The golden saffron from Navelli

The golden saffron from Navelli is a highly prized spice that has been cultivated in the Navelli Valley of Abruzzo for centuries. Known for its distinct aroma, intense flavor, and vibrant color, it is considered one of the best saffron varieties in the world.

The golden treasure of Navelli: Exploring the world's finest saffron.

The precious saffron from Navelli is extracted from the pale purple crocus flower which is also called Crocus sativus. The reddish-yellow flower filaments are harvested, dried and processed by hand, which makes the spice so precious. Only about 100g of saffron are extracted from about 20,000 blossoms with three blossom threads each. It can only be harvested in the early, but not too cold, morning in autumn or late autumn. Today, a kilo of saffron costs up to 2,000 euros. The world’s largest producers are Iran, Spain and India, in the Kashmir region.

The ancient Egyptians used to dye their clothes yellow with saffron. It was already known as a spice under the Romans. As early as the 15th century, saffron from the Navelles began its triumphal march as a noble spice in the metropolis of Milan and it is impossible to imagine risotto alla Milanese without it.

Every year on the first Sunday after Ferragosto, the public holiday on 15 August, the saffron festival occurs in Navelli (“Sagra dei ceci e dello zafferano”). In addition to culinary highlights such as chickpeas (“ceci”) with various sauces, as a dessert or as a filling main course, the famous risotto with saffron, one is offered a very special spectacle on this day: The Palio degli Asini, which is a donkey race through the entire village. The competition has been held in Navelli since 1980 and still arouses indignant enthusiasm among the public!

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