Extra Virgin Oil and Seeds Stories of Agriculture

The 'Caves of Silenus' chora of Taranto, a frontier land full of magic and mysteries not yet violated.

Written by CinziaTosini

The Caves of Silenus, an archaeological site where oil is produced, ancient wine and fruit. Here you will find the garden of 'Columella', the prehistoric hut, but above all the warmth of Magna Grecia (xenia).

Sileno, a mythological being an educator of ancient Greece Dionysus (Bacchus). Depicted as an old drunk riding a donkey, is the protector of the vineyards and wine.

I met him in his cave, or better, in the area around a farm in the province of Taranto Castellaneta where, during archaeological excavations, plants were found in vineyards and pre-Roman depictions of Silenus. Testimonials attesting to the vocation of this land to the production of wine.

Hence the origin of the name of the farm of which he is a member Raffaele Rochira: The Caves of Silenus.

With Paolo Barberi Az. Agr. Bell Equipment Raffaele Caves of Silenus

Paolo Wed Barberio. Farm Bell – Raffaele Rochira Az. Agricola The Caves of Silenus

An estate that purchased after passing a difficult time in her life. Despite not being born farmer, its origins have invoked the earth. Determinants studies in Tuscany. The passion for the land and the stubbornness of its people to promote it, he has been in years to come of great teaching.

Although Italy has always been a country suited to the land and agriculture, bureaucratic complications hinder those who want to, with great effort, dedicate to it. A key alas sore, argue that, unfortunately, I feel every time I visit a farm reality.

4 - A screw one hundred years. Monuments of nature.

A screw one hundred years. Monuments of nature.

  • Raffaele, let's start from here. How do you live your territory?

It 'difficult to operate in an environment characterized by lack of love and lack of economic opportunities; in particular in the vision, by some citizens, conditioned by representatives of the Institutions, that, for several reasons, do not believe or do not want to believe in the primary sector.

The importance of communicating the territory through the recovery of our historical roots is the true awareness to not lose our identity for a new cultural and economic vision.

Le grotte di Sileno

The Caves of Silenus – Antique door

  • Wine, Oil and ancient fruit. These are your main productions.

Exact. What I try to do is tell with our products, the nature and culture of this great land loved since the dawn of time, da filosofi, Scientists, Emperors and Princes. I tell my Earth, Puglia, la weir (land) Taranto, where the olive trees migrate in a metaphorical sense and not.

A frontier land full of magic, full of mysteries not yet violated. What I try to do is to arouse emotions in those who decide to "live it".

The married Olive with stone

The olive married with stone

  • I've talked about your old garden: the garden of Columella.

The idea stems from the fact that, I bought the company I found intact the garden of Columella (Surveyor General and the Roman Empire which granted to veterans of the Roman legions, returning from missions, land). Novanta are (nine thousand square meters) bordered by dry stone walls on the north side are up to four feet to protect from cold north winds vegetable garden and fruit trees.

Given that fortuitously had preserved this ancient structure, why not replace the ancient plants and ancient semi reconstructing in full the garden and made a living example of archeology of the area? So I made.



  • You made me see the reconstruction of prehistoric hut Middle Bronze Age, found south of the company. It 'tied to a project?

One, is a faithful reconstruction, put in place with the help of architects and archaeologists: an experimental archeology project aimed at the promotion of the territory. We have some different, including one for the promotion of construction techniques Biodynamic the realization of which passes through a synergistic action between universities, professionals and other businesses.

House of Straw

House of Straw

  • In your estate organizes archaeological activities with children. An initiative that has had a successful, and teaching them to love story. I do parli?

Thanks to the collaboration with the Cultural Association Aulon Res, composed of specialized guides supported by archaeologists and architects, visits are organized with schools, and not only. Both children and adults have the opportunity to experience the excitement of an archaeological dig with the discovery of structures, tombe e reperti.

Arouse emotions is the mission of the Caves of Silenus, in this case, with the charm of the discovery of the ancient, the mystery.

Ancient well

Ancient well

  • Now we talk about tourism. I can say I have seen the foundations for a successful host country and not only. I saw started your farm. To what extent are the work of implementation?

Cynthia, We are already operating, in the sense that we practice the principles of hospitality and welcome of Magna Grecia (xenia). L'agriturismo, such as in-room hospitality, will be operational for the opening of the Expo 2015.

Always eats, but especially this summer, We will arrange guided tours on the farm and in the surrounding areas available to take at the guests of the other facilities with paths between nature and history…



Flower of Pomegranate

Flower of Pomegranate

The Caves of Silenus

The Caves of Silenus

Raffele Rochira www.legrottedisileno.it




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I think we can save the Earth, if we can save her.

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