A taste of rural Italy

A taste of rural Italy

Having squeezed through one very narrow street, we drove up into the hills above Sorrento along a winding, ordinarily narrow road,  passing one small terraced farm after the other, until we reached La Sorgente, a family farm owned and run by the third generation of the family Marciano.   I found it fascinating seeing small  farms on both sides of the roads, all terraced.  Even going right up to the top of hills.  I couldn’t take a decent photo with the motion of the coach!!  How difficult it must be to farm here!!   …  carrying farm equipment and produce!  I also noticed how untidy they all looked compared to our farming – meaning the undergrowth being overgrown with weeds and other plants.   Wonderful for soil erosion and keeping nutrients in the soil, I suppose.    I am not so fussy about weeds in my garden anymore, after seeing this !!!!!  I suppose it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as the produce is of good quality .. that’s the main thing !!


It was a wonderful, jovial evening at La Sorgente, the 18th century olive oil mill and farm.  Being dropped off at the farm gate, we were greeted by geese and cows (mozzarella and ricotta cows!!!) all under the shade of lemon trees ..

IMG_5538-olive oil farm

Apart from 4 acres of lemon trees, ” which according to the owner, Rosa, they make “the best limoncello in Italy,”  there are olive, orange, mandarin and walnut trees.  Everything we ate, and drank that evening came from the farm .. including their own house wines …

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The old wine cellar ..


IMG_555418th century olive oil press and mill ..


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Rosa explaining the ancient process of olive oil making  …


IMG_5563 IMG_5564 IMG_5565 Hubby and I can’t remember what these two – hole in ground and baskets – were for.  I think it had something to do the soaking the olives in the round pit, but I could be very wrong 🙁

IMG_5566  Rosa led the way through part of the garden to meet Maria for a demonstration on the making of mozzarella and ricotta



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Isn’t this a great idea for transporting milk urns .. !!



Maria makes mozzarella and ricotta every day!!  .. every day!!!     Wow .. she has powerful arms and hands .. mixing, churning, stretching, knotting … …. ….


Love this photo  ..




Voilá !!   a twisted ring of mozzarella!   Hasn’t she got the most gorgeous smile !!!

IMG_5585Mozzarella can be shaped anyway, like small sacks  …


… and she showed us how .. starting with a ball .. then twisting of string with agile fingers ..



Much hilarity followed when we moved over to the pizza oven for a demonstration of pizza making .. by four fellow travellers under the direction of Maria, who donned comical aprons !!!!!!!    Nancy and Maria .. Bill and Edwin

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Maria’s pizza ..


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Well done !!!   their pizzas were served for dinner 🙂


Then followed a magnificent al fresco meal!!!  The food kept coming .. and coming  … and coming !!!!


Our glasses were never empty … continually being topped up with their house wines, while we got to know each a little more in a relaxed, fun atmosphere !!!


Home grown olives … delishhh ..


The tastiest antipasto I have ever eaten … hubby agreed !!!!!


… and then more Italian traditional food was added to the plate, when there was space … more and more .. it kept coming .. .. .. and it was scrumptious !!!!

IMG_5630 … then more … huge slices of pizza …


Dessert .. limoncello pound cake topped with homemade lemon or orange marmalade ….  yummmm !!!   (no wasted pizza … a few take-away boxes for a snack on the way back to the hotel .. or a midnight feast ..  .. .. .. !!)  It must have been consumed as there were no take-away boxes on the coach the next day ..


To finish off our delicious meal, we sampled their home made limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur) and limoncello a crema  – which I preferred as it was smoother and creamier .. oh yes .. yummy !!!


Another regret .. we didn’t buy a bottle 🙁   As it was at the beginning of the tour, we were a little wary of carrying a bottle all the way around Italy!    Altho’  we could have drunk it en route, I suppose !!  😉

While finding the perfect spot to take a glorious sunset shot,  I spotted this cookery book, ‘ Now Eat This! Italian ‘  written by Rocco DiSpirito with an article ”  The making of fresh mozzarella ”  featuring Maria at La Sorgente ..


What a fabulous, fabulous evening at (Agriturismo) La Sorgente in Sorrento !! …..

Back at the Hotel Corallo – last look at beautiful Sorrento at night and Mt Vesuvius set on shimmering lights ..

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Our travels continue … Monte Cassino War Memorial en route to the beautiful medieval town of Assisi and Basilica di San Francesco, burial place of St Francis

Trafalgar Tours : Best of Italy : June 2013

3 Replies to “A taste of rural Italy”

  1. I’m sitting here with my mouth watering. History and food with beautiful scenery. Italy really has it all. BTW, my garden has the same kind of undergrowth. Perhaps I need to leave it the way it is. It seems to be very Italian.

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