Explore Sorrento

Sorrento Travel Guide

The glitterati of ancient Rome chose Sorrento, with its breathtaking views from the cliff tops over the Bay of Naples, as the place to build their sumptuous summer villas, and today the pretty town remains southern Italy's favourite holiday destination, for both local and foreign visitors. The rugged coastline does not offer beaches (except a few rocky strands privately owned by the larger hotels) but Sorrento is perfectly placed for visiting the most popular tourist attractions in the area, including Pompeii, the summit of Mount Vesuvius, the picturesque towns of the Amalfi Drive, and the delightful Isle of Capri with its blue grotto, just a few miles offshore. The bustling city of Naples is also just an hour's train ride away on the narrow-gauge Circumvesuviana line. The town itself is crammed with hotels and apartments, all tastefully blended into the traditional red-roofed architecture stepped down the hillsides amid fragrant citrus groves. The streets tend to be a choked nightmare of chaotic traffic, particularly during the height of the season. The most quaint spot is the little fishing harbour of Marina Grande, set in an inlet where you might find a vacant rock to sunbathe on while soaking up the atmosphere.

In Italy eating is an event to be savoured and not merely a need to fill the stomach. The incursion of tourism has brought with it plenty of fast-food outlets and fish 'n chips or burgers are easy to find in Sorrento, but holiday visitors wanting to go local should take time to sit down and tuck into the 'real thing' at any number of excellent restaurants serving creative Neapolitan dishes. Top of the range in Sorrento is the fine-dining at Don Alfonso with its lofty cliff top setting; eating Italian means much more than ubiquitous pizza and spaghetti Bolognese. A novel restaurant to try is the tiny Ristorante di Leva at Marina Grande, reputedly a favourite of actress Sophia Loren who made a movie here, where the owner prepares her speciality Spaghetti Vongole. Whatever happens, make sure there is room for dessert, for the Sorrento area is particularly renowned for its confectionary and ice cream, from almond cakes to lemon sorbet and limoncello liqueur.

Nights on holiday in Sorrento can be as relaxed or as wild as you choose. From around 7pm the pubs and taverns light up in the area around Tasso Square, which becomes a pedestrian-only zone, and people start promenading, stopping for cocktails and people-watching. Later, after dinner, those who are inclined can dance it off at one of the local nightclubs (or discotheques), like Matilda, which has four floors offering karaoke, live music, dancing and a traditional bar. Another popular night spot is Filou just off the main square, or for a less lively night with folkloric music, and popular with locals, head for the Taverna dell'800.

Holidaymakers will find that shopping in Sorrento is an entertaining affair, with a wide variety of items to buy, from tourist tat to designer clothing. The main shopping area is in the central Via S. Cesareo and surrounding cobbled streets and squares, where dozens of stores and boutiques offer their wares. Good buys are cameos, embroidered cloths, ceramic figurines, silver jewellery and local delicacies like lemon boiled sweets, Rosolio liqueurs and jams. Bargain hunters will enjoy the colourful weekly market held on Tuesdays. Sorrento and the Amalfi coast are well known for their splendid big lemons. Typical products from Sorrento are produced with these 'limoni', including Limoncello, a very tasty lemon liqueur, lemon chocolate, colourful ceramic articles with lemon motives or lemon soap. Also worth a try is one of the 70 different ice cream flavours of Gelateria Bougainvillea.

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Round pins. Description
Round pins.
Voltage
230 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
C
"Schuko" plug and receptable with side grounding contacts. Description
"Schuko" plug and receptable with side grounding contacts.
Voltage
230 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
F
Round pins with an inline grounding pin. Description
Round pins with an inline grounding pin.
Voltage
230 V
Frequency
50 Hz
Type
L
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