It all began with Augustus...
Around 12 BC the first Roman emperor discovered the olive trees in the hills North of Rome, a region today called Sabina.
Enchanted by this olive oil, Emperor Augustus began selling it throughout the ancient world. It was so fragrant and dripping with such exquisite flavor that it quickly became known as the “Gold of Rome.”
Over the centuries, however, the region's olive oil faded into the background as cheaper, industrially produced oils flooded the marketplace.
Julia and her father Camillo, both Italian natives, stumbled across Sabina in the summer of 2018.
They were struck by the quality and flavor of the olive oil, just as Emperor Augustus had been so many centuries before. But Julia and Camillo learned from the local farmers that their families were being forced to abandon their groves.
Because each farmer only had a relatively small olive grove, they were unable to secure contracts with the larger olive oil distributers. This, combined with inconsistent olive oil yields reinforced by climate changes, meant that many had to watch not just their groves fall into disrepair, but also their families' traditions of olive oil cultivation.
Through Libellula, Julia and Camillo provide family farmers with a way to work collectively. By coming together under one organization, local farmers are able to sell their extra virgin olive oil without fear of having to meet unrealistic production levels or worrying if they will loose their contract if they have a bad harvest. Through the sharing of technology and farming knowledge, the local farmers also benefit from sustainability and eco improvements within their olive groves.
And now the Gold of Rome can once again be shared with people around the world!
Each bottle of Libellula extra virgin olive oil is made by farmers using traditional methods just as their families have for centuries.
Libellula extra virgin olive oil is made by family farmers who work in harmony with nature: olives are grown without the use of pesticides, are harvested by hand, and are cold-pressed – preserving the flavor and integrity of the olive oil.
Along with our classic bottle collection, we invite you to become a Grove Adopter, where you will receive regular deliveries of extra virgin olive oil, delivered to your doorstep – fostering a deep relationship between you, the farmers, and the land you have chosen to safeguard.
Julia and Camillo