Abruzzo Olive to Oil Harvest Experience

Abruzzo Olive Oil Harvest Experience


Join our  ‘1st SunDay’ Abruzzo olive harvest experience on Sunday 7th November as we keep in step with the season and try our hand at olive harvesting with Routes and More just outside Lanciano (CH).  They are a vibrant knit of interesting people that complement each other to provide authentic Abruzzesi experiences.

LifeInAbruzzo’s ‘1st SunDays’ are pop-up communal experiences that explore the region for a morning or day with both Italian and English speakers.  They were created to provide physical, social meetups to those in the Life In Abruzzo Facebook group (you don’t have to be a member to participate), to foster friendship and community, and create memorable experiences.  We are NOT tour guides; local people step up and show off their area and share a communal Abruzzese experience.

During the morning or throughout the day it’s possible to discover a new skill or learn more about the region, with a chance to eat something organically yummy grown and cooked by the local hosts.  You can practice your Italian or English over interesting chit-chat over an activity, nothing is forced and you are without the worry of being ‘boxed in’, in a corner as there is always plenty of room to manoeuvre!

Our Olive Harvest Day

Many Hands Make Light Work

Like all of Abruzzo’s traditional harvests, friends, family and neighbours came to help, it wasn’t a solitary experience but a joyful one that provided a catch-up, song, as well relaxed picnic style eating of hearty and delicious dishes in the olive groves.

Up to the end of the Mezzadria in the 1950s, when Italy’s final land reforms laws came into play and the country saw the end of sharecropping, the ‘people’ didn’t own the land they farmed strips of it.  We will visit one of these exact strips with 40 organic olive trees to work our harvest and experience a taste of rural life as it was for the farmers rather than estate owners!

With fingers, racks and forks, ladders for those who love to stretch up high we will collect our olives just how the farming communities used to.  We will be picking glossy Leccino and Gentile olives and for those looking for tips on managing and getting the best from their own olives, Tony and Carlo are the specialists to talk to.

Eat Lo Sdijuno

We’ll take a pause for the traditional Abruzzese farmer’s hearty and healthy mid-morning breakfast, called Sdjuino, served picnic style in the grove. This now popular Abruzzesi Farmers’ fasting diet is being successfully practiced in many Western countries to help counter Type2 diabetes.  You’ll be able to ask Silviano, the Agri chef, about it and get suggestions of other dishes to try!

It’s your pick whether to eat on the traditional picnic blankets on the ground, under the trees on the old-style boxes, or at a mini table. It’s a joyful way to meet people!  Relaxed eating allows everyone to be as social as they are comfortable with during these Covid times.  

If you want to bring any plant clippings, seeds, preserves to swap with others this will also be the time to do this!

Next, it is back to the harvest, gathering those olives that fly outside our cast nets, and building back up your appetite!  We have lunch, naturally including traditional sagne e fagioli and plenty of wine, followed by one final harvest haul before heading off to the olive mill. 

This is a functional but fragrant place to discover the aroma, the process and flavours of our green gold process, and where we get to taste!   For those that would like to stock up and buy some olive oil, you can buy bottles from the mill and for those that stay the day you can take home a 50ml bottle as a memento.

How To Book

Book a ticket for Sunday 7th November online via LifeInAbruzzo and receive a 5% discount off the ticket price for sharing the all-day harvest, €47.50, reduced from €50, €25 for the morning experience up to lunch and €15 per child.

To comply with all Covid legislation, tickets must be booked by Friday 5th November for Sunday 7th November.  All participants will be required to have scanned or show their Green Certificate or national equivalent.  Comfortable clothing and footwear like trainers are recommended to be worn on the day.

For those who would like to stay the night before a highly recommended agriturismo is available that can also provide dinner.

If you are driving and have space in your car do let us know if you would consider helping our environment and car pooling.  For those without cars, let us know if you would like to attend and we can see if we can help find a lift for part of journey.

Routes and More

A love for Abruzzo’s history, traditions, landscapes and cuisine binds the Routes and More group.  Silviano is an experienced agri chef, creating his dishes using only seasonal products that he grows in his garden, forages in the woods or in the fields of trusted organic farms.  Debora is a ceramic artist who creates work using ancient and new techniques.

Tony is a cycling guide who has long worked in eco-tourism and is always on the lookout for new and scenic routes.  Carlo is an expert on nature and culture and organises walks and excursions to villages along evocative paths.  Daria is a font of knowledge for traditions and history, and she organises courses on ancient pastoral arts and undertakes genealogical research for those who are eager to learn more about their origins.

Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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