12 consortium member businesses producing PDO Riviera Ligure extra virgin olive oil adhered to a project on Ligurian experiential tourism promoted with Regione Liguria. Terragir 3 was funded by the Italy-France “Maritime” programme: the partners were the Province of Nuoro, Regione Liguria, Regione Toscana, Odarc (Office of Agricultural and Rural Development of Corsica), the PDO Riviera Ligure EVO Protection Consortium, the Cannonau Wine Route, the Federation of Wine, Oil and Flavours Routes of Tuscany, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Corse – CIV. The goal of the project is the design of tourism offers enabling customers (at the same time guests and travellers) to experience the real life of the farms: the most effective way to get to know products in an exhaustive, engaging, “experiential” way. The 12 consortium member businesses foster visibility and focus on one of Liguria’s excellences, certified and guaranteed, strongly linked to the protection of the territory.
“The pandemic emergency multiplied our efforts to improve our relationship with consumers looking for quality and authenticity, the fundamental values of PDO/PGI products. Tourism urges us towards the development of sensory experiences blending anecdotes and life stories linked to the territory, following the track of these first set of innovators”, says Carlo Siffredi, President of the Consortium for the Protection of PDO Riviera Ligure DOP EVO.
From Eastern to Western Liguria, participating businesses include large companies as well as family businesses, which still devote all their time to farming.
The experience designed by Lucchi & Guastalli focuses on the knowledge of olive farming both in the easternmost part of the province of La Spezia as well as in the Busanco estate in Riomaggiore, Cinqueterre – the sea ideally linked to the Magra river plan. La Bilaia is the realm run by agrichef Paolo Passano, who has supported olive farming in the region of the mouth of the Entella and for the rediscovery of ancient vegetables in the area of Lavagna. Olive groves and vegetable gardens reveal the secrets of cultivation, which he masters after years of research and study, leading to the enjoyment of food and wine activities related his commitment as a chef.
The Cooperativa degli Olivicoltori Sestresi in Sestri Levante boasts a distinctive educational potential as regards the knowledge of PDO Riviera Ligure EVO – Riviera di Levante subarea. The ideal premises to welcome groups and school groups. In the Riviera di Ponente features large companies, such as Fratelli Carli. Besides their renowned Olive Tree Museum, their range of experiences, especially related to children edutainment, is varied and articulated. The Sant’Agata di Oneglia oil mill, on the other hand, provides targeted tastings and opportunities for in-depth contacts with the olive farming culture of the hills of the Impero valley. In the inner section of the valley, the Azienda Agrituristica Cà Sottane in Borgomaro is designed around its restaurant, a blend of Mediterranean know-hows, and its olive grove. Agriculture meets educational farm: the result is a variety of learning opportunities, especially for younger generations. This also applies to the Azienda Agricola Armato Cristina in Lucinasco a historical centre complete with a museum system dedicated to art and rural culture. Each season is the right season to live “the farmer’s day”. The same passionate welcome provided by the Azienza Agricola Torre dei Paponi, owned by Mariano Papone. This small hamlet of the San Lorenzo Valley, the coast at a stone’s throw, has a strong olive farming vocation connected to the recovery of the village. Ancient and narrow alleys guide you among the olive trees – on foot, by bicycle – and back, right in time to experience PDO Riviera Ligure-Riviera dei Fiori EVO culture… These spirit and atmosphere link Torre Paponi, among others, to the Azienda Agricola Bassan in Pompeiana. A short distance from busy coastal life, this oasis of rural silence is the place to “plunge” into olive groves, is to be discovered and narrated with an eye on a 2,000 – year old agricultural system encompassing different crops. Further on, in the Argentina valley, Podere Donzella opens up its doors in Castellaro: an outstanding mix of PDO Riviera Ligure EVO and CDO wine, i.e., rediscovered Moscatello. The family-run farm enchanting premises are the fittest location for lively, engaging activities.
Finally, in Badalucco – the heart of the valley – the Azienda Agricola Gaaci runs an agriturismo located inside the ancient Roi family’s oil mill, complete with SPA and a thousand attentions for clients, who are accompanied to experience the life of the olive grove during the harvest season. Groups and schools get to live all the phases of cultivation and production.
This was just a preview of the full array of experiences provided by the Ligurian businesses which joined the project: a kaleidoscope of museums, agriturismi, typical products, local folklore, ittiturismo, sport fishing, outdoor sports, nature – a green & blue offer that will be promoted by Regione Liguria through the Lamialiguria portal and app.
Terragir 3: a project for territorial development
The PDO Riviera Ligure Protection Consortium is one of the partners of the EU project Terragir 3, funded by the Italy-France Maritime programme. This cross-border programme covers the section of the Northern Thyrrenian area limited by Liguria, Corse, Tuscany – a space of contacts and exchanges where the threads of history are tightly woven together. The action is based on a highly topical strand: the relationships that link products, territory and open-air tourism, with a view to promoting experiential travel in rural areas. Nowadays agriturismi – the business core of green tourism – are facing the challenge of evolving demand trends: storytelling is the key skill fit to enable businesses to welcome visitors and narrate the uniqueness of their expertise and history. Produce, farming techniques, traditions… are the ingredients of this recipe. Geographical Indication products effectively embody these values, and could represent the focus of the business’ storytelling mission. Last but not least, tourism experiences are put at the disposal of tour operators and FITs. Consequently, the project fosters the creation of a support system aimed at the multifaceted agricultural sector, in the middle of a season of great dismay and uncertainty which calls for resilience and targeted recovery actions.
The TerrAgir 3 project is funded by the Italy-France Maritime programme, led by the Province of Nuoro. Partners include Regione Liguria, Regione Toscana, Odarc (Corsica Agricultural and Rural Development Office), PDO Riviera Ligure EVO Portection Consortium, Strada del vino Cannonau, Federazione Strade del Vino, dell’Olio e dei Sapori di Toscana, Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Corse – CIV.
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