limone Sorrento



limone Sorrento

Sorrento lemons, Campania’s lemony gold

Sorrento lemons are the symbol of the Campania region and are P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) certified.

Lemons are one of the most iconic symbols of the Campania region and the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento lemons, in particular, are P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) certified. This particular citrus fruit symbolizes a local ecotype of the Citrus Limon species (common lemon), also known as Limone di Massa or “Massese”, or as Ovale di Sorrento.

But what are the characteristics and unique qualities of Sorrento lemons? And what are the beneficial properties of this extraordinary citrus fruit?

Lemons of Sorrento PGI, what are the peculiarities?

Sorrento Lemons are a medium to large oval-shaped citrus fruit. The peel is quite thick and has a citrine yellow hue. The Sorrento lemon’s exterior is one of the peculiarities of this incredible kind of citrus fruit; the peel is in fact rich in essential oils, making it extremely fragrant. The pulp is very juicy, and the juice contains a high level of acidity as well as vitamin C and mineral salts. Sorrento lemons belong to the “femminello” family, i.e. they are particularly fertile lemons, and differ from other citrus varieties of the Amalfi Coast both for their organoleptic properties and above all for the way they are grown.

Sorrento lemons are native to the Sorrento Peninsula, from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense and the island of Capri and Anacapri. In particular, the Protected Geographical Indication label applies only to Sorrento lemons grown in Massa Lubrense, Meta, Piano di Sorrento, Sant’Agnello, Sorrento and Vico Equense, as well as Capri and Anacapri on the island. This area is characterized by green slopes stretching out to the sea, where reed structures are built, called “paglierelle”, which are supported by wooden poles; in fact, this is the technique used to grow Sorrento Femminello lemons. This process, while protecting the plants from the elements, allows the fruit to slowly ripen as the organoleptic properties improve. This gives the lemons their distinctive GIP quality, whereas lemon groves have become territorial symbols and are known as the “pergolato sorrentino” or arbor.

Sorrento Lemons: historical facts and benefits

Sorrento lemons can be traced back centuries; in fact, their presence in the Sorrento area has been confirmed by historical documents dating back to the 1500s, while their genetic predecessors to the Romans. Numerous paintings and mosaics found during the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum testify to the presence of lemons very similar to the present-day “massesi” and “ovali sorrentini”. This implies that Latin ancestors were already using these fragrant and succulent citrus fruit at their own tables. However, the most significant sources regarding the Sorrento lemons date back to the Renaissance even if it was not until the 1600s when it became evident the lemons were cultivated in this particular manner, as demonstrated in the acts of the local Jesuit Fathers.

As for their benefits, one of its peculiarities is that they contain vitamin C. This is essential for the absorption of iron contained in green leafy vegetables and legumes. The peel has considerable amounts of vitamin C as well as being rich in fiber and calcium. The peel also contains limonene, a molecule from which the distinctive citrus fragrance is dependent and which is the principal component in lemon essential oil. The intense yellow color, is linked to the presence of beta-carotene, another beneficial element found in lemons. This is a precursor to vitamin A, which is essential for eyesight and for cell growth and healing processes, as well as having excellent antioxidant qualities.




Discover Vallone Dei Mulini, The Abandoned Place Everybody Takes A Picture Of.

Abandoned Vallone Dei Mulini Became a Real Web Star Thanks To Its Unique Characteristics.

Vallone dei Mulini is a valley in the area of Sorrento and Amalfi. This valley is an abandoned place everybody takes pictures of. However, this spot is a risky one because of its continuous rockfalls.  Placed behind Piazza Tasso, Vallone has dominated the city center for centuries. But what is the history of this evocative natural landscape? Why did it make headlines?

Vallone Dei Mulini’s Origins

If you look at it from above, the valley seems a deep grove in the mountain. This grove originated almost 35,000 years ago, in the aftermath of the first great volcanic eruption that was a jolt to Campania.

This valley is part of a system of five valleys, which crossed the Sorrento Peninsula in ancient times and marked the cities borders. Besides, the Vallone Dei Mulini was originally connected to Marina Piccola and the Port. The valley represented an important meeting point for locals, especially for farmers and fishers. 

