For generations people had used the fertile soil on the slopes of Vesuvius for the cultivation of Piennolo Vine Tomatoes.
The tradition was documented in 1858 by Bruni in Degli ortaggi e loro coltivazione presso la città di Napoli. He made special mention of the extraordinary qualities of this special sort of tomato as it is not only very tasty but can also be preserved for months.
Visitors can enjoy the delightful red cherry-shaped tomatoes either freshly picked and bought at one of the local markets (where they are hung in the characteristic “al piennolo” shape), or as a traditionally-prepared preserve, sold in glass jars. The unique characteristics of the Piennolo Vine Tomato include its exceptionally thick skin as well as its high sugar and acid content. The advantage of the local harvesting and conserving techniques means that people get an opportunity to eat the tomatoes throughout the winter. Incidentally, the Mount Vesuvius tomato is an essential ingredient of the world-famous Spaghetti and Pizza “Napoli”.