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Sabina Olive Oil Museum

The Museum

Museo dell'Olio della Sabina

Located in the village of Castelnuovo di Farfa, the Sabina Olive Oil Museum is not just special but unique, due to the existence of a department in which five internationally renowned artists (Alik Cavaliere, Gianandrea Gazzola, Maria Lai, Hidetoshi Nagasawa and Ille Strazza), using music and sculpture as their tools, explain and honour the important role played by olive oil in civilisation. The museum also holds a rare collection of olive presses, which attest the evolution of olive oil production in the region over the course of four centuries.
A multi-media room (pictures by Francesco Vergine, music by Sandra Canzonetti) introduces the visitors to the diversity of the local identity and the attractions of the village and wider region.
The nucleus of the museum, the result of scientific collaboration on many levels, is a multi-media installation (supervised by Giorgio Dettori) which enables visitors to delve deeper into the historical, anthropological and practical approaches to olive oil production and offers valuable instructive support to teachers during school visits.
The museum is housed mainly in the Palazzo Perelli (16th century) but expands over the whole Medieval castle and into the countryside. The exceptionally well-preserved old olive-pressing installation with an animal-powered mill (18th century), the old bakery of the village and the archaeological site at San Donato (early Medieval times), where the "plot of world olive trees", a symbolic area in which are gathered all the olive varieties cultivated by Mediterranean peoples, are also parts of the museum . The church of San Donato (9th century), renovated to plans by Mao Benedetti and Sveva di Martino, is dedicated to olive oil as symbol of the spirituality of one of the most ancient regions of the world: a 5th-century religious hymn adapted to modern tonality, echoes in the solemn area of the narthex.

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