I had originally scheduled a tour of Pompeii for the day, which required a very early morning departure from our hotel and taking two trains to reach our destination. The weather had been so oppressively hot, I decided to cancel those reservations amongst the stone ruins and stay in Sorrento. Instead, I booked a tour of the Masseria Family Farm, which sounded interesting, low key, and relevant to our Washington State agricultural roots.
La Masseria has been a family- run farm since 1898, and today, gives guided tours of its lemon and olive groves operations and the farm's history, production, and traditional farming techniques. Tastings of their own products (wine, olive oil, Lemoncella, cured meats,) plus a delicious homemade Italian dinner including wine pairings from their own farm, was very fun and a nice break from our WWII focus. Free samplings and meeting this delightful farm family with all the adult children and their spouses actively working there, was a bonus. And, we made friends and toasted with our tablemates from the UK, Hanni and Florence. ”Hanni” is a sous chef at a well-known London restaurant, and it was interesting hearing his comments about the food.
I hope you enjoy this up-close-and-personal tour of a family lemon and olive farm in the hills of Sorrento, Italy. The pictures tell the story.
Posted December 30, 2023
This family farm grows primarily lemons and olives, but also produces its own wine, cured meats, and Lemoncella appertif.
Right at the beginning of the farm tour, we were met by beautiful vintage scenes from the family's history.
Fernando, the family patriarch. All the adult children and their spouses work in some capacity on the farm.
All fencing/trellises on the farm are from chestnut trees that are grown just for this purpose. They grow fast, straight, and tall and are the perfect diameter to use in a variety of ways.
Olives are harvested in the same way they always have been, for centuries. The trees/branches are shaken and the ripe olives fall onto a ground tarp. However, now electric/vibrating rakes are used to save time and 'man power.'
Each family member has his/her own custom made ladder that fits their foot size and body width perfectly.
Roberto climbing up his own personalized ladder to scamper on top of lemon grove's canopy of trellises.