Food: La Strada dell’Olio
The Italian Riviera has always been a land known for D.O.P. Oil “Riviera” of the Riviera dei Fiori and taggiasca, a special variety of olive which yields a high-quality extra virgin olive oil; quite small the olives are also very tasty preserved in brine or chopped for making creams. Taggiasca. It is so named because it was brought to Taggia by the St. Columban monks from the monastery of Lerins’ island. Over the centuries Taggiasca’s grafts were grown throughout Italy, although the largest cultivation has always been in the Imperia province. Today it is one of the most famous olives for the production of extra virgin olive oil and one of the best table olive, because the fruit, despite its small size, is very tasty.
Lovers of good food and slow food have now many reasons to plan a cycling holiday on the track including tastings the local products. The village of Taggia is easily accessible from the bike path, but also in other places it is very easy to find outlets, special shops and cottages where to taste and try the precious ligurian oil.
For those who want to combine and find out more about the Oil we suggest taking the so called “Strada del’Olio” , perhaps during the production process, which generally takes place in the period from November to March. The trail leads to 21 locations of oil production in the Province of Imperia Apricale, Aurigo, Badalucco, Bayard, Borgomaro, Ceriana, Chiusanico, Chiusavecchia, Diano Arentino, Diano San Pietro, Dolceacqua, Dolcedo, Isolabona, Lucinasco, Molini di Triora, Montalto Ligure, Perinaldo, Prelà, Taggia, Vasia, Villa Faraldi.
On narrow, winding roads that connect the villages you can easily find the signs to the “Road”, and the various branches to the mills and manufacturers, often going through the suggestive olive groves built with the typical dry stone terraces of Liguria.
For fans of ligurian Oil it is a must to visit Olioliva, the new oil festival, held in Imperia each year around the middle of November. The festival brings in the capital more than 150 exhibitors and a lot of events, discussions, cooking workshops, tastings, exhibitions and culture. You can rent a bike in Parco Urbano, Imperia, combining a visit to the fair with a nice ride along the promenade and the most interesting spots of the city.
Alla scoperta dell'Olio Ligure
Per scoprire i gusti e i sapori dell'olio della Riviera dei Fiori vale la pena una gita a Borgomaro, piccolo paese nell'entroterra di Imperia. Qui dagli anni '40 il "Frantoio Pellegrino Paolo" si occupa di produzione e vendita di olio extra vergine di oliva, olio D.O.P., olive in salamoia, patè di olive, olive denocciolate sott’olio ed altri prodotti tipici della Riviera Ligure di Ponente, tutto prodotto con olive "cultivar taggiasca". Il frantoio è situato in Strada Ville San Pietro, 16.