The First Italian Rice

I recommend a truly unforgettable gourmet experience (and more!) in the Vercelli rice fields at the Lucedio Abbey, which was founded in 1123 by the Cistercian monks who started Italy’s first rice cultivation at the beginning of the 1400s. This extraordinary place appears on the horizon, surrounded by green rice fields at harvest time, and reflected in the stretches of water which surround it when the rice fields are flooded. I am welcomed by the current owners, Paolo Salvadori di Wiesenhoff and his mother Rosetta Clara Cavalli d’Olivola, who tell me about the various historical events related to the Abbey of Lucedio which over time passed through many hands before reaching the Marquess Giovanni Gozani di San Giorgio, the ancestor of the Cavalli d’Olivola Salvadori family of Wiesenhoff. The Abbey is now home to Paolo who dedicates himself to the cultivation of rice and the maintenance of this architectural ensemble of inestimable beauty. The farm grows various types of local rice, including Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, Arborio and Baldo, as well as Basmati, Wholemeal and Red rice in line with current trends. As well as visiting the architectural ensemble and the agricultural lands, it is possible to organize a “show cooking” event, rice tasting events and themed lunches and dinners. The numerous rooms, which can accommodate from 20 to 500 people, are ideal for organizing both private ceremonies and corporate events, which are sure to be unforgettable!

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