Southern Italy is the area south of Rome that forms the heel and toe of the Italian “boot”, along with the island of Sicily.
Here is the land of sun soaked oranges, outlandish citrons, “green gold” bergamots, and lemons bathed in the warm breeze of the Mediterranean Sea.
THE IDEAL CLIMATE AND MORE
Southern Italy enjoys a balmy Mediterranean climate, making it an ideal place for citrus crops to thrive. The summers are hot, and the winters are warm. In Sicily, for example, the average winter temperature is just under 12 degrees Celsius.
It is not just the temperature that makes southern Italy so special. Other wonders of Mother Nature are also at play. Fertile land between sea and mountains, rich soil surrounding the citrus fields, and a warm, salty ocean breeze from the coastal towns create unique agricultural conditions in the area.
From Puglia to Sicilia, the south of Italy is famous for quality citrus fruits of all varieties and the local oranges, bergamots, citrons and lemons are world-renowned.
Take the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula, Calabria, for instance, where bergamot has found its fertile ground, among other citrus.
CITRUS IN THE SOUTHERN ITALIAN CULTURE
From local food festivals and old sayings to marvelous regional dishes; ever since their introduction in the 11th century by the Arabs, citrus fruit has held a special place in southern Italian culture.
If your cultural interests tend towards the culinary space, you can look forward to a one-of-a-kind experience on your next holiday in the South.
In the meantime, try some local specialties at home with our Zesty Food recipes!