) you can find the largest olive tree in Europe (according to local tradition). its trunk measures an average of 7.20m. circumference and it has an estimated age of 2000 years.|
|In Castelnuovo di Farfa, in the historic 'Palazzo Perelli', you can find the Museum of Olive Oil.|
|The most cultivated varieties of olive in the Sabina are 'Carboncella', followed by 'Leccino', 'Frantoio' and 'Olivastro'.|
|Extra virgin olive oil is an indispensable part of the mediterranean diet. It contains mostly monounsaturated fats, with a high level of vitamin E. Ideally it should be used raw in order to conserve all its nutritional properties.|
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