Olives, tomatoes, wheat, grapes and citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges, are the main foods grown in Italy. Carrots, lettuce, cauliflower and onions are also produced in Italy.
Three-quarters of Italian farms grow some variety of crop. Olives are the main crop, grown by 21 percent of farmers, followed by just over 12 percent who grow wheat. Vineyards account for 10 percent of all crops grown in Italy. Most of Italy's farming is done in the northern part of the country due to the increase in extreme weather patterns in the south. Because of the north's microclimate, grapevines can bear fruit up to 3,937 feet in altitude, while fruit trees yield walnuts, chestnuts, apples and pears.
The mineral-rich soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius, as well as its excellent draining ability, makes this spot unique for the variety of the crops it produces. Apricots and cherries are the most widely grown product of the area, with hundreds of varieties of apricots. Pomodorini da serbo, or small tomato, is another popular product that surrounds the volcano. The cherries, which are less numerous, are grown mostly at the foot of Monte Somma.
Located on the island of Sicily, Mount Etna also has rich volcanic soil, which is good for growing an abundance of lemons, blood oranges, almonds, olives and other fruit. Because of its soil and unique climate, vineyards are plentiful in the region as well.