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For over 20 centuries this area of Alta Sabina was a land of olive trees. The poet Virgil himself sang the goodness of its oil in the seventh canto of the Aeneid, when the city of Trebula Mutuesca (the ancient Monteleone) was coming to lend its support to Turnus, king of the Rutuli, against Aenea, the pious invader.

Today, we produce as then extra virgin olive oil, exclusively with biological systems and in the traditional way: the olives are hand-picked from the plant, immediately transported to a nearby mill and squeezed with cold millstones. The olive oil is then stored in Tuscan terracotta jars in the convent nearby.

In the young and centuries-old olive groves we grow the typical cultivar of the area, which are suited to the climate and altitude of the place (540 m above sea level): mostly Carboncella, but also Frantoio and Leccino.

June and July are the most generous months for  the fruits of the land: cherries, sour cherries, apricots, plums and green figs, with which we prepare jams.

In August, the garden is a bloom of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants and peppers. Blackberries are everywhere around.

In September we gather grapes and black figs, in October walnuts to make walnut-liqueur and the nociata (nuts and honey between two laurel leaves).

In December we can eat our persimmons and apples, toasted hazelnuts, dried figs and our mustards of fruit, onions or figs.

Starting from this year the garden will give us vegetables in all seasons, including winter, because we’ll grow cabbage, broccoli and artichokes, carrots and cauliflowers, fennel, lettuce and broad beans, to be eaten with pecorino cheese.

 

In short, bon appetit!