This is the story of Paolo Calcagno, “Mister Basil”. He knows everything about this special aromatic plant. He has dedicated more than 25 years of his life to growing basil and thanks to him, his family and collaborators, it has paid off. His basil has obtained the much sought-after D.O.P. certification, which stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” (Protected Designation of Origin). Besides local homes, the markets, and the best restaurants in the area, his basil is also used for the Genoa Pesto World Championship.
He was very young when he began this activity. When he came back home from the military service he wanted to follow his grandfather’s and father’s steps in the farm. His grandfather began to cultivate olive trees in 1929 to which his father added strawberries and vegetables. In that period Paolo had a hunch and wanted to experiment with the cultivation of basil. He used high quality seeds and soon, thanks also to the his farm’s position on the sunny hills perched over the Ligurian sea and to his passion he had success.
Since then Paolo has never stopped. His energy, knowledge, hard work and ability in managing the entire operation are incredible. His basil-growing process is quality controlled by caring hands at each step of the cycle. He always wants to bring awareness to the customer and it has paid off… he can provide enough basil to make pesto sauce for more than 6,000 people everyday!
His farm worth a visit… a great chance to learn more about the real “basilico genovese” from Mr.Basil himself.