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Olive trees at the Pantaleo Piccinnino in Caprarica near Lecce in the Puglia region in Italy. Estimates put this year’s Italian olive yield down 40 per cent this year. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Olive trees at the Pantaleo Piccinnino in Caprarica near Lecce in the Puglia region in Italy. Estimates put this year’s Italian olive yield down 40 per cent this year. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Italian olive farmers face disastrous harvest Add to ...

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For about 10 days every November, Arrigo Peri, a Rome orthodontist, closes his dental practice, drives to Puglia, in the heel of Italy, and indulges his passion – olives.

“Making olive oil is like making wine,” he says. “It’s like being an artist.”

But this year, artistry gave way to misery. The harvest, which just wound up, has been a disaster pretty much everywhere in the country, with early estimates putting the Italian yield down 40 per cent.

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