A tree is considered monumental when it is outstanding in size and age, is rare and is deemed remarkable from a historical point of view or for the way it characterizes the landscape.
As well as being fascinating for cultural and touristic reasons, monumental olive trees are also very interesting from a more scientific point of view. Italy possesses a wealth of monumental olive trees, of many different cultivars. This plant species, introduced into Italy by the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians, became popular in the Roman Empire from the 7th century onwards. Verona is one of the areas where there are some of the most remarkable olive trees in Italy. Most of these grow in San Vigilio, near the town of Garda, the hamlet of Preon, near Brenzone, and in Villa Are, on the Torricelle hills. All these olive trees are 8 to 10 metres high, and their girth is over 6 metres. What is truly impressive however is their age: in San Vigilio there are trees that are over 350 years old! There are various cultivars present in this area, including one known locally as Less, which is native of this region, is extremely resistant to harsh winter temperatures and gives olives yielding an oil of excellent quality. These majestic trees can be easily reached on foot, for there is a comfortable parking area near the villa.