An old windmill gives its name to the valley, where a sawmill also existed. The sawmill, which local waters fueled, supplied local artisans with wood for their handicrafts, which were usually built according to the rules of Tarsia Sorrentina.

In the valley, a public wash-house was also present, where local women did their laundry.

In 1866, the municipality built Piazza Tasso, which cut out the Vallone Dei Mulini from city life and isolated it from the rest of the world. The City Council also set up a system of channels that direct the waters close to Marina Piccola.

Why Is the Valley This Famous?

Despite this is not one of the most popular sites, the American website BuzzFeed discovered the beauty of the Valley and later included in the list of the thirty most fascinating abandoned places on the planet.

Today, the only way to access the Vallone is the small gate you can spot from the road that connects Piazza Sant’Antonio with the port. However, wheater conditions do not allow men to live in Vallone anymore. The humidity has indeed reached 80% as a constant value. Yet, this microclimate has favored the development of a rich and wild vegetation, among which a rare example of fern. 






Sorrento Marquetry: Wood Craftsmen’s Art

Local Wood Craftsmen in Sorrento Are Famous Worldwide Because They Produce Wonderful Handicraft, also known as Sorrento Marquetry.

Sorrento’s marquetry (Tarsia Sorrentina or Tarsia di Sorrento) is an ancient art. Local craftsmen have always engaged in this particular woodworking. This kind of work is as meticulous as complex. The result? High-quality objects and pieces of furniture.  But what are the origins of tarsia sorrentina and the techniques used to produce such kind of art?

History of Tarsia di Sorrento 

Tarsia Sorrentina’s first appearance in history dates back to a period between the sixth and seventh centuries. At the time, people could find this art in Benedictine monasteries.

Later, we find examples of tarsia in the Reinassance and during the 19th century, when Tarsia gained its momentum. Indeed, Tarsia spread beyond national boundaries.

Why did the 19th century saw the tarsia sorrentina flourish? 

Because this was the period of the Gran Tour, when artists from all over the world visited Italy.

The Gulf of Sorrento was one of artists’ favorite destinations. Their presence not only raised the demand for handicrafts but also influenced and inspired local artisans. Tarsia Lignea Sorrentina became a very appreciated and well-known artistic tradition all over Europe. 

What are the characteristics of Sorrento Marquetry?

As its name suggests, Sorrento Marquetry was born as a kind of inlay. This art aims to produce images (i.e. landscapes, portraits, still-life, etc.) from wafer-thin pieces of wood, whose color and consistency differ. Craftsmen alternate these pieces of wood and foils of other materials, as ivory or nacre, over which they put metals or semiprecious stones.

Despite European cities entered in a strong competition with Tarsia Sorrentina, just like the city of Nice, Tarsia always distinguished itself because of two of its characteristics:

  • Techniques selection;
  • Choice of materials;

Indeed, the art of Tarsia di Sorrento requires the commitment of more than one professional figure. This is because local craftsmen rely on very rigorous techniques.
First and foremost, transformers model the pieces of wood, as in a patchwork, and they start to put them together to make drawings.  Then, a “ricacciatore” (an artist specialized in “editing” the drawings, ed.)  perfect the drawing. Then, a trimmer paints the handicraft, using some spray paint.




Ieranto Bay: Take a Tour of the Sirens’ house 

People know Ieranto As The House of Sirens and one of the most spectacular and suggestive locations in the Gulf of Sorrento.

National and international tourists consider Sorrento as the “House of Sirens.” A legend says that the house of Ulysses and the Siren is on the extreme edge of the Sorrento peninsula, namely the Ieranto Bay

The name of the bay originates from the Greek “Ieros,” which means “sacred place.” What are the characteristics of Ieranto Bay, and what is worth seeing in this evocative territory?

The Bay’s Characteristics

Ieranto Bay stretches from Nerano, a maritime village, almost to Capri. 

According to Plinio il Vecchio, Ulysses met the Sirens right in Ieranto Bay, during his return-trip from Ithaca. 

