In Sorrento, the procession of the Hooded People taking place during the Holy Week are two: the White Procession, also known as Procession of Our Lady of Sorrows, put on stage by the Archconfraternity of Santa Monica and the Black Procession, or also procession of Dead Christ, performed along the town streets by the Archconfraternity of Morte ed Orazione.
The tradition of Easter processions in Sorrento dates back almost to 1300: evidences testify the usage of parades of hooded people who flogged themselves along the streets as a sign of penitence. The performance of processions had a remarkable importance also during the Spanish domination in the Kingdom of Naples.
Being expressions of religious faith but also interesting folkloristic performances, the processions of the Holy Week have, therefore, a very ancient tradition and are organized and cured in any detail still today. Famous all over the world for the mystical and suggestive atmosphere they can create, they are surely an enchanting show to see during a holiday in Sorrento.
Among the Holy Week celebrations which culminate in the Good Friday processions, there is the Holy Sacrament Adoration on Holy Thursday afternoon which is done visiting all main Sorrento’s churches. It is known as ‘Sepulchres visit’.
A very followed Sorrento’s tradition, the visit to the Sepulchres attract numerous believers and tourists who visit the main churches’ altars where the sepulchres are prepared on Holy Thursday afternoon.
The visit is made in a silent atmosphere and consists of making prayers and admiring the sepulchres which are prepared by parishioners with flowers and grain.
Bells do not ring, churches are not illuminated: only the Sepulchre under the altar has some lights and becomes the place where simple gifts express the religious feeling of people. Among these symbols we find bread, wine, germinated grain and flowers. The Sepulchres are displayed until Good Friday to allow people to complete the visit in every church.
Marina Grande of Sorrento lies in an enchanted hamlet, inhabited by fishermen and characterized by a small sandy shore and a few bathing establishments. It is one of the best-known places in Sorrento, made famous by the renowned film by Dino Risi Pane, Amore e…, and boasts almost a three thousand-year- old history. Every year, on July 26th, the inhabitants of this enchanted village celebrate the festival of St. Anna.
A much-awaited event, the festival of Sant’ Anna is a date joining the faith and folklore of Sorrento people. Sant’ Anna is the Patron Saint of the hamlet of Marina Grande and also the protector of pregnant women.
Music, games, tastings and characteristic religious rites, including a suggestive procession in which the statue of the Saint goes along the streets of the town, characterize this festival every year.
The celebrations in the honour of the Patron saint of the Hamlet end in a superb firework display at above the sea.
Among the many uses of the lemon, the main one concerns the cooking field. Symbol of the Sorrento Coast and of the Amalfi Coast, the lemon is a basic ingredient of so many tasty recipes, from first courses to cakes. Here we propose you one of these recipes, that of the risotto with lemon and pulp of lobster, and we suggest you to taste it at the Restaurants of the Bellevue Syrene Hotel.
Risotto with Lemon and Pulp of Lobster
Ingredients (for 4 people):
Rice “carnaroli” – 350 gr.
Astice – 800 gr.
Lemons – nr.3
Leaves of lemon – nr.4
Lobster/fish stock – 2 litres
White wine – 50 centiltres
Parsley – oil – butter – salt , as it is enough
How to prepare it:
Cook the lobster in boiling water for 7 minutes and peel it. With its offals, prepare the stock for the risotto. Cut the pulp of lobster into cubes and fry it in a frying pan with garlic and oil. Pour a little of brandy
In the meantime, put the oil and the scallion in a saucepan, fry them lightly, then add rice and make it roast.
Once it is roasted, pour white wine. Continue the cooking of the rice by adding gradually the stock.
Just before finishing the cooking, add the tossed lobster, the chopped fresh parsley, the grated lemon and a little of lemon juice; thicken with a nut of butter and serve in a plate decorated with a leaf of lemon and a few lemon peels.
Sorrento culinary tradition has very ancient origins, in some cases going back to the time of the Greeks, and its success is undoubtely due to its strategic geographic position, as lying between land and sea, to the fertility of its land and its wonderful climate which allows the cultivation of a lot of products, of unique and incomparable genuineness, such as citrus fruits, oranges and lemons, walnuts, tomatoes, vineyards and olive-trees, which all together make up one of the main characteristics of the landscape. The natural characteristics of these products are then combined with the mastery of great chefs who try to guarantee, to all visitors, a cooking of great variety and deliciousness, made with passion and fantasy. Just because used to accommodate thousands of visitors, famous artists, noble families ad vips, Sorrento Coast has developed a kind of restoration ready to satisfy any kind of taste, going from the delicacies of the typical local cooking to those of the nouvelle cousine, and from those of the Mediterranean cooking to international wine-gastronomy. All this, yet, not neglecting the rules of healthy eating, so much recommended by doctors and nutritionists, through the choice of genuine ingredients, which are also tasty and inviting.
