The ‘Marrone’ of Castel del Rio is a delicious fruit harvested from the woods of the Santerno River Valley. It is different from common chestnuts, because of its shape, taste, fragrance and size. It has been granted the European PGI (Protected geographical indication) status.
Since the Middle Ages, the ‘Marrone’ chestnut has been an important trading commodity and a delicious food, common on aristocratic tables. Around the year 1,000, the chestnut trees replaced the oak woods, and became a fundamental resource for the mountain community. So much so that it was referred to as “the bread tree”.
The Consorzio Castanicoltori di Castel del Rio (consortium of ‘Marrone’ chestnut producers) was established in 1985 to bring together all the chestnut producers. The aim of the consortium is to assist in the recovery, maintenance and improvement of the chestnut woods in the Upper Santerno River Valley, as well as protecting, enhancing and promoting Marrone chestnuts.
Today, the fruit is a culinary speciality of the area that combines taste and tradition. All its goodness can be savoured in the autumn. The ‘Marrone’ chestnut is celebrated every year in October with the Chestnut festival in the streets of Castel del Rio.
The Castel del Rio Castanicoltori Consortium has more than 100 members, all of whom are chestnut producers.