Escape to Sorrento is one of the best gift you can make to yourself. You will be impressed by the beauty of the beaches and by the charm of the cliffs along the coast and delighted by the unforgettable flavours of the local cuisine. But beaches and sea are not the only reason to organize a trip to the Amalfi and Sorrento Coast. The huge number of towns full of historical and cultural attractions and the many natural sites make these areas the perfect destinations all over the year. In addition, Sorrento and its Peninsula are suitable for any type of tourism and traveler : from a luxury holiday to the most basic on the road, from a group trip to a romantic getaway for two.
If you are wondering on what to see in Sorrento you are in the right place: this guide will show you all the secrets of all the unmissable places of this amazing city. Are you ready to fall in love?
Sorrento, what to see in a week-end
There are so many things to see in Sorrento that a weekend may not be enough. Especially if you are planning to spend a few hours on the beach to enjoy one of the most beautiful and cleanest seas of Italy.
In this guide you will find all the unmissable stops in Sorrento even if you have just one or two days at your disposal. Furthermore, to help you to spend an unforgettable time we will provide you some extra tips on the local cuisine specialities you need to taste and on the best ways to move around the Coast.
What to visit in Sorrento if not the street that never sleeps? Corso Italia is the heart of the historic city center, home of elegant buildings and beautiful shops. In Corso Italia there is life all over the year, but expecially during the summer season: anyone who is in Sorrento even for a few hours will not be able to avoid passing through the most famous street in the city. Corso Italia is the best place where to have shopping and where to enjoy an aperitif or a typical dinner as that is full of trendy restaurants and clubs.
The biggest part of the guides on what to see in Sorrento starts from here, from the central Piazza Tasso, a strategic hub not so far from all the other points of interest of the city.
The look of this elegant and lively square has changed over the centuries: once called Largo del Castello, it was protected by a wall that was demolished later, as well as one of the access gates to the city, of which few traces were also destroyed. Today, the square is surrounded by beautiful Liberty-style buildings and is characterised by the statue of Sant’Antonino, patron saint of Sorrento, and by the monument of Torquato Tasso, one of the most famous italian wrtier , author of the Gerusalemme Liberata , who was born here.
Cathedral of Saints Filippo and Giacomo of Sorrento
During the years, the Cathedral of Sorrento has been protagonist of various restoration operations, as well as real changes of location from previous churches. The current Baroque appearance is due to the reconstruction commissioned in the eighteenth century by the archbishops Petra and Anastasio.
Inside the Cathedral of SS. Filippo and Giacomo, and in particular in the many side chapels, are preserved ancient paintings and sculptures of inestimable value. Furthermore, in the church there is the baptismal font where Torquato Tasso was baptized.
Basilica of Sant’Antonino
The basilica dedicated to the patron saint of the city welcome the traveller with its particular facade in Romanesque style. Inside, the church is definitely Baroque and on the walls shows various representations of the life and miracles of Sant’Antonino. For example, at the entrance , is preserved a cetacean bone, in memory of one of the most important miracles performed by the saint, who would have saved a child swallowed by a whale.
Cloister of San Francesco
Close to the picturesque Villa Comunale of Sorrento and not far from Marina Piccola there is one of the oldest and most loved monument of the city, the Cloister of San Francesco.
The charm of the building comes from a mixture of styles and periods even very distant from each other. The Cloister stands on the remains of an old monastery and, moreover, what we see today is the result of numerous restoration works that have taken place over the years and which have progressively made it more and more suggestive and characteristic. Whoever is wondering what to see in Sorrento cannot miss out on a visit to this priceless treasure.
The Ancient Walls of Sorrento
What to see in Sorrento in a few hours? There are no doubts that everybody would agree in answering that, among other unmissable stops, those passing through the city cannot miss the chance to visit the Ancient Walls.
Visible especially from Piazza delle Antiche Mura and from Via degli Aranci, the current look of the Sorrento walls dates back to the mid-sixteenth century, when the city was fortified to defend it against the invasions of the fearsome Saracens. However, the walls of Sorrento were born even before, during the Roman times and then successively improved with the construction of Porta di Parsano, on the other hand, during the Bourbon era.
Vallone dei Mulini
Here we are in front of one of the most unusual, spectacular and at the same time weak places in Sorrento.