Among the most famous and delicious first courses we can remember the well-known gnocchi alla sorrentina, tasty potato gnocchi flavoured with tomato, basil and local mozzarella cheese, which in Sorrento has the shape of a plait. The same flavouring is also used for the inviting ravioli alla caprese, prepared with fresh pasta filled wth ricotta. A scented local basil, combined with Sorrento tomatoes and vaccine mozzarella cheese produced in the Peninsula, are the simple but delicious ingredients of the famous caprese salad, known and appreciated all over the world. Most of the typical local products are seasoned with extra vergine olive oil D.O.P. produced in the Coast and having a sweet and light flavour.
The richness of the land allows the presence of a lot of arboreus cultivations which, besides being one of the main picturesque characteristics of the landscape, allow the production of fruits which are real icons of Sorrento Coast, like the well-known lemons of Sorrento. This fruit, which has achieved the acknowledgement of the Igp in November 2000 for its excellent qualities, is at the basis of economy and allows the making of various products and recipes such as that of the famous Sorrento Limoncello. It is a lemon of medium-large sizes, of elliptic shape, with a beautiful yellow peel, which is very perfumed, and has a particularly juicy and acid pulp. Moreover, this cultivation has also a biological importance, because lemon groves offer these places remarkable advantages, like that of the environmental protection: in occupying also the steepest sides, sometimes with slopes making their cultivation very difficult, in fact, they contribute to preventing soil from geological instability. Very important is also the production of oranges and the one of the famous walnuts of Sorrento which have ancient origins, too, and they are told to have been thrown, in the past, to married couples on the day of their wedding as a sign of good luck and prosperity. There are two main kinds of nuts of Sorrento, one with a long, regular shell which is lightly pointed on top and bevelled on its base, and the other which is roundish and smaller. Also for nuts, which are appreciated by anyone and by confectionery industries, for the peculiarity of their kernel, which even when taken out, remains undamaged, it is possible to prepare various gastronomical recipes and a particular digestive liqueur, the so-called Nocillo. Also the sea lapping Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast is particularly generous: fish and crustaceans are, in fact, important protagonists of gastronomy, used by local chefs to prepare delicious recipes like lobster, simply boiled or cooked in tomato sauce, octopus casserole, crayfish that is fried with or without a light breading, and crab soup. The vineyards located in Sorrento territory produce white wines which are much appreciated, like the Aglianico and the Falanghina, going well with first and second courses based on fish, the red of Sorrento and the Gragnano, instead, go well with dishes based on meat and delicious local dairy products and sausages. Along the coastline of Sorrento, finally, it is possible to taste the fantastic Neapolitan cakes, in particular the delicious rum babà with or without cream, the lemon delizia, the famous Neapolitan pastiera and the inimitable caprese pie, both with almonds and with lemon.
Mixed wild salad leaves
Clean the prawns, remove the head and shell leaving only the tail intact. Blanche in salted water for 2 – 3 minutes with some orange peel.
Squeeze 2 oranges and put the juice into a pan and over a low heat and allow to reduce for about 30 minutes.
Peel another orange and cut into slices.
Place on a plate with a small heap of mixed wild salad leaves, 3 pieces of orange and 7 prawns. Dress the salad and prawns lightly with salt and olive oil and the prawns must also be dressed with some of the reduced orange sauce.
Ingredients for 2 people
Dried salted cod Gr. 400
Capers without salt Gr. 60
Vesuvius small tomatoes Gr. 160
Curly endive Gr. 400
Oil, salt, pepper the right amount
In a pan fry some oil with a clove of garlic, to be taken away after its frying.
Add the dried salted cod with all the remaining ingredients in the oil and let them cook for 7/8 minutes.
Put the raw curly endive in a pan with hot oil and garlic and let it cook for approx. 2 Mins. and then form a pie to put the dried salted cod on.
Ingredients for the Struffoli:
Flour Gr. 200
Eggs No. 2
Olive Oil Ml. 20
Sugar Gr. 30
Anise Ml. 20
Water 1 spoon
Ingredients for the Honey:
Honey Gr. 300
Water Ml. 200
Sugar Gr. 100
Anise Ml. 20
Citrus Fruits peels, to taste
Put the flour and the sugar arranging them as a volcano on board, add eggs, oil, anise and water and knead until you get a homogeneous pastry.
Let the pastry achieved stand for almost 15 minutes, then take some pieces of pastry and roll them with the help of a little flour until you get some stripes of pastry.
Cut the stripes of pastry into small pieces, sieve them and fry them in boiling oil.
Boil the water, the sugar and the honey until you get the desired density and finally add the anise, after which pour the struffoli into the hot honey, previously fried, the peels of the citrus fruits cut in small slices and serve.