Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Disaster Hits Italy's Centuries Old Olive Trees

This is sad:

"A plant germ found in Europe for the first time is killing off centuries-old olive trees in southern Italy’s Apulia region, and researchers haven’t yet figured out how far the pathogen has spread.
Scientists found xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium native to the Americas, in plants across Lecce province in Apulia’s south and are now widening their search to all the region, Anna Maria D’Onghia, head of integrated pest management at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, said by phone today.

The pathogen, detected last month, is linked to die-back of olive trees over 8,000 hectares (19,768 acres) near the city of Lecce, the European Food Safety Agency reported two days ago. Apulia is Italy’s largest olive growing region with production of about 11 million metric tons last year, or 36 percent of the national crop, government statistics show."

I hope Italy recovers. Or else the world will be poorer for it.

This tragedy reminds me of The Great French Wine Blight that destroyed many vineyards in France in the 19th century. So much so that part of the solution was to import vines from the United States (California); ironically the source of the problem since the insects that ruined the vineyards originated from the USA. Yes, there is an American connection to modern French wines.

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