Vallone dei Mulini is a real valley located in the city center and which, together with other four valleys, used to characterize the region of the Sorrentine Peninsula. The formation of the Valley dates more than 35,000 years ago, following a violent eruption of Campi Flegrei. Inside the furrow, under a dense and characteristic vegetation, the remains of an ancient sawmill, where different types of inlay wood were worked, are still visible. Once, it was a meeting place that led to Marina Grande, but then the Vallone dei Mulini was gradually abandoned following the birth of Piazza Tasso, whose morphology helped to isolate and partially cover the place. It is still impossible to go down into the Vallone to observe it closely, but it can be admired from Piazza Tasso and from the belvedere in via Fuorimura.
Sorrento Wood Inlaid Museum
One of the most interesting ways to know a city is to discover its traditions and admire its typical features, not only in gastronomic terms but also in craftsmanship. So, those who wonder what to do in Sorrento and who want to learn about a piece of history that is essential for the local economy and society, cannot miss the chance to visit the Sorrento Wood Inlaid Museum . We are talking about a true Sorrentine specialty: the art of inlaying still involves hundreds of masters, who carry on the artisanal processing methods by integrating them with modern techniques and styles. At the museum you will discover a beautiful collection of original wooden furniture and objects dating back to various eras, made and decorated with the inlay technique, together with the tools and materials used.
Our advices on Sorrento main interesting points continue with an unmissable stop: the Sedil Dominova.
The building is located in via San Cesario, a few steps from Corso Italia, that once was home of many palaces and noble institutions, and represents an important part of the history of Sorrento. It was the place where noble families used to meed to discuss on the politic of the city and is the only seat that still survive in Campania. During the years, the Sedil Dominova has been restored several times, but each operation has allowed it to preserve its original splendor, exactly as it was just after its construction (14th century). Among the elements that characterize the Sedil Dominova there are the wonderful eighteenth-century frescoes that cover the walls, but also some tuff coats of arms, such as that of the city of Sorrento. Since 1877, the building has been the seat of the Mutual Aid Workers’ Society.
Marina Grande e Marina Piccola
Let’s move on the coast. Among the things to do in Sorrento you must also include a visit to Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. Here you will find very small volcanic sandy beaches, characterized mostly by the presence of wooden walkways and bathing facilities. However, they are the perfect location for a quick dip before a sundowner. In Marina Piccola there is the main port of Sorrento, where ferries and hydrofoils depart and arrive. Marina Grande, on the other hand, is a pretty fishing village, with a more suggestive and traditional look. Once in these parts, the advice is to have lunch in one of the trattorias in the area that offer excellent dishes based on freshly caught fish.
Museum Correale di Terranova
A guide on what to see in Sorrento cannot avoid to suggest to visit one of the most beautiful and important museums in the entire region: the Museum Correale di Terranova.
The museum is housed in a splendid eighteenth-century villa, once a summer residence of the Correale nobles. They were the last descendants to express the desire to collect the immense artistic and archaeological heritage of the family in an exhibition open to the public. The visit of the museum allows you to make a long and exciting journey through history: the route includes, in fact, the ancient archaeological pieces of the 9th century BC discovered after the excavations made in the Sorrento Peninsula, but also a section dedicated to the typical Sorrentine inlays. Furthermore, it is impossible not to mention the art gallery with works dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the section dedicated to the famous Capodimonte porcelain and other international productions.
Do not leave the museum without first taking a walk in the splendid garden of the villa. Once you reach the belvedere, among wonderful plane trees and fragrant citrus groves, you can admire one of the most beautiful views of the sea of Sorrento.
Beaches of Sorrento
Who reach Sorrento in the summer months, but also in late spring and in the first weeks of autumn, wish not only to visit museums and monuments but also to take a dip in the extraordinary waters of its sea. We will present a selection of the most beautiful beaches of the Sorrento Coast that will make you want to prepare your luggage as soon as possible.
Bagni della Regina Giovanna
We owe the name of this extraordinary town, which is located on a promontory overlooking the sea , a few kilometres from Sorrento, to Queen Giovanna d’Angiò, who often used to be in these areas. Here is a small natural pool surrounded by high cliffs and reachable on foot from Capo di Sorrento. It is also possible to visit the ruins of the ancient Villa Pollio Felice, dating back to the Roman era. As can be easily guessed, during the high season the small beach fills up very quickly with bathers; the advice is to reach it in the late afternoon or very early in the morning.
Marina di Puolo
Marina di Puolo is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Sorrento Peninsula. It can be easily reached by scooter, car and even on foot, following an easy-to-follow panoramic path.
