On the border between Basilicata and Calabria rises the sunny town of Rocca Imperiale. Its name comes from Frederick II, who was Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily in the Middle Ages, and built a castle on the top of the hill in the 13th century.
These lands are not really famous (so don’t give this tip to people that love crowded places). Local people are mostly farmers and producers and they are known for the production of lemons, which are exported everywhere.
In fact, during the summer, in Rocca Imperiale, there is a festival to celebrate the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) Lemon. It is called L’Oro di Federico (Federico’s gold) and it lasts one day until late night. This is an occasion to taste everything you may imagine it is possible to cook and create with lemons, from cakes to wine and oil, perfumes, and jewellery, you will end up in a yellow swirl, absolutely unique to the region.
The festival is also an occasion to visit the town, to get lost in its small alleys (it is built on a hill, so get ready to climb) and to benefit from the extraordinary view of the sea and the hills that surround it. And of course, you will be in Southern Italy, so the only bitter things you’ll find are lemons. There, hospitality and food are sacred!
Photo Credit: Vito di Napoli