How long has lemon been cultivated in Campania? For a very long time; frescos depicting this heavenly fruit have been discovered on the walls of homes in Pompeii, buried in ash ever since the 79 A.D. eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
Lemon is truly precious fruit and even more so for this Italian region, that has cultivated it for centuries and exports it worldwide. The mild, sunny climate, volcanic soil and loving care of farmers llowed lemon trees to thrive in the typical terraced limestone cultivars, and hence fill the ” Coast of the Sun” with bright splashes of yellow.
The most prized cultivars include the seedless, elongated Sfusato Amalfitano, and the Ovale Sorrentino IGP, that originated in the Guarazzano basin -between Sorrento and Massalubrense – the main ingredient of the worldwide famous digestif limoncello.
Sorrento lemon varieties are also cultivated on the ritzy island Capri, famous for its plaza, the Faraglioni and the enchanting Grotta Azzurra, once the private pool of roman emperor Tiberius.
The Amalfi Coast lemon cultivation area encompasses more than 500 acres of land across 13 municipalities in the province of Salerno: Amalfi, Conca dei Marini – hometown of the sfogliatella pastry,
Positano, Vietri which is known for its ceramics, Maiori, Atrani, Furore, Cetara, Minori, Praiano, Ravello, Scala and Tramonti. An open window over the Tyrrhenian Sea, sheltered by the Lattari mountains, with views of the surreal Li Galli archipelago – Gallo Lungo, La Rotonda, and Dei Briganti, north of La Rotonda – purchased in 1989 by the unforgettable ballet star Rudolf Nureyev.
If you are in the area, be sure to visit the islands of Ischia and Procida; the first is famous for its thermal baths, and the second for its extremely large lemons.