LIMONCINO FRA’ LUCA

LIMONCINO FRA’ LUCA

DESCRIPTION

“September 13, 1786. It was a magnificent morning, a little cloudy, but calm at sunrise. We passed in front of Limone, with its gardens and terraces on the mountain slopes; a wonder of wealth and grace. The whole garden consists of terraced rows of white quadrangular pillars rising up the mountain slope at a certain distance from each other. Strong beams are placed over these pillars to shelter the trees growing in-between during winter. The view and contemplation of this pleasant spectacle was favoured by a slow passage “

-J. Wolfgang Goethe, Journey to Italy, 1816-1817-

It is through these splendid verses that Goethe, fascinated by the spectacle offered by the Lake Garda shores, describes the lemon houses, gardens and the town of Limone, thus introducing these charmful places into the pages of world literature.

Limone sul Garda appears to be the northernmost place in the world where citrus fruits are grown on the ground. The citrus fruits, originally from China and India, arrived in Europe around the year One Thousand with the Arabs, reaching the Limone district as early as the 13th century thanks to the Franciscan friars. The mild climate of the lake, the favourable composition of the land and the construction of particular structures to defend the gardens (the lemon houses) made it possible to plant citrus trees on the ground, an exceptional condition given the latitude of the area. Indeed, north of Naples, given the colder temperatures, lemon cultivation was only possible in pots and needed shelter during the winter.

Later, around the 15th century, owing to the commercial initiative and avant-garde organization characterizing the Serenissima policy, the cultivation and relative trade of citrus fruits grew exponentially. Under the rule of the Republic of Venice, the construction of lemon houses increased: special greenhouses built on artificial terraces, along the mountain walls, characterized by masonry pylons neatly aligned to support pine beams, necessary to shelter during winter, irrigated by an ingenious canal system.

These structures allowed for an enormous production of lemons, cedars and oranges, which were then exported to all European countries. In fact, the proximity of this location with the Austrian border allowed, after crossing the Alps, a widespread distribution of these prestigious fruits. Between the 1700s and 1800s, the small town of Limone became one of the major exporters of citrus fruits, even to Russia. The beneficial properties of citrus fruits were already well recognized and appreciated throughout Europe, and the demand was particularly significant as the high vitamin C content allowed the populations of Northern Europe to defeat scurvy.

With the unification of Italy, the Garda lemon trade suffered competition from those produced in greater quantities in the southern regions. Therefore, the local producers focused on a qualitative differentiation and began to use the fruits to produce jams, candied fruit and soft drinks but also to extract perfumes and essences.

At the beginning of the 1900s, Limone sul Garda started to produce a liqueur by macerating lemon peels in alcohol, as previously carried out in Capri, Sorrento and Amalfi. To distinguish it from the Campania liqueurs called “limoncello” it was given the name of “limoncino”. However, today this linguistic distinction is not always maintained by producers who use the two names indiscriminately.

Our liqueur remains loyal to the Garda tradition. It is in fact denominated “limoncino” Fra ‘Luca and is produced and packaged in Limone sul Garda using only lemons of the family seventeenth-century “La Garbera” lemon house.

Without fear of being contradicted, we can affirm that limoncello or limoncino has gained more and more fame since the 1980s and today it is the most famous digestive liqueur in the world. And the best too!

DATA SHEET

Ingredients: Alcohol, sugar, Infusion of lemon peel.

WITHOUT ARTIFICIAL AROMAS AND COLOURINGS

Alcohol content: 28% Vol.

Net weight: 700 mlGross Weight: 1,248 kg

Manufacturer: Pura srlVia Caldogno, 18 -25010 Limone sul Garda (BS) – Italia

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