Scenic Sorrento Italy – A Playground for Tourists
By a Southern California quiz master, Charles L Harmon
Sorrento Italy is truly a playground for tourists. Here, you will find exquisite architecture and a thriving café and restaurant culture.
To many travelers, Sorrento makes the ideal base to discovering the Amalfi Coast and the Bay of Naples.
It is close to other notable Italian attractions like the infamous Mount Vesuvius, which you can see from the town and the famous Pompei.
The town is accessible from Naples and Capri Island as it is served by ferry services and the Circumvesuviana rail system. Out of all the towns on the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento has the most number of hotels and other accommodation choices.
Sitting on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Naples, Sorrento is divided into two sections. One of which is the quaint yet charming Old Town and the other is a residential district housing a number of hotels. Like many old towns, Sorrento’s historic center is rich in culture and history. It features those narrow Roman streets that were built during the Middle Ages.
Landmarks and Roman Ruins
Sorrento is more than just a resting stop as the town offers fascinating landmarks worth visiting. Start your exploration at Via San Cesareo, the Old Town’s main thoroughfare. Then proceed to its most impressive buildings like the 14th century Sedile Dominova.
The Church of San Francisco is not only an important place of worship in the town, its plaza is also a regular host to art exhibits and concerts. Other interesting landmarks in the area include the Roman Ruins of Villa Pollio, St. Francis Monastery and the Basilica di Sant’Antonino.
Museums and Beautiful Views
If you are a fan of museums, Sorrento has a couple of fascinating museums that will impress you. Some of the most notable ones include Museo Correale di Terranova and Archeological Museum of the Sorrentine Peninsula. Sorrento also has a strong woodcarving heritage. To learn more about this craft, drop by Museo Bottega della Tarsialignea.
The View from the Top
Would you like to see something picturesque? If so then climb up Sorrento’s prime cliff tops. You will find public gardens there and you can gaze upon amazing views of the sea and Mount Vesuvius. After admiring the gardens and the panorama, you can take a lift that will bring you down to the seaside area.
If you adore the sea, make you way to the Sorrento’s main harbor. There are no real “sandy” beaches along this coast but you can still swim in some areas like the Marina Grande and the Marina Piccola. While here, rent a lounge chair to relax and enjoy the shimmering water and fresh breeze.
Walking, Hiking and getting Around
Walking is great way to appreciate the beauty of the town and its surroundings. Some of the popular hiking paths from Sorrento includes one that leads to the Roman Villa di Pollio ruins and the fishing village of Lubrenese. There are also local buses available. The local bus service is good enough to visit all interesting places available in the area.
It is easy to visit the other towns along the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can opt to do the very scenic Amalfi Drive riding in a taxi or bus. The very memorable drive exposes you to exquisite architecture, old churches and lovely villages sitting on cliffs. There are also regular boat services that sail along the coast and to the islands of Capri and Ischia.
Buy a Souvenir
If you are thinking about purchasing something unique from Sorrento, consider getting an inlaid wood framed pictures, which is a traditional local craft. One of the top souvenirs from the area is limoncello, the signature lemon liqueur.
You can find it at Limonoro Via San Cesareo, 51. This is a good place to see it being made, after which you’ll know why it packs a wallop. That’s because it’s basically pure alcohol with flavouring added.
All in all, a trip to Sorrento is full of possibilities. That’s whether you enjoy a splash in Naples Bay, see the historic sights the city has to offer, take a walk through the lively pedestrian only streets at night, or spend an enjoyable day exploring the ruins of Pompeii. Make Sorrento one of your must-see stops when you are in Italy.
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