Buongiorno and welcome to our first monthly blog, where I will focus on the weather, culture and food of Italy, focusing on a particular supplier and Italian Homeware activity.
Given that the 3 of us, Francesco, Gary and myself (Harveen) work full time, we are delighted now to have launched italianhomewares.com It has taken us 2 years to develop our concept, build our website, secure almost 20 suppliers and begin trading. We champion the small and mid - sized Italian supplier who is producing beautiful design led product, made with love and using generations old craftsmanship. Much of our product has not been available outside of Italy until now.
April is a great time to visit Italy. The climate is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and cold winters (especially in the region’s interior). April is significant for 2 reasons, firstly spring is very much here, please view photos taken in our garden in mid-March. The temperature has reached 25 degrees today, there is still a nip in the air, but check out those blue skies!
Secondly Easter falls in April, this year and Easter heralds a number of Easter Processions and Festas – holidays and feasts. Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy. The date of Easter changes each year, and several other Christian festivals fix their dates by reference to Easter. There are a number of processions in Manoppello (our village) during Easter. Good Friday is a special day, it is the commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. This ritual goes back to Medieval times. This Death Christ Procession is a solemn parade where the worshippers follow the statue of the Death Christ and Lady of Sorrows Procession in black dress. Easter is important for family and it is customary for families to spend time and eat together.
Our supplier focus for April is on the finest of olive oils available in the most beautiful terracotta bottles. They make an ideal Easter present and are a little different to the good old-fashioned Easter Egg. Each parcel comes gift wrapped – enjoy!
Frantonio Muraglia olive oil
We are delighted to offer the finest olive oil, offered in beautiful handmade terracotta bottles, ticking the sustainable box, as you can use these bottles time and time again!
Frantoio Muraglia was born in Andria, capital of the Puglia oil region, 5 generations ago, but the real family patriarch has watched the seasons come and go for no fewer than 450 years – a majestic coratina olive-tree, a native cultivar whose wealth of polyphenols is almost unmatched among the 538 classified Italian varieties.
The Muraglia history as oil producers, begins with this green giant that stands tall over their olive groves – some 40 hectares in the uplands of Murgia. It was Savino Muraglia senior who bought this tree to press its olives for oil, defying all those who told him there was no fortune to be made from land and olives……
One thing for certain is that the tenacious great great-grandfather – cross-grained or “stubborn as a mule”, as they say in Apulia where people don’t mince words – did it his way and launched the long history of an oil which is now on gourmet shelves in many countries. But many things have remained utterly unchanged in all this time, beginning with his promise to preserve the biodiversity of the agricultural landscape and to protect the plants of strategic importance for our supply, such as the olive trees themselves.
Muraglia still pick their olives by hand and press them cold in the ancient stone press. Their goal is always to make the finest Italian extra virgin oil, absolutely without compromise. And of course, as they always have – stubborn as a mule! – to do it their way.
Please view to share their wonderful story.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter, from Gary, Francesco and Harveen.