When this olive tree took root in the 1500s so did Galileo Galilei, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Thomas Hobbes, and Rene Descartes. Not to mention Edmund Spenser, John Donne, George Herbert, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Bernini, and Diego Velazquez. Did I mention William Shakespeare?
Anyway, this ancient tree is said to be a symbol of peace, and long ago was dedicated to Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, crafts, and warriors. This virgin of many talents--who by the way invented music--was not born in the usual way, but rather sprang fully mature from the brain of her father. A fascinating biographical morsel that carries weighty personal resonance!
A couple more random views from Giardini La Mortella: