The olive tree
Olive oil is considered a product of excellence by Italians, and over time has managed to be appreciated by the rest of the world. Considered as a symbol of sacredness and peace, the olive tree has accompanied the history of man from the first civilizations until today. Among the ancient Italic peoples, the olive tree symbolized the fertility of man and the earth and was also venerated in Rome as a sacred plant.
According to Greek mythology Athena, in challenge with Poseidon, hitting a rock with her spear gave birth to the first olive tree. Zeus chose it, blessed it and said: “This plant will protect a new city that will be called Athens after you, my daughter. You gave the olive tree to men and with it you gave light, food and an eternal symbol of peace. From that day on, the tree became a sacred and respected plant.
Traces of the oldest olive trees have been found in Israel, in Haifa, and date back to the fifth millennium BC. But the Greeks and Romans were responsible for the first techniques of olive oil production and preservation. These two peoples, during the expansions of their empires, planted vines and olive trees as soon as they settled on a territory. In this way the olive tree arrived in many European countries including France and Spain. Over the centuries the cultivation of this much-loved plant became more and more popular, and in the 18th century Italy was the producer of the best oil on the European market. With the arrival of new technologies, the work of harvesting and milling has gradually simplified, allowing a faster spread of the product that is considered a valuable condiment and a milestone in any diet.