MUSEUM OF OLIVE OIL CULTURE

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 The museum is situated in the evocative area of the ex Saint Francis convent, which also houses the homonymous Church and the Art Collection. It is the first public museum in Italy and in Europe dedicated to oil and olive tree and is divided into four sections:

Botany

Getting to know oil and the olive tree

Oil as a symbol of peace

Oil history

The exhibition offers visitors different approaches. Information on the olive tree in history, botany and agronomy is provided by boards with data of Centro Nazionale delle ricerche (National Research Centre). Ro Marcerano’s cartoons are intended for children. Interactive devices give details about the pressing techniques, while documentary films show the “fiscoli” (or “buscoli”, coconut fibre filter discs) are handcrafted, the different cultivation phases and the removal of the diseased parts of a plant with a technique called “slupatura”.

Sophisticated equipment enables visitors to taste and learn how to feel the difference between the oil varieties, while a section is designed for chemical tests to quantify the oil acidity. And if you want to enhance the quality of your cuisine with new and tasty dishes you can download and print chef Angelo Paracucchi’s tasty recipes of gastronomic specialties prepared with olives and olive oil.

The museum also has an important private collection of archaeological finds - kindly loaned by Jean-Pierre and Fiorella Cottier – connected with the symbolic value of the olive tree and the use of oil: a remarkable collection of oil lamps some of which are Phoenician and date back to the 8th century B.C. Equally interesting is the collection of unguentary vases and ancient objects decorated with oil-related motifs. A big three-screw press, built at the turn of the 18th century, and a grindstone mark the end of the tour.

 (translated by David Sebastiani).

 


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Aggiornamento: 22 aprile 2014.