Author Archives: Eleonora Aiello

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Typical Easter dishes in Massa Lubrense

Category:Blog,Festivals Tags : 

written by Eleonora Aiello

Massa Lubrense is known not only for its cultural, historical and landscape resources, but also for its gastronomy. In particular, given the imminent arrival of Easter, we will go and see which are the main dishes of the Easter tradition in this area.

Salty “casatiello”

Casatiello, a name that derives from the Latin caseus (= cheese), is one of the savory dishes par excellence of the Easter holidays. Inside we can find a mix of cheeses, lard, cracklings and various cold cuts. All then garnished with unshelled hard-boiled eggs that are woven into the dough as a decoration.

Casatiello guarnito con cubetti di salame, prosciutto, mozzarella e uova sode.

Sweet “casatiello”

It is a recipe that is handed down from family to family, each with its own secrets and procedures.
Compared to the salty casatiello it has a much longer and more elaborate preparation. It has a leavening process that can last for days, thanks to the use of “criscito” which in the Neapolitan dialect is nothing more than the mother yeast, which allows it to be stored for many days without losing its soft consistency.

Pastiera

It is one of the oldest Easter desserts on the peninsula. Its origins date back to pagan cults, prepared to celebrate the arrival of spring. It is a shortcrust pastry pie with a filling made of ricotta, boiled wheat, eggs, spices and candied fruit. The pastry of the pastiera is crunchy, in contrast to its soft gold-colored filling which has a flavor and scent that vary according to the aromas used. The classic version involves the use of cinnamon and orange blossom water, but this does not prevent you from trying different aromas.

Roasted artichokes

They have always been considered the classic side dish of the Easter lunch. To prepare roasted artichokes, you need large, hairless, thornless artichokes with a long, straight stem. They are flavored with oil, garlic and parsley, and then cooked directly on the coals.

Carciofi arrostiti Piatti Pasqua

The handmade Easter egg

The choice of the Easter egg as a symbol of this holiday is linked to the fact that the egg is seen as a symbol of life. All the children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this day in order to finally be able to break the chocolate eggs and unwrap the surprise. The eggs have been made to celebrate Easter since 1850 and are used only in Italy or in countries where there are large Italian communities.

Today, the Massa Lubrense pastry shops prepare artisan chocolate eggs of all sizes and for all tastes. A gift appreciated not only by children!

Handmade Easter dove cake

It was Dino Villani, advertising director of the Milanese company Motta, who, in the 1930s, invented a dessert similar to panettone, but intended for the Easter holidays. Since then, the Easter dove cake has spread to the tables of all Italians, and even far beyond the borders of Italy. The original dough, based on flour, butter, eggs, sugar and candied orange peel, with a rich almond glaze, has subsequently taken on different shapes and variations.

Piatti del menù di Pasqua

Easter menu with traditional dishes

For those who have no idea what to cook for Easter Sunday lunch, here is a menu to take inspiration from.

  • Appetizer: casatiello, various cold cuts, cheeses and vegetables;
  • First courses: lasagna or baked pasta;
  • Second courses: lamb in the oven or mixed grilled meats with potatoes or vegetables;
  • Desserts: pastiera and chocolate eggs.

These are the typical dishes of an Easter lunch in Massa Lubrense, but nothing prevents you from being able to create a personalized menu based on your preferences.

Buon appetito!


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Spring in Massa Lubrense

Category:Blog,Featured Tags : 

written by Eleonora Aiello

Spring in Massa Lubrense is one of the best times to walk, relax and enjoy the open air.

The long-awaited spring, which chases away the cold and rain of winter, can only make Massa Lubrense a perfect setting for all the activities that can be done in this beautiful season.

Finally the temperatures rise and the sun begins to warm us. If before they ranged from 6°C to 12°C, now they range from 10°C to 25°C.

In spring in Massa Lubrense you can enjoy wonderful days in complete tranquility, as beaches and tourist places are not too crowded.

Spring is also the perfect season for trekking lovers as the climate is ideal for walking and discovering magnificent places. Nature returns to blossom and the views are filled with the colors of flowering.

Massa Lubrense in April

Average temperature: 15°C (59°F)

Average sea temperature: 16°C (61°F)

With daylight saving time, the days get longer and the sunset, which at the end of March is around 19:20, arrives until 20:00: we have many hours of sunshine in April.

