Amalfi i limoni di Aceto sul New York times . Una notizia che non può che farci piacere come Positanonews, il giornale della costiera amalfitana e penisola sorrentina, conosciamo la famiglia Aceto da anni e sappiamo che sono “veri” produttori di limoni e contadini, artigiani del territorio, e, una volta tanto, ciò viene riconosciuto
On a recent spring morning, Luigi Aceto, a hale 78, climbed a ladder in a terraced lemon grove that stretched up the hillside in one of Italy’s most picturesque towns and expertly began snipping lemons into a wicker basket. The sun was shining. The lemons were ripe and as big as fists. The scent of blossoms was intoxicating. Multimedia Slide Show Six Generations in the Lemon Business Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. Twitter List: Reporters and Editors Enlarge This Image The New York Times The Amalfi Coast is known these days as a tourist mecca. More Photos » Mr. Aceto, nicknamed Gigino, was born and raised in these lemon groves, where his family has been working for centuries, first as tenant farmers, then as landowners. But with the land on the Amalfi Coast far more valuable today for luxury tourism than boutique lemons, Mr. Aceto worries what the future will bring. “I have the honor and the burden of bearing witness here to six generations,” he said contemplatively, as he stood on a promontory in the lemon grove, wearing, as it happens, a lemon yellow shirt. He was referring to the three generations that preceded him as well as his own, and those of his two sons and grandchildren. In many ways, the Aceto family tree mirrors Italy’s transformation from an agrarian peasant society before World War II into an industrial power afterward — and its lingering ambivalence about whether it wants to compete globally or believes its future lies in local traditions. The debate has become more intense since the introduction of the euro in 2002, which raised the price of Italian exports, making it harder for small businesses to compete. Today, 90 percent of Italian businesses have fewer than 15 employees. The Acetos make a niche product — world-famous lemons, prized for their low acidity and delicate flavor — and like many small Italian businesses, they are reluctant to grow, preferring quality over quantity, tradition over expansion. Mr. Aceto wants the lemon groves and the business to stay in the family. “My two sons work for the business and are dedicated; I count on them,” he said. Mr. Aceto’s son Marco runs the production side of the company, La Valle dei Mulini, making limoncello liquor, lemon honey and other products from the lemons, which are so sweet you can eat them whole. Marco’s wife works in the family shop selling the products in the town’s touristy main square. Mr. Aceto’s other son, Salvatore, recently left a job as an accountant to come back to work for the family business. That isn’t always the case for other nearby families, whose children left the lemon groves to go to college and seek professional jobs in the cities. Keeping the lemon groves alive is a constant struggle.