Monday, July 3
Grottole is located in Southern Italy in the Basilicata region. The village is surrounded by green hills, fields and olive groves. And never in my life have I seen so many fig trees as in Grottole.
The fig trees are scattered throughout the village and I particularly like them because of their beautifully shaped leaves. When we arrived in Grottole in mid-June, the trees were already full of unripe little figs and just before we left a few weeks later, we were actually able to enjoy the first ripe figs! Again and again we noticed the high quality of the food in Grottole. Of course, the selection here in the village sometimes is a bit more limited than we know it from the huge supermarkets in Hamburg, but fruit and vegetables here in Grottole just tasted fresher as they were always seasonal and regionally sourced.
Talking to Michela and Silvio, our local project managers in the village, we learned that it is also quite normal here in the Grottole for every family to have their own olive grove and for them to produce olive oil for their own use. Unimaginable for us Germans, who get their olive oil exclusively from the supermarket. According to Michela, most families in the village never have to buy olive oil because they provide their families with their own olive oil. The same applies to wine here: almost every family owns at least one small vineyard in the region. Natural wine is made from the harvest, which is also only produced for personal use and provides the family with wine until the next harvest.
Whether olive oil, wine or fresh fruit and vegetables: in the village, the “farm to table” principle is not just a concept, it is really lived here. And you can taste it too!
We enjoyed our 3-week stay in Grottole so much and were really sad to leave. If you want to experience how it is living in a small Italian village and get to know the people there, Grottole is for you! Christoph and I will definitely come back one day!