The ultimate guide to a Sorrento Gourmet Tour

Mara Noveni | Live the World

May 29, 2024

Who is not interested in a gourmet itinerary to discover the tastes in southern Italy? In my opinion, everyone needs to check this ultimate guide to a Sorrento Gourmet Tour, a real foodie guide to getting to know this splendid townThe Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast are the most beautiful areas of Campania and offer various ideas for a perfect food and wine holiday.

Saying Sorrento is equivalent to saying lemons: this splendid fruit is the king of the whole area, a product of absolute excellence, and ultimately enters Sorrento's daily life. From food, of course, to drinks, from the landscape to furnishing accessories, from the economy to traditions… everything is lemons in Sorrento!

The mild climate, typically Mediterranean, and the clayey soil give life to a product with unique characteristics. The lemons of Sorrento have IGP recognition (protected geographical indication) and are grown in all the cities of the area, as well as on the Isle of Capri. Today, as in the past, lemon groves are found along the slopes descending to the sea, with pergola structures. The lemons of the Sorrento area are certified by historical documents dating back to the 1500s. But, already at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius, which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 a.d., there were numerous paintings depicting lemons identical to those of Sorrento on the tables of the ancient Romans.

The medium-thick peel of the Sorrento lemon is characterized by an intense yellow colour and is particularly fragrant because it is rich in essential oils. Perfect for the production of the famous Limoncello, known all over the world.

© iStock / Giacinto Canini

The limoncello

This sweet and very aromatic liqueur, with a yellow colour reminiscent of the sun, is loved by everyone and worldwide known. It is obtained from the infusion of the skins in pure alcohol and sugar, according to a traditional procedure. The result is a liqueur with an intense lemon taste, with a fairly high alcohol content, but very pleasant to the taste due to its persistent flavour and a sweet and fresh aftertaste that remains in the mouth.

© iStock / Anna Fedorova

At the Limonoro Liquor Factory, founded in 1905, your curiosity about the world of limoncello will be satisfied. In fact, you will be able to see live the stages of production of this aromatic liqueur and taste the various types, from the classic limoncello to the limoncello cream, which is also a delight. And you can choose from hundreds of beautiful packaging for a souvenir to take home or a gift to give. In the Limonoro distillery, all is yellow; all is lemon. Among collector's bottles and simpler bottles, you will find the particular limoncello or melon candies, which are then placed in the freezer to be served ice cold and release their unique taste. Then, there is a whole series of biscuits and pastries, especially lemon-based, to taste and buy to take home a piece of the Mediterranean… we are in a yellow world that smells of lemons and summer, not to be missed!

Another historic place to visit, taste and buy local products is I Giardini di Cataldo farm. The company produces limoncello, other local liqueurs, jams, and excellent ice cream. Furthermore, visiting this farm, you can take a walk through a lemon grove, buy their products, taste all the typical specialities, or enjoy a coffee, a cappuccino or the famous and delicious ice cream. I obviously recommend trying the citrus flavours and the "delizia al limone" flavour first.

© iStock / Catherine Philip

You can also stay at I Giardini di Cataldo farm, you will have a large apartment with great attention to detail, and a private outdoor space, immersed in the greenery of the ancient lemon grove. Breakfast is served at the bar-ice cream parlour shop of typical products of the structure. The location is fantastic: right in the centre, but it seems to be in the countryside!

© I Giardini di Cataldo / unknown author

The delizia al limone

The Delizia al limone is a typical speciality of Amalfi and Sorrento. It is a sponge cake filled with lemon cream and covered with a layer of limoncello cream and whipped cream. When you taste this marvel of pastry, you will never forget it, and in your travel memories, there will always be the desire to return to Sorrento (as the famous song "Torna a Surriento" says) to taste this delicacy again.

Almost all the coffee shops and pastry shops in Sorrento have Delizia al limone in the window. I chose a classic address, the Bar Gelateria Il Duomo, which has tables outside where you can sit down to taste some specialities. Obviously, first of all, the Delizia al limone, but their babà with ice cream is also very famous, and they also make sublime ice cream. You will be spoiled for choice of flavours. To try!

© Bar Gelateria Il Duomo Sorrento / unknown author

The gnocchi alla sorrentina

This time we go beyond lemons, and we recommend another local delicacy, mozzarella, to taste all its goodness in the gnocchi alla Sorrentina. All the Campania region is the cradle of the best mozzarella, and in Sorrento, a famous chef invented this delicacy which includes potato gnocchi, tomato sauce, basil and lots and lots of mozzarella cheese. To complete the mozzarella tasting, before trying the gnocchi alla sorrentina in some restaurants or trattorias in Sorrento, you can start with a Caprese salad made with mozzarella and fresh local tomatoes.

© iStock / lsantilli

The pizza

Lemons remain the kings of Sorrento, even in pizza. In fact, in the historic Pizzeria Aurora, located in the central Piazza Tasso, the "Aurora 55" pizza was created with mozzarella, yellow cherry tomatoes, and shrimps, and the pizza is flavoured with the scent of lemon. Furthermore, on Saturday evenings at the same pizzeria, a citrus-based pizza dough is prepared with a mix of particular tastes and ingredients. Also, try the classic Pizza Margherita, which presents the typical Italian flag colours: the red of tomatoes, the green of the basil and the white of the mozzarella cheese.

Speaking of pizza, to have a fully immersive experience with pizza, I suggest you take part in a Pizza making course and experience first-hand the making of authentic Italian pizza. The course includes pick up at a meeting place in Sorrento, a lesson in pizza making with a professional "pizzaiolo", then you can make your own pizza and taste it. So do not delay in booking such an exhilarating experience, which will allow you to repeat this recipe once you return home!

A wine experience

Well, we talked a lot about food, but we still have not talked about wine. Campania is a region that produces excellent wines, also thanks to the volcanic soil, which makes the land very fertile and enriches the wines with minerals. Sorrento is one of the three municipalities of the peninsula recognized for the quality of their wines, while the others are Gragnano and Lettere. The Penisola Sorrentina DOC denomination includes the municipality of Sorrento and the coastal area that surrounds it. The typicality of the area is the sparkling red wine obtained from the classic Campania grape varieties Piedirosso, Sciascinoso and Aglianico.

I propose a half-day Mount Vesuvius Tour with Lunch & Wine Tasting starting from Sorrento and arriving at the summit of Vesuvius. You can climb to the edge of the crater walking on volcanic rocks, visit a winery at the foot of Vesuvius with a guided tasting of three wines (a red, a rosé and a white) and a light lunch based on local specialities.

© iStock / Jean-philippe WALLET

The ceramics

Still, on the subject of lemons on the table and table decorations, there is a beautiful artistic ceramic laboratory in Piano di Sorrento, which offers tiles, pottery, plates and decorations with different decorative themes. In our case, ceramics with lemon designs are perfect for setting up a table. Like the plate to serve lemon sweets or the cup to fill with lemon confetti. A tablecloth also decorated with lemons is the perfect match in the name of joy and freshness.

© Ceramica Sorrentina / unknown author

Surely, after reading the information on these places, your mouth will water, and I think I have only given a small taste with this ultimate guide to a Sorrento Gourmet Tour because there are still so many delicious places to discover in Sorrento! So, when you decide to come to Sorrento, my advice is to go on a diet for a few days before arriving and then taste everything! Enjoy your meal!

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