The olive tree has been known since ancient times and originated in the eastern Mediterranean area. According to the ancient Greek tradition, the olive is native to Athens and the first olive tree was planted in the Acropolis.

The Greeks were the people who cultivated the olive in the European Mediterranean region. The olive tree was carried to the Greek peninsula by either Greek settlers or Phoenician merchants. As Pliny says, in 580 BC, neither Lazio nor Spain or Tunis knew the olive and its cultivation.