Monday, September 16

Gino and the Amalfi Lemons

Amalfi is famous for its lemons. Big, juicy, fragrant lemons that are bursting with flavour and used in hundreds of recipes fom limoncello to lemon risotto to cakes, sorbets and granitas.
Back in June I was called to work as make up artist on the filming of Gino's Italian Escape for the UK channel ITV.
One day we were fliming very close to home in the Aceto Familys' famous lemon groves on the slopes above Amalfi Harbour.
We all met up early in the morning at a bench by the roadside on the outer edge of Amalfi. This is where I prepared Gino for the filming..make up on the side of the road, glamour all the way!

We took some shots down on the port and teased half the crew who had all turned up wearing nautical stripes. Then we crossed the road and wound our way up steps, through narrow alleyways, until we found ourselves on a big leafy terrace covered in lemon trees. The view was spectacular.

As we were all introduced to one of the owners of the lemon groves, I realized that I actually knew him...or he knew me, as he greeted me with a slap on the back and a "we' paesana!" roughly meaning, "hello townsfolk"...or something like that...
I got an odd look from Gino as I'd already seen a few familiar faces around town that morning...and I'd also met people I knew at various other locations in the last few days...which provoked me to call cheekily, "what's the matter Gino? Are you worried that I'm more famous than you?!"

After we had filmed the segment we needed we headed back into town for lunch, waiting patiently (but sniggering) while Gino got mobbed by tourists suddenly as we were trying to film him walking down the street..(One Texan lady yelled, "I don't have a clue who he is but darn, is he tasty, I'll have his autograph!")

In Positano we have a lemon granita stall that is very popular in the summer. In Amalfi they have a lemon sorbet stall. This guy sets up in the morning, just opposite the harbour and stands there making fresh lemon sorbet. It was actually very good and we all got given a cup. I ate mine, Ginos' and Stu, the cameramans.

That evening we had a surprise. We knew we were going to be filming a piece on a boat, actually I thought it was going to be such a small boat that I would have to do the make up and then wait behind on shore.
But then this beautiful sailboat pulled up in the marina and there was room for me too, even though I spent most of the time having to hide out below deck. It was also a new 'first' for me, the first time I'd done someones makeup on a boat!
Hiding below deck while filming takes place, we took turns holding onto the cameraman, so that he could film without falling over the edge.

We sailed along the coast until nightfall so that we could record the twinkling lights of the shoreline.
Once the filming was over we all crawled out of the cabin and sat around the boat, sharing glasses of prosecco topped up with limoncello from the groves we had visited earlier. Read more about the Amalfi Lemon groves HERE.
This was part of the first episode of Gino's Italian Escape to go on air (Friday 13th September), now available for anyone in the UK to see on ITV iplayer. So, yeah...I haven't seen it yet...
There is also a book to go with the series, available on Amazon.
Next week: Naples!


  1. What a job :-) someone had to do it..LOL great photos.

  2. Great post! I loved the first episode about the Amalfi lemons. Wow! Aren't you the lucky one getting that close to gorgeous Gino. We woman of a certain age over here in England are finding him very tasty indeed! HaHa!! Anne in Oxfordshire recommended this post to me.

  3. An interesting background post to the programme, thoroughly enjoyed both. :)


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