Vesuvian agriculture in Somma Vesuviana

Passion and agricultural traditions at the foot of Vesuvius

The Azienda Agricola Don Camillo counts on the fertile and generous soil of the territory where it lies, which is the base of its various peculiar activities like the production of red and yellow Piennolo tomatoes, fruit extra jams and homemade liqueurs.
The vesuvian agriculture in Somma Vesuviana has become more and more important over time, it has developed thanks to some skilled workers and the resources of the most modern machinery, even if the products are still harvested and processed by hand. Somma Vesuviana belongs to the province of Naples, which lies in the charming Vesuvius National Park.
The Vesuvius, or more appropriately, Somma Vesuvio, is a medium-size volcano, which reaches 1281 metres above sea level and is made of an “old” part, the volcano of Mount Somma, whose summit collapsed and created a caldera, and a “young” part, the most recent volcano of the Vesuvius, grown inside this caldera.
The analysis of the lavas found in some 1345-metre deep holes dates the beginning of the volcanic activity of Somma-Vesuvio back to 400,000 years ago. The eruptive story of the Vesuvius started in 1631 and until 1944 its activities were mainly duct open.In this period, 18 Strombolian cycles were identified, separated by short periods of quiescence, which were never longer than 7 years.Each of them was closed by violent eruptions, called “final” eruptions.
Some “intermediate” mainly effusive eruptions, took place within each cycle.
The most violent volcanic activity of the Vesuvius in the XX century was the eruption in 1906 (“final” eruption) followed by the one in 1944, a “terminal” eruption with explosive and effusive features (mixed eruption).
The latter marked the passage to a quiescence period duct obstructed, which has allowed the vesuvian agriculture in Somma Vesuviana to develop. The lava soil has a typical black colour and is rich in mineral salts, especially potassium, which provides the fruits with a rich and characteristic flavour.
An excellent drainage and the Mediterranean climate have contributed to make the soil fertile and productive. It produces a variety of unique and original products for its customers.
The vesuvian agriculture in Somma Vesuviana relies on skilled workers committed to the Azienda Agricola Don Camillo. Its main products are the yellow and red Piennolo tomatoes, the “malizia” cherries and the mulberries from Mount Somma, to make excellent extra jams and the “pellecchielle” apricots, typical of the Vesuvian area. They are sold as fresh products and also used as ingredients to make liqueurs and fruit jams.
For further info and/or requests you can directly contact the farm staff, using the contacts in the Contacts section of the website.

Krysomelos (the “golden apples”)

The Neapolitan word “crisommole” comes from this ancient Greek term, according to most scholars, and it is used today to identify the apricots,which have been grown in the Vesuvian area for a long time.

The term “Vesuvian apricot” identifies more than forty types of apricots. They all come from the same area and the most famous are: Ceccona, Palummella, San Castrese, Vitillo, Fracasso, Pellecchiella, Boccuccia Liscia, Boccuccia Spinosa and Portici. The cultivation is currently extended to the whole territory of the Vesuvian area, which is very fertile because it is volcanic and rich in mineral salts, especially potassium. The latter is famous for its influence on the organoleptic properties of the fruits and vegetables in general, and it provides the apricots with their pleasant and typical flavour. The apricots from Somma Vesuviana are especially appreciated because of their organoleptic properties, especially their sweetness and richness. They are different, from an aesthetic point of view, because they have dots or a soft red colour on the yellow-orange base of most of the skin.