The study focuses on the ancient olive tree landscape in Apulia, Italy, a regional symbol of historical, cultural and economic importance. Because of the recent crisis caused by rising farm costs, farmers are replacing ancient olive trees with more remunerative crops. After verifying the economic unsustainability of both a regional law (2006) that forbids the eradication of ancient olive trees and a EU subsidy, we assess the value of the benefits furnished by the rural landscape through the contingent valuation method. The results reveal a significant value of landscape benefits, suggesting taxation strategies for an effective preservation policy.
Keywords: Rural landscape; contingent valuation; preservation policy.
Jel Code: C34, C51, Q15.