In Marina di Puolo you will find several establishments and portions of free but equipped beach, which makes it particularly suitable for families with children. Furthermore, after a beautiful day at the beach you can stop in one of the many restaurants in the seaside village for a romantic dinner in a unique location.
Marina del Cantone
With its transparent waters , which on more than one occasion have won the Blue Flag, the Bay of Marina del Cantone represents one of the most evocative stretches of coast of the Sorrento Peninsula.
For those visiting Sorrento, a day at sea in these areas is an unmissable occasion. Here too it is possible to enjoy the services of the beaches as well as the tasty dishes of trattorias and restaurants.
Sorrento, what to see in one day
Let’s say you don’t have much time available and you are wondering what to see in Sorrento in one day. Which of the many places of interest to prefer and which, instead, to postpone for a next trip?
The itinerary we recommend includes a visit of the most evocative and characteristic places of the city with the intention of capturing its spirit, being attracted by its innate charm and being tempted to plan another trip soon.
For this reason, we suggest you to do not miss the route along the Ancient Walls, up to the incredible spectacle of the Vallone dei Mulini, passing through the Cathedral of SS. Filippo and Giacomo and the Dominova Seat. Also, a visit to Sorrento Wood Inlaid Museum to steal the secrets of the best local artisans and a walk to the village of Marina Grande can only make your day in Sorrento even more unforgettable.
Sorrento, what to see in the surroundings
After the suggestions on what to see in Sorrento, let’s explore the immediate surroundings.
Sorrento is lucky enough to be surrounded by a thousand beauties, all within a short distance from each other: first of all , places like Massa Lubrense and Nerano, with their wonderful beaches, to continue with Positano and Amalfi, the other two pearls of the Amalfi Coast. Those destinations can be visited in one day and can be easily reached by car or scooter. Among all, the farthest one is Amalfi and is only 30 kilometers from Sorrento.
Another idea: from Sorrento it is also easy to reach the starting point of the Path of the Gods , a famous path of about ten kilometers that connects Agerola to Positano. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic nature and hiking trails in the world.
What to eat and drink in Sorrento
After having shared with you with our advices on what to see in Sorrento, we want to delight you with the typical products that you can taste in this area.
In Sorrento, as in the whole Amalfi Coast and, more generally, in Campania, the Mediterranean cuisine reigns supreme: tasty dishes created with passion and wisdom starting from healthy and genuine local products. Mozzarella, tomatoes but also fresh fish are the main ingredients of a regional cuisine that drives thousands of tourists crazy every year.
Starting with the first courses: who has never heard about Gnocchi alla Sorrentina? Or, again, some Ravioli alla Caprese? Not only that: fresh fishes and seafood are the basis of the success of famous recipes all over the world, from the delicious first courses to the peppered mussels and the greedy squid stuffed alla Sorrentina. Then, during a dinner or lunch in Sorrento, you cannot miss a tasting of local cheeses, first of all those made with stretched curd such as Provolone del Monaco and Caciocavallo. And we could continue by listing dozens and dozens of other delights.
At the end of the meal , it’s a must to have a glass of one of the liqueurs that the whole world envies us: Limoncello. Do not choose just any one, but the one prepared with the fragrant Sorrento lemons.
How to move around Sorrento
Sorrento is a small city, lively all the year but which becomes particularly busy in the summer months, when crowds of tourists arrive to conquer its beaches and the pretty streets of the historic centre.
If you do not like walking, as that it is a place with small sizes, but which registers a high number of visitors, we recommend the use of a bike or, better, a scooter. Moving around Sorrento by scooter has many advantages: first of all , in this way, it will be even easier to move between the different historical and cultural places of interest. Furthermore, it will be even easier to find parking, especially in summer. Finally, riding a scooter it will be more convenient to reach the most beautiful beaches of Sorrento that are located outside the city, as well as the other more distant locations of the Sorrento Peninsula.
By contacting Sorrento Trips, a company specialized in scooter rental on the Amalfi Coast, it is possible to rent different types of scooters, for one or more days and at really advantageous prices and conditions.
If, on the other hand, you are planning a special evening, an occasion not to be forgotten or a trip on the road in a season with a good weather like spring, you can take advantage of the convertible car rental service of Trips to Sorrento. Definitely, an elegant and fun way to enjoy the best of the Amalfi Coast locations and its extraordinary landscapes.