lies on the slopes of Mount Somma, the original volcano whose eruptions gave rise to the cone of the Vesuvio. The crops are spread over land that was crossed by lava during the 1944 Vesuvius eruption. Among dry-stone walls, terraced terrains, brooms and the underspread presence of Mediterranean scrub are alternating vineyards, fruit and olive trees.
The "Pomodorino del Piennolo" (Vesuvius Piennolo Cherry Tomato) is grown where the orchard is sparser.
Traditional Piennolo Cherry Tomato Preserve PDO
In the old days, a popular practice in the Vesuvian area was to make conserva di pomodorini, or cherry tomato preserve, in glass jars or bottles.
The tomatoes were filleted lengthwise (into 'pacchetelle') and painstakingly pushed into bottles. While it was being filled, the bottom of the bottle was frequently thumped on a rolled-up cloth to help settle the fillets (to avoid the tomatoes over-reducing when the bottles were boiled and thus creating air pockets). The bottles were then corked and fastened
before being boiled in large cauldrons for about an hour.
Casa Barone still produces the Traditional Piennolo Cherry Tomato Preserve: the ripest tomatoes, picked around the end of July, are left to 'dry out' in wooden boxes until the end of August. Then they are processed and inserted by hand into jars, sealed with screw-on tops, and finally pasteurised using modern technology.