This territory is well-known also because of its ancient agricultural tradition. Indigenous farmers cultivated citruses and olives, which resulted in the characteristic terraces of olive trees. 

Saracen piracy also characterized Ieranto Bay‘s history. The five-hundred-century towers of Montalto and Campanella testify the presence of pirates in the area. In a limestone cave nearby, we also find testimony to the presence of Saracens pirates. 

What to see in Ieranto Bay?

The National Trust for Italy (Fondo Ambiente Italiano- FAI) took over Ieranto Bay. FAI did so to avoid this spectacular territory being subject to speculations. 

Since then, FAI worked on preserving and restoring the original Mediterranean scrub, from euphorbia or juniper to rosemary. 

Ieranto Bay is today a Site of EU community interests and is part of the maritime reserve of Punta Campanella

Nature lovers find their ideal place in the Bay, above all because of its biodiversity. This place is also ideal for tourists who want to try several different activities, such as birdwatching, snorkeling, kayak, or botanical walks. 

Ieranto Bay offers several different activities, but the Nerano trail is a must-doThe trail is six kilometers long. It starts right beside Villa Rosa, Norman Douglas’s house in Sorrento. Once you are on the Nerano trail, you can suddenly enjoy a spectacular view of the Gulf and Capri’s Faraglioni

You later find FAI’s retreat. From there, you can easily reach Ieranto Beach through the miners’ steps. Miners built these steps at the beginning of the nineteen-hundred to reach faster the caves. By walking down those steps, you finally reach Ieranto beach. 

On small and evocative Ieranto Beach, you can spend your day. There, you can take a swim in the cleanest waters of the whole Peninsula, as the area is a protected one. 




Punta Campanella, The Wonders of The Marine Reserve 

Famous for its historical importance and natural beauty, Punta is a marine reserve located between the Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. 


Punta Campanella is a stretch of land connecting the Sorrento and Amalfi Coast. The only way to reach this area is by walking across the Northern side of Promontorium Minerva. This location is part of the Athena Trail, a ring-shaped track connecting Punta Campanella to Mountain San Costanzo. 


The Characteristic Tower 

Punta Campanella‘s name derives from its Tower. On the orders of Roberto d’Angiò, Neapolitans built the Tower between 1334 and 1335. In 1556, Neapolitans rebuilt the tower once again after the Ottoman Empire destroyed it

People used to spot pirate enemies in the open sea from the Tower and raise the alarm. Specifically, they launched the alarm signal with a little bell, which they had placed on the top of the tower. In this way, the sound could spring to surrounding towers. Altogether, the towers formed a system that guarded and defended Sorrento’s mainland and coast. 

The grey-tuff Tower of Punta Campanella stands on a site where a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena (Minerva) sat. The Greeks founded the temple and handed it to the Romans. Several different archeological ruins confirm that once a temple was present in the area. The ruins are still visible all around the tower. For this reason, people used to dub the Tower as the Minerva Tower.


Punta Campanella is a legendary place 

Punta Campanella’s nature and marine reserve have almost remained the same, maintaining their legendary charm unchanged. Unfortunately, not too far from this area, significant urban settlements are present, like Naples or Castellammare di Stabia. 

According to Greek Mythology, Ulysses met the bewitching Sirens in this area, the one who caused the wreck of lots of his ships because of their magic singing. By walking across the left side of the Tower, we can reach the cave where the Sirens lived through a steep path.

Halfway through this path, visitors can find a rock with a rupestrian inscription in Osco. It dates back to the 2nd century B.C. and indicates the landing point for Minerva Temple. Such testimony demonstrates the presence of Italic people in an area always considered as exclusively populated by the Greeks. 

The Marine Park of Punta Campanella and its natural beauties are an extraordinary example of biodiversity. The protection of such treasures is one of the fundamental reasons for the birth of the reserve. Another reason is that the blue of the sea below Punta Campanella was home to several findings dating back to Greek-Roman times. 

Ideal for diving enthusiasts, if you want to do snorkeling, your experience starts from 25 meters depth down to 40 meters.

