Olive oil as a territorial identity factor

With its silvery foliage and gnarled trunk, the olive tree stands out as one of the main landscape features of the Mediterranean landscape.

The olive tree is widespread throughout Italy, albeit with diversified cultivation systems. Its presence contributes to defining distinct landscapes that can be considered the oldest in the country because they are substantially unchanged in terms of biology (genetics), structure (planting models, farming methods) and territorial distribution compared to the other systems that contribute to agricultural and landscape traditions (Barbera, Inglese, La Mantia 2004).

Moreover, the olive tree does not merely embody a long history dating back to the times of Ancient Greece, upholding a role as the main actor in the design of the Mediterranean rural landscape; indeed, the extra-virgin olive oil it produces carries with it a heritage of traditions linked to production and the relations between the various stakeholders that contribute to making it a “typical product” of a given territory and therefore capable of enhancing and conveying its identity, quality and culture.

Oil thus becomes a tool for promoting the local area, an attractive element capable of connecting, in an integrated manner, the various historical, artistic, productive and tourism-related opportunities that the territory can offer.

Precisely with the aim of promoting extra-virgin olive oil as a fundamental product in the agricultural, food and cultural tradition of our country and at the same time enhancing the related terroirs, the Association of Oil Cities (Associazione Nazionale Città dell’Olio) was founded in 1994.