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Sorrento, Making Limoncello and Beyond

The first evening of our 2nd week in Sorrento, we walked to the Museo Correale of Terranova to see a performance of Italian opera and Neopolitan songs. This venue was a palace full of decorative arts and art collections. The performance was in a room that seated about 100 people. Most of the audience were English. The 2 vocalists  and 3 instrumentalists were phenomenal! A huge sound in a room much smaller than an opera house!


Beautiful views before the concert near the museum.

The next day we visited the San Francesco Church and Cloisters and saw a photography exhibit of local historical mid century memories. And there were stunning views!


Here is a photo of a scene we’ve seen in Sorrento. Young love!

Francesco Church and Cloisters


Yes that is Mt Vesuvius!

Our host, Gino Coppola and his extended family invited us to lunch and a cooking lesson in their home.

Nutnapha finds Italian cooking easy compared to Thai cooking! She enjoys them both!


Youngest Daughter is Mama’s Girl!

Gino and his niece


The clams have been cleaned and scooped out and sauteed in garlic and olive oil. Then broth and white wine are added


Roughly chopped garlic and parsley to saute


Add sliced zucchini


Brown zucchini and drain on paper toweling


Toss with cooked spaghetti and add the clams and broth. Add butter and parmesan and toss repeatedly


These clams are scrubbed and combined in a large pot with roughly chopped garlic and parsley and olive oil. Place over heat and cover till opened.


Serve as a second course with bread. Bread is not served with pasta!!!


Nutnapha Going Out to Coffee on Her Motorbike

One day we drove on our own to the Masa Lubrense region, took a walk to a small monastery up in the hills, and stopped for lunch at a tiny family cafe.

But first we returned to a tiny town, Marina Cantone, which we explored with Sorrento friends 25 years ago


On to the tiny monastery up in the hills.

Fresh orange juice and lemon juice with only water added, NO sugar!



Fried Zucchini Flowers, Pickled Zucchini, Proscuitto and Sausage



A Thin Layering of Tomato Meat Sauce and Cheese Layered Lasagne


Sfogliatella is a Neopolitan Pastry Filled With Ricotta Served With Limoncello


Sfogliatella is a ruffle of layers filled with ricotta that’s sometimes lemon flavored. Sfogliatella means small thin leaves/layers as the pastry resembles stacked leaves.


Gino’s sister gave us lessons in making limoncello. This was one of the highlights of the trip!


The old style basket and rope with a hook for your back


The lessons in making limoncello were a 3 stage process. 


14 lemons

2 liters 96% alcohol (This is grain alcohol in the USA, which you can’t buy it in Michigan, but you can in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Vodka is not a good substitute) 

2 1/2 liters water

1 kg sugar (2.2 pounds) You can add an extra 1/4 pound if you like it sweeter


First pick the lemons when they still have a little green on the ends.



Then peel carefully only the yellow skin, not the white, and place in a large glass container. 



Above is some mandarincello which was delish! They also use oranges and make various blends.

Pour the 96% alcohol over the lemon and let sit a few days


Mix a syrup of sugar and water and heat until dissolved. Cool overnight. Pour into the lemon alcohol mix. Let sit a few days.

The cooled sugar syrup is added to the lemon rind and grain alcohol mixture


The lemon will become like leather.

The texture of the lemon peel has become a leather-like


The Limoncello is ready to sit and develop it’s flavor for several days


Mix the limoncello with a wooden spoon.  Line a funnel with rolled cotton. Collect your containers


With a ladle, pour the limoncello through the cotton and funnel into the glass bottle.


The completed limoncello ready to distribute!


Gino’s sister and her husband


We work well together! 


Thank you Coppola  Family!


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