In the sea below Punta Campanella, several kinds of Gorgonians, different specimens of Anthias, spectacular tuna stocks, and amberjacks live. A floor of yellow sponges surrounds all of these creatures. 




Pic by Vesuvio Live

The Archipelago of Li Galli, a paradise amidst nature and legend

Li Galli sits between Capri and Positano. It comprises three islands of amazing natural beauty. They have become essential parts of folklore.

Gallo Lungo, La Rotonda and La Castelluccia are the three islands of Li Galli. This latter is a tiny piece of land, located between Capri and Positano. It represents one of the most suggestive and spectacular venues in Campania and in the Mediterranean area. 

The Archipelago of Li Galli is also known as Le Sireneuse. According to an ancient legend, Sirens once lived in this area. They used to bewitch the sailors, who were dropping by, with their singing. But what do mythology and today’s men say about the Archipelago of Li Galli? 

The Archipelago Li Galli, a natural beauty between history and legend 

The Archipelago of Li Galli is just a few kilometers south of the Sorrento Peninsula. Its three small islands are part of the protected marine reserve of Punta Campanella

Gallo Lungo is the biggest of the three and the only one populated since the Classical era. Originally, Gallo Lungo accommodated a monastery. This latter became a prison during the Kingdom of Charles II of Naples, towards the end of the thirteenth century. The Aragonese Tower was later built during the fourteenth century to monitor the attack of pirates, and is still present today. 

Going back to the mythology linked to Li Galli, it looks as if in this territory Parthenope, Leucosia, and Ligeia, the three sirens of the Odyssey. Sailors, seduced by the singing of the three creatures, crashed against the rocks of the islets. According to mythology, Ulysses’ ship only and that of Argonauts were able to escape their sad fate. 

Therefore, the name Le Sireneuse derives from the myth of the three Sirens, as it is the name Li Galli: in Ancient Greece, these creatures were not half women half fish but rather half women half birds. The Archipelago of Li Galli, literally meaning “the roosters,” is dubbed after the juxtaposition between “feathered” sirens, and chickens. 

The Archipelago of Li Galli, a paradise for celebrities

Sirens were not the only famous inhabitants of the islands, which welcomed feudal and governing families, intellectuals, artists, and entrepreneurs. Indeed, the charm of Li Galli and its natural beauties enchanted lots of people throughout history. Among the celebrities who crazily fell in love with the Archipelago of Li Galli, choreographer Leonide Massine is one to remember.

In 1924, he decided to build a sumptuous Villa. This latter underwent restoration works in 1937, overseen by famous architect Le Corbusier, who also designed a panoramic viewpoint. The viewpoint welcomed a mosaic fountain at its center, which overlooks Capri’s Faraglioni and, on the opposite side, the various jutting terraces whose view is on Positano and the Amalfi Coast. 

When Massine died in 1979, Soviet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev inherited the Villa. Still, Li Galli welcomed lots of VIP part of the star system: from Anna Magnani to Franco Zeffirelli, Sofia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Aristotle Onassis.

The charm and beauty characterizing The Li Galli Archipelago received official recognition not only by the star system but also by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, which in 1987 declared this area an “important area of archeological interest”.

Being the islands a private property, you can visit the Archipelago Li Galli by invitation only. Nonetheless, it is possible to admire the grandeur of the Archipelago from a boat tour, which leads you to discover clear water and of the suggestive landscape of the three islands. 

Photo by VesuvioLive




Pompeii, an open-air museum

A destination for millions of tourists, a UNESCO heritage since 1997.

The Pompeii Escavations are one of the many treasures kept in the Campania countryside. They are a true testimony of Roman civilization thanks to the state of conservation of the town, which remained almost completely intact after the tragic, devastating and still considered the most violent eruption of Vesuvius in the 79 d.C.

Pompeii excavations are a really open-air museum that tells the story of a civilization at the time of the Romans who for centuries have dominated Italy and Europe and the rest of the globe.

In the middle of the 18th century, after the discovery of the remains of Herculaneum, the Borboniís Family ordered the excavations, which were carried out for more than a thousand years, with the intention of giving prestige to their homes by enriching the territory of treasures recovered from the past.

