As visually stunning as Sorrento is from the hills, it is equally spectacular being viewed offshore from the Bay of Naples. There are a number of ways to experience this beauty; a trip between towns along the Amalfi coast, a hydrofoil or ferry to Capri, a tour along the Amalfi coast are just a few. However as soon as you reach the Bay of Naples and look back to Sorrento a new perspective of the town develops. To me it was one that showed how spread out the few 17,000 Sorrentans are.
Access to the harbor where the ferries, hydrofoils and other boats embark is a relatively short distance from town although the climb down of over 100 meters has many stairs to navigate.
No! Those who know the meaning of beach should spare the word in Sorrento.
Of course there is sea, sand, and sun, but for that, you have thousands of better places.
The strong point of Sorrento is the glamour, the life, the ambiance...
For a great place to have dersert or coffee, you’ve got to try the “Dolce & Geleto Sorrento” Located on Corso Italia 183. Giuseppe the manager and his great and friendly staff make you feel right at home, the have one of the largest selection of Geleto I have ever seen, along with an equely large selection of Dolce (Pastries) a selection of fresh fruit and an espresso bar to match their superb service.
Driving around Sorrento is a nice experience.
One of two reasonable beaches, are not reason enough to take you out of the road.
However, you must stop here, there and everywhere, because, any place you stop, you risk to have awesome sights. So, keep on driving and stopping!
Marco the chef at Gelateria David gives a 45 minute introduction to the art of making gelato and as he talks in very good english he makes up one of the 34 flavours he prepares on a daily basis. Then of course you get to sit outside and have a gelato whilst they write you out a little certificate.
Maybe I wouldn't have normally rushed to part with my 7 euros (but then a gelato is 3 euros so it was really only 4 euros each for 45 minutes of something that even my 12 year old found riviting) but as a save when the thing you had planned falls flat it was brilliant and in the top 5 highlights of our 2 weeks.
If you are able to see some live music while you are there, it is worth it. We went during the time of the summer festival and were lucky enough to see a small jazz performance in the courtyard of the church. From what we could tell, these guys were famous. There were about 5 people and I felt as though I was privliged enough to be a part of some amazing jam session. We could tell they had all worked together before in another part of their lives. They were having fun. It was very cool.
Sorrento's main gathering place, Piazza Tasso, was named after one of Italy's most famous poets, Torquato Tasso, whose marble image adorns the square. The other large statue is of St. Anthony - patron saint of Sorrento and sailors - who died here in the first century and is buried in the Basilica di Sant'Antonino, just a block or two north of the piazza. Here also are cafes, shops, beautiful Maria del Carmine church and lots and lots of traffic. I couldn't get a decent shot of it for the cars, buses, motorini and people! The piazza is considered the entry point for the historic part of town and an excellent place to lounge in the sun with a glass of limoncello and watch the insanity.
Crossing streets around the piazza: If you aren't the religous sort, you might become one in a hurry. Take a deep breath, put your head down, utter a few, fervent words to a Higher Power and follow the crowd. See my tip (Italy pages) on crossing busy Roman thoroughfares.
Remember what I said in my first tip about traffic? Pedestrians get a welcome break in the evenings when some of the streets around Piazza Tasso - including a section of Via Corso Italia - close to all vehicular traffic for la passeggiata: the little walk. This traditional evening stroll is social time for Italians, who tidy up to meet family or friends at favorite cafes, grab a gelato, take their little ones to the park or just enjoy Sorrento's soft evening air. This is a great time to do a little window shopping as most of the shops are open and, while still very busy, it feels less chaotic without the daytime street congestion.
WARNING: While the traffic ban is a boon for walkers, it could be a headache for drivers. If you're renting a car and plan on arriving in the evening, you might want to check with your hotel to see if you might need an alternate route.
We visited the ancient city of Pompeii on a day trip from Sorrento. Located about 30km from the Sorrento train station, this place is not to be missed, as it is the best-preserved city of Ancient Rome. Pompeii features an entire Roman city with buildings containing frescos, mosaics and plumbing still in tact! Also found here are plaster casts of the citizens of Pompeii just as they were found in the excavations.
Comfortable walking shoes are essential since the roads and paths are not very even.
For more information visit my "Pompei, Campania" page.
Walking out to Punta del Capo, you will be treated to some fine panoramic views of the entire Bay of Naples, Mt Vesuvius, and the town of Sorrento. Just be careful--some parts of the road have no sidewalks.
Be sure to check out the ruins of the Roman villa that are perched atop the cliffs. This is also a great place to catch a Mediterranean sunset.
Beaches are a rarity near Sorrento because of the cliffs (although there is a nice one in town at Marina Grande), Were the cliffs are there are steps down (sometimes a lift) and large bathing platforms stretch out into the sea. There is normaly a charge for using them
My experience with Mami Camilla was nothing far from perfect. It was my first time traveling to Europe alone and though I was not worried about it, I still had some doubts. Upon arriving at Mami Camilla, though I was a little late for dinner, I was wonderfully greeted by Giuseppe and after a few minutes to get introduced to the other guests, I had wine placed in front of me and three plates of food, and even though I had eaten earlier, I could not pace up on eating such a good meal. From there on in I felt right at home, we went on nice trips around the area to help introduce the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, we had a nice boat ride around Capri, where we swam, ate and just relaxed under the sun. Originally my trip was to last one week in Sorrento, however, I just did not want to leave and so I quickly doubled my vacation time there.
After leaving all that was left in me mind, was when will I return and finally 2 years later I am in the mist of organizing another couple of weeks there. Soon I will be back with the family, cooking away, enjoying the surroundings and drinking good wine.
Sorrento is really quite green, and it is very pleasant to wander the streets poking one's nose into people's gardens.
Lots of orange and lemon groves, of course, and streets lined with orange trees (Via Degli Aranci, strangely!). Must be absolutely lovely when they are in blossom but I've only been there when they are covered in fruit. Why isn't it eaten? Well, having tried one they are very obviously the type of oranges we British would use for marmalade: mouth-twistingly sour. Seville oranges, possibly. But beautiful, nontheless.
Umbrella pines tower over several streets (home to many a roosting bird), but I saw few cypresses.
Olive trees, some clearly very old (look around the town walls for these). Gnarled and twisted, their harsh pruning (in February) doesn't seem to do them any harm.
Some of the most massive cacti, succulents and palms I've seen are planted in sundry Sorrento gardens. There is a particularly good set in a hotel at the junction of V V Veneto and V San Francesco: fascinating structure and textures.
Bougainvilla of course, and cyclamen (in February), and camellia....and, in February, every spare bit of land seemed covered with a tall, yellow trefoil of some sort. Very pretty.
If you like plants and flowers you will enjoy wandering Sorrento.
Italy is a Catholic country and so they have some amazing churches, and shrines throughout Italy. There are shrines on nearly all streets and churches tucked away everywhere. The churches are very beautiful andf have some amazing artwork in them.
Sorrento seem to be obsessed with cats. Everywhere you look there are cats sunbathing on cars, hiding under upturned boats etc. There are also loads of sounvenir's with cats on. I love cats so I loved watching them all. See the pictures I have uploaded to check out the cats sunbathing at Marina Grande.
We stayed in a Jr. Suite for 5 nights in June and truly enjoyed the convenience, quiet and terrific...more
When I booked my hotels in Italy, I made sure to book on Best Western hotels because of its free...more
In the late 19th century, Empress Eugénie of France came here for a week and wound up staying three...more