Olio Officina Festival, eleventh edition

Olio Officina Festival, eleventh edition

Santagata1907 has been following and collaborating with Olio Officina for years. This year our participation in the Festival was particularly interesting and fruitful. We had the opportunity to present our products (including balsamic vinegar!), to learn more about the activities of the startup Piano Green, and to present the latest creation of star chef Jorg Giubbani based on oil and vinegar.

We are pleased to report on our blog the final press release of the event that took place in Milan from 17 to 19 March 2022.


Olio Officina Festival from 17th to 19th March at Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan


The three-day event dedicated to oil and condiments is back. An exhibition of international oils, tasting workshops, guided tastings, debates on economics, cuisine, science, design, art and literature. Everything is centred on the king of condiments, with a focus on cosmetics based on olive oils because oil, as we know, permeates us with beauty, inside and out.

From Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th March. Free entry.

Full programme at www.olioofficina.it and reservations for limited workshops at posta@olioofficina.com

Milan, 7th March 2022

Beauty is everywhere. Olio Officina Festival 2022, from Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th March. Fluid as oil is at the centre of every tasting, debate, exhibition and show staged, finally in presence, at Olio Officina Festival, as usual at Palazzo delle Stelline in Corso Magenta 61 in Milan.

The oil of beauty is the main theme of the eleventh edition of the Olio Officina Festival. Conceived and directed by oleologist, writer and journalist Luigi Caricato, author of several books and studies dedicated to extra virgin olive oil, OOF is the only event in Italy and the rest of the world to create culture about oil in an original and unusual way, interweaving the various fields of knowledge, with “the clear objective of raising awareness of the value and merits, both nutritional – for the body and mind – and economic, of a millenary food, now present every day of our lives in its many forms, yet incredibly still considered, in Italy, little more than a commodity,” explains director Luigi Caricato.

This is not the case. First of all, because we are not talking about extra virgin olive oil, but about a wide variety of oils with 538 officially recognised and registered cultivars (the cultivar, to be clear, is the variety of olive from which the relative oil is extracted, the equivalent of the vine for wines) from southern Italy – where olive groves have always been an integral part of the landscape and culture – to the most extreme regions of the north, even the province of Bolzano and the regions of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta where cultivation is now possible due to rising temperatures. So there are many types of oil available on the market, each one preserving the colours, scents and flavours of the land in which it has its roots. A varied presence of distinctive oils that is reflected and released in the much-appreciated regional Italian cuisine – “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” – of which oil is a fundamental component.

Not only in cooking: oil is a precious element of nature, the ‘good fat’ that provides mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, characterised by antioxidant molecules that make it unique and inimitable. The principle is simple: the olive contains substances that the plant has developed to defend and safeguard its fruit; the same antioxidant molecules preserve the oil, prolonging its life; consequently, when it is consumed, either as a food or for external use, the same benefits are obtained.

The ancient Greeks were well aware of this and used green gold – a foodstuff with a history stretching back thousands of years and powerful and prodigious properties – as a miraculous ointment for treating wounds, as a medicine and in cosmetic preparations to soften the skin, making it alive, supple and shiny. Oil is and has always been an ally for beauty, both inside and out.

È l’olio, bellezza!

Highlights from the Olio Officina Festival 2022 schedule


Olio Officina Festival 2022 dedicates several events to oil in cosmetics and body and soul care, including the presentation of the book “Guida essenziale all’auto massaggio con l’olio. Regenerating body and soul to get rid of stress and anxiety” with Ivana Sagramoni, holistic masseuse and Reiki master; the initiatives of the Evo&Eva Committee in collaboration with the Women of Oil Association, the Medlight Institute of Florence and Kalichem; and the beauty break held by a specialised beautician, during which short hand massages with specific products will be offered; the presentation of the Olivum experience, a sensory journey between wellbeing and taste that can be experienced in the Varsana SPA Health & Wellness centre surrounded by olive trees in the hills around Bologna; and also, focusing on the theme of beauty, the presence of Olivella, a brand of soaps and skin care products made exclusively with 100% ultra-purified extra virgin olive oil.

There are many benefits that can be obtained in wellness treatments starting from the use of leaves, fruits and oil obtained from the pressing of olives: you can also try them on your skin with the Evo&Eva Experiential Laboratory. A Consumer Test simulation of selected cosmetic products.