Once you have passed one of the gates that is close to what once were the gates of the city, the visitor will make a real time journey through the various streets of the city including the most important street of Abundance, on which there are the most famous houses and shops in the city, or to visit public monuments such as the theater or the amphitheater, not to mention the many domus or villas where you can still admire extraordinary frescoes such as the Villa dei Misteri or the home of the cool Lovers , which help us to understand the habits and the taste of the owners of ancient Roman civilization.

Not to mention the numerous archaeological finds where the visitor will have the opportunity to come across his exciting walk, such as amphorae or ancient objects of the time, or the castles of the inhabitants who unfortunately failed to save themselves from the tragic eruption that we can today admire today thanks to the archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli; like those of the two lovers, who still create their own interesting and magical legends.

Faraglioni Capri



Faraglioni Capri

Saetta, Stella and Scopolo.

Their names probably don’t mean much. Their appearance, on one hand, is both iconic and dramatic yet historical as well.

As you can easily guess, we’re actually talking about Capri’s three Faraglioni. Anyone visiting the Amalfi Coast and Campania must see them.

In reality, there are four rock formations. The stony cliff of the Moncone, which rises just behind the silhouettes of the three most famous ones, is also part of the group.

Their characteristic shape is the result of centuries of wave erosion, from the wind and water.

The name Faraglioni comes from the Greek “pharos”, which means “lighthouse”.

In ancient times there was the custom of climbing rocks and mountains near the coast to light fires to warn sailors of their presence. These “lighthouses” didn’t have guardians but it was the fuochisti or men who had to light the fires and keep lit who were responsible for the name of the Faraglioni, a constant presence in the Mediterranean Sea. Similar (but less iconic) lighthouses can also be found in the Aeolian Islands, Sicily, Pantelleria, Giglio and in Puglia.

The Faraglioni can be easily recognized from almost anywhere on Capri. A classic is to gaze at them from the lovers’ balcony, where the perfect fusion of elements makes for a romantic setting hard to match. An essential walk for tourists is that taking them from the Piazzetta in Capri to the Faraglioni, before taking them on an equally unforgettable boat tour of the island, before finally reaching the magnificent 3+1.

Let’s get back to their names for a second.

Saetta is the stack attached to the mainland and the highest at 109 meters. Stella is the middle stack, with a central cavity 60 meters long. Scopolo is the outermost faraglione and has on its peak a famous blue lizard whose scientific name is “Podarcis sicula coerulea” and blends in perfectly with the sky and the sea thanks to its extraordinary blue color. Simply amazing!

Like all good self-respecting tales, the stacks are also surrounded by a great deal of myths and legends. We can even go back to Homer, for whom the faraglioni were boulders thrown by Polyphemus, the Cyclops. But it was Virgil, with the Aeneid, who enshrined the immortality of the faraglioni. For the great poet from Mantua, in fact, these faraglioni were the cliffs where the Sirens lived. And we know very well how the Sirens are linked with the Campania region.

Until a few years ago, only a few brave experts were able to climb with their bare hands to the top of the stacks. In any case, it’s best to enjoy the sight in complete safety.





Sentiero degli Dei, excursions and sights

Sentiero degli Dei is a hike and wildlife trail connecting Agerola with Positano, characteristic thanks to its incomparable setting.

The Sentiero degli Dei is a hiking trail about 9 km long running between the small village of Bomerano, part of Agerola city limits, and Nocelle, part of Positano located on the slopes of Monte Pertuso. The sheer beauty of the surroundings offers travelers the chance to discover how this path got its name. For an easier and more relaxing walk, the best way is to walk along the Sentiero from Agerola to Nocelle. From here, you can head downhill and take in the spectacular view of the Amalfi Coast and Capri.

The enchanted beauty of this place has inspired poets and writers, like Italo Calvino who described the Sentiero degli Dei as “that path hanging over the magical gulf of the “Sirens”, which today still bears memories and myths”. This phrase, inscribed on a ceramic plaque, is the starting point of this incredibly spectacular trail.

