Keeping with the blast from the past theme started in the last post, this post highlights another one of Sonia’s and my favorites from our 2018 Europe trip. For this one though, we go back to Southern Italy to recap one of the best tours we have ever joined. When visiting Sorrento, vacations are more likely built around boat tours to Capri or drives along the Almafi Coast, but this food-centric tour should not to be missed if you are a lover of good food.
This tour took us through a small town about 30 minutes outside of Sorrento where we made stops at a lemon farm, dairy/cheese farm, and a pizzeria. At each stop, we were treated to delicious eats and drinks, so if you opt for this tour, be sure to come prepared.
While this tour includes local pick-up and drop-off options, they are not necessarily door to door. Our pick-up was outside of the center of Sorrento; however, it was not a bad walk to the pick-up spot. And, the drop-off point for the start of tour was a church close to the Lemon Farm. Again, the walk from the drop-off was not strenuous or long.
Once at the farm, we walked through the grove of lemon trees hearing about the different types of lemons and how to tell when a lemon is ready to be picked. Sonia and I were most surprised by how big the lemons grew. While walking we were met along the path and served some pieces of lemon cake with sweet preserves, which were simply precursors to what waited for us ahead.
After a stop to take some pictures, we finally arrived at the house where we were able to sit and have some fresh lemonade and given an opportunity to sample some of the farm’s homemade flavored olive oils. Before moving to the next stop, we were shown how to make limoncello and provided a sample to drink. A reminder that when enjoying limoncello, even though served in a shot glass, it is meant to be sipped and not downed in one drink. Once everyone finished, we were off to the dairy/cheese farm.
From the lemon farm, we caught a ride to the next stop – the dairy/cheese farm. The journey to and from this destination is a highlight in its own right, so I won’t spoil it. Once at the farm, we were seated and served some provolone with a glass of wine. This was followed with a cheese-making demonstration and some facts about the different cheeses made at the farm. After the demonstration, we were given samples of different utilizations of the cheese – from a ricotta to a fresh mozzarella to a sweet, dessert cheese creation. Once everyone had their fill, we were given a tour of the farm, where we got to see how they smoked the mozzarella. One of the highlights of this entire tour is the “cheese man” who owns the farm and runs the demonstration. A great personality who brings on a lot of smiles and laughs. As an FYI, the last picture in the slide show below is of me, Sonia, the cheese man, and Klaudia (our guide).
Pizza Making Class
You can’t go to southern Italy and not take a pizza making class. Our third stop was a pizzeria in the village, which is also one of the many clients of the cheese man. Before making the pizzas, the owner came out and gave us a quick history lesson on pizza and talked about the dough. After a quick demonstration, we were each handed a ball of dough to make our pizza. Following the steps outlined for us, we each started to form our crusts. When good, the owner of the restaurant had us move towards the toppings table, where he then proceeded to throw our dough across the restaurant expecting each of us to catch it. Next, we added our toppings – cheese, tomatoes, and basil. Once finished, the pies were taken to the brick oven and baked for us. As our pies came out, they were topped with some olive oil and then given to us so that we could feast on our creations.
When we originally booked this tour, it was primarily for the pizza making class, but in the end, we were pleasantly surprised by how much fun this tour was from start to finish. We learned a lot about how the tour was created, and how it was meant to showcase this small village that is a food lover’s delight. If interested in this tour, you can find more information here. We used Viator to book this tour, so not sure if there are other ways to book it as well. Either way, this tour will not disappoint, so book this one if you are ever find yourself in southern Italy.