Located on the Amalfi Coast - Sorrento, Italy, is a town which looks good and has an eye to its tourist attraction. You will find a whole host of shops catering to all needs, with a good amount selling locally produced goods. It is located on the cliff edge, with a view across the water to Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
Ideally located as a base to go off and explore further along the Amalfi Coast, you can travel along the coastal road and really experience a lovely part of Italy. You are also well-located to visit Pompeii and the island of Capri.
Getting there & getting around
Naples International Airport is your likely entry point when taking a visit to Sorrento and the surrounding area.
A bus will transport you from the airport to Sorrento, and this will take around 1 hour & 15 minutes. Keep an eye out for departure times, relative to your arrival time, as it is fairly infrequent. The price isn't bad, and you will be able to sit back and enjoy the views of Mount Vesuvius and the coastline.
An alternative is to hire a car (see our guide here) and drive yourself. This is quicker, but beware the narrow roads and other, possibly more-confident, road users. Also consider whether you will have a use for a car when at the destination (depending on your time in the area, and how willing you are to travel whilst there). A car will give you freedom though, to explore the area in a way you may not otherwise get the opportunity to do.
Sorrento Cathedral (Duomo di Sorrento)
Overlooking the main street in Sorrento, the cathedral was built at the start of the 15th century. It is easily recognisable and presents a sharp contrast between its simple exterior and its rather busier interior.
Sorrento itself is an interesting old town, the streets are narrow and the buildings which line them are old. You can get by the town solely by walking, there will likely be tourists all around, but if you embrace that aspect you can have a very enjoyable stay.
You can get lost in the narrow streets and alleyways, and spend a good amount of time going between the shops, to experience the true Sorrento.
Take a seat at one of the surrounding cafés here and you get an excellent view of all that is going on around you. This is the place you will likely end up at some point on each of the days you visit. It is a great way to take in the atmosphere and sit back to appreciate the location.
San Francesco Cloister
Take in the architecture and arches, alongside the quieter surroundings, you can really appreciate the location and view of Sorrento.
Something Sorrento is not short of, are places to eat and drink. Enjoy your lunches and evening meals here, with a glass of wine and a good meal, and just relax taking in the atmosphere and sights.
Sorrento itself is a great base to explore a little of the surrounding areas.
Take the train from Sorrento to Pompeii (takes around 30 minutes). Pompeii itself is fascinating, as you can walk amongst the ruins of this once thriving community. Mount Vesuvius is visible from here, to give you a small appreciation of just how close this community lived to its eventual cause of destruction.
Smaller than Pompeii, you will find Herculaneum less crowded and provide a closer look at ancient Roman life. Befalling the same fate as Pompeii, from the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD, you can experience some of the intact buildings and detail from this small community.
Once you have visited Pompeii and Herculaneum, you can take a trip to the volcano which decided their fate. You can hike from the car park for around 30-minutes to reach the top, providing a great view of the Bay of Naples. Walk around the crater to overlook Pompeii itself.
Isle of Capri
A quick, 30-minute, ferry ride from Sorrento, take the trip across to the Island of Capri. This is a popular (busy) day-trip option from Sorrento and the island offers beaches, villages, and a good opportunity for exploration. The famous Blue Grotto is worth a visit, just beware it can be a little time-consuming.
The Amalfi Coast
Offering some incredible coastal scenery, the Amalfi Coast is well-worth taking a drive along. Mentioned before, if you are feeling brave, hire a car and experience for yourself the twisting, turning roads, of this cliff-top drive. This is the best way to get a real feel for the area.
Alternatively, the SITA buses run throughout the day between Sorrento and Amalfi, offering a more relaxing drive (insofar as you are not having to deal with the road directly)!
There are a number of communities built into the mountainside, and they are truly memorable places to visit. Consider Positano as an easy day-trip, from Sorrento, which offers a pebble beach and some great views.
Where to Stay
The above article offers an overview of some of the highlights this area has to offer, however for a more complete guide we recommend the travel guides on Amalfi Coast Road Trips or Naples, Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast, from Lonely Planet, which cover Sorrento and the surrounding area.
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