Sentiero degli Dei, the trails

The Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods) gets its name from historical and legendary events which say the Greek gods passed along this trail as they went to save Ulysses from the Sirens on the island of Li Galli. The natural beauty and landscape found along the Sentiero comes from the fact that man has never interfered. The entire route has in fact remained intact, just as Mother Nature created it and moulded through the centuries only by the elements. The trail is immersed amidst lush Mediterranean vegetation, as well as chestnut trees, holm oaks, alders and arbutus trees. On the right day, you can even marvel at the hovering peregrine hawks flying above in the sky.

The Sentiero degli Dei is divided in two paths: a higher or “alto” one and a lower or “basso” one. These names come from the height of each. The first, starting in Bomerano (Agerola) and ending in Santa Maria Del Castello, is more challenging with several uphill slopes. The second isn’t as difficult and goes through Nocelle. The entire hike takes about 7 hours and is roughly 9 km long (round trip).

What are the main attractions along the Sentiero degli Dei?

From the Sentiero degli Dei you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the following from one of the numerous panoramic terraces:

  • Capri’s Faraglioni
  • Punta Penna
  • Island of Li Galli
  • Lattari Mountains

Among the natural beauty found along the Sentiero degli Dei are the Grotta Biscotto, the Villaggi Rupestri and the “Pinnacolo”. The Grotta Biscotto is the first place you’ll come across leaving from Bomerano. It is a cavity at 528 meters above sea level, whose name comes from its particular geological shape which resembles the toasted bread “crackers” from Agerola. Immediately after this rocky area hikers will be able to marvel at ancient settlements called “Rock Villages“. These structures have the particularity of having been built directly in the rock. Another well-known part of the Sentiero degli Dei is the so-called “Pinnacolo“, a rock spur at the base with a steep limestone spire.

Chiesa Santissima Annunziata Vico Equense



Chiesa Santissima Annunziata Vico Equense

It is the heir of a cathedral which stood directly on the beach, in front of the magnificent Gulf of Naples, and which made it possible to contemplate and experience, in the same place, a religious spirituality as well as a sort of natural, panoramic and environmental spirituality. However, because of this exceptional position, it was prey to pirates who ransacked it regularly. This is why, in the 14th century, the cathedral of Vico Equense was moved and built on a rocky cliff, about ninety meters overhanging the sea, on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Cybele. Here, even today, you can still see the fishing village called Marina d’Equa with, in the background, the unmistakable silhouette of Vesuvius. Severely damaged by the Irpinia earthquake in 1980, the church of Santissima Annunziata – as it was renamed after the suppression of the diocese of Vico Equense – was closed to the public for several years and reopened on 26 August 1995 after a long and arduous restoration.

The church of the Santissima Annunziata in Vico Equense with its unbelievable history of pirates, cliffs, primordial gods and earthquakes, as well as its artistic appearance and uniqueness always astonishes visitors.

The Santissima Annunziata Church is in fact one of the very few examples of Gothic architecture along the Sorrento coast. The façade, which was renovated at the end of the 18th century, was built in a Baroque style. Inside are three naves, one central and two on the sides, divided by six tuff pillars, while the area of the high altar is shaped like a pentagonal apse complete with a sort of “ribbed” or ogival vault. Visitors can find paintings by Giuseppe Bonito, Jacopo Cestaro and Francesco Palumbo and the funeral urn by Gaetano Filangieri, a Neapolitan philosopher and jurisconsult. Next to the church stands the bell tower which was built like the one completed in 1585, and includes three tapered floors with carved stone battlements crowning the third order, and is the work of local craftsmen. Outside the structure there is a square overlooking the seaside village and offers a stunning view of the Gulf of Naples and the coast all in one glance.

The Santissima Annunziata church is also known as the “di Punta a Mare” and, as can be easily imagined, it is very popular with couples wishing to celebrate their wedding in this spectacular setting.

Thanks to its particular beauty and position which guarantees one of the most glorious views of the gulf, to the chance of taking exclusive photographs and its unique and fascinating history, in 2014 the seat of former bishop was awarded first place among the most beautiful sanctuaries in Italy.

The Santissima Annunziata Church is about a 20-minute drive from Laqua.