Lower Romagna is known as the cradle of modern fruit growing. At the end of the 19th century this territory discovered its vocation for fruit growing and the small Ravenna town of Massa Lombarda became its centre: between the 1800s and 1900s, it was the site of the first experiments for planting fruit trees and the cultivation of sugar beets.
In a few decades, thanks to the initiative of farmers and technicians, it produced more than half of the fruit of the entire province of Ravenna. Alongside production, all the related activities necessary to manage the crops have also been developed, from transport to processing.
The symbol of this “revolution” is undoubtedly the Hollow Hole Peach (in dialect bus incavé), which in the early part of the twentieth century was the most widespread and cultivated variety of peach in the territories between Massa Lombarda and the neighbouring municipalities of Ravenna and Ferrara, and which is marketed under the name of “Massa Lombarda peach”.
The fruit is of medium size, with intense red shades. The shape is spheroidal with a very deep and hollow suture, a characteristic that distinguishes it from all other varieties and that gives it its name.
The fury skin on the surface of the peel is very fine, almost velvety. The pulp is white-green, has a fine texture and is very balanced in flavour in terms of sweetness and acidity.
The peach has intense fragrances and aromas, that are no longer found in the main varieties on the market today. The harvest, which is done by hand, occurs late: it begins in the second half of August.
In the 1930s, during the peak period of when this peach was cultivated, the Bus Incavé reached half of Europe, but with the introduction of yellow-fleshed varieties, more suitable for storage and long distances, its decline began. In the mid-1950s it already represented less than 1% of regional production. The professional cultivation of the Hollow Hole Peach had practically disappeared, but the local farmers, who have always appreciated this variety, have kept one or two plants each for family consumption.
It is excellent eaten fresh, but it is usually transformed, giving life to jams, peaches in syrup, dried peaches or as a nectar.
The Presidium was created to give a boost to the recovery of the Hollow Hole variety.
The few specimens, scrupulously guarded, were found and registered by the Municipality of Massa Lombarda and by the Vegetable Production Research Centre of Cesena (CRPV), so that it was possible to begin to replicate them and distribute them to new farmers.
The farmers who cultivate it today have from a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 150 plants each. Another one hundred plants are kept at the fruit growing museum in Massa Lombarda and in some gardens of private individuals who have joined the conservation project. Soil management techniques give guidelines for weeding to be done only in the areas below the plants, chemical herbicides are not to be used in this process.
Municipalities of Massalombarda, Bagnacavallo, Conselice, Lugo, Faenza Russi and Ravenna, in the province of Ravenna. Municipality of Ferrara.
The Buco Incavato Peach is found fresh during the harvest period, from the 20th of August until mid-September. Processed goods made from this peach are instead available all year round.
Cesare Bartoli, Via Martiri della Libertà 34, Massa Lombarda (RA), Cell. +39 338 4802075
Azienda agricola Pomarium, Via Canalazzo 28, Massa Lombarda (RA), Cell. +39 340 2878100
Desiderio Martini, Via S. Lucia 18, Massa Lombarda (RA), Cell. +39 339 6390819
Azienda agricola Andrea Drei, Via delle larghe 48, Faenza (RA), Cell. +39 339 6533090