Piano di Sorrento is a town in the center of the Sorrentine Peninsula located between Meta and Sant’Agnello. It's just ten minutes by car or bus (depending upon traffic, of course) from Sorrento or five minutes via the Circumvesuviana local train.
Piano is a residential area that is a popular destination for locals for its excellent shops but has few sights. Not many tourists choose to stay here and there are just a handful of hotels that cater primary to large tour groups. There is a growing number of B&Bs and vacation homes that have opened up in town, however, and a vast array of options listed on Airbnb.
The center of Piano di Sorrento is divided into two areas: Cassano and Carotto. Residents in Piano are known by these two traditional names, as well, and are either "Cassanesi" or "Carottesi". Carotto is the center of town, with Piazza Cota at its heart. Corso Italia, the main thoroughfare, is lined with shops, while Piazza Cota, Piazza delle Rose, and Piazza Mercato also have cafés, restaurants, and gelaterias suitable for all tastes and budgets. Cassano, on the other hand, comprises the area of town along the waterfront where the marina and two small beaches are set. Day trips to Capri depart from the marina here. A lift runs between the “alta” (high) and “bassa” (low) areas of town. The outlying areas surrounding the town center include the suburbs of Mortora, Trinità, and San Liborio and the Colli di San Pietro hills, with the peak of Monte Vico Alvano. The highway for the Amalfi Coast sets off from here, as well.
Sights in Piano di Sorrento
The 9th-century Basilica di San Michele Arcangelo, set in the town center, is worth a visit if only to admire its beautiful inlaid-wood doors. Continuing downhill towards the seaside, the Villa Fondi de Sangro is a spectacular villa that is open to the public. Stroll through the garden and admire the sunset from its shaded benches, or pop in to visit the Museo Archeologico di George Vallet housed inside, with artifacts unearthed from excavations in the area and an interesting 3D rendering of a Roman nymphaeum.
Should I Stay in Piano?
Piano isn't generally considered an A-list destination on the Sorrentine coastline, but it can be an affordable alternative to other, more expensive, towns and offers an authentic feel of a truly lived-in town. It's cheaper to both stay and dine here than Sorrento, but keep in mind that traffic between Piano and Sorrento (and other nearby locations) can be heavy in the summer. If you are traveling in a couple and plan on renting a scooter, you can avoid getting caught in the snarled traffic.
To get around by public transportation from Piano, you can:
take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples, and Sorrento
take the Sita bus to Positano and Amalfi (keep in mind that you probably won't find a seat in the summer high season)
take the ferry to Capri that runs from Piano di Sorrento from June to September
Dining in Piano di Sorrento
Osteria Arcadia: if you're looking for an authentic "old school" trattoria, this is the place. Straightforward, home-style cooking.
Try: the cannelloni and sausage with potatoes.
Location: Corso Italia 199 (opposite Piazza Cota)
Tel: 081 8787076
Artigiani Scotto: pizzeria set in a lively piazza with both indoor and outdoor seating
Try: street food and gourmet pizza options
Location: Piazza della Repubblica 27 (formerly Piazza Mercato)
Tel: 081 18815758
L’Approdo: seafront restaurant in Piano's port
Try: seafood dishes
Location: Via Marina di Cassano
Tel: 081 8086722
Beaches in Piano di Sorrento
Piano, like most towns on the Sorrentine Peninsula, has just a few small beaches covered in dark volcanic sand. They are all located near Marina di Cassano and there is a free public area and two beach clubs. There is also a beach club with chairs and umbrellas set on a pier over the water. From Marina di Cassano, you can also reach the beach Santa Caterina, which is technically located inside the town limits of Sant’Agnello. This is a small, public beach with volcanic sand.