And, last but not least, beauty marketing as a lever to promote “democratic oils” for daily use with particular attention to olfactory communication, given that “consumers remember what they smell for 35% of cases and what they see for 5%”. (source: Rockefeller University). Speaking about this, Silvio Pella, food olfactory marketing expert and founder of Visioni Olfattive and Opify perfumer Martino Cerizza. The curiosity is great.



In a country where wine and food are worth a quarter of GDP and are among the main reasons for travelling, it is right to promote the reality of oil mills, “the sacred place where olives are transformed from a solid vegetable body into a liquid body by mechanical extraction”. Oil mills, like wine cellars, have all the credentials – as they are often much older constructions – to interest the curious tourist who wants to know more about what he is eating and thus become an attractive element, as well as a potential source of income for olive growers who build around them a holistic experience of close contact with nature. There will be space for reflections on accessible oil mills with Corriere della Sera blogger Anna Gioria and, as far as beauty is concerned, the winners of the “The most beautiful oil mill” contest will be revealed together with extraction technology expert Domenico Fazio. Yes, because in addition to efficient functionality, it is also necessary to cultivate beauty, and in this regard, industrial archaeologist Antonio Monte – a researcher at the CNR – will show, with a documented investigation accompanied by numerous images, how in the past there was everything in the mills, above all a lot of hard work and suffering, except for beauty.



Oil, as we know, is fluid, flowing out and in. It is also dialogue, it is identity. So the customary appointments with the “Saggi Assaggi” (Tasting Essays) are back, with guided tastings to discover the characteristics of the different cultivars and unusual combinations to better enhance dishes. The protagonist is the Casa dell’Olivo cultural centre, which will take care of the rich programme of tastings. So, alongside the many Italian oils being tasted, through an unprecedented review of international oils, Olio Officina Festival gives a wide audience the chance to get closer to oils produced in other parts of the world. In the tasting workshops, oils from the Mediterranean – Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Israel – and oils from the other side of the world – Argentina, Australia, California and Japan – can be tasted and compared.



There will be a full calendar of meetings with Andalusia oil, with a masterclass by panel head and international market expert Marcello Scoccia, who will introduce the peculiarities of oils from this very important and prestigious Spanish region.
The meeting, which has a limited number of participants, is reserved for professional operators and is by invitation only. On Friday 18 March, extra virgin olive oils from the Canoliva, Sabor de Oro, Picualia and Monteolivo companies will be tasted in the presence and participation of representatives of Andalusian companies. On Saturday 19 March, Brígida Jiménez Herrera, an expert in sensory analysis of olive oils, will present to the Italians the contemporary Andalusian scenario with all its dynamics and peculiarities.



A world, that of oils, which Luigi Caricato has illustrated in his latest work: “Il Grande Libro dell’Olio. A reasonable guide to the best oils in the world on the market”, which will be presented on Friday 18th at 5.30 pm in the Sala Leonardo.A full-bodied bilingual volume (Italian/English) of 496 pages, all focused on a strong visual impact, with the support of a large series of infographics, charts, diagrams, illustrations, geographical and sensory maps, which help to decipher in a simple and easy way a food, and the world that revolves around it. The Big Book of Olive Oil is neither a manual nor a guide, but like a manual it offers useful information and, like all guides, helps guide your choices, including your purchases, through a careful selection of the best extra virgin olive oils on the market worldwide. It tells the story of the olive tree and its fruits with short, precise texts and lots of high-impact images, inserting iconic elements that help you understand the oil, explaining how to taste it and what its qualities are.



It is the anthropological meal par excellence. It is an indissoluble link with our lives, including our social and spiritual lives, which is precisely why Olio Officina Festival is hosting “Pane in Piazza Forum”. An initiative conceived by Cesare Marinoni and Luca Piantanida in collaboration with Luigi Caricato. Various voices – bakers, representatives of their institutions and researchers – will take stock of the state of the art of the bread-making sector, which goes hand in hand with oil. To seal this alliance between two timeless elements/foods, Olio Officina Festival will display “Il Globo di Pane” – a sculpture created by Cesare Marinoni with the collaboration of Milena Pizzochero and Laura Gioachini on the occasion of the open-air exhibition We Planet-100 Globes for a Sustainable Future. A sphere with a diameter of 1.80 m made of bread, shaped with flour and yeast, donated by over 300 bakers from all over Italy.



