Heirloom Vesuvius Apricot Varieties

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Campania

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Back to the archive >
Heirloom Vesuvius Apricot Varieties

“After the fig, the apricot is perhaps the most abundant fruit-bearing tree in the Naples area, particularly around Vesuvius, where it grows better than elsewhere; there are several varieties of the fruit, known in our dialect as crisommole,” recounts the Breve ragguaglio dell’Agricoltura e Pastorizia del Regno di Napoli (“Brief report on agriculture and stock rearing in the Kingdom of Naples”) written in the middle of the 19th century. The Vesuvius apricots are extremely sweet and with better sensory qualities than modern varieties, but they are also more delicate and perishable, making them unsuited to the modern produce market.
The names of the varieties are unusual: Boccuccia, Pellecchiella, Vitillo, Cafona, Vicienzo e’ Maria… This diversity bears witness to the intense varietal selection carried out over the centuries by the Vesuvian growers to obtain the best results from one of their most profitable local resources. The varieties all have their own characteristics: the Boccuccia can be smooth or spiny depending on the roughness of the skin and has a slightly sweet-tart flavor, the Vitillo is large and round, ideal for preserving in syrup, while the Pellecchiella is considered one of the best thanks to its particularly sweet flavor and extraordinary fragrance.
The apricot plants would be sown and their development observed carefully. If they showed particularly interesting morphological, organoleptic or commercial traits they would be tended and propagated, otherwise they would be dug up. A new variety selected by the growers, known in the vernacular as pelese, razza verace, razza riuscita or razza nativa, would take the surname, first name or nickname of its grower, or be called after its place or farm of origin, or be named for some outstanding characteristic of the plant or fruit.
Of the hundred or so documented cultivars, around 70 still survive, but most are only found in varietal collection orchards.
Around 15 apricot cultivars are still grown on a slightly wider scale, by small farms located at between 50 and 150 meters above sea level on the slopes of Vesuvius. The soil is volcanic and mostly sandy and the apricot plants are grown intercropped with other fruits and vegetables. Chemicals are not used for weed control, and only organic products are used for fertilizing.
The harvest is carried out manually between June and July. After harvesting, the apricots are immediately taken to the market so that they can be enjoyed perfectly ripe, when they are at their best, or used to make jams and pastries.

Season

Harvested from the first week of June to the end of July

Back to the archive >
Since the 1970s, urbanization around Vesuvius has significantly limited agricultural activities and restricted apricot cultivation to tiny orchards, often surrounded by buildings. During the same years, new markets and new production zones in other regions began to emerge. The focus was on the selection and planting of modern varieties and cultivation in high-density orchards suited to mechanization, impossible on the Vesuvian slopes.
The Presidium wants to revive this crop, safeguarding the 23 traditional varieties, protecting the old orchards, improving the harvesting and marketing systems to make the most of the fruits’ sensory qualities and highlighting the unique characteristics of each variety.

Production area
Ercolano and Boscoreale municipalities, Naples province

Presidium supported by
progetto iPark- Presidio e Cittadinanza - Cod. prog. 2015 - AMB - 0070
Producers

Ager
di Monica Romano
Via Puchetti, 10
Montesarchio (Bn)
Tel. +39 328 8961487
azienda.ager@gmail.com

Antica Trochlea
di Luciana Demartino
Via Gramsci, 10
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
Tel. +39 392 9479427
info@anticatrochlea.it

Associazione dei Produttori del Vesuvio
Via Pigno, 127
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
Tel. +39 328 8961487
romanogaetano_rg@libero.it
(riferimento Gaetano Romano)

Casale Pietropaolo
di Francesco Espresso
Via Aldo Moro, 8
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Tel.+39 333 3366260
info@casalepietropaolo.it

Porzia De Falco
Via Largo Donna Regina, 11
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Tel. +39 338 4977157
annamariafazzolini@virgilio.it

Vincenzo Egizio
Via Camillo Cucca, 295
Brusciano (Na)
Tel. +39 389 2713615
scrivenzo@libero.it

Masseria Clementina
di Antonio Buscè
Via Municipio, 60
Ottaviano (Na)
Tel. +39 366 8047512
info@masseriaclementina.it

