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Perched on the Gulf of Naples, with sweeping views of Vesuvius and the island of Capri, little Sorrento is a charmer. Just ask Byron and co. – once a stop off on the Grand Tour, it’s been a holiday hit since the 19th century.
Classic and timeless, Sorrento’s still got it. Pastel-coloured houses and Renaissance palazzos teeter high above a bustling harbour; picturesque shops and cafes line little streets and spill out onto piazzas packed with people sipping aperitivi. Outside town, hills are strewn with tumbling terraces of olive trees, fragrant pine forests and the lemon groves responsible for the famous Sorrentine limoncello.
A holiday in Sorrento also puts you close to a host of A-list attractions. Cheap and cheerful 20-minute hydrofoils depart regularly for the paradise isle of Capri, and buses and boats serve the equally bewitching Amalfi Coast, where you’ll find postcard perfect towns, Positano and Amalfi. You can easily reach the famous Roman ghost towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum by train, while the Lattari Mountains that hug the Sorrentine peninsula are ideal for hiking and are just half an hour away by car.
Of course, Sorrento itself is packed with attractions, among them the 15th-century Duomo, the Museo Correale di Terranova, applied arts in the Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea, and beautiful cloisters next door to the church of San Francesco. And, at the Bagni Regina Giovanna, you can swim among the ruins of a Roman villa.
But really, if all you do here is wander Via San Cesareo, people-watch in the Piazza Tasso, and eat ice-cream at the iconic Gelateria Davide, you won’t leave Sorrento dissatisfied.
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