For well over 100 years, Sorrento has been considered one of the finest holiday destinations in Europe, playing host to numerous esteemed travellers over the years, among them Lord Byron, Henrik Ibsen and Sir Walter Scott.
A holiday in Sorrento could be a richly rewarding experience if you want it to be, and may easily serve up a stress-free, sunny break away.
Unwind in the Sorrento sunshine
If you are looking for a relaxing holiday, Sorrento could be the perfect place. Its Mediterranean climate means that it is warm all year round, and the town provides plenty of opportunities to make the most of the glorious weather.
Sorrento’s Marina Grande on the shore is a pleasant sandy stretch to stroll along with an abundance of umbrellas and deckchairs in case the heat gets a little too much to handle. From here, you can watch the local fisherman at work and look out over the sea as the fishing boats drift in and out of the harbour.
Alternatively, head into the town centre’s Piazza Tasso where people-watchers gather at the bars and cafés to enjoy quality coffee and observe the world going by. This is a wonderful place to meet up with friends, or make new ones, and spend a slow, relaxed sunny afternoon.
Sorrento boasts some of the finest local produce in the world and is not to be missed out on. Although the region is renowned for its limoncello (an Italian lemon liqueur mainly found in the south), and lemons grown along its coast. However, there is much more to Sorrentine cuisine than its citrus fruit.
There are many enticing restaurants throughout the town, serving authentic Italian cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. Being a coastal town, there is an abundance of superb fresh fish and seafood, often served on the same day it is caught.
You may want to try the restaurants by the Marina Grande; these are a little more homely than the bigger restaurants nearer the centre of town but all serve the freshest seafood.
Just outside of Sorrento itself is the Bagni della Regina Giovanna, a charming natural lagoon formed by a cleft in the rocks, hidden away between lemon and olive groves.
Although the beach itself can be a little difficult to access, if you feel bold it may be worth a visit, if only for views of the clear waters and natural rock formations.
If you would like to travel a little further, trains from Sorrento stop regularly at the Vesuvius National Park. Centred on a volcano, the park covers around 135 square kilometres of unspoiled scenery. Walks are available to suit all abilities, including routes to the volcano’s crater providing stunning views out over the Bay of Naples and surrounding landscape.
A holiday to Sorrento would not be complete without a visit to Capri, an island located just off the coast famous for its Blue Grotto, a sunlit sea cave which glows a deep electric blue.
The main town of Capri hosts excellent restaurants and boutique designer stores and is just a short ferry ride away.
Step into Sorrento’s history
The Amalfi Coast has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural landscape, with its Roman and Italian Renaissance influences in and around the town, there is a wealth of attractions to experience during your stay.
In the first century, wealthy Romans took their own holidays here, and built grand villas lining the coast. One of the finest examples is the Villa di Pollio Felice, accessible either on foot or by bus. This villa has the added draw of offering incredible views out over the bay towards Naples.
Of course, if Roman history interests you, Pompeii and Herculaneum are just a little further around the Bay of Naples. Preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, both give a fascinating glimpse into life under the Roman Empire.
The Italian Renaissance also influenced Sorrento, and the town is home to some delightful medieval treasures. From the Sedile Dominova, a 15th-century domed palazzo, to the rebuilt Cattedrale di Sorrento, there is a wealth of historical architecture to be discovered.