Sei in:  Home ,

Official Tourist Information Site of Imola's Area

Medicina typical onion


Onion is an extremely nourishing food as it is rich in mineral salts and vitamins, notably vitamin C. It also contains a good quantity of calcium, phosphorous, iodine and fluorine. Its acrid taste and its spicy aroma are due to the presence of allile sulphide, which is also responsible for its diuretic effect. Onion is also energizing because it contains many glucides. It features several therapeutic properties such as the disinfectant, digestive and anti-diabetic ones which are enhanced if onion is eaten raw or in special infusions, tinctures or syrups. Onion is available on the market throughout the year since both summer and autumn varieties exist.


Legal reference:
Traditional products were established by Decree-law 173/98.

Growing techniques:
Onion shows a great adaptability to a wide range of soils. Its ideal ground, however, is airy, dry and sunny. In Medicina’s area there are medium-textured, slightly argillaceous, fresh and deep soils which are particularly rich in organic substances. This is the ideal terrain for growing onion varieties which need to be preserved for a long time. Onion grows well also at low temperatures even though the ideal is 20-25°C. In general, onion should be cultivated after cereals. It is unadvisable to plant it after beets, potatoes and cabbage as these crops could endanger its quality and production. Planting density varies from 80 to 120 plants per square metre according to the variety (very early, early, medium-early and late). Harvest is one of the most important stages as it affects the overall quality and allows to preserve bulbs for a longer period. After digging, bulbs are left in the field for 10-15 days until they are completely dried up with their roots. Onions are best preserved when stored in a refrigerator (the ideal temperature is 0°C, while moisture should be 70-75%). In this case, bulbs can be preserved for 4 up to 8 months.

Production area :
It includes the municipalities of Medicina and Castel Guelfo, Castel San Pietro Terme and Ozzano dell’Emilia (on the right-hand bank of the Quaderna stream), Dozza and Imola north of the highroad Emilia and to the left of the highroad Montanara.

Historical and geographical information:
The province of Bologna ranks among the most productive onion growing areas. 60% of its production comes from the above-mentioned municipalities whose agricultural land accounts for 15% of the terrain which is used for agriculture in the province of Bologna. All this shows that Medicina’s territory is extremely suitable for the intensive onion production. According to the earliest information, onions began to be grown in this area at the end of the 13th century. In particular, the “golden” variety of Medicina’s onion became a renowned product not only at a local level. In 1618 an announcement issued in Bologna set the prices for onions sold in the city market. Moreover, in the same period onions can be found in the works of famous painters such as Carracci. This is evidence of the increasing importance given to this vegetable by locals. In 1664 Vincenzo Tanara, an agronomist from Bologna, wrote about the different techniques used to grow onion in the Bolognese plain. For example, he suggested to sow it at the end of August or in February and March, as it is still done today in Medicina’s area. The early 20th century saw the gradual increase in onion cultivation, especially in the eastern part of the province of Bologna, stretching from the municipality of Medicina to that of Imola.

Protection association:
Comune di Medicina - Assessorato all'Agricoltura
103, Via Libertà - 40059 Medicina (BO)
Tel. +39 051 6979111- Fax +39 051 6979222

Related events:
Festa della cipolla (Onion Festival) - July

Come arrivare nella località
Last update: 18-10-2013