The History of Oliviculture in Taggia.
Talking about Olive and Oil in the Ligurian Riviera of Ponente means to relate a culture in the layout of the landscape especially in the hilly area.Than If the focus is on the Argentine Valley and Taggia specifically, the symbiosis becomes indissoluble. It is impossible to be able to separate terms like Olive and Oil from the history of Taggia.
This symbiosis between territory and plant led to the creation of the variety cultivated in the area: “The cultivar Taggiasca”. From the testimonies of historians, agronomists and scholars consolidated over time, it can undoubtedly be affirmed that for several centuries, generations and generations of farmers linked to this so tortuous and steep land, have pledged to make it fertile, by a succession of terrains supported with drywall, commonly referred as “Fasce”.
The History of Olive Growing in Taggia, though relatively newer than in the “fasce”, also boasts a millennial tradition. Several historians, although agreeing to attribute the spread of the olive to a medieval origin, have created two theories: the first attributes the spread of the Olive to the Crusaders returning from the Holy Land; The second, which had become more popular in the popular tradition, gives the merit to a Benedictine monks who cultivated it and spread it several times already in the Middle Ages, following the monastic settlements along the coast and up to a certain altitude in the hills inland. It seems, in fact, that one of the first and most significant cultivations was started at Taggia from which the cultivar “Taggiasca” was named.
And it can be argued that, in those years of the early nineteenth century, the cultivation of the Olive tree was established as a specialized crop, already having played an important role in the local economy. The uncultivated lands were cultivated, many common lands were privatized and neighboring roads and roads were built in order to make access to the “fasce” even easier. To underline the importance attached to the olive groves, it is sufficient to consider that in the lease agreements of the olive groves (which almost always included half of the oil produced), explicit reference was made to the obligation of the owner of the Take care of the maintenance of the drywall. From these short but necessary premises it can be seen that Taggia, its area and its inhabitants’ history is strongly linked to this plant from which his best products is the Olives and the Taggiasca Cultivar Oil.