We had an opportunity to tour a lemon farm near the village of Ravello. We started out atop the hill and found ourselves at the bottom. Another hike!! This one at least had a wonderful smell of lemons during our mile downward truant through the farm.
Lemons are an economic staple for the residents of the Amalfi Coast. Many families owned and operated lemon farms, and currently take part in a co-op agreement that sells their lemons all over the world. In the past, it was the men who cultivated the land and picked the lemons, and the women who transported the lemons from the terraces into town to sell to offshore fisherman. Today, the operation is more shared equally amongst the men and women, and there are more automatic techniques of cultivating (including watering the lemon trees), transporting, and packaging the lemons.
We later toured a lemon co-op packaging facility that is able to transport and ship the lemons all over the world, and draws the neighboring lemon farms a nice profit. In addition, the facility is able to make another by-product of lemons- limoncello. A nice blend of 97%+ alcohol, lemon skin, water, and sugar, is all it takes to make this alcoholic beverage. We were able to drink variations of limoncello, including chocolate and strawberry.
As we left the lemon factory to head back to Ravello, we were tickled to find traditional Italian musical instruments on our seats. We don't know if it was the alcohol or the joy of the noise we made, but we had a jam fest heading back to our abode. La dolce vita!!