The U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will receive a special “award” on the occasion of the next Med-Italian Diet Festival to be held in Lecce, in Southern Italy, from the 24th to the 27th of May: she will become the honorary owner of “La Regina” (The Queen), a huge 1,400 year-old olive tree located in Salento, in Apulia.

Mrs. Obama will receive the award for her strong commitment to promote a healthy diet and the Mediterranean lifestyle in the U.S., particularly among young people.

She not only helps spread the message through the public campaign ‘Let’s Move!’, but the First Lady also sets a good example at home, personally caring for the White House’s vegetable garden she created.

Beside the award’s symbolic value, the Obama family will receive all of the extra virgin olive oil obtained from the tree, which still gives a very good product made by the local farm Cooperativa Sant’Anna di Vernole. The tree stands in the land owned by Ines Maria Antonucci, who will attend the ceremony together with Lecce ‘s Provincial Board President Antonio Gabellone and the local Agriculture Alderman Francesco Pacella.

Some days ago Lecce’s municipality sent a message both to Mrs. Obama and to the U.S. ambassador in Italy, David Thorne, to inform them and to explain the reasons for their choice. She was also invited to visit Salento next fall to watch the harvesting of her olive tree.

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