The monicella is an olive variety found only in the Roveto Valley, in Abruzzo where the olive’s cycle for centuries, from blooming to the mill, has marked the time of the economy and life of the inhabitants.
This variety characterizes all of the local territory, since it is present with large centuries old plants and younger ones with new plantings.
It is a very vigorous and robust plant, well suited to the foothills and makes the most of the thin, shallow land. Its fronds are sinuous and its wood resistant. It propagates by self-rooting cuttings, growing slower in nurseries, and bears abundant fruit fairly constantly. It ripens fairly late (generally in the second half of November) but, unlike other varieties, it resists well against the most common olive parasites and the Spilocaea oleaginea (peacock spot) fungus.
Its fruit is particularly sweet and results in a fine, aromatic oil, characterized by a high content of phenolic and antioxidant substances. It has a golden color with green hues; its taste is generally fruity and the aroma light, with hints of fresh almond and bitter notes of artichoke. Occasionally it is spicy, with a slightly bitter after taste.
At present the cultivar is only grown by a few small and medium size local farms: the number of producers continues to drop and young people are not interested in this variety which, among other things, is particularly difficult to harvest given that it is located on slopes where it is almost impossible to mechanize any of the harvesting and processing phases.