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Sorrento holidays introduce you to a spectacular clifftop town in south-westerly Campania. It’s got great links to some of the top sights in Italy, thanks to ferry routes to Capri and Ischia, a panoramic road to the Amalfi Coast, and fast rail connections to Pompeii and Naples.
Sorrento itself overlooks the Bay of Naples, offering cinematic views across the water to Mount Vesuvius. The old quarter is a warren of narrow streets lined with limoncello boutiques and hole-in-the-wall cobblers (handmade sandals are something of a speciality here). Antiques can be found at the Teodoro Del Giudice, while the weekly market is the place to pick up everything from jackets to handbags.
The streets of Sorrento really come alive on summer nights, when locals fill the café and restaurant terraces around the pretty main square, Piazza Tasso. For a seafood supper, head down to Marina Grande, where you'll find a collection of waterside fish restaurants.
A holiday to Sorrento perfectly positions you for exploring the beautiful Neapolitan Riviera. A short train ride away is Pompeii, buried under ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The ruins are incredibly well preserved, with some of the villas even showcasing frescoes and mosaic floors.
Travel in the other direction and you'll be on the famous Amalfi Coast, one of the world's most spectacular drives. Follow the winding road along the clifftops, stopping at pretty Positano and Amalfi, then make your way up the hillside to the lofty village of Ravello. Capri is another easy day trip, as ferries frequently run back and forth from Sorrento. Explore the island's sea caves, browse the high-end boutiques, or head up to the little town of Anacapri for spectacular views.
Sorrento itself is a compact town, so must-sees like Sorrento Cathedral and vine-draped St. Francis’ Cloister are all within walking distance of each other. Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea is central, too. It’s kept as a traditional Sorrentine house, dark-wood furnishings and all. Elsewhere, L’Agruminato sums up the Sorrentine Peninsula in a nutshell. Paths streak beneath the lemon and orange trees, which are used to make the gelato and juices sold next door. It also neighbours the 17th-century Museum Correale. Browse the exhibits, admire the Bay of Naples from the balcony, or catch an evening opera show.
The closest airport to Sorrento is Naples (NAP), which is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Sorrento. Direct flights to Naples airport (NAP) are available from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle and take approximately 2 hours 45 minutes.
Most people head to Sorrento in summer, when July and August offer very warm temperatures. Hotel room and flight availability can be limited, so we recommend booking early if you can. You’ll also get pleasant weather and plenty of sunshine in spring and autumn – plus you’ll find fewer crowds. Some hotels in Sorrento stay open in the winter too, as the weather is relatively mild.
There are no two ways about it: lemon is the ingredient of choice in Sorrento. The limone di Sorrento is pretty distinctive, too, with some varieties growing as big as rugby balls. They’re roasted with fish, squeezed into risotto, and the peel is candied and sprinkled on cakes.
Starting or finishing a meal with a glass of limoncello is a way of life in Sorrento. Its origins are (understandably) hazy, but it’s a tart lemon liqueur favoured all over the Sorrentine Peninsula and Gulf of Naples. You’ll also find it drizzled in gelato and over fruit salads. To take some home with you, head for the limoncello shops in town.
One of the best ways to get stuck in to the Sorrento food scene is to hop on a food and wine tour. Wine tasting ticks off local favourites like the Taurasi riserva red or Greco di Tufo white. Other foodie experiences get more hands-on: think gelato and pizza making classes.
This seaside town is a land of mysteries, traditions and legends. Many civilisations have lived in Sorrento, from the Etruscans to the Greeks, dating the town back over 2,000 years. Its origins are Roman, although the Greek influences are still visible today. In 79 AD, Sorrento was damaged by an earthquake caused by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This was the same volcano that destroyed the nearby city of Pompeii.
If you would like to pre-book one of our excursions, please call our Italy Experts on 01293 762410*.