Arriving in Lucca is never going to disappoint. With its fortified walls and ancient doorways encapsulating an ancient city, it is both traditionally Italian and yet vibrantly ‘of the moment’ when it comes to all things related to food and culture.   EXTRA LUCCA 2016 (http://www.extralucca.it ), an entire weekend devoted to Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oils, is the perfect example of this. This is the third year that Maestro d’Olio Fausto Borella has orchestrated the event, gathering together thirty top producers from all over Italy and creating a programme of livley seminars and demonstrations held in the Palazzo Ducale.

But the Friday evening’s opening session took place in the dramatic location of the Teatro del Giglio, initially built in the1600s (http://www.teatrodelgiglio.it/en/the-theatre/history/), right in the center of Lucca. Here, a mix of experts and enthusiasts, producers and consumers, gathered for the award ceremony celebrating the trophy winners. Many well deserved awards were handed out amongst a group of extremely talented producers.

(Full list of Award Winners below)

To see us through the evening though, a range of buffet […]