Olive-oil Tourism National Competition: the ceremony

Great success for the initiative promoted by Associazione nazionale Città dell’Olio
Olive-oil Tourism National Competition: awards ceremony
Six overall winners in the competition categories and four special prizes awarded by the jury of experts
chaired by Professor Roberta Garibaldi

Grand finale for the first edition of the Olive-oil Tourism National Competition. The awards ceremony that took place at Villa Parigini – the prestigious headquarters of Associazione Nazionale Città dell’Olio in Siena – and was broadcast through the official social media channels, has held with bated breath the 17 finalists selected from the 118 experiences of olive-oil tourism competing, decreeing the overall winners in 6 categories and awarding 4 special prizes.

It was not an easy choice that of the jury of experts chaired by Professor Roberta Garibaldi. But in the end, quality and innovation prevailed in the evaluation criteria. All of the award-winning experiences, in fact, are proposals of excellence.

In the most crowded category – with more than 50% of the proposals in competition – “Frantoi/Aziende olivicole” triumphed Calabria with the Azienda Agricola Donato Parisi of Corigliano Rossano (Cs), which proposed the experience “+ Che Olio coltiviamo Cultura”: a walk among the olive trees with agri-break and tasting of local cultivars. In the sensory analysis proposed by the company, an important role is played by the essences collected in the garden cared for by disabled children.

In the category “Oleoteche”, Umbria triumphs with EXtra Vergine Oleoteca of Spello (Pg). The winning experience is “Oliamo e Mangiamo – Storie OLiOcentriche”, a real ritual and sensory journey guided in the world of EVO oil in combination with food and wine. In particular, ‘Oleoteca di Spello, which has over 400 labels of EVO oil, wants to tell the reality of Umbrian olive oil and its most representative monovarietal varieties – Moraiolo, Dolce Agogia, Frantoio, Leccino, San Felice and Nostrale di Rigali – offering visitors a fragrant olfactory journey between the art of tasting and pairing with regional recipes.

The Sabina Olive-oil Museum of Castelnuovo di Farfa (Ri) with the experience: Museo dell’olio della Sabina: la tradizione incontra l’arte contemporanea won first prize in the category “Musei dell’Olio”, managing to combine tradition and contemporary art. Here, visitors of all ages are the protagonists through a constant dialogue with the museum operator, who guides them through their visit.

In the “Ristoranti/Osterie” category, Oyster Fish of Termoli (Cb) triumphed with its “Mare forza olio” experience, a format of themed dinners that combines culinary delights with informative and educational, theoretical-experiential and sensory activities.

In the category “Agriturismi/Dimore Storiche,B&B/Hotel”, the winner is Puglia with Masseria San Martino di Fasano (Br) and the experience: “Raccolta delle Olive e non solo…all’insegna di Tradizioni, Relax e Natura”. This structure, in addition to the experience of harvesting olives, offers tastings of EVO oil, cooking classes on traditional Apulian recipes, experiences of vegetable garden care, workshops to produce soap from oil, picnics and themed events in the olive grove with products at km0.

Tuscany took home first prize in the category “Tour operator/Agenzie di viaggio” with Valdichiana Living – Strada del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano e dei Sapori della Valdichiana Senese di Montepulciano (Si), which excelled with the experience: “Olio&Benessere: alla scoperta degli effetti benefici dell’olio”. Three days of oil mills and guided tastings, during which, to appreciate the properties and authentic taste of Valdichiana Senese oil with an exclusive olive oil massage, a cooking class is led by a professional chef providing the best combinations to enhance the flavor and organoleptic properties of oil.

The jury also awarded 4 special prizes: The “Special Pizzeria Award” went to Pizzeria La Pergola of Radicondoli (Si) for the experience: “Elisir”, the “Special Tour Operator Award” to TasteofItaly Tour Operator of Siena for the experience “Lungo i sentieri dell’extravergine/Along the Evo Trails”, the “Special Gelateria Award” to Gelateria Yo-Go Srl of Termoli (Cb) for the experience “Dessert d’OrgOLIO” and the “Special Territorial System Award” to Fondazione le Radici of Seggiano (Gr) for the experience “Le Radici di Seggiano”.

“The Olive-oil Tourism National Competition was born as a bet. And today we can say we won it. Congratulations to the winners, but also to all participants. This is a collective victory, which has the taste of restart – said Michele Sonnessa, President of Associazione nazionale Turismo dell’Olio – In the next edition there will be many new features: the competition will be extended to the whole territory and will not be reserved only for the Association, we will put online a new portal that can tell best the world of olive-oil tourism, we will create with the contribution of UNAPROL a training course for companies participating in the competition. We expect an explosive second edition, thanks to the involvement of Bene Assicurazioni, main sponsor of our competition, which I thank for believing in this project”.

“I thank the experts of the jury for the generosity and competence with which they evaluated the experiences in the competition. It was not easy, but it was very exciting, because we have touched with our own hands the passion of those who believe in olive-oil tourism and are committed daily to build experiences and best practices that become everyone’s heritage – said Professor Roberta Garibaldi, President of the Jury – This is just the beginning, next year we want many more tourist experiences competing; olive-oil tourism is the future of food and wine tourism. We have the duty to reward those who want to be there, grow and count”.

You can see the award ceremony of May 31, 2021 at this link.