1. home
  2. /
  3. Suggested itineraries
  4. /
  5. The wine and olive oil routes
  6. /
  7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from Tuscan olives

Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from Tuscan olives

Together with grapevines, olive trees have been a part of the Tuscan rural landscape for centuries. The origins of the plant, which is widespread throughout the Mediterranean, are quite ancient, and this is why the olive tree has always been symbolic and legendary. The olive is a true emblem of peace. The plant also represents wisdom, knowledge, glory and prosperity in various cultures. According to Greek mythology, the olive tree came about as a result of a dispute between Athena and Poseidon over the creation of the most precious gift to give to men. In the biblical Old Testament, on the other hand, the dove that brings Noah a sign of reconciliation between heaven and earth at the end of the Great Flood is holding a twig of this very plant in its beak. The olive tree has been cultivated in Arezzo and its lands ever since ancient times, but we can truly talk about olive growing starting from the 8th century, especially thanks to the Benedictine monks who started disseminating the various uses of olive oil. In more recent times, it is worth mentioning that as early as the 19th century, the Georgofili Academy studied the special characteristics of Arezzo’s olive oil. At the beginning of the 20th century, an Itinerant Chair of Agriculture was established in the area, with the task of teaching farmers and promoting technological progress also in the cultivation of olives and the harvesting and milling of its fruit. Since the Second World War, olive-growing for Arezzo and its province has continued to be a fundamental aspect of the local agricultural economy that has not faltered, and the oil produced has stood out, decade after decade, for its quality. In the province, the most widespread olive genotypes are Frantoio, Moraiolo and Leccino, which account for 80% of the varietal heritage, but there are also other varieties such as Morchiaio, Morcone and Morchione. The olive harvest runs from October to December and until a few years ago, in the small terraced farms in the Arezzo hills, it was a true ritual that brought together entire families armed with their tarps and rakes. Olives are milled very soon after they are harvested, and this contributes to preserving the organoleptic qualities of Arezzo’s extra virgin olive oil, with its typical green fruitiness, intense fragrance and the right balance between pungency and bitterness, characteristics enhanced by the high polyphenol content. Due to its high standard of quality, Arezzo’s olive oil is one of the best in Tuscany. It is a true “green gold” that oil lovers know well.