The Como area has an ancient olive growing tradition. This is thanks to its particular microclimate. The lake mitigates the rigid winter temperatures. A group of greek settlers following Julius Caesar’s army might have started th cultivation of olive trees in the area
In 1997 it obtained the coveted recognition of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Laghi Lombardi, sub-designation Lario from the European Union. The rigid production guidelines demand manual harvesting of olives to maintain the high quality of the product using small mechanical tree shakers, usually in the month of November. The production zone includes 29 municipalities in the province of Como, situated along the western shore of the Lario, in particular in the so-called Zoca de l’Oli (or Oil Basin) between Sala Comacina and Ossuccio, and in the Upper Lake area, in the Larian Triangle (between Bellagio and Oliveto Lario) and on the shores of Lake Lugano (Porlezza and Valsolda). Local olives are pressed at one of the two mills on the lake. One in Lenno on the Como shore of the lake and the other in Bellano.