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)

Venice with Kids

I’m often asked how to best spend your time in Venice when travelling with kids. It’s not the easiest of asks because there is a lot of walking in any Venetian itinerary, made so much better by regular cicchetti stops. None of which is appreciated by small children.

However, there are some amazing things to do that all the family can enjoy and the magic of being in Venice is really something to share with children because their unbounded imagination makes even more of a wonder of this incredible city.


Here are some of our suggestions for how to spend your time in Venice with kids.

Some places to run around:

– Nice Piazza for a spritz and the kids can run around: Campo Santa Margherita or Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio.

– Playground: Parco Savorgnan in Cannaregio

Serra dei Giardini. A kind of plant shop/cafe/bistro in a garden so the kids can run.


Some great activities:

– Borges Labyrinth – maze on the island in front of San Marco. Good for kids and adults alike!

Orsoni Venezia 1888 – mosaic workshop. If you can get inside it’s a pretty amazing place to see real artisans at work.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It’s a small collection, so you can whizz around it in half an hour and the kids don’t get too bored. Really worth visiting.

– Visit a ’squero’ where they make gondolas…

– A gondola ride…. of course!

Fondaco dei Tedeschi – This is a rooftop bar on the top of a department store v close to the Rialto Bridge. You need to book I think because they only let limited people up there.

– Libreria dell’ acqua alta. A magical bookshop!

Blow glass in Murano

Venetian Mask decorating workshop for kids

An organised treasure hunt for kids around Venice. I hear this is good. We never did it, but by all accounts it’s fun


Some family friendly Restaurants:

– Burano Island, I’m suggesting this because the city might be quite crowded and if you just want to get away from the crowds, you can take the vaporetto to Burano (lovely colourful houses) and then walk over to Venissa for a good lunch or dinner, it is heavenly.

– Torcello island, Taverna Tipica Veneziana. Very low key restaurant but with a large outdoor eating area, fun stuff for the kids and some animals (rabbits etc.)

– Around Rialto, a must for Cicchetti. All’Arco is the best in our opinion. Near there, Caffe del Doge is also a good breakfast stop.

San Trovaso in Dorsoduro. Has a nice garden, family friendly.

La Colonna, Cannareggio – has an outdoor seating area in a nice piazza.