Puglia has some of the oldest olive trees in Italy

Puglia is the region that produces the most olive oil in Italy: depending on the year of harvest, between 40% and 50% of national production. Besides in this region there are some of the oldest olive trees in Italy. The true king of Apulian olives is in Vernole. This majestic tree has a circumference of 14 meters and is estimated to be over 1400-year-old.

A sacred plant among all Mediterranean civilizations, it has been a symbol of peace since the most remote times. It is documented that since prehistoric times, the ancient Messapians were probably the first to introduce the cultivation of olive trees in Puglia. Starting around 3000 years ago, in different areas of Puglia, they began to graft wild olive trees with the more productive domestic olive tree to obtain olives for the prized oil.

The centuries-old olive tree of Puglia, in addition to being the main source of olives used to produce extra virgin olive oil, also represents a spectacle of nature. Those trees form incredible artistic forests thanks to their trunks looking like scupltures. Each tree contains a unique story and is the expression of an extraordinary nature that has lived and resisted for hundreds of years of history. This is why the olive trees of Puglia have been recognized as a UNESCO heritage site.

They don’t cultivate olive trees only for their precious yellow gold, but also for the use of their leaves, bark and stones. For example, olive stones are an excellent fuel and the leaves of the plant, crushed, release a set of excellent substances for lowering blood pressure. Finally, olive wood is very hard but easy to sand. Therefore it is used to make art objects and sturdy furniture.

For all the reasons above, the olive tree, one of the most precious and important resources for Apulian agriculture, in the coat of arms also becomes a sign of unity of the entire region, from north to south.

Join our food tour and take the opportunity to taste a unique extra virgin olive oil and touring around Puglia, you’ll admire those ancient wooden sculptures designed by Mother Nature.