THIS IS HOW WE CELEBRATE THE 700 YEARS SINCE THE DEATH OF DANTE ALIGHIERI


Così ricominciommi il terzo sermo;
e poi, continüando, disse: «Quivi
al servigio di Dio mi fe’ sì fermo,
che pur con cibi di liquor d’ulivi
lievemente passava caldi e geli,
contento ne’ pensier contemplativi.

Canto XXI, Paradiso, Divina Commedia

Exhibitions, books, apps, podcasts, web events and… our oil!

2021 is the year dedicated to the celebrations on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, the father of the Italian language and author of the Divine Comedy.

Just in 2020, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers has announced the so-called Dantedì every 25th March to celebrate the “National Day dedicated to Dante Alighieri“.

On this occasion, communication and dissemination initiatives are and will be promoted, aimed at “strengthening knowledge of the figure and work of Dante Alighieri, with particular attention to the younger generations and schools“.

Why the 25th of March? According to some scholars it is one of the dates identified as the beginning of Dante’s journey to the afterlife, recounted in the Divine Comedy.

Furthermore, Dante has been the first to use the expression Belpaese to describe the beauties of Italy and the idea of unity of the country: “the peoples of that fair land where si is heard” (Inferno XXXIII chant), verses in which the Supreme Poet addresses to the Italians – at a time when Italy was still a concept in the making – and to the language (the so-called “language of yes” as opposed to the “langue d’oc” and “langue d’oïl” which he already considers as a point of reference and the “yes” the first nucleus of a common identity.

The entire 2021 will be dedicated to the man who “invented” the Italian language, not only with a strong symbolic value but also with a look towards the future: the verses of Dante Alighieri, symbol of Italianness, are still relevant today for the values and universal themes addressed.

For this reason, Olio Dante – who has a “special” relationship with the Supreme Poet – has chosen to celebrate the 2021 with a Special Edition Label, thus bringing “poetry to the table”! It is known: food is culture, weaving together ancient knowledge and flavors, traditions and passions.

OUR CELEBRATIVE LABELS

The two products Dante Classico Olive Oiln.1 in Italy among the olive oils as a single brand* – and  Dante Extra Virgin Olive Oil “100% Italian” will present on the shelf throughout the entire 2021 a Special Edition Label, to celebrate the 700 years since Dante’s death.

Framing the QR Code, you can browse this page and find out more about the special link of our products with the Supreme Poet and on the initiatives of Olio Dante on social media.

Bringin “poetry to the table” is the mission of Olio Dante: carefully select the raw materials; skillfully harmonize flavors, aromas and perfumes to offer a product that is balanced and refined in taste; make each meal a unique experience and thus bring a piece of Italy to the tables all over the world.

* Nielsen data FY’20

Salimmo sù, el primo e io secondo,
tanto ch’i’ vidi de le cose belle
che porta ‘l ciel, per un pertugio tondo.
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

Canto XXXIV, Inferno, Divina Commedia

Sovra candido vel cinta d’uliva
donna m’apparve, sotto verde manto
vestita di color di fiamma viva

Canto XXX, Purgatorio, Divina Commedia

OUR CELEBRATIVE LABELS

The two products Dante Classico Olive Oil – n.1 in Italy among the olive oils as a single brand* – and  Dante Extra Virgin Olive Oil “100% Italian” will present on the shelf throughout the entire 2021 a Special Edition Label, to celebrate the 700 years since Dante’s death.

Framing the QR Code, you can browse this page and find out more about the special link of our products with the Supreme Poet and on the initiatives of Olio Dante on social media.

“Poetry to the table” is the mission of Olio Dante: carefully select the raw materials; skillfully harmonize flavors, aromas and perfumes to offer a product that is balanced and refined in taste; make each meal a unique experience and thus bring a piece of Italy to the tables all over the world.

* Nielsen data FY’20

Salimmo sù, el primo e io secondo,
tanto ch’i’ vidi de le cose belle
che porta ‘l ciel, per un pertugio tondo.
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

Canto XXXIV, Inferno, Divina Commedia

Sovra candido vel cinta d’uliva
donna m’apparve, sotto verde manto
vestita di color di fiamma viva

Canto XXX, Purgatorio, Divina Commedia

THE “SPECIAL” BOND BETWEEN OLIO DANTE AND THE SUPREME POET

In 1898 the first oil shipments to North America, Argentina and Australia take place- countries in which the consistent flow of Italian emigrants generates a strong demand for national food products –  and Giacomo Costa has a very ambitious vision: bring a piece of Italy into kitchens around the world.

Among the various Italian products, the most requested is the oil, an essential food for Italian cuisine, not yet widespread in the Americas replaced by animal and vegetable fats such as butter and margarine.

