Lessons in Aging Gracefully: From an Olive Tree

February 25, 2016 / Local Interest
Squinzano, Puglia

– Puglia calling your name? Visit this beautiful region or others with Victoria on her various and each unique “Kick up your HeelZ” Tours in Italy. Take a look at this year’s planned trips.. not to be missed!


Famous for its olive oil, Puglia is also famous for its landscape of olive trees – rows and rows across acres upon acres…as far as the eye can see. It is really something to behold. There is just something so majestic, so distinguished and noble about them.

Photo - Victoria De Maio

The grand 1,000+ year old trees are called Millennial or Monumental Olive Trees. Monumental doesn’t begin to describe them. They are truly national treasures.

Photo - Victoria De Maio

Stately and dignified, they stand in silence…rooted to this soil and basking in this sun and rustling gently in the sea breezes. Gnarled, twisted, knotty and proudly showing their age but not sharing their wisdom. Each individual, each unique, each a story…

Photo - Victoria De Maio

A story that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years and often, thousands of years…hardy, resistant, enduring…the olive tree has been and remains the heart and soul of this and many other regions of the Mediterranean.

Photo - Victoria De Maio

During a visit to Azienda Agricola Taurino, a magnificent olive tree farm in Squinzano, I adopted and was able to “meet” my tree!  

Photo - Victoria De Maio
Photo - Victoria De Maio
Photo - Victoria De Maio

Driving to the grove of magnificent 1,000+ year old trees, and then, walking a short distance, my tree, No. 9, was pointed out. It stood waiting and welcoming. Touching its knotted and gnarly trunk and gently taking in its positively resplendent presence was truly an unforgettable moment.

Photo - Victoria De Maio
Photo - Victoria De Maio
Photo - Victoria De Maio


Since it had been pruned this year, next year it will yield olives and oil. I will have the pleasure and honor of receiving oil from my very own tree. Although it will be a natural occurrence for No. 9, it will be a first for me and I can’t wait…

Photo - Victoria De Maio

Victoria De Maio

by Victoria De Maio

Victoria is a lover of all things Italian! A travel advisor, blogger, writer, tour leader, and published author, she is passionate about traveling to and writing about Italy.

Her book, Victoria’s Travel Tipz Italian Style, is available on Amazon.

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20 Responses to “Lessons in Aging Gracefully: From an Olive Tree”

  1. Very cool, it’s amazing that olive trees can grow for that long. Don’t forget to tell us how the oil turns out

    Reply
    • Victoria De Maio

      Joe G.
      It is amazing and humbling! I will be sure to let you know about the oil. Their other oil from the farm is fantastic but this will be very special indeed.
      Grazie for commenting!
      Victoria

      Reply
  2. Pat Carney Ceccarelli
    Pat Carney Ceccarelli

    Victoria, I found ” my ” ancient olive tree one moon lit night many years ago near Castagnetto Carducci. Reading your post reminds me it is time for another encounter in my crone years and hope to come to your Puglia sometime . Making that an intention,!

    Reply
    • Victoria De Maio

      Ciao, Pat…
      Oh, love the moon lit night! I’ve been to Castagnetto Carducci and it, too, is charming!
      I would so love to introduce you to Puglia, Pat…I have a feeling you would absolutely love it!
      Please stay in touch, you know that intentions lead to dreams coming true!
      Victoria

      Reply
  3. Jack Litewka

    I have seen old olive trees in Puglia, and they are truly magnificent creatures.

    Reply
  4. Lovely article. One of my best memories of Italia is a trip to a frantoio outside of Senigallia.

    Reply
    • Victoria De Maio

      Grazie, Jan…
      I have to say that I never thought i would be so touched by the site of these beautiful trees. Fond memories indeed.
      Thank you for commenting,
      Victoria

      Reply
  5. I was a traveler, completely on my own with a guidebook, and at that time, no knowledge of the Italian language, just a feeling for discovering my heritage. Here, with this story about olive trees, you have reminded me of the feeling I had, when in Assisi, on the way to the top of the hill, I rested in an olive grove. I fell asleep for a while, laying on the ground under one of the olive trees, for shade. It was May, 1999 and I was 60 years old.

    Reply
    • Victoria De Maio

      Oh, Suzanne, how very lovely…I, too, have been to Assisi and seen their groves. There is something so welcoming and comforting about the olive tree – for me, it’s the uniqueness of each tree and all that it has endured with such grace.
      Thank you for sharing your lovely experience. I hope you get to return to Assisi and have a little reunion in that olive grove.
      Victoria

      Reply
  6. I could live out my life in a place like this … it must have an amazing feel to it … a treat for the senses. Lovely story, thank you.

    Reply
  7. Marianna Raccuglia

    Beautiful photos of very old, majestic olive trees. How fortunate that you were able to see them and touch them. To me, so wonderful. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Victoria De Maio

      Marianna,
      Grazie,, it’s hard to choose which photos to publish. Each tree is so unique and has a “story”…
      There is something quite moving about touching one…
      Maybe someday you will, too, Marianna. I wish that for you!
      Thank you for your lovely comments,
      Victoria

      Reply
  8. Ginny Siggia

    My college has a tradition where each graduating class plants a tree on campus. The tree is cataloged and a marker is placed at the base. I went back for the 40th reunion and the tree — a purple fern-leaf beech — was so large I had to back way up to capture it all, and the classmate standing in front was a mere speck. I love big solid old trees. You can almost feel their roots digging halfway through the planet.

    Reply
    • Victoria De Maio

      Ginny,
      What a wonderful tradition! Yes, those roots! And the olive trees’ trunks are so fascinating. For me, it’s like being by the sea, there’s something very eternal and everlasting about them…
      I appreciate you taking the time to share and comment….
      Victoria

      Reply

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