Johnny has a 9 seater mini-bus and can take people on a tour of olive groves, olive presses (particularly when they are working, have their fires lit and can offer you bruschetta - toasted bread - on which to taste the freshly-pressed and explosive oil) and olive oil producers.
The trip can start or end with an olive oil tasting in Johnny's oil/wine bar in the medieval village of Casperia. In the morning tastings would be exclusively for the clients of the Tour. Whereas in the evening the wine bar is open as a wine bar. Many wines and oils are available for tasting and there is often singing...
Only one Englishman has worked on the tasting panel of Slow Food's Extravergini olive oil guide: Johnny Madge. His expertise is thus unique.
Tours can start at any time that suits our clients. Many people now take the 9.00 train from Tiburtina which arrives in Fara Sabina station at 9.41 and we take it from there. During the week the train service is very frequent thus allowing for great flexibility: every 15 minutes. Some people prefer to take a later train at 11.45 arriving out in Sabina (at Poggio Mirteto station) at 12.31. But we are happy for you to arrive at whatever time suits you during the morning.
Depending on arrival time we then proceed to Casperia where my oil/wine bar is. As we drive along (about 30 minutes), in a leisurely fashion stopping to take photographs of the beautiful scenery, I normally start talking about olive oil-making techniques, different qualities of oils and olives as well as what makes an olive oil the Best in The World as some of the oils we will be tasting will turn out to be.
Casperia is a very medieval special village which is perched on the top of a hill. It is completely without traffic as it is impossible to drive into because the streets are nearly all made up of steps. This makes for a very special 'slow' atmosphere but is, unfortunately, very difficult for the disabled.
On arrival at my wine bar we taste three oils. Those who want to can try tasting the oil by 'drinking' it out of little cups as can be seen in the video I recorded with British tv chef Gary Rhodes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DX4Gfh7u-8). Those who don't want to do this can try the oil on bread/toast. This tasting is accompanied by two glasses of wine each included in the total price.
If people prefer to arrive later then the visit to the wine bar takes place after lunch.
We have lunch in an agriturismo immersed in the Sabina countryside. This will be preceded by another olive oil tasting of three oils. The 'light' lunch consists of an antipasti with local hams, cheeses, ricotta, frittata... followed by a pasta dish using the freshest of ingredients and then, depending on the season, a vegetable or a salad. The meal finishes with a sweet, coffee and, for those who want to try, a digestivo: limoncello or even a locally-made liqueur using bay leaves... Wine is served with the meal and all this is included in the total price.
If you are interested in staying in Casperia we highly recommend La Torretta
If you want to have a great yoga holiday in Casperia try: www.sunflowerretreats.com
If, however, you are staying in Rome we recommend Gli Scipioni
I can heartily recommend my friend Ginevra if you want a special tour in Rome: www.secretrome.it
If you want yoga lessons with a great person: www.gabriellelong.com