After the short tender ride from Azamara Quest to shore we met up with our tour guide who started by giving us a brief history lesson of the region dating back to the 6th century when Amalfi began to exert itself as a maritime power. From the port area we walked past an interesting mosaic highlight Amalfi's historical significance on our way through some small streets leading to the town's central square dominated by the Amalfi Cathedral (also known as Cattedrale di Sant'Andrea or Duomo di Amalfi) raised above the square with a wide staircase leading to the Cathedral. We had a bit of time to take in the scenery of the piazza before being transported in golf carts to the lemon farm.
The ride was a steady uphill journey to the gate of the farm property where we were introduced to Salvatore Aceto - the head of the Aceto family business that has cultivated lemons in Amalfi for six generations. Salvatore is a passionate ambassador for his family business and was a great host for our time touring the lemon groves.
Salvatore Aceto sharing his passion for Amalfi lemons
From the entrance we made the fairly steep climb on foot to get to the lemon trees. The narrow roadway spiralled up the incline and got steeper as we reached higher. It was interesting to see parked cars anywhere there was a flat or near flat area. Salvatore mentioned that in their business climate they needed to generate revenue anyway they could - and the cars represented one of those income streams: they rented parking spaces anywhere possible on their property. Even with only being in Amalfi a short time we could see that there were indeed very few places to park a car in this town so this was a sensible business opportunity. One of the first things we got to do was taste some Amalfi lemons. These lemons were quite different that what we were used to seeing - these were much larger with a pebbled exterior that was a paler yellow. Salvatore cut off pieces of a lemon for each of us to try - skin and all. An interesting experience. The sample lemon was delicious.
We continued further up the steep slopes to see the operation and the many challenges that the landscape threw at the people growing and picking Amalfi lemons. At the highest point we would reach in the grove we wandered around the lemon trees while Salvatore spoke with passion about his family's organic operation. We had some nice views of the town below while at this vantage point that could have been spectacular had the morning sky been blue instead of the light grey we had for this visit. Still good, though. It was enjoyable to walk through the small trail in the grove under the canopy of the lemon trees.
We descended from the high grove down steep steps and a narrow pathway that eventually led us to a covered area with tables where are served some nice lemon cake accompanied by some fresh lemonade. A nice respite. Once finished we descending to the entrance level where we first toured a small family museum with some fascinating artifacts from the many years of operation of the Aceto family’s lemon growing business. After that, Salvatore led us to a shop where their Limoncello was sold. With it being Sunday the shop was closed, but Salvatore opened up the shop for us to taste three of their products. Their standard Limoncello was terrific - both of us favouring it over the other two offerings. It was good to find out that another store in town carried their Limoncello and was open for the Sunday. We definitely wanted to take some of it home with us.
When we returned home we found a good YouTube video that documented a visit to the Amalfi Lemon Experience. It captured the essence of the experience that we had, so we thought it a good idea to share that video here.
It was posted in 2017 by Nicki - a Brit who now lives in Positano and posts on YouTube under the name Nicki Positano.
As the afternoon drew later we thought of stopping somewhere for a drink and a bit of relaxation. We settled on Gran Caffè Amalfi. The service wasn’t great, but the location provided great views along the coast as we enjoyed some Spritzes and some accompanying snacks. It made for a nice respite. We strolled a bit more for the late afternoon to take in more of the beautiful scenery until we figured it was time to head back to the ship.
We walked to the area on the waterfront where we’d catch the tender back to Azamara Quest. The area was quite busy even though Azamara Quest was the only cruise ship in port for this day. There were, however, plenty of tours and local ferries coming and going. The tender ride back to the ship provided more nice views of the Amalfi coastline from sea level.
Back on Azamara Quest we returned to our stateroom to freshen up and rest a bit before making our way to the Discoveries dining room for dinner at about 7:30pm. There wasn’t a late show planned for this evening, so we had no real plans for after dinner so it was a relaxed time for us in the dining room. Azamara Quest set sail from Amalfi before we were finished in Discoveries. We strolled a bit around Azamara Quest before returning to our room to conclude an enjoyable day in this picturesque location. An enjoyable day, indeed.
WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.