Masseria dello Sbirro
di Lorenzo Cozzolino
Via Zumbini, 27
Portici (Na)
Tel. +39 349 6212808
info@masseriadellosbirro.it

Federico Perna
Via Lagno Fossa dei Leoni, 11
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
Tel. +39 3487141474-338 7840230
federicoperna@libero.it

Le Prelibatezze di Nonno Luigi
di Pierfrancesco Ammendola
Via San Leonardo, 83
San Giuseppe Vesuviano (Na)
Tel. +39 339 3525975
antichisaporives@libero.it

Luigi Rea
Via Tavernelle, 27 A
Cercola (Na)
Tel. +39 338 2986495
rlagricoltura@gmail.com

Villa Mazza al Vesuvio
di Simona Briganti
Via Boccea, 6
Torre del Greco (Na)
Tel.+39 339 7055185
smbriga@gmail.com
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Maria Lionelli
Tel.+39 338 5318935
marialionelli244@gmail.com

Producer’s coordinator
Gaetano Romano
Tel.+39 328 8961487
romanogaetano_rg@libero.it
Since the 1970s, urbanization around Vesuvius has significantly limited agricultural activities and restricted apricot cultivation to tiny orchards, often surrounded by buildings. During the same years, new markets and new production zones in other regions began to emerge. The focus was on the selection and planting of modern varieties and cultivation in high-density orchards suited to mechanization, impossible on the Vesuvian slopes.
The Presidium wants to revive this crop, safeguarding the 23 traditional varieties, protecting the old orchards, improving the harvesting and marketing systems to make the most of the fruits’ sensory qualities and highlighting the unique characteristics of each variety.

Production area
Ercolano and Boscoreale municipalities, Naples province

Presidium supported by
progetto iPark- Presidio e Cittadinanza - Cod. prog. 2015 - AMB - 0070
Producers

Ager
di Monica Romano
Via Puchetti, 10
Montesarchio (Bn)
Tel. +39 328 8961487
azienda.ager@gmail.com

Antica Trochlea
di Luciana Demartino
Via Gramsci, 10
Pollena Trocchia (Na)
Tel. +39 392 9479427
info@anticatrochlea.it

Associazione dei Produttori del Vesuvio
Via Pigno, 127
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
Tel. +39 328 8961487
romanogaetano_rg@libero.it
(riferimento Gaetano Romano)

Casale Pietropaolo
di Francesco Espresso
Via Aldo Moro, 8
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Tel.+39 333 3366260
info@casalepietropaolo.it

Porzia De Falco
Via Largo Donna Regina, 11
Sant’Anastasia (Na)
Tel. +39 338 4977157
annamariafazzolini@virgilio.it

Vincenzo Egizio
Via Camillo Cucca, 295
Brusciano (Na)
Tel. +39 389 2713615
scrivenzo@libero.it

Masseria Clementina
di Antonio Buscè
Via Municipio, 60
Ottaviano (Na)
Tel. +39 366 8047512
info@masseriaclementina.it

Masseria dello Sbirro
di Lorenzo Cozzolino
Via Zumbini, 27
Portici (Na)
Tel. +39 349 6212808
info@masseriadellosbirro.it

Federico Perna
Via Lagno Fossa dei Leoni, 11
Somma Vesuviana (Na)
Tel. +39 3487141474-338 7840230
federicoperna@libero.it

Le Prelibatezze di Nonno Luigi
di Pierfrancesco Ammendola
Via San Leonardo, 83
San Giuseppe Vesuviano (Na)
Tel. +39 339 3525975
antichisaporives@libero.it

Luigi Rea
Via Tavernelle, 27 A
Cercola (Na)
Tel. +39 338 2986495
rlagricoltura@gmail.com

Villa Mazza al Vesuvio
di Simona Briganti
Via Boccea, 6
Torre del Greco (Na)
Tel.+39 339 7055185
smbriga@gmail.com
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Maria Lionelli
Tel.+39 338 5318935
marialionelli244@gmail.com

Producer’s coordinator
Gaetano Romano
Tel.+39 328 8961487
romanogaetano_rg@libero.it

Territory

StateItaly
RegionCampania