In the south of Italy on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, lies the Riviera del Cedri, which is home to many beautiful seaside villages. This area gets its name from the cedro (English name: citron), a citrus fruit that has been cultivated in this area for centuries.
The cedro is one of the four original citrus fruits that looks very similar to a lemon but is actually quite different. The citron tree, blooms throughout the year but it is harvested in mid-October to early December.
But, in the months of July and August, Jewish Rabbis head to Santa Maria del Cedro, one of the small villages along the Riviera del Cedri, to choose the best “Pri Etz Hadar” or “Fruit of the Majestic Tree”, which is used to celebrate the Jewish holiday, Tu B’Shvat.
It is also in Santa Maria del Cedro, that you’ll find the Cedro Museum. The museum is housed in an antique building that was once used as a prison.
When you enter the museum, you are welcomed into their large reception area with beautiful mosaic panels which depict the story of the cedro and its religious importance.
Within the museum you have the opportunity to learn more about the cultivation process as well as the cultural significance of this region’s coveted fruit.
As you make your way through the museum, you will find yourself in the “Laboratorio del Gusto” which offers visitors to sample some of the many specialities that are made using cedro, like cedro liquor, cedro oil and jams.
And if you love what you tasted, there are many local products, from culinary to cosmetics, available that you can purchase and take home as gifts or souvenirs.
Don’t forget to explore the outer areas of the museum. There is a large courtyard which sometimes hosts special events.
Hours of Operation:
9:30am – 12:30pm / 5:00pm – 8:30pm
Check their Facebook page for any temporary changes to opening hours and further contact information.