Behind every corner of Italy are hidden incredible landscapes, museums and places of interest rich in culture and history and, last but not least, a culinary tradition spread throughout Italy and that has a lot to offer. Visiting will be a unique, immersive experience made all the more complete and fulfilling if you can find the time to do a little bit of everything, from sightseeing, to taking part in celebrations, festivals and art exhibitions, to tasting true Italian cuisine.
You can do that by dining out in restaurants and local trattorie, or you can go to the source, visiting the places where certain dishes, ingredients and produce are made and processed before they’re served at your table, with interesting workshops and tasting experiences.
When you decide to visit Apulia, or Puglia in Italian, there are a lot of things to take into consideration – what to see, which cities to visit, what to try, taste and experience while you’re here, and so on. One of the local productions throughout Puglia is olive oil, so there are many chances for you to visit the best oil mills in the region (and the country) and see first-hand how the oil is made, where and with what results, no matter the city you choose to spend your holiday in. Important oil mills can be found near Taranto, Bari and other major cities of the region and all of them are known for producing EVO oil of the highest quality. Visiting the mills is the best way to find oil to purchase and sample directly from those who have been producing it for generations in a pure, unadulterated way that will surely turn your holiday to Puglia into an immersive experience.
Olive oil production is an Italian tradition, the country being one of the main producers of oil in the world, second only to Spain, and while there are many regions in Italy where extra virgin olive oil is produced, Puglia earns the spot as the biggest producer. Here are some of the best oil mills in Apulia where you can discover this tradition – by visiting the groves, buildings, production line and shops where olives are elevated to the rank of EVO oil.
Frantoio di Palma
The Frantoio Oleario di Palma, an oil mill established in 1936 and located in Canosa di Puglia, prides itself for the production of what they call their “yellow gold”, the extra virgin olive oil they obtained with a traditional cold-extraction method, the same the di Palma family has always employed to grind the olives. The method allows the final product to maintain its properties, texture, taste and aroma. The oil mill can be visited all year-round and during the period from November to January visitors can witness the production of the extra virgin olive oil. Directions to the mill can be found on the website www.frantoiodipalma.it.
Located in Montemesola, a city near Taranto, this oil mill finds its roots and inspiration in the very region that hosts it, and the olive groves that grow here. The raw olives are the muses and protagonists for the EVO Olio D’Erchie and the mill pays homage to the local artisanal tradition with ceramic bottles and containers for the oils it produces. Oil milling is a family tradition for this company, established in 1932 by the current owner’s grandfather, Ciro D’Erchie, and the Frantoio D’Erchie now offers a wide variety of oils. Contact information on the website www.olioderchie.com/contatti.
The Frantoio Galantino was established in 1926 and has grown ever since, sourcing its olives from the family olive groves and other trusted partners of the area to achieve the purest cold-pressed EVO oil of the highest quality. Located in Bisceglie, the Galantino brand includes the oil mill, a shop and a restaurant (closed on Tuesdays, open for lunch Mon-Sun and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays). The oil mill offers tours and tastings in Italian, English and French and tourists can witness the production process and ask for an additional meal following their visit. A pamphlet and booking information can be found at www.galantino.it/visits/?lang=en.
Located in Ginosa, near Taranto, the Frantoio Bitetti is a family owned oil mill with a three-generation tradition of oil making that merges old and new techniques and technologies to achieve a high-quality EVO oil through cold-pressing of the finest olives harvested from November to January. The mill offers guided tours where visitors will see the production process, from harvest to bottling, and will have a chance to taste samples and purchase the oil, which comes in the classic extra virgin format as well as naturally infused oils (lemon, rosemary and chili pepper oil). More info can be requested and tours can be booked on the mill’s contact page www.frantoiobitetti.it/Contatti.aspx.