Calabria is situated at the Southwestern tip of the Italian peninsula and forms the toe of Italy's famed boot. The area is separated from the island of Sicily by the Strait of Messina. With an average of 140,000 tons of olive oil each year, Calabria produces about 1/4 of Italy's olive oil, the second highest total of any Italian region. The olive oil tradition in Calabria dates to at least the 8th century BCE, when the area was a Greek colony called Magna Graecia by the Romans. Much of Calabria is wild and mountainous, with groves as high as 400 meters above sea level. The influence of both the hilly terrain and surrounding Mediterranean coastline help create a unique regional olive profile. The area has over 30 native olive cultivars, with common varieties found including Nocellara, Frantoio, Ottobratica and Sinopolese. The Carolea olive is native to the area and might be the most representative variety of the region. The Olive Oil Lovers catalog currently includes the organic products of Tenute Librandi, a family company based in the city of Cozenza in Calabria.
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