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Antica Tenuta dei Principi Pignatelli

Castelvetrano, Italy
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About Antica Tenuta dei Principi Pignatelli
Oil Tour & Cooking Class at Tenuta Pignatelli entails: viewing of the actual mill and a commented video of the harvest & pressing of the olives; tasting diffrent vintages of the estate's olive oil "Olio Verde" focusing on freshness, and olive oil tips. Our Cooking Class Menu includes pasta with fresh traditional pesto, beef braciole (involtini), followed by fruit, and Olio Verde & Lemon plumcake.
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Antica Tenuta dei Principi Pignatelli
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63122Angie wrote a review Oct 2017
Saint Louis, Missouri7 contributions3 helpful votes
I know Castelvetrano is not usually on the tourist circuit for Sicily but hands down the time we spent at Olio Verde/ Antica Tenuta dei Principi Pignatelli was one of our best days. It was like spending the day with family. Valerie Becchina (the owner), her sons, her father (Gianfranco Becchina) and her staff were some of the most friendly and welcoming people we met during our trip. The Estate, which is blanketed by hundreds of olive and lemon trees and houses the Olio Verde olive oil processing facility, also has 2 guest villas on it that can be rented... it was beautiful! We spent the morning touring the olive groves and learning the "secret" of making the outstanding Olio Verde olive oil. Next we had a private cooking class with Vita, their in-house chef, that was held in the Estate's main house (aka the Bechinna family kitchen). We made pesto, pasta, a traditional Sicilian stuffed meat roll, homemade red sauce (Sugo), and a yummy lemon cake made with Olio Verde oil. The food was fresh and delicious. I told them it reminded me of my grandmother's cooking and that I still make the stuffed meat roll (Braciolone) each year at Christmas. My family and I all agreed that we would have gladly spent several more days at Tenuta Pignatelli with the Bechinnas if we had known how incredibly nice it would be. If someone is looking for an authentic Sicilian, hands-on experience it is worth every euro!
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Date of experience: September 2017
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MichaelVienna2015 wrote a review Aug 2015
Vienna, Austria8 contributions
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We (5 adults and 3 kids) just came back from a 2-week summer vacation at the Tenuta Pignatelli. We rented the guest cottage with one additional annex room (there are two) adjoining it. The simple exterior of the cottage does nothing to reveal the beautifully renovated accommodations inside. All the rooms were well appointed and luxurious. The cottage itself has one master bedroom and a smaller bedroom with three single beds (for the kids) upstairs, while downstairs there is a smaller bedroom with a bunk bed and extra bathroom. Despite the incredible summer heat, we hardly had to use the air conditioning, except to quickly cool down the bedrooms before sleeping. The estate is absolutely amazing with thousands of olive trees, dozens of fruit trees (lemons, oranges, figs, mandarins, almonds...) and an abundant vegetable garden with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, courgette, zucchini... all of of which we were free to harvest and enjoy. The cottage was has a fully equipped kitchen, where we cooked many of our own meals to eat outside on the covered terrace's large wooden table. An incredible welcome basket with a cornucopia of goodies greeted our arrival. Valeria Becchina was incredibly helpful in giving us tons of support and local tips for our stay. She speaks like five languages fluently and is incredibly charming. Her father, Gianfranco, often stopped by our cottage on his motorino to bring us fresh eggs from their chicken coop, a delicious home-cooked minestrone, limoncello...Amazing! Our kids, especially, loved the beautiful, gigantic, marble clad swimming pool, which we had almost all to ourselves as there were no other guests staying at the main house during our visit. To sit in the natural shade of olive trees pool side was quite luxurious. The kids could be kids (i.e., loud and rambunctious) and Valeria made it clear that we didn't need to worry about bothering anyone. Though Castelvetrano itself is a wonderful small city to visit, the numerous attractions within driving distance made our vacation mind-blowing. Be sure to visit: the Azienda Cucchiara farm outside Salemi where fresh sheep's milk ricotta and pecorino are made every morning; the morning fish market and charming town of Mazara de Vallo (where one must buy vuccunetti, Almond cookies, from nuns at the Benedictine convent of St. Michael; the salt farms outside Trapani, Erice, Scopello (for snorkellingggg), the hilltop village of Caltabellotta, the “Scala dTurchichi” limestone formation at Realmonte; the greek ruins at Selinunte; Porto Palo (beach near Menfi – eat and bath at Da Vittorio!), Agrigento... We didn't take advantage of the cooking classes offered, mainly because it was so hot outside that nobody felt like being in a hot kitchen. But Valeria taught our kids how to make homemade melon gelato while we adults got a lovely tour of the olive grove and mill. Which brings us to the Becchina's olive oil – Olio Verde – made from their own Nocellara del Belice olives and pressed on site within hours after handpicking. The oil is a beautiful, cloudy green colour and its taste and aroma are the best you will ever taste. Our only regret was that we couldn't fit any more litres in our suitcase to take home with us! I can HIGHLY recommend a vacation at Tenuta Pignatelli! It was well worth the price. What made it particularly wonderful was the unique combination of the Becchina's hospitality when it was needed and otherwise complete privacy and relaxation.
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Date of experience: July 2015
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Beth G wrote a review May 2015
Ashland, Oregon25 contributions13 helpful votes
Valeria Becchina and her crew fed my tour in the stunning garden, with food that made me want to stay for a week. Following the delicious lunch we had an energetic tour of the olive trees and processing plant, including a tasting, that was insightful and fun
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Date of experience: April 2015
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melindaweber wrote a review Feb 2015
Ridgefield, Connecticut10 contributions9 helpful votes
We had a terrific time at this charming cooking school and olive oil estate. We stayed at this lovely 500 year old restored villa. It was extremely comfortable and beautiful. After a morning learning about and tasting their fantastic Olio Verde olive oil, We had a hands on cooking class preparing Sicilian specialties that we enjoyed for lunch. Wonderful, warm people who made our stay delightful!
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