The hilltop town of Gragnano may not boast sweeping views like its neighbors on the Amalfi Coast but it has a noteworthy legacy of its own: it’s the birthplace of dried pasta. While Northern Italy is famous for fresh pasta like tortellini and tagliatelle, Southern Italy is the unrivaled champion of dried pasta, including penne, spaghetti and maccheroni. And thanks to its strategic position in the Gulf of Naples, Gragnano is at the epicenter of its production.
“The people of Gragnano have been able to produce and dry pasta in the streets for over 1,000 years because the climate was working in their favor,” says Giuseppe Di Martino, CEO of the Di Martino Pasta Company. This dried pasta is such an integral part of the town’s history and identity that it is referred to as the “Oro di Gragnano” – the gold of Gragnano.
Located South of Mount Vesuvius and a short drive from Sorrento, Gragnano lies sheltered by the Apennine Mountains and benefits from a sea breeze that brings humidity from the coast. Add to this the presence of watermills and you have the perfect conditions for producing and drying this distinctive pasta.