the olive in literature:
Giovanni Boine


olive taggiasche Giovanni Boine (Finalmarina (SV), 1887 - Porto Maurizio (IM) 1917) speaks with highest lyric about the locality of Lecchiore in the Dolcedo Commune, where there was the "house of the grandfather", zone of medium altitude and great environmental value.
The Prino creek with its famous "smalls lakes" worth a visit.

Passages quoted here are translated from La Crisi degli ulivi in Liguria, in "Imperia in inchiostro di china", by Azienda di Soggiorno e Turismo di Imperia, 1976.

The house of the grandfather

It is sold here up in valley, ten kilometers from the sea, over Porto Maurizio, the house of my grandfather. House between the olive-trees, with vine and garden, two-storied house, at middle hill, with lodges, with terraces, firm house, large, in the mule-track way with stable and barn, wide:
- it is sold.

Now it's about thirty years my grandfather frequently invited the friends. He loved banquets, my grandfather, with witty companions, canon with large belly and thin talent at head of the table, with captious disputes of juries, although he was not lawyer. He was man of ancient style, gentleman in the figure, respected in valley, good owner of olive groves. And because then the olive groves rendered much oil and much money, he was widely generous of his own and frequently and joyfully with friends and canons, banqueting. - But then he married the little daughters, but then the olive groves did not render more. Sadnesses, narrowness, agony. And now they sell the house.

Barren history by itself, barren and short, although I, kid, be affected and fancied; it seems to me to make a novel; but also history not mine to guardarla until in bottom, history of many, economic history of all these our valleys.


the cathedral of the olive-trees


And here the hards works made saint, and here... The hard works! Tenacious job, rough job, job even in the night. And here there isn't plow, there isn't device here, here furrows were made by two-pronged fork violent blows, one after the other, hard, violent breaking off the compact and argillaceous ground. Stingy land, insufficient land on precipice rock, land that slip to valley and that the man hold on with great work of walls and terraces. Terraces and walls until where the forest begin, million of square meters ot stonewalls that who knows since when, who knows for how much our fathers, stone by stone, have with their hands constructed. Stone on stone, with their hands, the hands of our fathers for centuries and centuries, on the mountain! They don't left us palaces, our fathers, they don't thought to the churches, don't left us the glory of the composed architectures: they have tenaciously, they have laboriously, they have religiously constructed walls, the stonewalls like ciclopean temples, iron-like walls by thousands, from the sea up to the mountain! Walls and terraces and on terraces the twisted olive trees to testify that they lived, that they will, that they were opulent of will and force; (...)

Because the olive-trees, slowest to grow, latest to give, only the rich people has cultivated them; only the generations to which other generations has handed on a sure wealth; (...)

And here the fathers worked hard for sons and nephews, every generation lived of the efforts of the last generation and worked here for the coming generation.

Olive trees, olive groves that you plant and that they last millanni; olive trees, olive groves everywhere! the meadow became olive grove, the field olive grove, the vine olive grove, the forest up laboriously, painfully, very tenaciously olive grove.

And the triumphal work of the race, of all the race was completed. Like the people of a medieval city, his own cathedral, so in the centuries. Centuries of hardships, centuries of faith sluice. Blows of two-pronged fork, a stone on the other to hard work: it seems possession greed and it was in the dark, in the torpide wills of the wish, the conscience of a race, the force of a race, the sure religion of a race. Our own cathedral! The olive groves dense, wooded, of silver everywhere! we had made our destiny, the destiny ours and by now closed; the fathers finally had fixed our destiny. And we were between olive groves like ancient people in its cathedral: every our hope was there, every our emergency was there, in the olive groves. (...) and we were therefore, for hard work of the fathers, men in sight of the world and rich and peacefully.


The poor ones, in decaying of the rich ones, at first seemed to enrich. They bought at first, eager, from the rich ones, with the savings who knows since when; and to me boy, seemed that them to go up were a fatal and just triumph. But at last (here I end now the history) at last who was rich was found poor and who was poor, who bent every day on the scorched hard ground, who broke off it every day with great blows of shining two-pronged fork, who wrapped it, envelopped it of its frank spirit, who gave to all how much to them the force of muscles never rested; who was poor and works hard, it remained poor and worked hard.

Since twenty years! Here is the history; simple history, little important history of seven or eight valleys cultivated to olive trees in Italy, in Liguria, in a beautiful angle of Liguria where there is on the sea Alassio, Sanremo and Bordighera to delight of all the happy ones of the world.


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