The Oil is a treasure, Dolcedo its treasure trove
Roots are our strength.
These roots are in Dolcedo, where Frantoio Ghiglione has its headquarters. We are in Val Prino,in the province of Imperia, western Liguria. Here – in the hills brushed by the wind blowing from the sea – the cultivation of the olive spread through the work of the Benedictine monks. Oil, in fact, has written the story of Dolcedo through the centuries.
\r\nAdvancing along the Prino Valley, a few kilometres far from the sea, you can discern in the distance the long-limbed shape of a eighteen-century church tower higher than the deep green of olives trees. Slowly you can see many hauses gathering in a group around the parish church and then thinning out, leaving its place to fields. All around, like isles in a see made of olive-trees, many hamlets: we are in Dolcedo.
Even its name keeps a recall to the amenity of the place, that in 1218 was described as Villadolce. The chief town , named Piazza, is the most populous centre and rises at the bottom of the valley, where the Rio dei Boschi and the Prino torrent meet. It was the ancient seat of the market-place and the memories of its role as richest commercial centre of the valley are still recognizable: the old capacity measures for oil and wine, the grand Parish Church and the Cavalieri di Malta bridge.
Not so higher than the town you can see Ripalta, castled on the hill, which dominates the whole valley offering you a really special view, from Piazza until the sea. A little bit down, on the way to the coast you can find the hamlet of Isolalunga. All the other towns grow on the ridges which go up to Santa Brigida chapel and to the Monte Faudo: their names are San Paolo, Costa Carnara, Castellazzo, Ramelli, Bellissimi, Trincheri, Lecchiore, Magliani, Orenghi, Boeri, Rimbaudi, San Martino.
The provincial street cuts all these hamlets and allows the visitor to enter in a surrounding dominated by rural architecture, where spaces and times, silence among the stones-made carruggi, mule-tracks pavemented with the typical rissöi and the balconied fields, still transmit rhythms and lights of a past stricktly bound to natural elements.