Around Lake Garda, hills slope gently down to the water's edge, and from time to time soar to become mountains just a few kilometres away: a dramatic setting for olive groves and vines interspersed with meadows. Evergreen olive trees have a big part to play, standing like nature's own ornaments adorning the lake shore. It is not a new landscape, considering olive trees were prized by the Romans in a time when oil production was thriving and Lake Garda went by the name of Benaco.
Since then, the olive grove has always been held in high regard and terraces and contours have been carved to make cultivation easier and more profitable. Olive trees grown for oil were particularly important, the final product representing an essential, permanent feature in the diet of the local people and the economy. In fact, oil has long been exported to Central Europe and was often used as a form of currency in credit transactions.
Today, small farms that produce Garda extra virgin olive oil P.D.O. dot the territory around the lake, making for a unique, beautiful and harmonious landscape. Garda extra virgin olive oil P.D.O. is fruity, with a light or medium aroma depending on the particular olfactory nuances (artichoke, freshly cut grass, leaves, hay, herbs, flowers, green pepper, etc.) associated with the precise point of origin and the ripeness of the olives. The intense, bold aroma and taste of fresh, sweet almonds is almost always discernible.
There is just a hint of bitter and spice balancing with overall sweetness, roundness and smoothness on the palate. The lingering persistence of its smell is pleasant. The oil is especially recommended raw, added at the end of cooking to foods with delicate taste and smell. Olive groves in the Lake Garda area may at first seem to be a contradiction in agricultural terms, since these trees are growing much further north than the typical Mediterranean agricultural area. In fact, olive trees grow at a different altitude than the pedoclimatic parameters which define the "ideal" growing area in geographical terms, normally between the latitudes of 30 and 45 degrees north. Perhaps this is why the olive oil produced in this area has a welldefined and much-appreciated personality.
The area around Lake Garda offers an extremely wide range of quality choices, with mountains and the lake, rolling and spectacular landscapes, historical towns and countryside, an unimaginable variety of typical products and cuisine, games, entertainment and sports activities, for indoors and out around the biggest and best-known Italian lake.