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10 things to do and see in Sorrento

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10 things to do and see in Sorrento
10 things to do and see in Sorrento

Sorrento is the most famous coastal town of Sorrento Coast  and is located  on a tuff terrace overlooking the Gulf of Naples. This city attracts many tourists with its breathtaking views, the landscapes, the sea, the charming old town, an interesting historical and religious architecture, the ancient tradition of marquetry and laces.

Celebrated by poets, songs and paintings, the beautiful land of the sirens is famous around the world and is the favorite destination of international tourism. Sorrento, hospitable and cheerful, welcomes visitors looking for sun, history, art, culture and entertainment. There are many churches and historic buildings, amazing sights, alleys with small shops and craft shops. There are many  restaurants and cafés where you can spend your free time, festivals and cultural events for your evenings and, of course, many beach resorts where you can relax under the sun. Discover with us the 10 things to see and do absolutely during your tour in Sorrento.

If you are looking for a hotel in Sorrento, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 120 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com

Valley of the Mills in Sorrento

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It’s a place of great suggestion, the deep cleft in the rock dates back to about 35,000 years ago.

The valley was made by the most violent eruption in the history of the Campi Flegrei and some following erosions by water that progressively carved the tuff base. This valley is one of the best preserved in the Peninsula (there are other four), although today, unfortunately, you can see just  the central part Piazza Tasso to Villa La Rupe and from there to the Porta degli  Anastasi. The Valley owes its name to the presence of a mill, whose ruins are still visible, used until the early ‘900 to grind grain. The construction of Piazza Tasso (1866) marked the end of the valley activities. Thanks to its special microclimate there is a luxuriant vegetation

Correale Museum in Sorrento

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“The most beautiful provincial museum of Italy”,  it was called in this way the Correale Museum with its interesting collection of minor arts of the XVII and XVIII century.

The museum is located in the ancient residence of Correale family, the Terranova’s counts, with the family collections of paintings and decorative art. Opened in 1924, the museum is divided into 24 rooms with Greek, Roman and medieval artifacts. You can find also furnitures of XVII and XVIII, porcelain and ceramics of Capodimonte and other manufactures. Don’t miss the beautiful collection of furnitures and local crafts, the nucleus of the Neapolitan and foreign paintings (XVII-XVIII century) and those of the landscape architects of the so-called “School of Posillipo” (Giacinto Gigante, Anton Plitoo, Teodoro Duclère ).

Where: Via Correale, 50
How to get there: by feet
When – Hours:
From 1/ 04 to 31/10: from Tuesday to saturday 9:30 am to 6:30 pm; Sunday and holidays 9:30 am – 1. 30 pm ; Monday closed.
From 1/11 to 31/03: from Tuesday to saturday 9:30 to 1:30 pm; Sunday and holidays 9:30 am – 1.30 pm Monday closed.
Tickets: € 7

Church of St. Francesco in Sorrento

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A few meters from the Villa Comunale, there is the complex  of St. Francesco of Assisi formed by the church, the cloister and the monastery. In the XIV century the Franciscans erected, on the site of the ancient oratory founded by St. Anthonino, a church later modified in Baroque style.

Completely rebuilt in the early XVIII century, it preserves the architecture of that era except for the white marble façade dating back to 1926, and the inlaid door of the XVI century. The interior has a single nave with rich stucco decorations, a  wooden statue of St. Francesco  and, on the high altar, the painting of St Francesco receiving the stigmata (1735) by Antonio Gamba, a pupil of Solimena. Near the church there is the Benedictine monastery founded in the XIV century. Don’t miss the cloister with its arched structure, harmonious fusion of different styles due to the restoration of the various eras, with picturesque placement of plants and flowers. Besides its beauty, the cloister is famous for hosting art shows, exhibitions and musical events of Sorrento’s summer.

Where: Piazza Francesco Saverio Gargiulo
How to get there: by feet
When – Hours: everyday 8 am – 1 pm and 2 -8 pm

Piazza Tasso in Sorrento

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Crossed by Corso Italia, Piazza Tasso is the main square of Sorrento, the heart of city life, the emblem of a tourist reality of international fame.

Originally, the square was called Largo del Castello under the castle built by Ferdinand of Aragon in the XV century. In the XIX century the urban transformation marked the disappearance of the castle, the ancient city wall and the ancient Porta del Piano. Named after the most famous citizen of  Sorrento,Torquato Tasso,  the square is adorned by the statue of St. Antonino Abate, saint patron of the city. Among the buildings surrounding the square, you can admire the Correale house with a beautiful tiled courtyard , the Carmelite church of Santa Maria with its rich baroque façade and the elegant Grand Hotel Vittoria , famous for having  hosted in 1921 the great Enrico Caruso.

Basilica of St. Antonino in Sorrento

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Sant’Antonino is “Patron, Lawyer and Father” of Sorrento and the peninsula. To the saint who protects the city from disasters, epidemics and to whom  are attributed many miracles, is dedicated the church in the square.

