Looking for things to do in Sorrento? One of my family’s favorite experiences on our recent trip to Naples and the Amalfi Coast was the farm tour we did at La Masseria Farm near Sorrento. Agriturismo is growing in Italy and this tour is a wonderful example of the win-win it provides to both the farmer and the tourist. This tour is part education, part food, and part history to combine into one of the most enjoyable tours in Sorrento.
And we almost didn’t do it. I looked at it on Airbnb Experiences, exchanged an email with the owner but didn’t book it. On the eve of our last day in Sorrento, I decided to see if the tour was still available the next day. Eugenio got back to me right away and told me there were spots available. I’m so glad I took a chance at the last minute! Otherwise, we would have missed out on a wonderful morning.
What is La Masseria Farm?
La Masseria is a farm located in the town of Massa Lubrense, about fifteen minutes outside of the center of Sorrento. The farm is a family-owned and operated farm sitting on the picturesque Sorrento Penisula. In addition to lemon orchards and olive trees, the farm grows an astounding amount of produce.
Not only is the farm family-owned for four generations, everything is family operated by the Gargiulo family. Eugenio coordinates and leads the tours, his brother Raffaele assists with the tour, dad Ferdinando demonstrates, and mama Maria does the cooking! By the end of the tour, we felt like we were part of this lovely family.
Touring the Farm
We opted to arrange transportation to the farm and were picked up in Sorrento. The farm sits on the Sorrento Peninsula and the views along the way are lovely, but nothing compared to the view that awaited us. Sitting on a hill, the courtyard in front of the stone farmhouse is where the tour begins. The fresh lemonade we were greeted with was a sneak peek into the many lemon delicacies we would be served during our farm visit.
This is a perfect activity if you are looking for things to do in Sorrento with kids. Our group was mostly couples but the kids on our tour had a ball. And the animals and goats on the farm are sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
Food Grown at the Farm
We were there at the start of the olive season and walking under the nets strung between the trees felt like a quintessentially Italian experience. Olive trees can live for 600 years! And it takes 30 pounds of olives to create one liter of oil. The oil at La Masseria carries the D.O.P. Sorrento Peninsula Olive Oil designation meaning it’s of the highest quality.
I was blown away with the vast array of food grown at the farm. Lemons are the biggest crop, followed by olives. I counted over fifteen other fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown here. Walking through the lemon groves was a Sorrento experience I’m glad I didn’t miss. And these aren’t any old lemons. These are lemons from Sorrento!
The Family at La Masseria
Throughout the tour, Eugenio shares interesting tidbits about the farming techniques they use at the farm. We learned so many things during the tour from why they use the ladders they use to the sex of kiwis. And did you know they grow kiwis in Italy?
I need to take a minute and talk about Eugenio. He is a doll! So funny and engaging you’ll fall in love with him. He is one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had. The entire Gargiulo family is completely charming and will make you feel like part of the family.
The family’s commitment to sustainability on their farm was so impressive. For example, there is zero waste with olives. The leftover oil is used as fertilizer and the pits are used as a heating fuel in homes. The adorable goats on the farm are there to weed. I really appreciated the care and ingenuity that goes into farming and producing the food on our tables.
Farm to Table
Next up on the farm experience was food! This is a true farm to table experience. Our group chatted on the veranda while we watched kittens scamper through the olive nets. The views of the peninsula are amazing here. You can see all the way to Naples and to the islands dotting the water.
The tour included a visit to their wine cellar where they make their own wine. We were offered some of the rich red to enjoy while we ate cubes of bread dipped in La Masseria’s olive oils. Jars of their homemade lemon and orange marmalades and their homegrown honey were also served. Oh, and cheese! How could I forget cheese? It was the most lovely setting for wine and cheese and meeting new people.
Thin slices of lemon covered in sugar were one of the more interesting things we were served. The lemon rind of Sorrento lemons is tender enough to eat and the sugar paired perfectly with the tartness of the lemon. Such a fun and unexpected treat!
Mama was cooking our lunch while we were getting loose from the warm sun and the wine. A chapel dating back to the 1700s is now the dining room. You can feel the pride this family feels for their home and I instantly felt at home here. Everyone is so attentive and our glasses were always being filled as the meal was served.
Limoncello in Sorrento is a given. Limoncello consists of only four ingredients: alcohol, water, sugar and lemon peels. We tried our fair share of limoncello on our trip and this was one of the best.
Our farm to table dinner was lovely! We started with big bowls of pasta with ragu, a Neopolitan specialty. Once a bowl was empty, someone was there with a big pot of Mama’s freshly-made pasta to give you another helping. We were also introduced to frittelle, which is basically cheesy fried dough. Such a simple and tasty treat.
Dessert is lemon tiramisu. Combining two of Italy’s most famous foods and blending them into one light and creamy dessert. The perfect sweet ending to a beautiful meal.
It was time to say goodbye to the lovely lemon farm in Sorrento. Of all of the things to do in Sorrento, our family agreed this was by far one of the most informative and enjoyable experiences. I highly recommend including this unique tour when visiting Sorrento.
FAQS about La Masseria
- How can you book a tour of the farm?
- Tours can be booked on the La Masseria website or on Airbnb.
- What methods of payment are accepted?
- All major credit cards, including American Express, and PayPal are accepted.
- Are options available for those with food preferences and allergies?
- Yes! Eugenio asked the group about food preferences and allergies at the start of the tour. My daughter is a vegetarian and her pasta was vegetarian. All other food served is vegetarian.
- What transportation options are available to get to the farm from Sorrento?
- Pickup from the city center in Sorrento is available and can be booked with Eugenio. It is 10E per person and we were picked up in a comfortable, air-conditioned van.
- Can products produced on the farm be purchased during the tour?
- Yes! You will have the opportunity to purchase the organic olive oils, marmalades, and honey made on the farm after the tour at very reasonable prices.
- The olive oil carries the D.O.P. label indicating the highest quality of oil produced in Italy.
- Are restrooms available?
- Yes! There are two of the nicest portable restrooms I’ve ever used. (I’m serious!)
- Are there bugs?
- It’s a farm, so yes! They weren’t too bad but I would advise wearing some insect repellent. Also, wear comfortable shoes.