by Silvia Messeri

Thousand year old olive trees

Roquebrune is one of the many characteristic villages scattered along the heights above the French part of the Mediterranean coast, and only a few kilometres away from Montecarlo. Its narrow streets often open out onto stone-paved terraces from where one can enjoy magnificent views. However the tourists and travellers who step out onto these terraces and walk through the streets, are really all heading towards the same identical place to see the "Olivier MillenaireÚ", the jewel of Roquebrune.

The "Olivier Millenaire" in Roquebrune, France
(Foto FAN©)
This olive tree is over one thousand years old and even a dictionary would find it difficult to contain enough words to describe it. It is not so hard for the heart. Its majestic stature, huge intertwined roots and abundant foliage leave one dumb with wonder and amazement. One becomes utterly fascinated by it and, just for an moment, one realises, after gently touching its smooth bark, that this contact means that we too, like this tree, have deep and invisible roots that bind us to our common mother, the Earth.

Some of the old olive trees at S'Ortu Mannu in Sardegna (Foto FAN©)
Instead there is not just one thousand-year-old olive tree but a whole hill of them at Villamassargia, in the Province of Cagliari, in Sardinia. This is S'Ortu Mannu, the Great Olive Grove, and walking through it is really suggestive. The huge knotted plants tower up, motionless but full of life. The entire community of Villamassargia looks after S'Ortu Mannu, takes care of it and protects it but, when we look at these olive trees, now nearly one thousand years old, we tend to get the impression that really and truly, it is the olive trees that protect the village. See also: Olive oil and its properties The Olive Tree the Symbol of the Mediterranean The message contained in typical aspect of the tree
Silvia Messeri & Sandro Pintus

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