Piazza Matteotti 5, 00010 Italy


Via dei Monti della Farnesina 77, 00135 Italy

The Oldest Olive Groves in Europe 

Olive oil from the ancient Sabina region is rich in history. Augustus’ agronomists selected this territory to plant thousands of trees and build mills and amphorae factories for the conservation, packaging, and transportation of the olive oil known as the ‘Gold of Rome.’ The olives were picked according to criteria that are still followed today, including the reading of weather cues, lunar phases, and plant cycles.

Sabina olive groves have been around since before Rome's existence. They are home for several important people, including the second and third emperors of Rome, and symbolize the beginning of the spiritual journey undertaken by St. Francis of Assisi. The first region in Europe to cultivate olive oil, Sabina houses Europe's oldest and largest olive tree, known as “Ulivone.” For the Sabina people, it was never the prominent ancient masterpieces that gave them their strength and longevity – it was the land on which they relied. Today, Italian family cultivators produce Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) out of love, passion, and tradition.

Libellula is designed both to establish a profitable solution to the dying practice of family olive oil cultivation and to create a successful new business model that respects and protects the historic countryside. Our EVOO is produced following the strictest Sabina D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin) guidelines. We are Rome, and with your adoption, we offer you a piece of Rome. In that piece you receive the most sophisticated, and still undiscovered, history of Rome.


Olive Oil Cultivation


As soon as the olives are brought to the mill, an automatic leaf removal machine eliminates any residual leaves, sprigs, or any other impurities from the harvest. The olives are bathed in water to remove any other vegetable or mineral residues.


The olives are then briskly crushed to obtain a coarsely ground paste made of olive pulp and broken olive pits. Broken pits play an important draining role, making the separation of the liquid and solid components of the paste easier.


Just like dough for bread is kneaded, this operation involves a slow and continuous mixing of the olive paste and takes place in special kneading machines. This is a crucial stage for it allows the break-down of the water-oil emulsions formed during the pressing stage, and the gathering of oil droplets into larger drops. This allows the oil to separate easily from the solid paste.


This is the key phase in the entire process. Three components are extracted from the olive paste: pomace, vegetable water and olive oil. A common modern technique of extraction is centrifugation, which works on the principle of the different specific weight of each component. The olive paste is placed in high speed centrifuges that separate first the pomace from the liquid and then the oil from the vegetable water.