Delizia al Limone is Amalfi’s signature sweet
The lemons of the Amalfi Coast are rightfully famous, with a thick, fragrant peel and tons of sweet-sour juice. They’re a vibrant symbol of the region, growing in terraces on the steep cliffs along the coast, from Sorrento to Capri to Amalfi itself. You’ll find them painted on ceramics and starring in spaghetti—but for the real lemon aficionado, there’s nothing better than Amalfi’s beloved dessert delizia al limone.
You can find these little cakes in pasticcerias around the city, their pale yellow domes usually topped with a slice of candied lemon or lemon zest. Inside, you’ll find a light sponge cake filled with lemon cream, soaked in a limoncello syrup and coated with lemon-scented whipped cream or a lemony glaze. The layers of lemon flavor in each step build up to a truly stunning citrus experience, balanced by the richness of the custard and cream and the fluffy cake. It’s everything we want in a lemon dessert!
Surprisingly, this iconic sweet is relatively young—at least by Italian standards. It was invented in the 1970s by pastry chef Carmine Marzuillo for the Parco dei Principi hotel in Sorrento, and was formally introduced at a national convention of Italian pastry chefs in 1978, where it won a gold medal. It quickly spread in popularity, spurred on by Marzuillo’s brother, also a chef. Amalfi pastry chef Sal de Riso made it a staple of his popular shop in the 1980s, and it’s been delighting tourists and locals alike ever since.
If you’re in Amalfi, one of our favorite places to enjoy delizia al limone is on the terrace outside Pasticceria Andrea Pansa (Piazza Duomo, 40) across from the city’s majestic duomo.