The olive tree dominates Italian life and it is a symbol of the Mediterranean life style in general.
It can safely be affirmed that the olive is one of the plants most often cited in literature.
Olive oil has long been considered holy or sacred. It was used for the burning of sacred lamps in temples and often used to anoint kings. Winners of the Olympic games in Greece were crowned with olive tree leaves. Even today, it is still used in religious ceremonies and on certain Christian Holidays, continuing to be a symbol of peace, glory, fertility, holiness and wisdom. The olive tree and its fruitage is mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible, in both the Old Testament and the Gospels. A significant instance, and one of the first times it is mentioned, is found in the book of Genesis, written by Moses. There it is reported that after Noah sent out a dove, she returned carrying an olive tree sprig, sign of hope and rest for the small remainent of humankind under the protection of their God. And the Mount of Olives, to the East of Jerusalem in the land of Judah was mentioned several times in the Gospel in relation to Jesus’ ministry.
The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidant substances. And it is also endowed with a rich, smooth taste that is unmatched. And have you tried using olive oil as your night time face lotion? I can only say: try it!
The olive appears in cooking, paintings, sculpture, woodwork, mosaics, ceramics and of course jewelry, which can be a touch tricky to make.
Again, as I often say in relation to Italy and all Italian things, feast your senses (especially your palate) !!