As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.



Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.



People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.


This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

Cambio di Stagione

Cambio di Stagione

You know it is autumn in Italy when the puffer jackets come out – an essential part of the Italian wardrobe.  It’s a sort of uniform if you like, everybody has one and from what I understand, the key selling point is that it keeps your neck warm… ahh, the neck, the key to so many seasonal troubles!

It is fair to say that many Italians are susceptible to an incredibly broad range of winter ailments, which appear to be supported by a comprehensive knowledge of their anatomy.  You don’t suffer from occasional colds or a once-every-ten-years flu in Italy, there is far more to it.


Colpo d’Aria

Translated literally as a ‘hit of air’, Il Colpo d’Aria is a mysterious illness that can affect the head or even the stomach. To avoid getting it, you have to keep wrapped up to the gills (even if you’re baking hot), never have a strand of damp hair on your head (guilty) and certainly never allow your children to run around outside without a full ski suit.



As far as I can gather, this is a nasty seasonal illness affecting the back of your neck – it doesn’t appear to be related to the fact that you’re spending too long sitting in front of a computer but it can keep you off work for some days!  It is something that a surprising number of Italians suffer from. 


Cambio di Stagione

A high proportion of Italians suffer from the change in the season (cambio di stagione), it’s as if the body goes in to shock and symptoms can be as broad as nausea, anxiety, insomnia or slow digestion.  It’s a nasty thing to overcome and can take a couple of weeks to shake off.


If you move to Italy, your personal health learning curve is extraordinary, you can suffer from things you genuinely didn’t know you had and the cures can be even more surprising (and wonderful!).  Blood pressure issues can be cured with liquorice.  A salt-pack on the back cures backache. A tisane of bayleaves and lemon rind relieves stomach pains.  Artichokes are good for your liver.  Garlic is good for bronchial complaints. Mineral Salts should be taken every day. And above all, the vest is king and wearing one can save your life!