Our grandfather, or nono,
as grandfathers are called in Istria is called Olivo. He was born in Šared, a village near Izola in March 1920. When he was baptized, his patron became Saint Joseph, since March 19 is the Feast of Saint Joseph. His name, Joseph, or Jožef in Slovene, was pretty common in those times, so he was given a nickname – Olivo because another feast, Easter, with Palm Sunday, commonly known as Olive Sunday in our country, follows the date of his birth. Olivo like a tough and durable olive tree, and Olivo like a precious word; a word that defines Istria and is rediscovered by modern people as a symbol of health and welfare.
Olive growing and production of olive oil in the area can be traced back to times when the Istrian Peninsula was populated by the ancient Romans. Izola is a small coastal town on the north Adriatic Sea, known as a traditional fishing village, yet medieval records show that the inland region was highly rural. In addition to crops and vine, olives were grown, too. Therefore, this Mediterranean town is a place where agricultural and marine traditions intertwine.
Olives and Olive Oil in Slovenian Istria
Olive is the emblematic tree of the Mediterranean region. It’s very hardy – since its can survive a wide range of climatic conditions, it can be centuries old. Olive tree has been cultivated for thousands of years. Due to many benefits, ancient civilizations used olive oilin cooking, for medicine, lighting lamps and in cosmetics. The Ancient Greeks knew fifteen various kinds of olive, and olive oil trade is first mentioned in the Babylonian Code 4500 years ago. Having been aware of the extraordinary importance of it, The Ancient Romans spread the cultivation of olives groves throughout their empire, including the nowadays Istria. This is a long tradition which is being rediscovered lately. Nevertheless, Istrian olive oil has always been highly appreciated due to the fact that Slovenian Istria is one of the northernmost areas where olives can be grown. Istrian top quality olive oil offers numerous health benefits to the consumers who can also indulge in its perfect aroma and taste.
Our logo is a stylized emblem of Izola. It depicts a white dove with an olive branch in its beak, flying over the island. The island represents Izola, and the image is taken from an old story, when, in 1380, the Genoese were approaching the city in order to attack it. The people of Izola have sought refuge in prayer to St. Maurus, the patron saint of Izola in order to save them from danger. He answered their prayers and sent them a dense fog which has covered the island. Izola thus became invisible for the attackers; all they could see was a white dove flying towards them.