A special guest at Olio Officina Festival 2022 will be lentisk oil, an oil with peculiar and unique features, obtained by pressing the small fruits of a shrub typical of the Mediterranean maquis, the Pistacia Lentiscus, mainly in Puglia and Sardinia. Historically used not only in food – raw and cooked – but also in the production of soap, today it is also a valuable ingredient in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
It is a beauty oil in all respects, thanks to its wealth of vitamin E, which protects the skin from free radicals, keeping it young and supple, and its important contribution of Omega9, Omega6 and Omega3, which help improve the health of the heart, circulatory and immune systems. But with Alberto Fachechi, the mastic tree is also a story of endurance. In fact, the Salento producer chose it to counter the very serious loss of olive trees due to the irreversible drying out of the plants by the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium and so, in order not to give in to discouragement, he reacted by re-evaluating the mastic tree and producing oil from it. Together with him it will be possible to have a guided tasting of an oil with unique, yet unexplored features.



An initiative that will amaze the public at this edition of Olio Officina Festival will be the “Sensory Room”, an installation by Visioni Olfattive and Lighting and, which is a practical demonstration of how to work on stimulating the sensory-intellective apparatus to show that in oil mills, as well as in commercial spaces intended for sale, there is the possibility of exponentially increasing the emotional involvement of consumers, creating real unforgettable paths. In the “Sensory Room” the olfactory notes most present in quality Italian olive oil production are taken up, diffused and linked to light. The olfactory accords of almond, tomato, artichoke and grass can be perceived in a deeper and more complete way. The Sensory Room can be visited on all three days of the event, during opening hours, and is located in the Agnesi Hall.



In this eleventh edition, on Thursday 17th March, at 7 p.m., the “Olio Officina – Cultura dell’Olio” (Oil Workshop – Oil Culture) Award will be given to Salvatore Camposeo, Professor of General Arboriculture and Tree Cultivation at the University of Bari; Leonardo Colavita, President of Colavita Spa; Dora Desantis, Agridè Quality Manager; Pietro Leone, olive grower and oil entrepreneur, Oleificio Cericola; and Dino Scanavino, National President of Cia – Italian Farmers. On Friday 18th March, the entrepreneur Cristina Santagata, CEO of Santagata 1907, will be awarded as “Person of the Year” for 2021. While, on Saturday 19th March, the writer Silvana Grasso will receive the “Olio Officina per la Letteratura” award.



As with every edition, there will be plenty of space devoted to social issues. In particular, we would like to point out the meeting on Friday 18 March, in the Bramante Room, on the theme “L’olio e le nostre diversità” (Oil and our diversities), with the conduction of the Corriere della Sera blogger Anna Gioria and the interventions of the designer Pete Kercher (Design for All Europe), Dino Angelaccio, president of Itria, Itinerari turistico religiosi interculturali e accessibili, and Stefano Pierpaoli, of the +Cultura Accessibile Association. They will discuss diversity as a resource and inclusive, multisensory and interreligious design. While, again on Friday 18th March, but at the beginning of the day, the meeting entitled “Beauty inhabits our lands. The high-altitude olive-growing project and ethical oil according to TreeDream”, where sustainability, ethics, beauty and landscape become the canons that inspire the high-altitude olive growers, which is a way of being and feeling that, after the Liguria experience, is now involving all the territories where olive-growing is both heroic and participatory.



As usual, Friday 18th March will be devoted to design and packaging throughout the afternoon and into the evening, with case studies and, above all, the award ceremonies for the “The Shapes of Oil” (ninth edition), “The Shapes of Vinegar” (fifth edition) and the “Designer of the Year” Award (third edition). (third edition). Many designers were on stage for the occasion, including Mauro Olivieri, Alessia Cipolla and Michelangelo Petralito.



As usual at Olio Officina Festival the future is in prospect, also because those who are involved are those who are outlining the future through ideas and projects that are punctually anticipated during the event. Among the various moments, important is the meeting that sees argue about sustainability the President of Fooi, the Italian olive oil industry, Paolo Mariani and Assitol, the Italian Association of the Oil Industry, with the President of the olive oil group Anna Cane. And then face-to-face meetings with olive oil entrepreneurs interviewed by Luigi Caricato. A session of meetings organised by Crea, the Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of the Agricultural Economy, Conaf, the Council of the National Order of Agronomists and Forestry Doctors and Onb, the National Order of Biologists, on where Italian olive growing is going in these 20 years, with all the news on the table olives and olive oil. This, and much more.



