Thanks to the awareness of the president of Expo 2015, Diana Bracco, it was possible to set up a special exhibition at Italy’s pavilion starting from late September. This exhibition displays the fruits of the great Italian monumental trees, which were able to resist until the end of Expo without degrading themselves despite thousands of visitors; this was made possible due to these ancient fruits being very rustic.

This exhibition was set up by the association “Associazione Patriarchi della Natura in Italia” (Association of Nature Patriarchs in Italy), headed by the agronomist Sergio Guidi. There were fruits coming from six regions, from Southern to Northern Italy: Sicily, Sardinia, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Trento-Bolzano. Among the most peculiar fruits: the bunch of Versoaln grapes belonging to the biggest and probably most ancient vine in the world (400 years old, located in Merano and producing over three hundred bottles of white wine each year), the walnuts of the great Walnut of Trocchi in Umbria (300 years old and a six-metres circumference), little pears from Romagna called “cocomerine” (same colour as watermelon’s) due to their red colour, the pomegranate of Faenza producing huge fruits (weighing over a kilo and a half), Corinto grapes (which was planted by the ancient Greeks in Sicily), the wild olives of Luras (the most ancient olive tree in Italy, located in Tempio Pausania, Sardinia, and dating back to 3500 years ago).

A designated room located on the third floor of Italy’s pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 hosted the exhibition of fruits (apples, pears, grapes, sorbs, olives, jujubes, quinces, pomegranates, etc.) belonging to monumental trees (name as “Patriarchi”, that is to say “Patriarchs”) dating back to hundreds and thousands of years ago. The exhibition included the display of hand-printed fabrics by Pascucci, showing painted monumental trees and Tonino Guerra’s quotes.

The main goal of this exhibition was to propose a few basic themes: a) the protection and recovery of the Italian biodiversity, still rich but in the process of impoverishment; b) the use of very resistant genomes in ordinary farming; c) the rediscovery of a new seasonal interval in terms of varieties – from the unripe to the late ones – which can avoid being kept in fridge for long; d) the discovery of tastes and scents that have now disappeared due to industrial farming.