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Official Tourist Information Site of Imola's Area

Apricot from Santerno Valley


The apricot (in dialect "mugnèga") has a sweet and delicate taste and a soft pulp. It is a classic summer fruit: the earlier ones appear in June while the latest in July-August.

The apricot is rich in beneficial substances such as several mineral salts (especially potassium), carotene, vitamins A, PP and B, fibres and sugar. It also contains some acid salts which increase the alkaline amount, a natural defence of the organism.


Legal reference:
The list of the traditional products is provided by Decree-law 173/98. An application for granting P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) to Albicocca Val Santerno d’Imola has been recently submitted to the European Union.

Growing techniques:
Albicocca Val Santerno d’Imola is grown across the valley floor at a height of 359 metres a.s.l. This area features ideal climatic conditions during the most critical stages of the fruit, i.e. growth and ripening. Summers are hot while winters are rigorous; precipitations are frequent in autumn and rare in spring. The shortage of late spring frosts allows not to spoil both the flowers and the fruits. Among the native varieties, let us mention Reale d’Imola (or Mandorlona), Bella d’Imola and Precoce Cremonini (or Precoce d’Imola). Some of their names show the close link with this land. The development of modern growing, plant protection and pruning techniques ensures a constant production which can be only endangered by the spring frosts or hail-storms at the beginning of the summer. Thanks to variety selection, fruits can be harvested from June to July. The growing area of Albicocca Val Santerno d’Imola covers 1,389 hectares which yield 16,000 tons of yearly production.

Production area :
The production area covers Imola’s district and the Santerno Valley, especially the municipalities of Casalfiumanese, Borgo Tossignano and Fontanelice.

Historical and Geographical Information:
The apricot’s name comes from an Arabic word, “al-barquq”. This fruit was imported from China, where it was already known 4,000 years ago. Through the Middle East, it reached the basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Imola’s district is the typical production area of the apricot-tree, not only for its suitable soil but also for a long tradition. Actually, the Santerno Valley accounts for one tenth of the Italian land grown with apricot-trees. In this area, apricot-orchards cover 1,500 hectares. Traditionally, apricot-trees were grown in the plain and in the vegetable gardens surrounding Imola. Later, they were extended to the hilly area. The first intensive apricot-orchard dates back to 1870 and was located in the Vallette estate in Pieve Sant’Andrea (Casalfiumanese). Apricot production represented (and still represents) a fundamental source of income for local farms. It also helped to curb rural depopulation and the subsequent environmental deterioration. The apricot-tree grows in fringe areas such those characterised by calanchi (gullies) in the municipality of Casalfiumanese.

Related events:
Sagra dell’albicocca (Apricot Festival) – Casalfiumanese, first Sunday of July.

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Last update: 18-10-2013