Day 35 June 26, 2023 (Sorrento)

Day 35 June 26, 2023 (Sorrento)

John booked a Lemons, Mozzarella & Pizza tour today and it was fantastic!!!!!! We had a meeting place where they had their own bus pick us up and took us to their organic farm where it is literally farm to table. The drive there was worth the price of the trip! Our driver winded through narrow streets going up into the hills above Sorrento (to Schiazzano). When I say narrow streets, I mean narrow streets! John and I sat up front in the bus and there were times we didn’t think we were going to make it, but our driver had some mad skills.

Once we arrived at the square of the little town where the farm is, we were greeted by one of the De Gregorio family, where they are third generation farmers. We started off with a brief history lesson of the town and the family while sitting inside the town church. We then proceeded with a tour of their ancient lemon groves where Benedetto gave us loads of information about growing lemons and how they are harvested. Afterwards, we were greeted by other family members that passed out fresh squeezed lemonade. We were then transported by groups of four on an Ape Calessino vehicle (A little three wheeled vehicle with a lawnmower engine that they call their “Ferrari”), which is the only way you can get through the narrow “streets” to Benedetto’s house. We thought the bus streets were narrow, I’ve never seen anything like this. John took a video as you just can’t believe your eyes!

After safely arriving at Benedetto’s house, we were greeting by other family members (cousins, son’s, father, etc.) and given homemade provolone cheese and a glass of red wine. We were then introduced to the olive oil he produces, and we did a tasting of nine different ones (plain, lemon, orange, basil, oregano, rosemary, chili, truffle, and walnut). They all had subtle, but distinctive flavors, loved it! Next, he did a demonstration of how caciottine (unpasteurized milk and enzymes that sits for 3-5 minutes and then refrigerated for 10 minutes and if left for three hours, you end up with mozzarella!), ricotta, and mozzarella are made. We then sampled mozzarella cheese with some of the flavored olive oils, yummy!!! Next was the best part, the limoncello tasting. It was amazing and then we were coaxed (yeah, right!) to have a big shot poured into your mouth. John jumped right in, I was hesitant, but then was pressured (yeah, right) and I did it as well. We had a very lively group (16 in all), and it was a great time.

We were driven back to the town square in the “Ferrari”, where their restaurant was, and we all got to make our own pizza (margherita) with Frankie, a second generation of the family. His pizza oven is a brick oven, but the bricks are lava stones from Mt. Vesuvius!!! You can no longer get these, so it’s a very special oven. The oven gets to almost 700 degrees and it takes only a couple of minutes for your pizza to cook. We ate our creations with a glass of wine and chatted with a couple from England. We met a group of four girls traveling together and they were fun. We also were approached by one of the husbands of another family as he overheard we were from the Raleigh area and said they had just moved from Raleigh to Wilmington. When we said “Wendell”, he started laughing and said, “Wendell Falls”, and we said “yes”! He was a teacher at Knightdale High School and is now a professor at ECU. WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!!!!

We loaded back into the shuttle bus and had fun watching the antics of the driver maneuvering back down the hills and the traffic. This had to be one of the best excursions we’ve ever had!!!

We stopped by the grocery store for a few supplies, came back to the BNB, headed out for Aperol while sitting by the little beach by our BNB, looking at the water and people, then came back and cooked dinner in. A wonderful day 😊 Tomorrow is a tour to Pompeii so that will be interesting!

Miles walked – 3.36 (eh, it’s my birthday, I can have a break) Ciao!

I forgot to add the link for where we are staying –

The town church – originally built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 16th century.
The original flooring from the 16th century.
On the left, the white bus we came up in. Just about everyone in the town is related, lol!
An old chapel that is now been converted to a BNB. This is an original fresco still on the ceiling.
The VERY narrow streets in the town.
I found the dog!!!! In the courtyard on our way to tour the lemon grove.
They have a fully sustainable garden, all organic.
The young bud of a lemon!
Notice the difference in the trunk – lemons are not native to Italy, but bitter orange is, so they graft the lemon to the bitter orange tree. Lemons originally came from China and India, but the bitter orange is native to Italy and so by grafting, the lemon trees can adapt more easily.
Young grafted trees
Our Ferrari taxi!
In the courtyard at Benedetto’s house.
Oil tasting!!!!
I found another dog 🙂
View from Benedetto’s house
This is Elisa, we bonded, lol!
Now I found the cat, one of many!
Benedetto’s mozzarella making demonstration area.
The master himself!
Ricotta on the left and caciottine on the right.
The little cups in the upper right hand corner was cheesecake (not sweet, but good!) and their homemade limoncello.
The family restaurant where we made our pizza.
The oven with the stones from Mt. Vesuvius.
Time to make the pizza!
Frankie fixing the dough and supervising.
Our view for the rest of the day – the marina grande where our BNB is.
The restaurant doesn’t look like much, but boy the food is good!

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