Biological/biodynamic Lemon Production

Azienda Agricola Mottava

Di Tommaso Gargallo di Castel Lentini

Mottava, centuries of lemon

Over 400 years of experience

The Gargallo family started growing citrus fruits already in 1600 when the Mottava estate was granted to the marquis. As of today, it is still run by the Gargallo family

Climate & soil, the perfect union

The rich clay soil and the climate in the surroundings of the ancient Roman city of Syracuse is perfect for the growth of citrus fruits.

One of the first 100% biological farm

The Mottava estate was the 2nd production of lemons in Sicily to receive the full biological production status in 1974. In 2019 the farm has invested to be recognized again also as biodynamic.

Holder of all certifications

Global G.A.P.
Bio EU

Azienda Agricola Mottava

Centuries of history and taste

Centuries of richness and taste

The Mottava estate is located a few kilometres from Syracuse, the ancient and rich Greco-Roman city also known as the birthplace of the mathematician Archimedes. Through the centuries, this land has distinguished itself for its fertility and abundance, especially in the production of native citrus fruits such as lemons.

Family owned since 1600

Since 1600 Mottava belongs to the family of the Gargallo Marquises, who since that time dedicated their land to the citrus plantation, to bring first the fruits on the tables of the nobility of eastern Sicily and later to a much broader population growing into the centuries

The best clay soil

Mottava was chosen as the personal company of the Marquis for the particularity of the soil, which lies on a layer of clay located two meters deep. This clayey subsoil gives the plants a robust growth and allows to obtain fruits with a unique and strong taste. The family immediately noticed the magic and fertility of the place, also enriched by the various sources of natural water that gush into it.

The secret is in the soil

The clay soil is what nature has given this land to grow lemons. Combining it with natural springs, sun & care, you get the best lemons

The Syracuse region provides for
the best climate


For thousands of years the soil in Sicily has been renown for its quality that results in one of the best lemon production of the world. Especially the soil near Syracuse.


The richness of the water in the springs and the rain offer the best conditions for the lemons to grow


The heat of Sun in this area creates the perfect condition for the lemons to ripe and produce the essential sugars. Also, the Sun makes it possible for the thermic to do its job and bring in the desired sea breeze and give freshness to the trees.

Human care

But, without proper care and utmost respect for nature, the production of lemons will not meet the required standards. As the 2nd lemon producer of Sicily to become fully biological and in the process of being even biodynamical, Mottava grows the best lemons.
Sicily, the best lemons of Italy

The best climate

The climate here offers a very long growing season and the gathering of ripe lemons over three distinct periods.

First is the autumn harvest or primofiore, followed by the cultivation of the bianchetto in Spring and the verdello between June and July.

The most common variety of lemon is the femminello, which also has its own strains, some with seeds some without.

The lemon enthusiasts want to take a closer look at the Femminello Siracusano, The main produce of the Mottava estate.

of the Italian lemon production comes from Sicily

Femminello Siracusano

Precious blonde

With its 5,000 hectares cultivated in the province of Syracuse alone, the Femminello lemons cover 25% of the national lemon production. Considered one of the most precious varieties of lemons in Italy for its organoleptic properties. Syracuse lemons are generally of medium size, very fragrant, and 30% juicier than other lemons.

Not only good to eat, but also for its essential oils

The color ranges from green to deep yellow, the skin is uniform and fine, and the fruit generally has few seeds. But it is not only beautiful on the outside. Syracuse lemons, in fact, are much sought after by the most important perfume and cosmetics companies in the world for the high quality of their essential oils as well as for the richness of oil glands in their fine and silky skin.

Indispensable for a balanced diet

Being the citrus fruit having the highest content of vitamin C and citric acid, indispensable for the good functioning of our body, Sicilian lemons of the “Femminello Siracusano” variety can boast many fundamental beneficial properties. Fresh, thirst-quenching, and detoxifying, it is particularly recommended for a proper diet and the treatment of many diseases, besides being very appreciated for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Checkout my interview with

Italian Dutchman Claudio Papone markets greener-than-green lemons