There are endless activities you can do on sunny days: visiting historic centers, taking walks in nature, and relaxing outdoors.

Massa Lubrense in May

Average temperature: 19°C (66°F)

Average sea temperature: 19°C (66°F)

Light clothes are back, people want to be outside and the outdoor tables of bars and restaurants are starting to fill up. Walking is pleasant, both in nature and in the towns. There is more excitement on the streets, but without crowds.

The most daring can already start taking their first baths when the sun and temperatures allow it. The beautiful beaches of Massa Lubrense will not be crowded at all!

Massa Lubrense in June

Average temperature: 24°C (75°F)

Average sea temperature: 23°C (73°F)

Temperatures rise and we can finally enjoy a month of sun and sea. It is the perfect time for boat or canoe trips, diving, and snorkeling.

A nice dip is the well-deserved reward for walks in the Ieranto Bay or the Crapolla Fjord. From the viewpoints of Massa Lubrense, the appointment with the sunset is at 20:30.

Meteorological data sources:

Che tempo faceva a Massa Lubrense – Archivio Meteo Massa Lubrense » ILMETEO.it

Temperatura dell’acqua del mare a Massa Lubrense oggi | Italia (seatemperature.info)


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Torre Punta Campanella Tower

Saracen towers in Massa Lubrense

Category:Blog,Featured Tags : 

written by Eleonora Aiello

The territory of Massa Lubrense is dotted with coastal guard towers, the so-called “Saracen towers”. They are the testimony of a sighting and defense system built to protect the population from pirate raids.

History

The watchtowers on the territory of Massa Lubrense were built in different periods: during the Longobard-Norman period (IX century), under the Angevins (1266 -1442) who were the first to devise a real defensive system, and with the Aragonese (1442-1503) who continued the work.

Saracen pirates began to attack our coasts during the 9th century. With unprecedented ferocity, they pillaged and destroyed villages, kidnapped men, women, and children to sell them as slaves.

In 1500 the raids by Saracen, Barbary, and Turkish pirates became more frequent. In addition to attacking merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea, privateers landed on the beaches and went inland to look for villages to raid and Christians to kidnap.

Among the bloodiest incursions that occurred in the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast, we remember the attack suffered by Cetara (1534), the massacre of Conca dei Marini (1543), the Turkish invasion of Massa Lubrense and Sorrento (1558), the Turkish invasion of Vietri (1587).

Thus it was that the coastal fortifications became more and more necessary. In fact, it is during the period of the Spanish viceroyalty that most of the towers still existing today were built. In 1563 Don Parfan de Ribera Duca d’Alcalà issued an edict that imposed the construction of coastal towers manned by military personnel on all the coasts of the Kingdom of Naples.

However, the large project was never completed, either due to lack of funds or due to the start of the battle of Lepanto, which required numerous galleys from the Turkish fleet. The towers gradually lost their strategic importance and were used for other purposes.

Tower of Crapolla – Photo by Giovanni Gargiulo

Characteristics

The towers of the Angevin period were cylindrical in shape, high, with not very thick masonry, and mainly had a guard function. They were used to signal the arrival of pirates with fires or smoke signals. In this way, the population was warned to seek shelter in the woods, caves, or fortifications.

With the intensification of the attacks, it was necessary to make the towers more resistant and massive; a square plan was preferred, with a greater thickness of the masonry on the external side. The first series of lookout towers were gradually replaced by defense towers, armed with cannons and manned by a guardhouse commanded by the guardian of the tower.

The defensive system implied that each tower was built in such a position as to be visible from the closest one so that the danger signals could be more effective and faster.

To mark the transition from one form to another was the introduction of artillery, which made it essential to change these fortifications. The artillery was placed on the square and not inside the tower since the gases and fumes released by the weapons would have damaged them due to the lack of saturation. The square tower was more functional than the cylindrical one also because it allowed containing more weapons.

Tower Minerva – Photo by Giovanni Gargiulo

What remains?

Numerous testimonies of these ancient defensive structures survive in the Sorrento peninsula. Some Saracen towers are nothing more than ruins, due to the lack of maintenance, while others, subjected to recovery interventions, have been adapted to the most diverse uses.

