THE PATH OF LEMONS: BETWEEN STUNNING VIEWS AND TRADITION
The Path of lemons is much more than a common path, through the ups and downs of its narrow streets and steps you will be able to experience first-hand the Amalfitan tradition of the sfusato amalfitano, also known as Limone Costa d’Amalfi PGI and its terraces.
by Annalisa Russo
If you want to spend a few hours away from the frenzy of the Amalfi Coast, a walk through the lemon path is what you need. The Path of lemon is much more than a common path, through the ups and downs of its narrow streets and steps you will be able to experience first-hand the Amalfitan tradition of the sfusato amalfitano, also known as Limone Costa d’Amalfi PGI and its terraces, patches of land cultivate from generation to generation, known as lemon gardens, which are also useful for safeguarding the territory from the hydrogeological instability.
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Sfusato lemon pergola - Path of lemons
The sfusato amalfitano lemon, the yellow gold of the Coast
The Amalfi Coast lemon, in other words, Limone costa d’Amalfi PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), also known as sfusato amalfitano, is unique for its precious characteristics, due to the land where it grows and its cultivation techniques. It has a long pointed shape (from which the name "sfusato" derives), succulent flesh with a moderately thick skin and is light yellow in color. Its aroma is really intense due to the essential oils and terpenes (valuable elements useful in lemon-based liqueur production, such as the famous limoncello). It is almost seedless with a slightly sour taste. Each lemon can weigh approximately 100 grams. At last, according to a scientific study, this variety boasts a high amount of vitamin C.
Also known as "yellow gold", it is produced in the 13 municipalities of the Amalfi Coast and it has become the basic ingredient of several gastronomic specialties in this area.
The Path of lemons: betwen past and present
The Path of lemons was the only connection by land between Maiori and Minori, before the construction of the State Road 163, which nowadays links the municipalities of the Amalfi Coast. It is fascinating to know that it is one of the few paths that have been preserved through time. Past and present mingled together will offer you unique sensations. Today, it is still possible to meet the locals who use these narrow streets to move among the villages, or some cultivators with a basket of lemons on their heads. Imagine the effort endured by women of the past.
They were responsible for taking the lemons through these paths to the beaches of Maiori and Minori, from which the lemons departed to be sold in the Mediterranean and the Northern European countries and then in the countries of America. Today the path of lemons is considered one of the most evocative paths of the Amalfi Coast.
Its duration is approximately one hour, but it is recommended to tread the path calmly to admire the many panoramic glimpses it offers along the way. It has a medium-low difficulty but you need to remember that the itinerary is characterized by the presence of several steps, a peculiarity of the Amalfi Coast.
From Maiori to Minori: a walk in the beauty
This path can be traveled in both directions. If you start from Maiori, the departing point will be the Collegiata di Santa Maria a Mare with its wonderful majolica dome. According to the tradition, its name comes from the statue found on the beach around 1200.
Then, let yourself be enthralled by the typical village of Torre and its ancient Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Minori and by the breathtaking panorama from the Mortella belvedere ("mortella" is the dialectal name of myrtle, a very common plant in this area). From the belvedere you can see Ravello and, further in distance, Amalfi and Atrani.
Therefore, this itinerary ends in the municipality of Minori, where we suggest a stop at one of the most famous and renowned pastry shops of the Amalfi Coast: pasticceria Sal De Riso. Get inside and you will never regret it, you will have only a lot of choice. Salvatore de Riso, the pastry shop owner, has turned the products of his land, like the sfusato amalfitano, into the key ingredients of his pastry masterpieces. All of them are delicious but a special mention goes to the famous delizia al limone, a typical lemon cake.
You just need to set off and experience these places full of history characterized by unique landscapes. Moreover, the products of this land are excellent: it is no surprise we find them in the exquisite local gastronomy. Try to believe it!
- The Path of Lemons has a difference in altitude of 410 meters.
- The bearers who in the nineteenth century traveled this and other paths of the Amalfi Coast to deliver the fragrant lemons to the valley were called "formichelle", a dialect word for “small ants”.
- In the film "Il miracolo" by Roberto Rossellini, there is a scene where we see the protagonist Nannina (Anna Magnani) trying to escape from her fellow villagers who mistreat her. In this particular shot, with the church of Santa Maria a Mare behind her, the protagonist runs on the first stretch of the Path of Lemons from Maiori.
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