If you are looking for the best quality olive oil in the world, maybe this is the right place for you. The green and silver leaves of the olive trees, the blue of the sea and the fragrance of freshly crumbled oil olives everywhere: this is what you will find in Imperia and its surrounding valleys, immersed in the enticing smells of the Mediterranean vegetation: and this is the image you will bring with you after spending some days in this part of Liguria.
The villages where Monocultivar Taggiasca oil is still produced using ancient methods are astonishing. It is worth visiting the artisan mills in the villages dotting the coast, lined by one of the longest bicycle routes of the Mediterranean area.
Imperia, an ancient city with a modern soul
In the heart of the Flower Riviera lies a city that is modern and ancient at the same time, among the hills where one of the finest extra-virgin olive oils in the world is produced. With a typical atmosphere of a seaside resort, Imperia has a particular history because it was born by royal decree in 1923, merging together the two towns of Oneglia and Porto Maurizio. The best way to explore the city is on foot, walking through the many cobbled avenues in the shade of the arcades.
Oneglia is the most characteristic part of Imperia, with the old colored fishermen’s houses the Doria palace, and the Olive Museum wanted by the Brothers Carli: a very interesting exhibition area divided into thematic routes where you can know the millennial history of the Taggiasca olive trees and the production of high quality extra virgin oil. You can not miss a visit to Villa Grock, surrounded by a fabulous and scenic garden, the residence of the famous Swiss clown and the Clown Museum.
Porto Maurizio is the oldest soul of Imperia: a labyrinth of narrow streets, alleys, the so called “carruggi”.
Taggia, and the Ligurian Taggiasca Olive Oil
Immersed in the countryside and near the sea, Taggia is a town of beauty and ancient flavors in the province of Imperia, the perfect destination for lovers of seaside holidays. Not a single town, but a constellation of different villages, each one with particular personality, that together form a delightful place for those searching for nature, good food and culture. Taggia is also renowned for (and proud of) its agricultural soul: this is the homeland of the delicious Taggiasca olives, a real treasure beloved by the gourmets all over the world.
This is also the land of cannelloni, fennel biscuits, of a thick focaccia seasoned with peeled tomatoes, anchovy fillets, olives and garlic. However, the Queen of Taggia’s table remains the olive, delicious for appetizers or in elaborate recipes, great for the production of a fragrant extra-virgin oil. To enjoy such goodness there is no better way than the several events dedicated to olives and oil takoing place
in Taggia in the course of the year.
The most important one is the “Festa dei Furgari”, which takes place on the second Saturday of Februay in honor of San Benedetto Revelli: it is one of the oldest historical celebrations in Liguria and recalls, with its historical procession, the atmosphere of 1626. Palaces and historic squares are illuminated by a waterfall of fire and sparks. In July there is the feast of Santa Maria Maddalena del Bosco, a religious festival with ancient roots where Christian devotion blends into millennial rituals. A dance of love, life and death.
The Anfosso family and of one of the best Italian olive oil
Since 1945 in Chiusavecchia, in the hills of the province of Imperia, the Anfosso family produces extra virgin olive oil always respecting the Ligurian tradition of Ponente. Over the years, they have improved the traditional production processes thanks to new technologies and specialized professionals. The Anfosso family is today a guarantee one of the best Ligurian olive oils, as well as of a wide range of local products typical of the regional gastronomic tradition such as Taggiasca olives, preserves and different types of Ligurian pesto.
Where to buy ligurian olive oil? On Sensibus of course!
Images: Taggia, Imperia, by Luca Galli, CC BY 2.0 | Giardino di Villa Grock, Oneglia, by Simone Regis, CC BY 2.0 | Imperia, Liguria, by Pom Angers, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Taggiaca Olives, by Marco Bernardini, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Olive Harvest by Anfosso family