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)

Where to Eat in & Around Florence

Our nearest big city is Florence and whilst we never spend enough time there, the time we do often revolves around a good restaurant.  Here are some suggestions of places that we enjoy and hope you might too.


Le Volpi e l’Uva

Very eclectic wine list from all over Italy. Super relaxed and offering sharing plates, boards of local hams and cheeses etc. so good for a light lunch or the early evening slot.  They also deliver wines if you are staying in a villa nearby.


Trattoria Cammillo (Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r.  tel. +39 055212427)

One of the best classic family run trattorias in Florence. All the tuscan favourites. It’s quite rustic looking but you eat really well.


The wonderful world of Cibreo inhabits a beautiful corner of Sant’Ambrogio. The restaurant is of course an institution, but there is also Cibreo Cafe which is a little less $$ than Cibreo itself but you get a sense of the whole project.



Il Nugolo is really worth a visit. Founded by Nerina Martelli who previously worked at Petersham Nurseries in London and has established a kitchen garden with heirloom tomatoes and an incredible array of vegetables. Super seasonal menu and truly delicious.


The Art Bar

Great for cocktails


If you are looking for a restaurant with a view over the city, worth trying either Ristorante La Loggia or Da Giacomo al Salviatino. Il Salviatino Firenze, is one of the most beautiful historic Tuscan villas surrounded by private gardens and located in Fiesole. They have an organic orto and use local ingredients only.




If you are ok with the aperitif and view option, then the Loggia Rooftop is super beautiful and worth a visit. Located in the oltrarno it’s a great spot to catch the sunset over the city.



Il Santo Bevitore, on the oltrarno, this is a fun neighbourhood and there’s always a certain buzz. Great wine list.


Le Menagere, this is very close to the Accademia museum but a total haven away from the busy streets. It’s a modern take on Italian food, and the restaurant is at the back of a flowershop, so it feels light and breezy. Really good if you’ve had a busy morning of galleries


Il Parione, this is a very classic Tuscan trattoria, good for a great plate of pasta or a Florentine steak.



Within half an hour’s drive of the city

If you make it to Greve in Chianti, Fuori Piazza is a really great unpretentious restaurant with a great wine list.

If you make it to Panzano, the best spot is Enoteca Baldi – they have a supremely good wine list and the food is wonderful and has influences from the south of Italy

Heading slightly in to the hills but close to Panzano and Greve, we love Cantinetta di Rignana  Super relaxed, delicious Tuscan food.

Fattoria di Maiano, located just outside Florence, close to Fiesole. They have a wonderful botanic garden and a trail with animals that is great for young families. You really manage to feel away from the city here and the food is always good and truthful.