June is an amazing month for visiting the Bologna and Modena area because it’s the season of the delicious Vignola cherries.
According to Roman history, the cherry tree was brought to Italy from Asia in 68 BC thanks to Lucullo, a Roman aristocrat famous for his richness and for offering the finest banquets.
The cultivation spread accross Italy in the Middle Ages thanks to the monks. The wood was also used to craft musical instruments such as flutes and organ pipes.
Whilst in the XVIII century cherries were only consumed by the nobles, at the beginning of the XX century the cherry became the predominant culture of the area between Bologna and Modena, also due to the drastic decrease in the price of silk.
Nowadays, in Italy we produce around 15.000 tons of cherries counting over 150 different varieties and the best one is doubtlessly the Vignola cherry! The production area covers the counties of Bologna and Modena. The harvest starts in May and goes on until the end of June.
The Vignola cherry is characterized by a sweet and fleshy taste, rich in nutritional elements such as mineral salts and vitamins. The cherries can be eaten fresh or be used for various preparations such as jams, marmalades, syrups, ice-creams and also for the cherry-brandy.
In 2013 the Vignola Cherry obtained the I.G.P. appellation (Protected Geografic Indication) which refers to 13 cultivars such as the Mora, Durone, Ferrovia, and more.
While visiting our beautiful country during this season, don't miss the chance to stop at one of the many kiosks by the roadside to buy and taste these delicious cherries!