The PGI Interdonato Lemon from Messina Route – In depht-informations

The Interdnato is a lemon tree obtained by grafting the cedar and lemon tree.


The grafting was achieved most likely in the years between 1875 and 1880 by the Colonel Interdonato (picture on the right) in his citrus grove located in the Ali Terme distric named Reitana, a center on the Ionian strip of Messina province.

The official was a passionate farmer and performed about 200 grafting on melangolo plants, introducing under the T-incision a shield constituded by two half gemmae (one of cedar the other of lemon) longitudinally united and perfectly coincident.

Many theories attribute the autochthonous character of the Interdonato cultivar to a combination of natural and anthropic factors that cannot be reproduced elsewhere.

Organolepctic characteristics

The fruit is medium-big sized, the range being between 80 and 350 grams, it has elliptical shape with prominent umbo and not very deep style scar, thin epicarp scarcely wrinkled with oil glands spread out. The fruit colour at the beginning of the commercial maturity is opaque green than changes in yellow; the pulp is yellow, the thickness is average with rare or absent seeds and the juice quantity no less than 25% and total acidity less than 5% (the whole and cutted fruit in the picture on the right).

Production area

The traditional production area comprises Messina, Scaletta Zanclea, Itala, Alì Terme, Nizza di Sicilia, Roccalumera, Fiumedinisi, Pagliara, Mandanici, Furci Siculo, S. Teresa di Riva, Letojanni, S. Alessio Siculo, Forza D’Agrò, Taormina, Castelvecchio Siculo, Giardini Naxos and Savoca.


The picking perdiod goes from September 1st to April 15th, with the help of scissors to prevent detachment of the calicina portion. The yeld in terms of product ranges between 80 and 130 kilograms par plant.

The Interdonato Lemon naturally colonized and characterized the Messinese Jonic area, marked by particular and peculiar pedological, orographical, climatic and environmental elements.

Thanks to these characteristics the Interdonato presents winter fruits with fast growing rate and early ripening that can be placed on the market from September, when no substitutable products are sold.

The Interdonato Lemon cultivation had and has a great social and economic importance on the territory.

The PGI Interdonato Lemon from Messina

For these reasons the Lemon obtained the PGI on the basis of CEE Regulation No 1081 with the denomination Interdonato Lemon of Jonic Messina, published on GUCE L. 295 12/11/2009.

The Consortium for the protection of the Interdonato Lemon from Sicily was founded for its protection and enhancement.

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