The ancient rose of the Scrivia Valley, a native variety of rosa centifolia, is a characteristic product of traditional local cultivation that dates back to the dawn of time. It is related to the rosa mediterranea produced in large quantities in the Campania region at the time of ancient Rome. Paintings of the rosa mediterranea have been found in the wall decoration of patrician houses in Pompeii; restorations of Pompeian frescoes suggest a wide use of the rose as an ornament and also as an ingredient for cosmetics, perfumes and nutrition, health and well-being.
The Rosa Antica della Valle Scrivia is a variety of rose with a very dense flower, with a particularly thorny stem, which blooms only once in May. Over the centuries it has found the right soil and habitat in the mountainous terrain of the Genoese hinterland, where there is a tradition of cultivation and harvesting of roses and of produce derived from the very fragrant petals: biscuits, cosmetic creams, rose scented beer and especially their famous rose syrup.
A “Rose Festival” takes place in May in Busalla, the main city of the Scrivia Valley, where batches of fragrant rose petals change hands from farmers to producers, usually for local domestic production. Each family holds a “secret” rose recipe.