Apartments in Rome, Sicily and in the Amalfi coast.

English version
Italian version
Deutsch version
 
You are in: Home Page » Campania » Sorrento

VISIT SORRENTO

« All regions

Sorrento

Sorrento

Gently faded, in the manner of a stereopticon image, Sorrento still exudes a robust pull. For anyone suffering Nostalgia di Napoli a longing for tarantellas, strumming mandolins and sweet simply doing nothing – this is the ideal place, since Naples is so urbanized. Sorrento’s tourist industry that began centuries ago is still dominant, although the lords and ladies of bygone days have been replaced with tour groups. Sorrento has become a jumping-off point for visits to Pompeii, Capri and Amalfi, but you can find countless reasons to love it for itself. The Sorrentine people are fair-minded and hardworking, bubbling with life and warmth. The tufa cliff on which the town rests is like a great golden pedestal spread over the bay, absorbing the sunlight in deepening shades through the mild days, and orange and lemon trees waft a luscious perfume in spring. In the evening, people fill cafés to nibble, sip, and talk non-stop; then, arms linked, they stroll and browse through the maze of shop lined lanes. The central piazza is named after the poet Torquato Tasso, born here in 1544. Winding along a cliff above a small beach and two harbours, the town is split in two by a narrow ravine formed by a former mountain stream. To the east, dozens of hotels line busy Via Correale along the cliff – many are grand (an encomium sometimes included in the hotel’s very name) and some, indeed, still are. To the west, however, is the historic sector, which still enchants – it’s a relatively flat area, with winding, stone-paved lanes bordered by balconied buildings, some joined by medieval stone arches. This part of town is a delightful place to walk through, especially in the mild evenings, when people are out and about, and everything is open. Craftspeople are often at work in their stalls and shops and are happy to let you watch; in fact, that’s the point.

top

 

San Francesco

San Francesco

This church, which is near the Villa Comunale gardens and sharing its view over the Bay of Naples, is celebrated for its 14th century cloister. Filled with greenery and flowers, the Arab-inspired cloister has interlaced pointed arches of tufa rock, alternating with octagonal columns topped by elegant capitals, supporting smaller arches, and makes a suitably evocative setting for summer concerts and theatrical presentations – make this a must if you can catch an event. The church portal is particularly impressive, with the original 16th century door featuring inlaid work. Note the exterior bronze work by Nena. The interior’s 17th century decoration includes an altarpiece depicting St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, by a student of Francesco’s Solimena. The convent is now an art school, where student’s works are often exhibited.

top

 

Marina Grande

Marina Grande

Close to the historic quarter (but not that close – many locals prefer to use the town bus to shuttle up and down the steep hill), the port, or borgo, of the Marina Grande is Sorrento’s fishing harbour. In recent years it has become unashamedly touristy, with outdoor restaurants and cafés encroaching on what little remains of the original harbour. Most establishments down here are geared to the English speaking market – expect a Good evening rather than a Buonasera as you enter, and menu listings that leave Mediterranean dishes sounding as if you’d been teleported into a British fish-and–chip shop. In July 2006 the police cleared the seafront of illegally beached fishing boats in an attempt to free up more space for bathers. The Marina still remains a magical location for an evening out on the waterfront, but if you’re interested in a dip-given the dubious seawater quality here and the cramped conditions-head out instead toward Massa Lubrense and Nerano. Don’t confuse this harbour with Marina Piccola, at the base of the cliff, below Piazza Tasso and the Hotl Excelsior Vittoria; that’s the area where ferries and hydrofoils dock.

top