When Eugenio, one of the sons of Giacomo Costa, undertakes the first trip to North America with the aim of consolidating the sales network, he discovers a surprising news: the Americans identify the name Costa more with the Portuguese than with the Italians, and it is therefore appropriate to change the brand because “the reference to Italy must be easy and immediate”.

In the picture: advertising poster (June 1928).

In those years Dante oil was packed only in cans (packaging more suitable for export). In this manifesto appears the year 1849 as the beginning of the activity of the Costa family in the field of food oils.

Olio Dante in Lattina da Esportazione 1928
Attestato Conferimento Medaglia d'Oro

The idea of giving the name Dante to the oil exported was born to offer to the Italians a product that, in the collective imagination, recalled the homeland and that was associated directly to Italy, just like the Supreme Poet. As early as 1904, Olio Dante is so well known in America that he receives his first Grand Gold Medal as the best product at the Saint Louis Exposition, followed by the second medal in 1915 in San Francisco and the third in 1935 in Brussels.

In the picture: Certificate of awarding of the Gold Medal to Costa company for the olive oil, on the occasion of the 1915 San Francisco International Exposition for the celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal

 

The choice of the name is so fruitful that someone tries to immediately follow the wake of the success.

The Spanish market the “Beatrice” oil with an identical brand in which the aquiline profile of the author of the Divine Comedy is replaced by the kind one of his muse.

In the advertising field the Costa are at the forefront, the ads on the newspapers are refined both in the graphic setting and in the color realization, using sometimes the masterpieces of Italian and Flemish art.

They are among the first, in 1928, to sign contracts with the “Eiar Company” for radio announcements, paid 2 liras per word and broadcast by Radio Italiana.

Then, they instruct a designer to create the character Dantina, a little girl with a short dress, a bow in the hair and baby shoes.

The first advertisements on the pages of “Le Vie d’Italia”, the historic magazine of the Italian Touring Club, date back to 1933.

In the picture: a rhyme of “Dantina” (1933, partial reproduction).

Locandina Dantina

fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.

Canto XXVI, Inferno, Divina Commedia

A l’alta fantasia qui mancò possa;
ma già volgeva il mio disio e ‘l velle,
sì come rota ch’igualmente è mossa,
l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle

Canto XXXIII, Paradiso, Divina Commedia

fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.

Canto XXVI, Inferno, Divina Commedia

A l’alta fantasia qui mancò possa;
ma già volgeva il mio disio e ‘l velle,
sì come rota ch’igualmente è mossa,
l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle

Canto XXXIII, Paradiso, Divina Commedia

PHOTO GALLERY

Giacomo Costa fu Andrea - Fondatore della Ditta

Giacomo Costa fu Andrea – Company’s founder

Esposizione Olio Costa

Costa Oil Exhibition (late 1800s)

1930s. Milan’s tram

Esposizione Lattine Olio Dante

Cans Exhibition of Dante oil on the seafront of Corso Italia in Genoa (1933)

Camioncino Aziendale Anni 30 Olio Dante

Company van (1930s)

Advertisement on the Touring Club d’Italia magazine cover “Le Vie d’Italia” (May 1933)

The advertising messages accompanying the Flemish painters’works of the 1600s and the 1700s: in this case a combination between Olio Dante and the painting “La Cucina” by the Flemish David Teniers (February 1938)

It was entrusted to the painter Pietro Dodero (one of the most significant Ligurian painters of the first half of the twentieth century) the realization of several sketches that illustrate the collection and processing of olives. Here the sketch represents an old Ligurian oil mill, published on “Il Corriere della Sera” on May 15, 1954

Giacomo Costa fu Andrea - Fondatore della Ditta

Giacomo Costa fu Andrea – Company’s founder

Esposizione Olio Costa

Costa Oil Exhibition (late 1800s)

1930s. Milan’s tram

Esposizione Lattine Olio Dante

Cans Exhibition of Dante oil on the seafront of Corso Italia in Genoa (1933)

Camioncino Aziendale Anni 30 Olio Dante

Company van (1930s)

Advertisement on the Touring Club d’Italia magazine cover “Le Vie d’Italia” (May 1933)

The advertising messages accompanying the Flemish painters’works of the 1600s and the 1700s: in this case a combination between Olio Dante and the painting “La Cucina” by the Flemish David Teniers (February 1938)

It was entrusted to the painter Pietro Dodero (one of the most significant Ligurian painters of the first half of the twentieth century) the realization of several sketches that illustrate the collection and processing of olives. Here the sketch represents an old Ligurian oil mill, published on “Il Corriere della Sera” on May 15, 1954

Thanks to the Costa Family for the kind permission of the images, taken from the book "I Costa. Storia di una famiglia e di un’impresa” (E. Dellacasa – Edizione Gli Specchi Marsilio).

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