There are plenty of bottles out there posing as Italian olive oils, however, that is not always the case. Be sure your oil is DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) certified. This signifies that from start to finish, by law, the product has gone through an extensive quality process that includes pressing, bottling and shipping out of Italy. While observing the bottle, look to see which region the olives come from and that they all are from the same one. Also, although it's not an indicator of authenticity, producers know that any light entering the bottle can cause the oil to photo-oxidize and taste bitter. So go for darker.
In Italy, olive oil is not just another ingredient to add to recipes, but is an essential part of cooking well. For centuries, Italians have been using it to heighten the flavors of dishes and have learned how to create the most refined dishes with it. While many shoppers merely scan the store shelves for a pretty label or grab any extra virgin olive oil, Italians know there is much more to the product than that. If you're new to the fruit-centric additive, here's a quick guide to understanding and cooking with Italian olive oils: