Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s Biodiversity scores a world record in Italy: 538 different varieties of olive trees.
There’s an authentic agricultural feature capable of uniting Italy as it was in the ancient world and the Italy of the 21st century:
this uniqueness is represented undoubtedly by the olive tree.
The biodiversity of this plant is impressive.
538 Italian Olive cultivars, 250 cultivated regularly.
250 million trees, many of which are centuries old: 450 thousand tons of oil are produced every year.
There’s almost one olive tree for each Italian living in the country in Apulia alone.
In recent years there’s been much talk about the importance and need for biodiversity. Biological – Diversity.
Italy, the country of biodiversity.
Italy’s edible vascular flora comprises 7.634 vascular species.
Italy is the European country with the highest number of vegetable species. Half of Europe’s vegetable species live in Italy. Every single Italian region hosts, on average, more vegetable species than the majority of whole European countries.
If we were asked to choose just one product to represent Italy… there could be only one answer: the olive tree.
Olive Trees across the Country
The plains that extend from Salento to Basilicata look like a Scottish tartan blanket. While in regions like Sicily, Sardinia, and Calabria, the cultivation of olive trees is among the hills and valleys. There’s a similar olive-growing panorama in Campania, Abruzzo, and Molise, where latitude and altitude make frost and snow more likely to change the landscape that runs before the eyes.
Moving to the north of Umbria, Lazio, and Tuscany, woods, and vines alternate with the olive groves. But this landscape becomes less intense in Emilia Romagna and on the great Po Plain. The landscape diversifies once again up north, along the coastal region of Liguria. There, millions of terraces supported by dry stone walls, the Ligurian olive oil trees grow against odds in the most asperous challenging slopes. The olive trees of the Friuli and Veneto, on the northeast side, look towards the Adriatic. This resistant and generous tree has survived the perilous slopes of Monviso and the very steep inclines of Arnad in Piedmont. Nor has he left Lombardy or Trentino, home of the lakes, where it decorates a landscape that delights the eye with the gentleness of its hills.
Italy’s most common cultivars are:
Bosana, Canino, Carboncella, Casaliva, Coratina, Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo, Pendolino, Taggiasca.
Main Cultivar of the North of Italy
- Lombardia: Casaliva, Grignano, Gargnà, Favarol
- Veneto: Casaliva, Grignan, Favarol, Perlarol, Trepp
- Trentino: Casaliva, Raza, Favarol
- Friuli: Bianchera
- Liguria: Taggiasca, Razzola, Pignola, Rossese, Colombaia
Main Cultivar of the Center of Italy
- Emilia Romagna: Correggiolo, Nostrana di Brisighella, Ghiacciolo
- Toscana: Frantoio, Moraiolo, Leccino, Maurino, Pendolino, Maurino, Olivastra Seggianese
- Marche: Ascolana, Carboncella, Canino, Mignola, Rosciola
- Umbria: Borgiona, Bianchella di Umbertide, Correggiolo, Dolce Agogia, Raia, Moraiolo, Frantoio, Leccino, San Felice.
- Lazio: Caninese, Itrana, Raia, Carboncella
- Abruzzo: Dritta, Gentile di Chieti, Tortiglione, Intosso, Cucco, Nebbio, Castiglionese, Rustica
- Molise: Aurina di Venafro, Cazzarella, Cellina di Rotello, Gentile di Larino, Oliva di Colletorto, Sperone di Gallo
Main Cultivar of the South of Italy
- Puglia: Cima di Bitonto / di Mola, Cellina di Nardò, Coratina, Ogliarola Barese / Salentina, Peranzana Provenzale, Pizzuta di Massafra
- Campania: Asprinia, Biancolella, Carpellese, Minucciola, Ortice, Ortolana, Pisciottana, Racioppella, Ravece, Rotondella, Tonda
- Basilicata: Ogliarola, Coratina, Maiatica
- Calabria: Carolea, Sinopolese, Grossa di Gerace, Cassanese, Ottobratica
Main Cultivar di Sicilia e Sardegna
- Sicilia: Cerasuola, Biancolilla, Nocellara del Belice, Nocellara Etnea, Tonda Iblea, Ogliarola Messinese
- Sardegna: Bosana, Semidana, Nera di Villacidro, Pizz e Carroga, Tonda di Cagliari