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The westernmost province of Sicily is that of Trapani, nestled beneath the enchanting Erice with its castle, the stone houses and narrow roads, mostly only for pedestrians, that dominates the Gulf of Trapani, the Egadi islands and the coast that leads to San Vito lo Capo. Trapani is an Italian municipality with 70,656 residents. Known as the City of Salt and the Sail, over time it has developed a flourishing economy connected with the extraction and sale of salt, taking advantage of its natural position, projected out over the Mediterranean, and its port, the ancient trade outlet for Eryx (modern day Erice) located on the mountain that overlooks Trapani.

It stretches over a narrow strip of land surrounded by the sea that gets thinner toward the Torre Ligny end. According to mythology, a sickle fell from the hands of Saturn, the traditional patron god of the city, and it turned into an arched strip of land on which the city arose. Because of the shape, it was called Drepanon (“sickle” in ancient Greek). The city is located at an altitude of 3 meters above sea level, the climate rarely has cold winters and the summers are characterized by hot Scirocco winds with high temperatures of 40°C. This area boasts uniquely beautiful beaches and a landscape outlined by centuries-old vineyards and olive groves.
Olive trees characterize the naturalistic landscape of this area and have stretched as far as the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Sea since the times of the Greeks and Phoenicians. Many of the olive groves planted by the Spaniards are still there today in the Trapani Valleys and they have taken on historical and sometimes monumental value. The Belice Valley is a protected area made up of the territory where the Belice River flows in the western part of Sicily. On that strip of green land just a few miles from the sea and close to the Selinunte temples, the Nocellare del Belice grows, also known as the Olive of Castelvetrano.

Olive growing in the Belice Valley has a very long tradition, especially for table olives. This cultivation managed to establish itself almost spontaneously, both because of the ideal environmental characteristics and because of the prestigious product sector requirements of the cultivar. Inherited from the Greeks, since 1600, for the Belice Valley, olive growing has been, if not the sole economic resource, undoubtedly the most important in area agriculture.
The Nocellara del Belice represents a very prestigious cultivar and is one of the local Sicilian varieties that obtained DOP certification in 1998. This cultivar is excellent both for the production of extra virgin oil and for table olives, thanks in part to its large size. The Nocellara trees are not very big but they have a certain capacity for adapting to the widest range of environmental conditions.
They are self-incompatible and for pollination, various other cultivars are generally used, particularlythe Giarraffa and the Pidicuddara. The fruit of the Nocellara del Belice is large, 5-7 grams, with consistent, crisp and slightly bitter pulp. The drupe, which is spherical in shape and with a wide and rounded base, ranges from intense green prior to veraison to wine-red when ripe.
This oil comes from careful hand harvesting and painstaking selection of the best drupes. The climate and the soil, characteristics of the area, create an oil that is characterized by its intense green color. The extra virgin olive oil itself has a medium intensity fruity olive fragrance accompanied by notes of almond, green tomatoes, chopped herbs and sometimes aromatic herbs. The flavor is bitter, slightly tangy and with a touch of sweetness.
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