Friday, September 29, 2017

Trevi: The Ancient Tradition of Olive Oil in Umbria





Surrounded by olive trees, the historic centre of Trevi unwinds around the steep conical hill of Monte Serano, which dominates the plain of Spoleto. One of the the 'Most Beautiful Villages of Italy' —  "I Borghi più Belli d’Italia" — this small medieval town is famous throughout Italy for its ancient olive oil tradition, produced in the Trevi hillsides for over 2,000 years. Old stone houses still dot the hillside dating back to the 16th century, where olive growers used to stay during the harvest. Production techniques are still not much different from those used by the Etruscans at that time. Olives are hand picked in the field and carried the same day over rough terrain to the mill, where they are crushed by two great granite stones and made into a paste, pressed, and after a few months of mellowing, the oil is subsequently stored. Olive oil, the reigning product of Trevi, is also the focus of The Museo della Civiltà dell’Ulivo, which opened in 1997 on the ground floor of the former St. Francesco monastery, annexed to the church of St. Francesco, which dates from the 14th century. The church and the Art Gallery, along with the Museum and the Archaeological Collection form the art collection of St Francis, is the first public museum in Italy and Europe dedicated to olive oil and the olive tree. It's been often quipped that "trying to snap a picture of Trevi without an olive tree getting in the way is much like trying to photograph an elephant without the trunk getting in the way." 



The beautiful  historic centre of Trevi with a network of narrow streets and lovely architecture

The ancient Convento di San Bartolomeo with 15th century fresco

Beautifully preserved, Roman and Medieval architecture abound in every corner of Trevi

Palazzo della Prepositura Valenti built in 1650 and now a hotel and elegant restaurant
on Piazza della Rocca

Cobblestone pathway to a provate residence with ancient campanile

Chiesa di Sant'Emiliano was built over the Roman Temple of Diana

A beautiful private Palazzo with sunny terrace garden and elegant wooden entry

Flowers were in bloom throughout the historic centre

Museo della Civiltà dell’Ulivo and Raccolta d'Arte di S. Francesco, located in the former convent of San Francesco, built in the 13th century, and the only museum dedicated to the olive in Europe

Roman terracotta olive oil urns

Scale model showing the the extent of olive groves in Roman Trebia

 The Church of St. Francesco, which dates from the 14th century, is attached to the Museum

14th century frescoes 

Special Antonio Valenti exhibition in the museum 

Of particular interest were the small sketches and watercolours Valenti made in his 2"x3" notebook

Small but potent drawings

A lovely small charcoal drawing

View from Trevi just outside the Museum, with groves on olive trees

Old wooden door protected the entrance to a noble Palazzo

Archway of the old 14th century Medieval house

14th century intact Medieval House overhanging the lane below

Ancient stone and brick cobble streets of Trevi

Ancient wooden door in the Jewish quarter of Trevi

17th century Borghetto Del Mostaccio, just one of a handful of small charming hotels in Trevi

Each home has its own mailbox with key — some snazzier than others

Palazzo Valenti was the Palace of the Counts Valenti di Riosecco, 
and the most beautiful Renaissance palace in Trevi

Inset into the enormous arched portal are carvings of the noble Valenti family

Ristorante Maggiolini on Via San Francesco, is adjacent to the Palazzo Valenti

The brick arched interior of Maggiolini

The menu with traditional Umbrian dishes using local Trevi produce

A delicious bottle of 2016 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi from Le Marche

An elegant, soft, fresh and fruity wine with aromas of melon, citrus and grapefruit

Bruschetta con Pesto di Sedano: Bruschetta with Celery Pesto

Strapazzata  al Tartufo: Scrambled Eggs with Truffle

Risotto ai Gamberi di Fiume: Risotto with River Prawns

Spaghetoni alla Carbonara di Pesce con Tonno e Gamberi

Macchiato con latte caldo