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Olive treeMost people think of Tuscany when they think of Italian olive oil but this year Tuscan growers of olives have had a number of problems to contend with and not all the oil is as good as it should is. The answer is to look further afield to one of Italy's best kept olive oil secrets - the region surrounding Lake Garda just south of the Italian Tyrol in northern Italy.

Here the Casaliva and other local olive varieties produce extra virgin olive oil which is herbaceously fruity with nuts and just the right amount of well balanced bitterness and pepper. In fact, Casaliva is closely related to Frantoio which is one of the leading olive varieties of Tuscany.

The Garda DOP region is split into three geographically based areas and each of them has its own DOP or denomination or origin oil. There is the Bresciano or Occidentale area in Lombardy on the lower west side of the lake. On the opposite side of the lake in the Veneto is the Garda Orientale region. The third area is the Trentino or Nord region, set on both shores at the head of the lake in the Trentino.

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Top Olive Oil Producers

Producers to look out for from the Lake Garda region include:


  • Paolo Bonomelli, Ca Rainene, Torri del Benaco

  • Alex Nember, Fattoria Il Paradiso, Puegnano del Garde


  • Leonardo Rindone, Frantoio Valtenese, Polpenazze del Garda

  • Turri family, Turri Fratelli, Cavalon Veronese



Judy Ridgway

© Copyright 2008 Judy Ridgway -

Published 03 March 2008

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