The Lemons of Limone

The origin of the name "Limone" is still uncertain, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the citrus fruit. Scholars believe the name of the town derives from the Latin word for boundary ("Limen"). For centuries a boundary actually ran north towards Riva. It certainly existed since the end of the 10th century and during the days of the Republic of Venice, the Lombard-Veneto Kingdom and the Kingdom of Italy, fueling disputes and smuggling until 1918. Nevertheless, lemons were actually grown for many years in Limone, starting in the 17th century. In the 18th century, lemons were grown on an almost industrial scale, and at that time countless greenhouses were built to protect the plants during the winter. The entire gulf was lined with walls, stairways, arches and wooden beams upon which wood planks and other materials were attached to protect these particularly delicate citrus fruits from November to March. Innumerable prints, paintings and writings have immortalized this enchanting scenery which has left its mark on the town. For almost three hundred years, Limone has been known as the land of lemons.
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