ciao-amalfi-positano-wisteria-1

Italy Roundtable: The Rush of the Strange and Unfamiliar

ciao-amalfi-positano-wisteria-1

This month’s Italy Roundtable topic “foreign” brought in a host of interesting topics from the group – all thoughtful, reflective and informative. Be sure to check them all out at the links below! While I am a foreigner living in Italy, there’s another aspect of the word “foreign” that has been rattling around in the back of my mind this week. The secondary meaning of the word is listed as “strange and unfamiliar.” Dictionary example: “I suppose this all feels pretty foreign to you.” Now that sounds about right! It got me thinking. When was the last time you experienced something foreign? There’s a thrill that comes from the strange and unfamiliar. It means stepping out of your comfort zone, whatever the experience might be.

ciao-amalfi-positano-wisteria-2

I don’t know about you, but I thrive in the strange and unfamiliar. Not that I go in search of it. I’m certainly not an adventure seeking sort of person. Perhaps more of the sort that enjoys finding the adventure in everyday life. Whatever it is, I find that I am the happiest when I have quite literally no idea what I’m doing. It probably started with when I fell in love with studying ancient Greek in college. That was remarkable. Then there was that time I was a data analyst for Fannie Mae. (Seriously.) Or when I decided to study art history in graduate school and called up my mom to ask, “Hey, Mom, so I have to include a research paper with my application. What’s a research paper?” Then there was the time 10 years ago when I moved to Italy without speaking any Italian. Or when I started freelance writing and editing. The land of “strange and unfamiliar” is my home.

ciao-amalfi-positano-wisteria-3

So why the wisteria? Well it’s pretty. Besides that, it represents a moment I had recently that reminded me how important those strange and the unfamiliar moments are in our lives. Sure a trip to a new country around the world is exciting, but how can you get out of your comfort zone right now, right where you’re at? When I went to Positano earlier this month to see the wisteria, I decided to make some video clips so I could start learning how to use iMovie. It may have taken me a few weeks to finish that video, but when I uploaded it to YouTube yesterday, I had a rush. There it was. Something strange and unfamiliar. I have quite literally no idea how to make movies, and yet there I go putting one out to the world to see. It’s nothing special. I have a lot to learn. But what is special is that incredible experience of doing something strange and unfamiliar!

Go out and try something foreign this week – a new restaurant, a new drink at your local coffee shop, a new way to drive to work, a new genre that you usually don’t read, a new craft, a new recipe, a different type of creative endeavor. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out. Let me know how it felt to experience something foreign!

 

Italy Blogging Roundtable

Italy Roundtable
This blog post is part of a series called The Italy Blogging Roundtable. Every month our group of Italy based writers takes on a new theme, and you can read the contributions for this month’s topic – Foreign – at the links below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please share the stores if you’ve enjoyed them!

ArtTravRefugees in Tuscany: New Book Questions Preconceptions

At Home in TuscanyForeigners in Tuscany

Italy ExplainedThe 5 Letters of the Alphabet Banned by Mussolini

Girl in Florence50 Shades of “Foreign” in Florence, Italy

ItalofileFrom Foreign Language to Lingua Franca: Italian Immersion Programs in Italy

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-experience

The Amalfi Lemon Experience

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-experience

One of the symbols of the Amalfi Coast, the lemon adds its colorful touch to the terraced landscape, to the hand-painted ceramics and, of course, to the local culinary traditions. The Amalfi Coast lemon is a treasure and one that you should experience while you’re visiting the area. What’s the best way? On the Amalfi Lemon Experience Tour! Created by the Aceto family, who have been cultivating lemons on the Amalfi Coast for six generations, this is a unique opportunity to walk among the lemon groves. Along the way you’ll learn about the history of lemon production on the Amalfi Coast, the unique challenges, and enjoy a tasting and visit to the family’s personal museum and laboratory where they produce limoncello and many other delights!

Recently I was able to join the Amalfi Lemon Experience Tour with Nicki from Positano Daily Photo, and we loved it! Enjoy her fun video of the tour and then read on below for a photo tour of the day exploring the lemon groves of Amalfi.

 

 

Wasn’t that fabulous? I love Nicki’s videos, and if you enjoyed that as well don’t forget to subscribe to her Nicki Positano YouTube channel so you don’t miss any in the future. Now come along and join me on a photo tour of the day!

Piazza Duomo Amalfi Lemon Tour Meeting Point

A beautiful day for a Lemon Tour! The meeting point is in Piazza Duomo in Amalfi.

 

Amalfi Lemon Tour Cart

Hop on the cart for the ride up to the top of Amalfi to the Aceto family lemon groves

 

Learning about how the terraced lemon groves are created and the green and black nets to protect the trees in the winter

 

Salvatore Aceto leading the Lemon Tour – he is so passionate about his family’s traditions!

 

Taste testing Amalfi lemons – you can eat the whole thing since they are organic

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-9

Walking through the lemon groves and learning about the harvest and hard work it is to grow lemons on the Amalfi Coast

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-10

The terraces of lemons are connected so the lemon trees grow from one terrace to another to maximize space

 

The delicate lemon trees are covered with black nets until late spring to protect them

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-12

Although much of the harvest is done by hand and heavy crates of lemons carried on the shoulders, this helps them move the crates down the mountainside

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-13

Luigi Aceto, Salvatore’s father, is still hard at work splitting the willow branches that are used to tie the lemon tree branches to the wooden pergolas

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-14

Charming display for a tasting of lemons during the tour

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-15

Fresh lemonade and lemon cake are a sweet treat during the Lemon Tour!

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-16

A stop in the family’s museum on the tour shows their incredible collection of historic pieces

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-17

Pieces of Amalfi’s past, including the stencils that were ones used to mark bread

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-18

Taking a peek inside the laboratory where the family’s limoncello is made

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-19

So many choices! All made right in the laboratory below the Aceto family lemon groves.

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-20

Having fun taking photos with Nicki from Positano Daily Photo

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-21

Amalfi Coast lemon perfection – the true sfusato amalfitano lemon

 

ciao-amalfi-lemon-tour-23

A special visit to the Aceto family lemon groves overlooking Amalfi

 

Would you like to discover Amalfi’s incredible tradition of growing lemons firsthand? Find out more about the Amalfi Lemon Tour Experience and how to book here!