In the gardens where born the limoncello


On one side, Sorrento and its fabulous views, on the other, the vibrant colours and penetrating aromas of old lemon groves. This is fascinating mix may still be appreciated in the luxuriant gardens of “Le Grotelle”, which Villa Massa offers visitors, a stone’s throw from the town. It is a sort of open-air museum on the itinerary of “The Lemon Way”, recording an epic, perpetuated thanks to the most extraordinary lemon liqueur, “limoncello”.[charme-gallery]

The gardens of “Le Grottelle” take their name from the old pathway which connected Monte Faito to Piana di Sorrento. The historical lemon grove dates from the Dark Ages when merchants from Amalfi took its products to all of Europe.

At the end of the XVIII century the new cultivation replaced that of mulberries, and the fertile vulcanic terrain and the microclimate of the Amalfi Coast proved to be the perfect setting. From that moment, lemon groves running down to the sea, transformed the landscape of the peninsula forever. It became truly enchanted and the inspiration for artists like Tasso, GB Vico, Ibsen, Goethe, Wagner, Nietzsche and Enrico Caruso.[charme-gallery]

At the end of the XIX century, the Sorrento lemon had conquered markets all over the world. So, when the challenge of competition started to be felt, the cultivators of the Land of the Sirens did not lose heart and sought to make their yellow fruit better and inimitable by delaying ripening through the use of chestnut wood bowers, supporting straw coverings to shade the trees. This show within a show can still be admired today in the groves of Le Grotelle, a true Eden on Earth and the home of exquisite limoncello (video). (trad. John Perchard).

Villa Massa
Limoneto“Le Grottelle”
Via Tommaso Astarita, 34
80062 Meta di Sorrento (Na)

Reservation garden visit:
tel. +39.081 533.32.82