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Your guide to Sorrento
Welcome to Sorrento
Few places in Italy combine the easy pleasures of a seaside resort with the historic charm and authentic town life the way Sorrento does. Perched on the northern edge of the Sorrentine Peninsula, overlooking the Bay of Naples, it has been attracting tourists (particularly British ones) since the poet Lord Byron first championed its romantic beauty 200 years ago. The old town, with its thousand-year-old cathedral and medieval churches, is a delight to wander; its cobbled alleyways are nearly too tight to fit motor vehicles, and its cafes and shops are filled with local delicacies and artisanal crafts. A steep staircase, or a lift, can take you down to the town’s small harbour, but the best views are enjoyed from the top of the cliffs, where locals and visitors alike gather in Villa Comunale park to gaze across at Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Sorrento is a place to enjoy la dolce vita — local seafood, juicy tomatoes, and of course the local lemons in all their guises — as well as a great base for exploring the Amalfi Coast.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Sorrento
June to August marks the peak summer period, when it’s hot and sunny, and the citrus that the area is famous for is at its ripest. But spring, with its mild, warm weather, is a good time to stay in one of the area’s apartments if you want to avoid the sweltering heat, and enjoy the many blossoming trees. It also coincides with the town’s flower fairs and food festivals, as well as Pasqua a Sorrento, an entire week of Easter celebrations and processions. There are regular musical events throughout the summer, and autumn is best for missing the crowds. Winter remains sunny but is susceptible to dramatic thunderstorms. December is full of Christmas celebrations, and January to March is when the locals take their own holidays, and much of the town shuts down.
Top things to do in Sorrento
The pastel-coloured houses that line the fishing harbour will almost certainly make you think of delicious Italian gelato — luckily, you can get some of that here too, at the family-run restaurants that dot this little fishing district at the bottom of Sorrento’s cliffs. There’s a small patch of sandy beach, the only one in town, and a number of piers equipped with sunbeds and parasols.
Museo Correale di Terranova
This 1,000-year-old museum houses a beautiful collection of furnishings and decorative art that once graced the grand houses of Sorrento and Naples. From Dutch porcelain to Venetian glass and Neapolitan paintings, it’s a chance to appreciate the mercantile past of the region.
Despite some confusion, Sorrento is not technically on the Amalfi Coast, which stretches along the southern side of the peninsula. But it doesn’t take too long to reach one of Europe’s most stunning coastlines, either by car or by bus. Plan a day trip or two to explore the World Heritage site.