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Autumn Experiences

Olive Harvest

A full-day immersion to enjoy the process of achieving the highest quality of organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in beautiful Basilicata Land

Time: Full Day
Transfer: 1.5 hours each way

During the key olive harvest period of the first ten days of November, take the opportunity to live the truly authentic experience of producing your very own bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from start to finish! Immersed in the countryside of Genzano di Lucania, not far from one of the Swabian castles most frequented by the Emperor Frederick II, visit a bio farm with 140 hectares of olive groves. Start your day by picking the olives for which Basilicata is renowned the world over. By evening you will return to Palazzo Margherita with the precious product of your own work.

Your program for the day will be as follows:

  • After a leisurely breakfast at Palazzo Margherita, depart for Genzano di Lucania;
  • Visit the organic mill of a local company producing all manner of traditional bio goods using the finest primary products, and take part in the olive harvest with the local farmers, who will show you the traditional tools and techniques to pick the olives directly from the tree.
  • Enjoy a typical country-style lunch savoring carefully prepared local delicacies;
  • After lunch, take part in the cold pressing of the olives on the farm. Discover the secrets of making the prized Italian liquid gold which is an essential staple of Mediterranean cuisine, and follow each step of its production under the expert guidance of the locals to make your own bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil;
  • On the way back to Palazzo, possibility of stopping in nearby Acerenza, one of the prettiest medieval mountain villages in Italy, and special visit of its magnificent Cathedral.

Our Suggestion:
Wear sturdy rubber-soled shoes or bring a pair with you.

Truffle Hunting in the Lucanian Apennines*

Learn the jealously guarded secrets of the hunt for the white truffle in the beautiful setting of the Lucanian Apennines

Time: half to full day
Transfer: 1.5 hours each way

The white truffle is a rare delicacy, and like all things rare and precious, finding it is by no means straightforward.

On this excursion, after a light breakfast at Palazzo Margherita, you will depart for a lovely bio farmstead immersed in the biggest national park in Italy, the Parco Nazionale del Pollino, in a gorgeous forest at the base of the Lucanian Apennines. Step into a wooden chalet with windows overlooking the hills, and you will feel as if you had entered a simple and remote forest hunting lodge from which you will begin your own hunt. Enjoy a light country breakfast at the chalet, and join an expert hunter with his specially trained dog.

A walk through the forest on the property together with the truffle hunter will allow you to see his dog in action, as he helps you seek out this precious gem of the Lucanian soil.

The expert truffle hunter will share secrets learned from his ancestors and through years of experience, including seasons, times of the day, and markers to look out for. Along the way you will learn about local flora and fauna, and about local organic cultivation practices.

Returning to the chalet, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the local organic produce, prepared in situ to create simple traditional dishes. After lunch you will have the opportunity to buy the local truffles.

On the way back to Palazzo Margherita, there will be the possibility to stop and visit the 9th-century town of Chiaromonte, built by Normans and Lombards around a pre-existing settlement dating back to prehistoric times. In the town you will notice ancient caves converted into cellars to host the region’s precious red wines, and you will be able visit some of them and taste wines and local delicatessen.

* The white truffle is a seasonal delight, changeable like the moon. Also called ‘trifola’, the white truffle is best found between October and the end of December, whereas the black truffle is found more easily during the winter, from mid-December to mid-March. In the summer, you can hunt the ‘scorzone’, or summer black truffle.

Our Suggestion:
Wear sturdy rubber-soled shoes or bring a pair with you.