Villa Filippo Berio

Villa Filippo Berio, just a few kilometres from the Massarosa plant, is an ancient rural house that was completely restored in 2019. Standing in over 75 hectares with 22,500 olive trees, it is now an open-air laboratory, a unique place that revolves around the culture of Olive Oil, and where one can experience the same passion that drove the founder, Filippo Berio.


The Villa’s olive grove represents true agricultural excellence, designed according to an advanced model of cultivation that considers the features of the terrain and the variety of olives being grown. There is also a milling plant on the farm, primed for a limited production of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Given the risk of spreading Xylella Fastidiosa in important agricultural areas of the EU, our Life Resilience project aims to develop productive and pathogen-resistant plant genotypes, to apply sustainable practices and promote the use of natural methods to control the pathogen’s carriers.

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The project also takes into account a priority for the EU, namely combating climate change through better land use and more environmentally friendly forestry.
To make farming practices more sustainable, the project also focuses on optimising the water supply and use system and reducing the carbon footprint.


New precision farming techniques in olive cultivation.

This project will enable the CNR-IBE (National Research Council – Institute for Bioeconomics) to apply precision farming to the olive sector and to develop state-of-the-art production techniques. Research will be carried out with a network monitoring the entire production environment in real time, from the plant to the soil, to the air. The latest modern technologies are used: smart sensors are placed in the plant and in the soil; drones and satellites present observations; and an innovative set of wireless sensors connected to the network offers detailed 24/7 data. The Filippo Berio olive grove is a true ‘open-air laboratory’ dedicated to developing new and revolutionary farming techniques.



Enhancing the biodiversity of Olive Oil.

Italy has the largest number of olive varieties in the world and this collaborative project aims to exploit the immense potential of this biodiversity, breathing new life into an increasingly standardisation-driven Olive Oil sector. Analysing and improving the biodiversity of olives in Italy will be a crucial asset in combating climate change.

CNR-IBE has identified the most promising varieties to be introduced and planted in the Villa Filippo Berio olive grove.The study will be instrumental in recovering ancient Tuscan cultivars that have fallen into disuse over the years and which may be able to make a comeback in a region best suited to olive cultivation.


Sustainability in olive cultivation.

Another part of the collaboration with CNR-IBE involves developing sustainable farming methods, as we aim for increasingly environmentally friendly oil production.

This project aims to maximise productivity while being respectful to, and considerate of, environmental issues.  For example, the experiments will include a trial of an innovative method to monitor the presence of the olive fruit fly, one of the most serious pests in olive cultivation. In order to simplify and improve strategies to control this insect, the CNR-IBE has developed a prototype trap for real-time detection of the fly within olive groves.

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