Italy is an amazing place to be for a ton of reasons. We’ve lived in Sicily for a few months now and I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to tour the country and get to know the culture. At first, adjusting to life in Italy was a bit of a struggle and let me tell you, there were quite a few things I really missed having easy access to in the states. The language barrier especially has been a struggle for me, even though I speak Spanish which has at times, been very helpful. In the US, there are a ton of restaurants we could choose from because we lived in the city so, we were basically surrounded with an abundance of options, but that is a little different here as well. What absolutely made up for any struggle I’ve had, is the quality of the food. It’s so unique and different from the Italian food I had back in the US and its absolutely delicious. My favorite so far has to be pistachio pizza, which I’m pretty sure I never would’ve found or even tried had we been back in the states!
Of course, where there’s Italian food there’s usually olive oil. My husband is always looking for opportunities for us to go out and explore so, when he heard about a tour we could do at an olive oil factory he booked it! It was located in Mineo, which was only about a 45-minute bus ride away from where we were located.
Once inside they showed us how the olives were picked, put in baskets and then weighed. They were then put through a machine that would clean them and remove any leaves, dirt or bad olives. Next, they were flattened in a rotating type of rock machine (I’m not sure what its actual name was) and then run through another machine that squeezed all the oil out!
After touring the inside, they took us up a mountain covered in olive trees and we were able to pick our own olives. It was such a fun experience to do what they do every day, but it wasn’t easy! We got tired really quickly and after an hour we had only filled our bucket up about half way. It really got me thinking about how much manpower and patience it takes to do that kind of work every day, and I was so grateful to all the men and women who work so hard to make the olive oil I love so much!
Once we were finished, they took us to a restaurant called Borgo Antico which was fortunate because at this point, as you might imagine, we were pretty hungry. It was very family friendly and because it was right at the top of the mountain it had a beautiful view. There were so many different dishes you could choose from, and as I mentioned earlier the food is a lot different from what we’re used to in the US so, some of it took some getting used to, but I ended up really enjoying what they served us.
It was most definitely a new and exciting experience and it was well worth it. I walked away with some great memories and a new appreciation for the process that goes into making olive oil! Let us know if you wanna know more about our experience at the olive oil factory!
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