Torri saracene

The main Saracen towers

Nine towers still exist along the coast of Massa Lubrense. Along the Neapolitan side of the Massa coast, there are those of Capo Massa, Capo Corbo, San Lorenzo, Fossa di Papa, and Minerva. The others, Montalto, Nerano, Recommone, and Crapolla, are instead on the Salerno side.

Massa Lubrense is also rich in internal defense structures, built on the hilly belt. Examples are the “Torrione”, a structure built to defend the former Jesuit college, and the tower-houses, erected mainly by private individuals. The population used the towers even after the Saracen raids: Torre Turbolo, in the village of Annunziata, was the seat of the Pawnshop in the seventeenth century; Torre Ghezi, near Sant’Agata sui due Golfi, served as a refuge during the Second World War.

Map of the Saracen towers on the coast of Massa Lubrense


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Pasqua

Easter traditions in Massa Lubrense

Category:Blog,Festivals Tags : 

written by Eleonora Aiello

Among the various religious traditions rooted in the culture of Massa Lubrense, there are certainly some very peculiar ones that make it unique. And it is precisely the case of the traditions of the Easter period. In this article, we will analyze the habits and rituals that most represent this area during Holy Week.

Lent

Lent (in Italian “Quaresima”) represents for Catholics a period of penance and fasting in preparation for Easter. This phase of abstinence, in the Roman rite, runs from Ash Wednesday until sunset on Holy Thursday.

Quarantana bambola di Quaresima
“Quarantana”, the doll of Lent

In the Sorrento peninsula there is an ancient custom of preparing “la vecchia” (= “the old woman”), a small doll in black clothes that, in the popular imagination, personifies “Quarantana”, a thin and skimpy old woman. Dressed in a long skirt, black handkerchief on the head, distaff, and spindle in hand, the doll is hung outside the houses. Under her skirt, she has an onion, or a potato, skewered with seven chicken feathers that act as a ritual calendar: one feather is removed every Sunday, while the last one is removed at noon on Holy Saturday.

The palm Sunday

As a first appointment, we must mention that of Palm Sunday, the day in which we remember the triumphal entry into Jerusalem of Jesus, riding a donkey and acclaimed by the crowd who greeted him As a first appointment we must mention that of Palm Sunday, the day in which we remember the triumphal entry into Jerusalem of Jesus, riding a donkey and acclaimed by the crowd who greeted him waving palm branches.

In the territory of Massa Lubrense, the palms are often replaced by olive branches, blessed in a ceremony that takes place in the church, which each faithful will decorate and embellish. Traditionally, these olive branches are adorned with the addition of small caciocavalli, locally produced cheeses, small salamis, and colored sugared almonds.

Palm branches with intertwined leaves are also used. The weaving work must be done a few days before the blessing because the palm leaves dry quickly, thin, and spoil easily. Before proceeding with the weaving, each leaf must be clean or freed from the woody part that covers it, and the leaves that are too pungent must be removed.

Domenica delle palme
Palm with olive branch

The foot-washing ceremony

But the religious rites that most distinguish this area are, without any doubt, those of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The first recalls the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper where Jesus washed the feet of the Twelve Apostles. To commemorate this event, the ceremony of the foot-washing is celebrated during the Mass in Coena Domini, where the priest washes the feet of twelve people representing the twelve apostles. Furthermore, from Thursday evening the church bells will remain “tied”, that is, mute.

The processions

During Holy Week, processions of hooded people walk the streets of the town symbolically representing the passion and death of Jesus. They are distinguished from each other by the color of the garments, the times of exit and the choirs that accompany them. Two processions are held in Massa Lubrense: one starts from Torca, the other from Massa center.

All the itineraries of the processions can be found on the website processioni.com. In addition to Massa Lubrense, the processions also take place in the municipalities of Sorrento, Sant’Agnello, Piano, and Meta. 

Black procession on Good Friday

Easter and Easter Monday

Easter Sunday is announced by the sacred and solemn ringing of the bells which, finally, can be dissolved to ring in “glory”.

The following Easter Monday is called “Pasquetta”: on this day, even if there is often bad weather, families and friends use to have a nice outing with a picnic in nature.

Dates to remember

Palm Sunday: April 10th, 2022

Easter: April 17th, 2022

Easter Monday: April 18th, 2022


Events Calendar

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27 June 2022(2 events)

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