Rome, Oct 28 (EFE).- At dawn, before the tourists ‘invade’ the city of Rome, a man harvests olives from a tree in front of the Colosseum.
The olives will be used to produce an oil like the one enjoyed by ancient emperors and that today is a symbol of the green and sustainable Roman Forum.
Extending for over 40 hectares around Palatine Hill, the Roman Forums are not only the archaeological heart of the city but an area of lush vegetation serving as a natural habitat for small mammals, insects, reptiles and birds.
The Parco Green initiative seeks to promote a sustainable economy, protect the biodiversity of the area and reduce pollution.
“This is an intensive programme aimed at eco-sustainability but also at promoting a series of ethical values inherent to the place and the landscape we are in, which we must protect because it is unique,” director of the Colosseum Park, Alfonsina Russo, told Efe.
The 200 olive trees on the archaeological park produce some 500 liters of high quality, organic olive oil, although it is not put up for sale. Instead, it is given as a gift to some of the park’s more illustrious visitors.
Another of the products coming out of the sustainability project is honey, thanks to two beehives that produce some 300 jars of honey each year.
“The result is a honey that tastes of myrtle and flowers, a delicate honey that has absorbed the history of these places,” said landscape manager Gabriella Strano.
The Roman Forums also boast a vineyard of native grapes that were once cultivated on a promontory in the 17th century belonging to the noble Barberini family.
The first bottles will be ready in 2023, the director said.