The Ecological Mill: when technology treasures millenary experience

The ecological crusher and olive growing in Liguria: two thousand years of history.

Two thousand years of history united by the same objective: to obtain a product of great quality with the utmost respect for the environment. Today like yesterday, we can rightly speak of “Ecological Oil Mill”.

The archaeological remains of the Roman Villa of Varignano, in Portovenere, document the first olive growing in Liguria, equipped with an oil mill, large deposits and embarkation docks. The primary activity was the production and marketing of olive oil. Even then, the kernels were reused in the production cycle, so that nothing was wasted. In fact, Plinio recommends that “all processing procedures take place in very hot crushers and indoors … for this purpose the fire that is obtained from the olive pits is very good”.
After the long period of crisis after the end of the Roman Empire, around 1000 there is the revival of the Ligurian olive growing, mainly thanks to the phenomenon of terracing, initiated by the Benedictine monks qualifying element of the Ligurian landscape and priceless historical – cultural heritage.
Even the territory of the Val di Magra, in its hilly areas, has been characterized by the cultivation of the olive tree, favored by the mild climate and the protection of the Apennines. Moreover, its position along the route of the ancient communication routes, first among these the Via Francigena, has made it, since the Middle Ages, a center of commercial exchanges.
Roman villa of the old Varignano- Portovenere
The ancient map of the Lower Lunigiana conserved in the State Archive of Genoa shows the olive groves of St. Stephen of Magra and an oil mill, cited as “Molino di Ponzano”, located on an artificial gorge – now incorporated in the Lunense Canal – right where it stands now the Lucchi and Guastalli crusher
We were the first in Liguria to completely recycle the by-products: after the extraction of olive oil, the pits are recovered as ecological fuel and the pomace is intended for the production of electricity at biogas plants.
The Via Francigena and the Molino di Ponzano
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