The Wonders of Bergamot! (Italy in a Bottle)

by Andrea on July 13, 2010

Bergamot essential oil distiller in ItalyWhat could be more delightful than the bright, sparkling citrus aroma of freshly distilled Bergamot?

About two years ago, Cindy and I traveled to Calabria in the south of Italy to visit an organic Bergamot essential oil distiller.

Distiller Giuseppe Cuzzupi and his sister Elena warmly welcomed us at our hotel with regional bottles of Bergamot aperitifs and Bergamot jam.

We drove along the coast and the rural countryside of the toe of Italy to Giuseppe’s Bergamot production plant. Here we learned how the rinds of the fruit are transformed through an abrasion and pressing process into the bright olive green essential oil we all know and love!

Giuseppe’s grandfather began growing a few hundred Bergamot Orange trees in 1970. His father continued the tradition, and with Giuseppe’s help the number has grown to 6000 beautiful, organically-grown Bergamot trees.

In the past, the family sold their fruit to big corporate producers of essential oils. After realizing that their hard work growing biological (organic) Bergamot fruit was lost on products with no quality control, they decided to produce their own oil.

They now operate a small, high quality plant near their grove and use only the fruit they cultivate to produce their essential oil.

Giuseppe Cuzzupi’s Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit and stored at a constant temperature without any further processing. It is 100% pure. The plant’s production capacity is 3000 kilograms of Bergamot essential oil per year, depending on weather conditions.

I asked Giuseppe to write out the steps he takes to produce Bergamot essential oil, and he was kind enough to do so.

Bergamot Essential Oil Processing
Written by Giuseppe Cuzzupi

1. Fruits are collected from late November to January.

2. The process begins few days after the fruits are collected.

3. The first step of the process is a cleaning bath for the Bergamot fruits in a large basin

4. From the basin, the fruits are sent to the peeling machine by a conveyor belt.

5. The peeling machine is a centrifuge with a coarse basket. The rotation of the basket grates and separates the Bergamot peel from the fruit.

6. Peeled fruits are then ejected by another conveyor belt and used as food for animals.

7. The peels are taken from the peeling machine with a flow of water and filtered to remove the substance of the peel from the water.

8. The filtered water is now full of essential oil. It is conveyed to a machine that we call a “separator” that retains the oil of the Bergamots while pushing the water back into the peeling machine.

9. The Bergamot peels remaining in the “separator” are collected into small cotton bags. These bags are then put into a power press. The oil extracted from the power press is much thicker than the oil extracted from the separator.

Bergamot essential oil distiller in Italy

The therapeutic properties of Bergamot essential oil (Citrus bergamia) are a true natural gift!

Bergamot works wonders in massage oils to reduce tension and soothe painfully tight muscles. The essential oil is known as a powerful antispasmodic, and can be effective in reducing and eliminating muscle cramps, abdominal cramps and spastic coughing. Bergamot is emotionally uplifting, combats stress and depression, and is calming for the nervous system.

It is one of the most valuable oils I use support emotional health and well being. It is also the oil that gives Earl Grey Tea its enticing citrus aroma!

Try using it in a diffuser—especially for depression—as it offers a light, uplifting and lovely aroma to the room.

Recipe For Muscle Cramps

9 drops Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
4 drops Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
2 drops Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Blend essential oils into 1 oz (28 gm) of unscented cream or jojoba oil. Massage a capful gently into the cramped muscle area.

Bergamot oranges are gems from nature, providing us with an essential oil filled with sunlight and an extraordinary aroma with the ability to calm our nerves. I give my deepest appreciation to distillers like Giuseppe Cuzzupi who dedicate their lives to producing such precious essential oils.

Bergamot essential oil distiller in Italy







To contact Guiseppe to purchase Bergamot essential oil directly you can email him (in Italian of course!)

*Minimum direct order is 8.5 kilograms—about 19 pounds or 300 ounces.

To purchase Guiseppe’s Bergamot oil in small sizes (1/2 oz.-16 oz.) visit

For information on other essential oil distillers please visit the International Directory of Essential Oil Distillers.

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Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

annuaire generaliste de qualite December 12, 2016 at 7:45 am

Très, très bon article, merci


shelly easton January 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I love the aroma of Bergamot so much I told my husband I wanted a bottle of it for Valentines Day! Eral Grey tea is also one of my absolute beverages. I have been looking high and low for an organic perfum that contains Bergamont, if I get said bottle for Valentines day, so you suggest blending it with another oil to make my own?


Celia January 22, 2015 at 9:10 am

My Mom’s dad was from Calabria, Italy. Our family (Toscano) grows olive trees and produces olive oil in the region. I knew that bergamot came from that area. Interesting! Celia


Andrea Butje January 22, 2015 at 10:42 am

Wow! I love that region, that is so fun to hear!


Julie K January 21, 2015 at 8:52 pm

What an interesting article! As someone with fibromyalgia pain, I am anxious to try your recipe for muscle cramps. I think it could be helpful. I use Bergamot in my diffuser regularly because I do think it calms my nerves and quiets the mind.


Lanora July 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for the tips you have provided here.


Rhea June 20, 2014 at 12:31 am

You offer a very important information. I’ll be
your regular visitor.


Sonja Tobé June 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I love bergmot oil. In a massage or vaporiser. The fragrance is rich, and wonderful.


Anonymous November 6, 2010 at 3:57 am

The content is very exciting. I totally agree with your opinion. Thanks! I really enjoy it!


annuaire généraliste gratuit September 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Great tips,thanks for the post.


Kimberly @ Fertility Flower August 13, 2010 at 9:54 am

I loved reading about the processing. It’s a different slice of what one usually sees on the topic of EOs.

Many thanks!


The Fragrant Muse July 26, 2010 at 9:42 am

Questa storiea me rende trieste! Addesso sento la mancanza di’Italia! Sens’altro ci vado appena possible per conoscere Senior Guiseppe e la sorella Elena e la favoloso Bergamotto!

I’m homesick for Italy! This is so high on my list of distillers to visit it’s got a nosebleed!


Betti July 19, 2010 at 8:15 am

Bergamot is one of my favourite oils.
All citrus oils are phototoxic; bergamot in particular can STRONGLY increase sensitivity to the sunlight when applied to the skin. It is dangerous to apply it pure / diluited even at law concentrations before UV application or sun exposure.


Admin July 19, 2010 at 8:23 am

It is true about bergamot! However, not all citruses are phototoxic. if you refer to Robert Tisserand’s book, Essential Oil Safety, page 85, you will see a chart that identifies exactly which citruses are phototoxic and at what dilutions. For example, distilled lime and sweet orange are not phototoxic.


Victoria July 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm

This Bergamot sounds wonderful! I have always heard that citrus essential oils have a short shelf life. I wonder what your feeling on this is?


Admin July 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Hi Victoria,

Yes, Citruses are good for about 1-2 years after they are distilled, maybe a bit longer depending on storage. Bergamot has a longer shelf life as its chemistry is different from the other citrus oils.


Anamari July 13, 2010 at 8:58 am

The muscle cramp recipe sounds wonderful! I’m going to blend some for my massages. Thank you! Anamari


Rachel July 13, 2010 at 8:57 am

What a great article (and reminder), thank you!


Jennifer July 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

Bergamot is my favorite essential oil and reading this makes me want to go to Italy 🙂


Judy July 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

Interesting. I’d love to try the jam.


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