The town of Santa Maria del Cedro, in the province of Cosenza (Calabria) is the home to the cedar tree. In this area these trees have been grown for over two thousand years, as they thrive thanks to a special microclimate, where air currents meet, a warm one from the sea and a cold one from the mountains, creating the ideal environment. Citrons are part of the Jewish festival of the huts, Sukkot, which falls between September and October. This is why from the summer, Santa Maria del Cedro becomes the most important centre for the harvesting of the citron, this citrus fruit linked to the festival. As prescribed to Moses, the citron must be perfect with an unblemished skin. During the festival prayers, it is held in the hand with the other species: a palm branch, three myrtle branches and two willow branches. Together the four species have several symbolic meanings linked to the hallmarks of humans or the Jewish people.
Because of its being the production centre of this special crop, Santa Maria del Cedro has created the Citron Museum whose halls retrace the history of the product through information panels that document the various phases of production and the research on where it grows in Italy. In the museum, multimedia stations give direct access to a platform offering information on the characteristics of the surrounding area, suggesting two routes. An art-related route through the town’s historic centre with ceramic panels telling the story of the citron, with references to the biblical world and Jewish traditions. The panels also display literary quotations on the citrus fruit, from Apicius, in his recipes, to Boccaccio, Tasso, D’Annunzio and Lee Masters. The second itinerary is archaeological and is connected to the site of Laüs (Λᾶος), a colony of Magna Graecia, which corresponds to what is now Marcellina, a hamlet of Santa Maria del Cedro’s, close to Scalea.
Museo del Cedro
Via Imprese, 52 – 87020 Santa Maria del cedro CS