Buco incavato - la pesca di Massalombarda

Crop: Prunus persica L. (Peach)

The landrace called ‘Buco Incavato’ is a white flesh peach cultivated at Massalombarda and other areas of Ravenna (Italy) by some farmers in small orchards. The landrace originated from a seed planted by farmer in Massalombarda at the end of 19th century. Within few years it was adopted in many orchards around the town. After 50 years it was basically cultivated in the whole Province of Ravenna and even in other surrounding ares. At the end of ’50s new yellow flesh modern varieties replaced the landrace. Afterwards Buco Incavato has been maintained only in private gardens by few farmers. At the beginning this variety has been also propagated by seeds and in this period some different types were generated. Twenty years later (first decade of the XX century) grafted propagation has been introduced and used by farmers and nurseries. Probably old types have been propagated by seed for many years in the same area. Trees were traditionally arranged in row along the borders of fields.

Buco Incavato fruits are characterised by a typical deep and open furrow in the suture, in fact the its name refers to this feature. There are two most used types, the fruits of the first type ripen around of 20 august (Buco Incavato precoce) and the ones of the second type (Buco Incavato tardivo) around 5-10 of september. Some types other types are also able to ripen 10 days earlier than Buco Incavato precoce 10 days (10th of august) and others 10 days later than Buco Incavato tardivo (20th of September). So, it is possible to have fresh fruits on the market for a period of approximately one month and two weeks. Nine different genotypes have been characterized using molecular marker in order to assess intra-landrace genetic diversity (Buscaroli et al. 2016).

Buco incavato fruits have a unique smell, aroma and taste. Size is very good. Skin is covered by 60% of an intensive red colour, very short pubescence as velvet so it is not irritating and easy to peel. However, fruits are very sensitive to handling and thus have a short shelf life.

Cultivation System: Low input conditions.

Geographical Information

Country: Italy

The municipality of Massalombarda is the historical centre of production. Nowadays, there are some growers cultivating this varieties in the same area. Currently there are about 450 trees for an annual production of 40 tons. About ten years ago, before starting a reintroduction project, only few trees were still conserved. Massalombarda is a plain area, marshy until a century ago and then reclaimed. In the past 7 years, at the moment of ripen, a festival is organized in the place of the town where farmers used to sell fruits.

Farmer(s) description:

Ten years ago, only few trees were still present in some gardens. The reintroduction project allowed characterization and propagation in the farms that take part in the project. Now there are many hobbyists that maintain some trees in the garden and 5 to 7 growers that produce more than 5 ton of Buco Incavato per year. New growers entered the project recently and in the next future more orchards will be platend. Orchards are generally high-medium density with an arrangement of 3,5 x 1,5 m and spindle training. Trees are not higher than 2,5 m; this allows to pick up fruits from the ground. Recently a protocol of production has been defined by farmers and entities collaborating for the project of reintroduction. In recent years Buco Incavato became a Slow Food ‘Presidium’.

Propagation system: Clonal

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

This variety is vegetative propagated, even if at the beginning of last century was propagated by seed. In the recent reintroduction Project (2012-2015), scion woods were selected from characterised trees, after virus and diseases controls, chip budding grafted in nursery on clonal VE rootstocks; It is worth to mention that usually many diverse individuals are used for propagation in order to retain a certain level of diversity.

Management plan existence:

The landrace management relies completely on farming activities in the area.

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

From 2011, in Massalombarda a festival dedicated to Buco Incavato is organized annually, during the harvest (from 15th to 30th of august). During the festival all farmers can sell their products. Before 2011, farmers used to sell directly on farm or in local and/or niche markets. From 2019 Slow Food organization supported and promoted farmer production.

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

From 2015, Buco Incavato is included in the Emilia Romagna Region Register of ‘Safeguard of agricultural genetic resources’ and it is included among the list of ‘typical regional product’:


From 2019 Buco Incavato is listed among ‘Slow Food Presidia’.

‘Regional agrobiodiversity law (N.1/2008) should ensure ‘guardian farmers’ subsidies to maintain trees of varieties included in regional register. Since the production area is quite large compared to other fruit landraces, access to such found resulted difficult in the past Until 2013 through Province agrobiodiversity projects helped in financing (RDP 2007-13 recovery, phenotype and genetic characterisation, propagation and production of trees for farmers.

Other than ‘guardian farmers’, CRPV (Centre Research Vegetal Production) maintains Buco Incavato in its germplasm living collection, with only private breeding companies program support.

Uncertain. To have access to the resource ‘Regione Emilia-Romagna’ (http://agricoltura.regione.emilia-romagna.it/agrobiodiversita/doc/agrobiodiversita-vegetale/pero) should be contacted.

The case study has been provided Centro Ricerche Produzioni Vegetali (CRPV), Cesena (Italy).

Information were also communicated by Claudio Buscaroli, CRPV.

A special thanks to Buco Incavato farmers and the community of Massalombarda.

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