Since the first edition, Olio Officina has created spaces for literature. And in this eleventh edition, it will be back with a series of meetings scheduled for Friday 18th and Saturday 19th March, again organised by Cisle, the International Centre for European Literary Studies, and FuoriAsse-Officina della Cultura, in collaboration with Ciseg, the Sirio Giannini International Centre for European Studies. Scheduled for Friday 18th and Saturday 19th March. A rich calendar of meetings organised by Daniela Marcheschi, Caterina Arcangelo and Mario Greco. There will even be a creative writing course by Guido Conti. And, on Saturday, a focus on comics, curated by Mario Greco.



The oil of beauty and the oil press. A special philatelic cancellation by the Italian Post Office dedicated to the eleventh edition of the Olio Officina Festival will take place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th March. The sketches, realized in the round format, have been created by the artist and illustrator Stefania Morgante and reproduce in the first case the image of a female figure and the writing “L’olio della bellezza” (The oil of beauty) – which is the main theme of the eleventh edition of Olio Officina Festival – while the second stamp represents “L’oliere” that is the figure in charge of tasting the oil according to a neologism wanted by the organizer of the Festival, Luigi Caricato, coined together with the literary scholar Daniela Marcheschi.



Many art exhibitions, starting with the historic association with the cultural movement Arte da Mangiare. Some thirty artists have responded to the invitation of artistic director Ornella Piluso and curator Monica Scardecchia, for the exhibition “Bellezza made in Italy sott’olio”, a story that will celebrate, through the language of art, the excellence of our country: images and symbols that enhance our daily lives and dig into our collective memory but also personal and family, and the oil, like an enveloping mantle, which binds and preserves the individual contributions of art in a collective installation that, drop by drop, tells our story.
From Puglia, the exhibition “I racconti di ulivo” (olive tree tales), curated by Peppino Piacente, with thirty canvases by master Enzo Morelli.
Then, to be admired at the entrance, the “Globo di pane”, a sphere of almost two metres in diameter, modelled with hundreds of bread shapes, an artefact created by Cesare Marinoni in collaboration with Milena Pizzocchero, Laura Gioachini and over 300 bakers.
Finally, there is the “Forme Design” exhibition, with the bottles and packaging awarded during the ninth edition of the “Le Forme dell’Olio” (The Shapes of Oil) contest and the fourth edition of the “Le Forme dell’Aceto” (The Shapes of Vinegar) contest, placed in full view in the cloister of Palazzo delle Stelline.



The adhesion of the many partners whose farsightedness has seen fit to support the Olio Officina Festival 2022 project is fundamental. In order: main sponsor Pantaleo e Pantaleo Agricoltura; sponsor Palazzo di Varignana, Olio San Giuliano, Colavita, Olio Bono; sostenitori extra Frantoio Turri, Frantoio di Sant’Agata d’Oneglia, Olivella, Oleificio Rocchi, Chemiservice, Filippo Berio, Santagata 1907, Re Modena, Pietro Coricelli; sostenitori Agridè, Masserie di Sant’Eramo, Frantoio Salvagno, Fachechi, Azienda agricola Piccolo, Frantoio Ortore, Frantoio Ulivi di Liguria, Marina Piccola, Terre d’Oria, Evoo Tenuta 100 Torri, Tenuta Peca, Tholos Alcantara, Villa Teresina, Caricato Factory; istituzioni Extenda; consorzi Consorzio di tutela dell’olio Dop Garda;  organizzazioni Assitol; media partner Ristoranti, sala&cucina, Olio Officina Magazine, Gastronomika; amici del festival Pane in piazza, RosebyMary, Arte da Mangiare, Consorzio olio Dop Riviera Ligure.



When: from Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th March

Where: Palazzo delle Stelline, Corso Magenta 61, Milan

How: free entry; limited number of workshop bookings at posta@olioofficina.com

Info: www.olioofficina.com; posta@olioofficina.com; 02/8465223


Full programme:


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