Extra-virgin Olive Oil is one of the essential elements of Mediterranean cuisine. Along with wine and bread, it was said to be a culinary gift from Ancient Greeks who brought olives to the Italian peninsula. Ancient Romans then proliferated olives in the myriad countries and empires they conquered, demanding olive oil as a form of payment for the taxes due to the Roman Empire. It was indeed the Romans who invented the first machineries to press the olives and extract the liquid from them and they also invented the concept of “olive-oil therapy”, using it for beauty treatments for rich senators’ wives.
Back in their day the Romans also had the first classification of the different types of olive oils, depending on if they came from pressed green olives, semi-mature olives, mature olives, fallen olives or squashed olives. Even two thousand years ago, olive oil was being categorized according to quality. Today there are countless varieties of olives and oils and it’s easy to get confused about which are better, how they are defined and the best times to use each type. Extra-virgin olive oil for example, is derived from the first press of olives with specific machines, preferably through the cold pressing technique, at low temperatures and without the aid of water.
The resulting oil also depends on the olive varietals used by the producer. In Tuscany the most common olives are Frantoio, Moraiolo and Leccino, each of them having different flavors and notes, from fruity to spicy, and are compatible with different dishes and used to bring out the flavors of ingredients and preparations.
There is no better way to understand and enjoy the secrets of olive oil than by visiting an oil mill and we have designed this fascinating day tour for those of you interested in a unique day out in the countryside tasting premium olive oils, as well as Tuscany’s best Chocolate producer for a masterclass.
Olive Oil Tour Highlights:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting
- Artisan Chocolate Tasting
- Private Mercedes Chauffeured Tour
Below is a suggested Itinerary for your private Olive Oil Tour
Sample Gourmet Olive Oil & Chocolate Tour Itinerary
- Lunch wine wine
- Privately Chauffeured Mercedes
Your driver will collect you this morning from your hotel or cruise ship (this excursion is a viable day trip from Livorno, Pisa, Lucca and Florence) by private chauffeured Mercedes. The first stop today is to the fabulous Poggio Cappiano olive oil estate. On a warm, private tour you will visit the olive groves and the nursery, receive a detailed explanation on the cultivation processes at the oil mill, the characteristics of the different olive varieties and then finally you will sit down to an educational and fun olive oil tasting. You will enjoy lunch here as well with all dishes featuring their olive oils, each made to enhance the different specific olive varietals.
After lunch your chauffeur will bring you to Navacchio, where a fantastic tasting experience awaits at de Bondt, a premium chocolate company run by Dutch chef Paul de Bondt and Italian designer Cecilia Iacobelli. On a private hands on workshop experience, you will learn how to cut, dip and decorate your own hand made chocolate creations! Included in the “Chocolate Companion” as one the top fifteen chocolate makers in the world (!), visiting this chocolate maker will certainly leave a great taste in your mouth. Before returning to your hotel or cruise ship in the late afternoon if time permits, swing by the nearby Leaning Tower of Pisa for a peek.
“Delicious day out in the Tuscan Countryside!”