Olive oil is often called the liquid gold of Tuscany. During the harvest time, you can see or participate in all the activities, spend a few days at a farm, and get the full experience of rural Tuscan life. Unlike other Mediterranean areas where olive harvest normally begins in November, in Florence, olives are gathered starting from late September. The harvest peaks until late December.
To provide the best extra virgin olive oil, you need to be aware of the land, the olive trees, and to know how to care for the trees and to keep them strong and healthy. The eventual quality of the oil can be affected by many factors like the climate, pruning, fertilization, and, of course, a variety of olive trees. All of these elements affect the type of harvest, maturation, and so much more.
All olives gathered at a farm are pressed at a communal mill (frantoio). The atmosphere at the mill during the harvest is usually festive and full of joy. It's a great chance to socialize with local farmers and find out more about farming in the region.
After the first liters of fresh olive oil are produced, the region holds numerous festivals where visitors can try and purchase oil from the new harvest.
Traditional fettunta—bread with olive oil is a perfect snack of autumn.