(ANSA) – PERUGIA, NOVEMBER 24 – The ceremony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Open Mills in Umbria” took place this afternoon in Perugia, in the presence of the President of the Umbria Region, Donatella Tesei, who first of all wanted to thank the oil producers who “from the beginning, when there was still a lack of awareness of the product, which was by no means considered an excellence, however understood the potential inherent in open mills, a precursor event of the promotion integrated”.
“Today’s celebration – continued the president, according to a note from the Region – confirms how successful the choices courageously carried out by the producers and by those who over the years have taken charge of organising, communicating and enhancing cultural as well Open mills, until it became what it is today, the first event in Italy aimed at generating and developing ‘oil tourism’ and raising the level of awareness on the exceptional nature of the product and also on the importance of care of the olive-growing landscape, also showing many young people the job opportunity of a sector, the olive-growing sector, which until a few years ago seemed to be the prerogative of only the older generation”.
To tell the evolution, in these 25 years of open mills was Paolo Softoni, President of the PDO Umbria Evo Oil Road who recalled how Umbrian olive growing has changed.
At the birth of open mills “there was no DOP, the harvest began at the end of November, the olives were placed in jute bags, still in many mills there were large millstones that marked the processing times and it was often bulk oil, in often improvised containers.In those years, in that incubator of ideas which was the Umbrian agri-food center for several years led by the entrepreneur Marco Caprai, the embryo of open oil mills was born for how we know it today.Opening oil mills in those years seemed like a heresy: places often unprepared to welcome visitors, factories without frills, gray and impregnated with the acrid smells of sludge, designed only for extracting and storing oil.
At the beginning, open mills was all concentrated in a single weekend in November which then became a month of events from 2009, an entire month in autumn in which the spotlights are focused on the entire regional territory”.
“Twenty-five years are a considerable milestone for Open Mills in Umbria – continuedSoftoni – an event that not only paved the way for the first experiences of oil tourism at a national level, but which was a real incubator of formats that have consolidated over time, which have made the contamination of languages and arts a model that has somewhat revolutionized the idea of events dedicated to oil.
Not only moments of folklore and tasting confined to the local area, but a real cultural container that promotes the Umbria of oil as a whole, accompanying the evolution of businesses and territories with highly innovative communication”.
The ceremony was also an opportunity to launch the new appointment, conceived by the PDO Umbria Evo Oil Road Association: “La Grande Pedalata” along the Assisi-Spoleto olive grove, a traveling event for two wheels, which will be organized for 2023.
The ceremony concluded with a tribute to President Tesei of the Blackbeard Almanac and Calendar in the special version made for open oil mills.
President Tesei was also given an anastatic reproduction of the first Blackbeard Calendar of 1762 published in a limited edition of 100 numbered and signed copies by the publisher Feliciano Campi, created on the occasion of the 260th anniversary of its first edition.
Open mills 2022 is an event that is part of the project “Experiences along the roads of PDO Umbria oil” – PSR for Umbria 2014-2020 – Measure 16.3.3., organized by the PDO Umbria Evo Oil Road Association. (HANDLE).
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