Of ancient origins, while it is true that the presence of lemons in the Sorrento area is certified by historical documents from the 1500s, the PGI Limone di Sorrento has genetic ancestors that date back to Roman times. On numerous paintings and mosaics found in the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum lemons are very similar to the current "massesi" and "Sorrento ovals" which testify to the use of these fragrant fruits on the canteens of our Latin ancestors.
The most important evidence of the presence of lemons in the area dates back to the Renaissance period. Sales deeds, paintings, literature and botanical treatises tell us about the use of locally produced lemons for the most varied uses, even if we have to wait until 1600 to have the certainty of cultivation in a specialized form, as shown by the acts of the local Fathers Jesuit.
Still today there is one of the first cultivated funds, named precisely "Il Gesù", located in the Conca di Guarazzanno, between Sorrento and Massalubrense. This testimony confirms the thesis that it is precisely from these two municipalities of the Sorrento peninsula that the names of the varieties from which the product is derived originated: "Ovale di Sorrento" and "Massese".
Cited in the works of Torquato Tasso, a native of Sorrento, Giovanni Pontano and Giambattista della Porta, the Limone di Sorrento PGI goes back to the 1800s, when the historian Bonaventura from Sorrento testifies to its shipment all over the world, especially through direct ships to America.