Sorrento is in the Italian region of Campania about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Naples (Napoli) and 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Salerno.
This resort town is the capital of the Sorrentine Peninsula, a tongue of land that is home to the towns of Sorrento, Sant’Agnello, Piano di Sorrento, Meta, and Vico Equense. The Amalfi Coast lines the opposite side of the peninsula, with A-list villages like Positano and Amalfi seeing millions of visitors a year.
The main square in Sorrento is called Piazza Tasso, where the pedestrian-only Corso Italia and Via San Cesareo set off. This is the heart of the historic center (“centro storico”) and the best area to book an accommodation in Sorrento, as it’s convenient to get around on foot, is thick with trattorias and cafés just steps away, and is a strategic point for setting off to explore the area’s highlights from Pompeii at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius to the Amalfi Coast. The town’s port sits just below the main square, where you can catch boat tours or ferries to Capri (home of the (Blue Grotto) and other destinations in the Bay of Naples and the Circumvesuviana train station is just a few minutes away on foot. Here, you can catch a train to Pompeii or Herculaneum or a Sita bus to Positano or Amalfi.
The history of Sorrento stretches back 1,000 years, so the town is rich in historic and cultural sights. For a good overview of the area’s history, stop at the Museo del Correale di Terranova Museum to visit its archaeological collection with finds dating from the ancient Greeks and Roman, a collection of precious Capodimonte porcelain, and paintings from the Neapolitan school. Be sure to take a stroll through the garden, as well.
While you explore Sorrento’s historic center on foot, stop to admire the frescoed cupola of the del Sedil Dominova, where the local nobility would once gather. From here, walk the narrow lanes downhill to the entrance of the Villa Comunale, a beautiful public garden with a panoramic terrace that takes in all of the Bay of Naples. Along the way, stop to take in the Cloister of San Francesco, built in the 1300s, and the adjacent church. Take a moment to visit the local Church of Sant’Antonino, as well, to admire its fascinating collection of votive objects on the lower floor. Once you return to the main Piazza Tasso, look over the railing on the Valley of the Mills (Vallone dei Mulini), one of the many gorges that cut through the coastline from the mountain peaks to the water’s edge. Here you can take in the remains of a historic mill and woodworks. As evening falls, head down to Marina Grande, a charming fishing village where you can enjoy a dinner of fresh fish and seafood right on the water.
While you’re staying in Sorrento, visit the lovely Bagni della Regina Giovanna in Capo di Sorrento. This unique spot is made up of a natural pool contained in the remains of an ancient Roman villa. Passionate hikers can also take on the Punta Campanella trail that leads to the very far point of the Sorrentine Peninsula.