The Lemon Tour

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful scenic coastlines in all of Italy. The colorful homes and terraced gardens of the villages perched on cliffs over the blue waters reflecting the sunny skies above is even more amazing in person than it is in photos. The product mostly grown on those terraced gardens is the famous Sfusato Lemons otherwise known as the Amalfi Coast Lemons.

The cultivation of these uniquely sweet lemons best known in the production of limoncello*, a sweet lemon liquor, plays a very important part in the preservation of the picturesque coastline. Cultivating the lemons on the small family-owned farms involves a lot of work and is generally passed down through the generations. However, the work of the “flying farmers” is at risk as most of the younger generations no longer stay in the villages or carry on with the family tradition of farming. *see recipe at the end of this post

About the tour

The Amalfi Coast Lemon Tour de Riso is an interesting and delicious experience to learn about the history, cultivation, and traditions of the Amalfi Coast Lemons. On this tour, you will follow the lemon trail between neighboring farms overlooking the sea. You’ll learn about how the lemons are grown, what makes them so unique, who are the “flying farmers,” and why the farms are so important to the preservation of the beautiful coastline that so many tourists visit every year.

After the walk, you will visit the processing center where you can see how the lemons arrive from the farm and are prepared for the markets. You will also see the limoncello laboratory and learn how to make the sweet drink where you can have a tasting of the different flavors which are produced there.

Look at the size of those… umm, lemons! 😉
Actually this is one of the workers demonstrating how the crated lemons are carried down from the farms to the small trucks which bring the lemons to the processing plant.

Details of the tour for booking

Half-day and full-day tours are available starting in the morning. A full day tour includes a longer walk through the farms, a break for refreshments, and a multi-course lunch at a wonderful restaurant overlooking the sea where you will be served a variety of delicious dishes using the famed lemons of the region. Small private tours of up to 3 people will ride in a vintage open-air Citron, which is similar to an old Jeep. Larger groups will take a small bus between the meeting point, farm, factory, and restaurant.

Contact us to inquire about available dates for a private tour during your visit, pricing, and to book your tour. Group tours are also offered at a lower cost, but are announced when organized within days of the tour. Watch our Twitter feed daily to see when the latest group tour is announced.

Homemade Limoncello – ready to drink!

Includes a limoncello tasting

On the Lemon Tour you have the opportunity to taste several varieties of limoncello. I was able to make notes for the standard recipe of the classic flavor and made some to enjoy at home.  It’s delicious and one of the best I have tasted with a perfect balance of being not too sweet with sugar or too strong with alcohol.

These bottles are ready for a personal label I’ve designed for my new production. The smaller bottles here are gifts I’m shipping to some special people. I can already see that I’ll be making much more for more gifts in the future. Now I want to experiment and try making some other flavors too.

For the recipe below, it’s helpful to have a very large jar to mix everything into. I used two wide mouth wine bottles for the extraction process, but then had more difficulty later when there wasn’t quite enough space left to mix in the sugar water after I removed the rinds and filtered the alcohol.

Part 1 of preparing limoncello – extraction of the flavor from the lemon peels in pure alcohol

Many recipes I have seen on the internet says to wait 30 days or so for the extraction process with the lemon rind in the alcohol. Perhaps this is because of the lemon variety being used in other places where Amalfi Coast lemons are not available do not have the same sort of flavorful rind or because they are using vodka as a base instead of a pure grain alcohol. I’m not sure of the reason for this.

I was told only 3 days are required, but I waited 7 days for mine as I started it on a Saturday when I had a day off and then completed it the following Saturday. If you are uncertain when you try your own for the first time, perhaps make two or more smaller batches and test the best option for yourself. But be sure to carefully label them so you’ll remember which one you like the best!

In the second step of preparing the limoncello you need to add sugar water, otherwise known as simple syrup. If you’re not a professional bartender like I have been at times, you can easily do this by adding the sugar to water. I used bottled water to insure it was of a good quality and not from the tap where our water is clean, but full of calcium. To help the sugar dissolve in the water, I heated the water and sugar on the stove over a low heat until the sugar grains completely disappeared. There’s no need to boil the water or else you may end up making some sort of sticky confection instead of a plain simple syrup.

Limoncello extraction – after the rinds are removed and before the sugar water is added the color is an amber that changes to brighter yellow once the simple syrup is added.

In the final step you add the simple syrup to the alcohol extraction, give it a mix, and chill it. That’s it! Your limoncello is ready to drink.

Traditionally, limoncello is enjoyed as an after dinner drink. You can sip it slowly, down it quickly, or even use it as a mixer with other cocktails or in desserts. I sometimes enjoy adding a little to my prosecco.


1.5 kg Amalfi Coast lemons

1 ltr pure alcohol

1.5 ltr water + 1 kg sugar = simple syrup

Peel lemons and put the rinds in alcohol, wait 3 days.

Remove the rinds after 3 days. Use a cheesecloth to filter any impurities.

Add simple syrup. Bottle & chill. Ready to drink.

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Published by sm

An American jewelry artist and English language professor in Italy.

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