Probably built around the year one thousand, in the following centuries the church has been restored many times. At the entrance of the basilica two cetacean bones recall the most famous miracle performed by St. Antonino, which is to have saved a child who was swallowed by a whale. The interior has three naves divided by twelve columns (6 per side), partly from the Roman villas. The ceiling of the nave is decorated with three paintings by Giambattista Lama (1734). At the center of the crypt there is the altar with  the statue of St. Antonino. Under the altar  are preserved the remains of the saint patron; on  the walls  there is a rich collection of votive offerings, a gift of the sailors who survived shipwrecks, and paintings of miraculous rescues.

Where: Piazza St. Antonino
How to get there: by feet
When – Hours: every day from 7 am to 7.30 pm

Cathedral of Sorrento

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Rebuilt in the XV century in Romanesque style on an old place of worship, the cathedral dedicated to Saints Filippo  and Giacomo had several restorations that changed the entire look, until the reconstruction of the façade in 1924.

The only original element is the portal marble side (1479) showing in the architrave the coat of arms of Sixtus IV, of the house of Aragon, and of Archbishop De Angelis. The Latin cross interior with three aisles, has decorated ceilings with baroque paintings by Oronzo and Nicola Malinconio and Giacomo del Po, and preserves works of great value. In the first chapel there’s a marble relief of the Redeemer of 1522 framed by twelve tiles of XIV century. In the central nave you can admire the archbishop’s throne and a pulpit adorned with a “Madonna with Child and the two San Giovanni” by Silvestro Buono (1580), both of XVI century; in the presbytery, the wooden choir is a remarkable example of the Sorrento inlay of the early XX century. Moreover in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, there is a fine wooden crucifix of ‘400 overlooking the altar with cherubs by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. A few meters from the Duomo, on Corso Italia, there’s  the red bell of five floors. The  basement and the first three floors date back probably to the XI century, the upper part with the ceramic clock instead, was made in the XVIII century.

Where: Corso Italia – Largo Arcivescovado
How to get there: by feet
When – Hours: Monday – Sunday 8 am 12 pm and 4 – 8 pm

Sedile Dominova in Sorrento

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Built in the XIV century as Domus Novae (hence Dominova), the small square building in the historic center of Sorrento, is the only evidence in Campania of the ancient aristocratic seats, a medieval institution responsible for the administration of res publica (public affairs).

The Dominova seat , reflecting an architecture of Renaissance style, looks like an arched loggia enclosed on two sides by balustrades while scenic frescoes decorate the walls of other two. Inside you can admire some frescoes, one of which reproduces the emblem of Sorrento surrounded by angels. The loggia is surmounted by a XVII century dome with green and yellow tiles. In the vault of the dome are depicted the heraldic emblems of the noble families that were part of the seat. The  room next to the loggia, used by the noble families of the time for private meetings, is headquarters of the Workers Society for Mutual Aid since 1895.

Marina Grande and Marina Piccola in Sorrento

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Marina Grande is a picturesque fishing village with colorful houses, boats and nets on the shore.

The village, made famous by the film with Sophia Loren and Vittorio De Sica “Bread, Love, and …”, offers typical cafés, restaurants and beach clubs. On July the 26th  is celebrated St. Anna, the patron of the village, to whom  the church is dedicated.

Marina Piccola is the harbor of Sorrento, an important landing place for ferries and hydrofoils, located not far from Piazza Tasso. The port, located in a beautiful cove,  was once called Marina di Capo Cervo  from the promontory that dominates it. Beside the harbor there are the beach resorts that often, because of the small size of the beach, are made on stilts over the water.

Things to eat in Sorrento

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In Sorrento the cuisine is a kind of art. The Sorrento gastronomy has an ancient tradition inspired by the quality of its ingredients

Natural ingredients, local products (olive oil, wine, vegetables, nuts, cheese, lemon) and varieties of food are at the base of the most popular specialties of Sorrento cuisine. Among the most famous dishes, you can’t miss the legendary “gnocchi alla sorrentina” with tomato, basil and fiordilatte cheese, cannelloni with ricotta, the boiled lobster or cooked in tomato, parmigiana, fried shrimps with a light breading. Simple dishes but with a great taste. Last but not least, the local bakery, which is enriched by the scent of citrus: lemon sorbet, delizia al limone (cake covered and filled with a soft lemon cream), baba with the  taste of limoncello. It’s excellent also  hot ice cream (the local semifreddo), zeppole (fried puffs filled with cream), the sfogliatella and the “follovielli”, dumplings stuffed with raisins cooked in a wood oven. To aid digestion, there’s nothing better than a good limoncello liqueur, served cold in small glasses.

Where to sleep in Sorrento

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Since almost two centuries Sorrento is  tourist destination of nobles,  artists and ordinary people, so it  has a wide tourist accommodation and good prices for all budgets.

There are many hotels and guest houses, and a large number of B&Bs in the old town centre. Sorrento is small so is not necessary to use the car to move. The town is a destination for international tourists all year, and during high season (Easter, Christmas, long weekends and summer holidays), it’s not easy to find a place at a good price. A good alternative are hotels and, B&Bs along the Amalfi Coast. In all cases we recommend to book a little bit in advance.

If you are looking for a hotel in Sorrento, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 120 hotels with prices, pictures and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com