The splendid medieval village of Arquà Petrarca on the Euganean Hills, that since ancient times has been famous for the cultivation of olive trees, gives life to the award-winning La Dogaressa oil, a product of rare excellence that comes from a beautiful family history.
Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Arquà Petrarca has become famous for being the “buen retiro” of the great Italian poet and humanist Francesco Petrarca.
In these generous lands, known since Roman times for their particular fertility, the award-winning La Dogaressa oil was born, also included in the prestigious Gambero Rosso 2022 Oli di Italia guide.
The sweetness of the landscapes of the Euganean Hills Regional Park also enchanted the Pallaro family who built their summer residence here, Cà Dogaressa, a beautiful estate surrounded by olive trees. The production of oil, initially reserved only for self-consumption, has now become one of the most interesting and recognized realities in the Veneto region.
In our family we have always repeated the famous saying of Hippocrates we are what we eat. This philosophy also guides the production of our oil.
(aunt Francesca, owner of Ca’ Dogaressa)
The passion for oil production begins with aunt Francesca, better known as “Donna Franca”, who alternates periods between Capri and the Amalfi Coast, where she has lived for forty years, and in Arquà where she returns to follow the olive trees and stay with her family. The country house has been enriched over time with objects and details that give it great charm and a truly welcoming atmosphere. Natural fabrics, large wooden tables, silverware and lots of fresh flowers are the setting for convivial occasions and family dinners where compliments for the “home oil” becomes more and more frequent.
Thus, aunt Francesca, her niece Franca and uncle Walter, who has always taken care of the rows of olive trees, decide to baptize their oil and participate in a competition dedicated to olive producers which is held annually in Arquà Petrarca. It is the debut of the La Dogaressa Oil which in 2019 finds itself winning the first prize of the “Arquà Petrarca Oil Competition” with an excellent evaluation by the Interregional Olive Producers Association, AIPO, which describes it as a “Medium fruity oil, gentle and intriguing, with notes of olive leaf and thistle, almond and wild mint, with hints of mint and artichoke”.
Why is it so special? The Euganean Hills are characterized by a soil of volcanic origin and Arquà Petrarca enjoys a unique microclimate that makes the olives grown in this area even more valuable. The land’s organoleptic properties and the richness of soil minerals give rise, in fact, to original scents that make the oil produced here very special.
To preserve its aromatic and phenolic components intact, La Dogaressa oil comes from olives harvested by hand so as not to damage the fruit, carefully selected and treated with natural methods that avoid any chemical substance. The pressing is carried out strictly cold and the oil is stored in special stainless steel tanks to keep intact the precious qualities of the extra virgin olive oil, delicious and beneficial for health.
The extreme attention to production and the excellence of the result mean that in 2022 La Dogaressa Oil has been included in the prestigious Gambero Rosso Oils of Italy guide, among a small selection of only 7 local companies.
To date, the production includes three product lines: Pure Extra-virgin olive oil, Extra-virgin scented with organic Amalfi lemon and Plenae Lunae. The variety scented with the skins of the citrus fruits is a tribute to the story of aunt Francesca and her special bond with the Amalfi Coast. The Plenae Lunae, the gem of the line, is instead produced with olives harvested during full moon nights when the fruits contain the maximum amount of polyphenols, thus giving life to an oil rich in beneficial properties.
To date, aunt Francesca, soul and heart of the project, oversees every step of the production, while her granddaughter Franca, the new face of the business, dedicates herself with great taste and passion to the study of packaging, graphics, sales and image of the product lines supported by the talented friend food blogger and stylist Joyce Andrade Naveda. Uncle Walter, on the other hand, continues to take care of their 450 olive trees, coordinating seasonal collections and interventions to always maintain the same high standard that has made this oil one of the best in Italy.
How to enjoy it? Each oil has ideal combinations that enhance even more its olfactory and taste notes. The extra-virgin olive oil goes well with field salads, cereal soups, polenta with ribs and game, while the Amalfi lemon-scented is perfect with fish dishes, white meats and vegetables, thanks to its intense aroma and flavor delicate.
To purchase La Dogaressa products, you can go to the online shop on the website oliodeladogaressa.it, visit the Instagram profile or contact Franca for an ad-hoc tasting, perhaps organized among the beautiful rows of olive trees on the estate you see in the pictures.
The name La Dogaressa is a tribute to the homonymous painting by Tintoretto, much loved by aunt Francesca for the special light that characterizes it. The first time she visited the Arquà Petrarca estate, Francesca was, in fact, completely conquered by the soft light that filtered through the olive trees, making that place magical and familiar. She, therefore, decided to buy the estate and to call it Ca’ Dogaressa.