Traditional crops, aromatic plants, olives and citrus fruits from Sicily
Baglio Occhipinti follows the unstoppable rhythms of Nature. It is immersed in the suggestive hilly countryside of south-east Sicily, surrounded by vineyards and ancient olive groves, surrounded by colourful fruit trees and fragrant flowery fields. The Baglio observes and participates in the succession of seasons, marked by flowering, ripening and collection of products that the generous earth gives.
The over four thousand square meters of organic vegetable garden donate vegetables, fruits and vegetables all year round, grown according to Nature.
Among the traditional ancient varieties of the territory, broccoli, cabbage, chicory, chard, onions, garlic, peas, broad beans, tomatoes, aubergines, Vittoria summer courgettes and pumpkins are grown and processed. All with great pleasure of the guests who discover the native varieties and enjoy them at the table.
Sustainability and respect for Nature are also guaranteed by the production of organic fertilizer, made with the selection of compost. At Baglio everyone takes care also of the sustainable use of water. The mulching is done only with manual weeding.
The gardens of Baglio Occhipinti are always in production, all year round, and can be visited by guests who will always find something good to collect, taste and cook. Flower surround the gardens naturally: lavender and borage, also used in the kitchen. All around it is possible to find rose gardens that embellish the corners of the countryside.
The triumph of the vegetable gardens is in the kitchen, where the ancient recipes of the Occhipinti family, kept and handed down from Rosaura to Fausta, guarantee a wise use of vegetables linked to wellness and health, as well as to good taste.
The Baglio Occhipinti’s garden is a pleasant place where you can have lunch, dinner, enjoy the sunset and the scents of the countryside while sipping a good glass of wine.
Aromatic gardens and wildflowers
Sicily offers unforgettable experiences to all senses, but what is most striking are always the colours and scents: the aromatic plants that grow at Baglio Occhipinti pervade every room with their scents and inebriate the guests. Rosemary, sage, mint, thyme, savoury, marjoram, lavender, basil, parsley, lemongrass and oregano grow all year round in the aromatic garden of the Baglio and are spontaneously discovered by guests by merely looking out of the rooms, living on the patio or walking among the vegetable gardens. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Giambattista, who will be lavish with botanical explanations on the origins and methods of cultivation. The aromatic and medicinal plants are also the source of the herbal teas produced with passion by Fausta: the guests will enjoy teas in the room, and they can ask to organize a class to learn how to produce them at home.
With the arrival of spring, wildflowers bloom, and the gardens are covered with new coloured and fragrant spots, together with precious gifts such as wild fennel and thistles, excellent for purifying and delicious herbal teas in the kitchen for traditional recipes.
The citrus garden
Baglio Occhipinti is a true hortus conclusus, that is, a traditional Arab garden full of oranges, lemons, cedars, grapefruits, bitter oranges, mandarins, but also pears, pomegranates, plums and figs. All around high dry-built walls, from the skilful setting of stone on stone, to protect plants from the wind, but also unwelcome guests. The Baglio gardens give a sense of Sicily: protection, a feeling of relaxation and belonging to an ancient and proper context.
Guests are free to experience the whole Baglio, enjoying the orchards and reaping the fruits or tasting it in the room, where they will find it fresh every day.
Olive groves and extra virgin olive oil
In September it is time to harvest olives. The little ones – as the olive flowers are called – grown during the spring among the evergreen branches have now become the precious fruits. In Baglio Occhipinti, Tonda Iblea is cultivated, an autochthonous cultivar typical of eastern Sicily which, after the harvest, gives the green gold of our land: extra virgin olive oil. The oil has a set of typically Sicilian flavours and a rather intense olive fruitiness. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a bouquet of very varied hints such as tomato, almond, artichoke, cut grass and aromatic herbs. The taste is very harmonious and sees the presence of mainly sweet and spicy, while the bitter notes are very light.
The colouring is green-gold, while the overall acidity is very low. Rich is the content of polyphenols and vitamin E. The oil of Baglio Occhipinti comes from olive groves that are more than a thousand years old, and many of them have a diameter of more than three meters, some inside the Baglio Occhipinti, but most of the trees are located in the Piraino district near Chiaramonte Gulfi. Guests can ask to visit the estate and, perhaps, to organize a picnic with a basket prepared by Fausta, all to be enjoyed in the shade of a millenary olive tree.
The olive harvest is an important moment for the family and involves all members. The days of the harvest pass between tastings of the still bitter olives, picnics under the tree waiting for the squeezing and tasting of the first oil which is welcomed with joy in the late evening, just like the birth of a new family member.
Guests will always have the opportunity to taste the oil right from breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the main components of the Mediterranean diet and, on request, guests can also buy it for having it shipped home.
Inside the Baglio Occhipinti, a small corner is dedicated to the display of the productions: soap made with extra virgin olive oil, small bags scented with aromatic plants, preserves, jams and the famous extra virgin olive oil. Guests will also find a selection of typical Caltagirone ceramics, t-shirts and aprons from Baglio Occhipinti.