Saturday 8 July 2017

Istria's new olive oil museum

One thing I love about Istria is its olive trees and exceptional olive oil

Istria is the northern-most olive-growing region in the Mediterranean and olive oil has been produced here since Roman times. In the past two decades, the local olive oil industry has experienced a resurgence of sorts and Istrian olive oil has been put on the map thanks to its many excellent local producers. Many of these have won international awards for their high quality olive oil and for the past two years Istria has been named 'Best Olive Oil Region' by the Flos Olei olive oil guide.

A new museum that opened this summer in Pula is a fitting tribute to Istria's status as an increasingly important olive oil region. The Museum Olei Histriae (Museum of Istrian Olive Oil) is located on a pedestrian street in the city centre, within easy walking distance of the arena, the 1st century Roman amphitheatre. 

The museum includes a exhibition space that covers the 2000-year history of olive oil making in Istria (in four languages!) providing not only historical facts but also information about the scientific composition of olive oil and its health benefits. 

Audio-visual aspects make the experience participatory: wooden cupboards are opened to reveal interesting facts about olive oil, a short film introduces Istria as an olive-growing region, and a small room has been set up to look like a local 19th-century oil mill. There's also a kid's corner and  best of all – a tasting room where a professional olive oil sensory expert leads visitors through a guided tasting. At the entrance to the museum is a shop showcasing over 20 local olive oils available for purchase.

I recently visited the museum and wrote a short article for Olive Oil Times. You can read all about the museum at this link.

For more information about the museum and its opening hours, visit the website

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