A Festival Celebrates the Art and Tradition of Olive Oil in Friuli Venezia Giulia

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by InTrieste

In the heart of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the small town of Manzano is set to host Olio e Dintorni, an annual festival celebrating the region’s rich tradition of olive oil production. Organized by the Arc Oleis e Dintorni association and supported by various regional entities, this year’s event promises an array of activities that blend culinary delights, art, and local culture.

The festival kicks off on Friday, May 24, at 6:20 PM in the picturesque park of Villa Maseri. The opening ceremony will feature greetings from local dignitaries, followed by the unveiling of stands showcasing the products of selected extra virgin olive oil producers from Friuli Venezia Giulia and Tuscany. Attendees can also enjoy wines from the Colli Orientali del Friuli Venezia Giulia and culinary creations from the villa’s kitchen, led by chef Kevin Gaddi, a noted ambassador of Friuli’s culinary heritage.

An art and historical photography exhibition titled “Oleis nel tempo” will debut at 7:00 PM, displaying vintage photographs of the local community. The evening will continue with “Aperitiv.Olio,” an uninterrupted aperitif featuring prosecco from Tenute del Leone Alato, accompanied by a special secret ingredient, with DJ Roberto Vannella providing the soundtrack.

At 8:00 PM, the festival will host “Olivarelli: dinner with the artists,” a unique dining experience followed by a live painting exhibition. The night will conclude with a performance by Rossi Mania, a Vasco Rossi tribute band known for their authentic sound and charismatic lead singer.

Saturday, May 25

The festivities resume at 9:00 AM with “Coltivo(g)lio,” a free course on olive cultivation and pruning led by Marco Stocco of Ersa, alongside technicians Ennio Scarbolo and Franco Diacoli. The course includes field demonstrations and a tasting of various olive oils.

At noon, the kitchen reopens with chef Gaddi and the young members of the Associazione Arte e Libro Soc. Coop. Soc. Onlus, offering a menu rich in local flavors. Traditional dishes such as cjarsons with ricotta, smoked trout, and panna cotta al Picolit with Esse di Raveo cookies will be served.

An interactive seminar on extra virgin olive oil will begin at 2:00 PM, featuring Prof. Lanfranco Conte. This will be followed by “Oliolab,” a mini-laboratory exploring the sensory characteristics of olive oil.

The afternoon will see performances by the Dance Area.it school and a guided walk, “FAI un giro in vigna,” exploring the historical rose garden of Rosazzo Abbey and the Tazzelenghe vineyard. This experience will include a tasting and presentation of the book “Il Tazzelenghe” by Stefano Cosma and Angelo Costacurta, with wine expert Wayne Young leading the tasting.

At 4:30 PM, children can participate in Olivarelli Junior, a painting workshop using watercolors mixed with olive oil. Evening activities include storytelling sessions for younger children and a guided nighttime mountain bike tour. The night will feature a Spring/Summer fashion show by By Biba’s, followed by a 90s and 2000s music set from Radio Company.

Sunday, May 26

The final day begins early with a 7 or 14-kilometer fun walk through the hills and vineyards, organized in collaboration with FIASP. At 9:00 AM, a 25-kilometer guided cycling tour will take participants through the scenic landscapes surrounding Oleis and Rosazzo.

A technical conference on the evolution of olive growing in Friuli Venezia Giulia will start at 10:00 AM, featuring insights from local experts and agronomists. The highlight of the day will be the “Olio dell’Abate-Maseri 2024 Award” at noon, recognizing the best olive oil producer for their quality and overall excellence.

Throughout the day, the park will host a local market, workshops, and children’s entertainment. The evening will close with a playful wine tasting session and a performance by the tribute band Sensazioni Modà.

For further information and reservations, visit the festival’s website.

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