I named Sorrento my charming Italian lemon town after the first 15 minutes I’ve been there. The possibility to walk under orange and lemon trees in the town center is not a common thing around the globe, so for someone coming from a colder country, it was a unique experience! Like everywhere in Italy, the palazzos (flats) are colorful, with wooden shades, which I absolutely love! I just fall madly in love with Sorrento while walking under those trees and admiring the surroundings! It fast became one of those places on my bucket list which I want to re-visit.
Sorrento, basics to know
Sorrento is a small town in Southern Italy, on the Sorrentine peninsula. The town is overlooking the bay of Naples, with a spectacular view on the Vesuv volcano. It’s a very popular summer destination in Italy, due to its location on the Amalfi Coast. Also popular for its beauty and vibrant tourist life. Sorrento can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii. The best way, if you’re not driving, to get on a ferry boat from Naples. It’s the fastest, possibly cheapest and easiest way. You can also take the ferries to other destinations in the area like Capri, Ischia, Positano, and Amalfi. Sorrento is mostly known for its ceramics, fabrics, lacework and the Limoncello + breathtaking views and landscapes!
I personally suggest this town for those who are looking to visit this area and trying to fit into a lower budget. The good news is that along the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is one of the cheapest popular destinations, and all the other popular spots are easy to reach with the boat, bus, car, etc.
#1 Old Town and the Piazza Tasso
The old town of Sorrento is a very busy and vibrant spot, comparing to many of the other towns in the area. The narrow little streets are full of craft shops, ceramics, lace and limoncello shops + many many others. The best thing in Sorrento, even though it’s a very busy and popular destination, it still remains very Italian, which we love, with all its hustle and bustle! The old Italian traditions are still practiced in the area, which if you’re asking me, it’s kind of amazing! You’ll still see elder men playing chess in front of the palazzo they live in, and you’ll also find many family-owned traditional restaurants, small factories, and shops.
Piazza Tasso is an open square at the edge of the Old Town. It’s the biggest square in Sorrento. You need to see the sinuous road coming from the dock at the bottom of the cliffs. That’s an incredible one. The most eye-catching in the piazza are those pastel-colored, and sun-gold buildings! Add then the palm trees that remind you of destination movies you loved! Stop by for a coffee or an aperitif and enjoy watching the world go by on the busy square.
#2 Best restaurant to try in Sorrento
I’d be lying if I would say that there is a destination where I didn’t eat pizza. I love pizza! The pizza Vesuvio I had in Ristorante San Antonino was so far and still the best pizza I have ever tried in my entire life! Every time when I’m traveling alone in Italy, I’m going to a restaurant hunt, as I prefer family-owned, traditional places. I found this restaurant in the old town, hidden, but easily spottable as it has an open terrace on the first floor. I went in to see what kind of place it is, and I noticed how busy it is right the second I got to the top of the stairs. A waiter asked me straight away if I’d like to have dinner and if I’m alone? For the time they prepared my table, they seated me in the “waiting room” with a glass of prosecco.
No need to say that I gave 5 stars to the customer service straight away! They were preparing each table depending on the number of guests second before the guests were seated. This is something not too common to experience in Italy, so that’s why I’m writing so surprised here…
When my table was ready, I ordered an Aperol Spritz and my pizza. I was expecting, as usual, to get my food just by when I finish my Aperol. Well, the pizza 5 minutes later was already on my table… Then I was reading on the menu:
The tradition is saying, that a pizza should be ready in 90 seconds – YES, 90 seconds!!! – in order to obtain a golden color and the pizza still remain soft and juicy.
No need to say that I went back to eat every day at this place… I just loved, loved, loved what they were doing with that pizzaz. They were amazing, incredibly delicious!
#3 Marina Grande and Marina Piccola beaches
Marina Grande is a small fishing village on the western side of Sorrento. It maintained it’s rustic traditional look and docks, so it’s a great place to discover and stop by for some seafood and traditional Sorrentine dishes in the local family-owned tavernas on the seafront.
Marina Piccola is the main harbor of Sorrento, where you can catch the ferries to Naples, Capri, and Ischia. You can walk down there from Piazza Tasso on the steps near the flags or you can walk down from Villa Comunale through the caves of the cliffs, having a breathtaking view along the way. To come back up, if you don’t want to climb back up, you can catch a bus or the elevator in the caves that are bringing you up to Villa Comunale. On the seaside, you’ll find sandy and floating beaches as well as beach clubs built on the sea. There are also cafes, hotels, and restaurants on the right-hand side towards the harbor.
#4 Villa Comunale
The amove mentioned Villa Comunale is the place where you want to go for the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen. While on the left the sun goes down, on the right you can have a fantastic view of the Vezuv volcano. The Villa Comunale is a park with a walkway on the edge of the cliff. There are plenty of cafes there with outdoor tables, so you can get your aperitif before dinner accompanied by a magical sunset. From Villa Comunale, as already mentioned, you can either walk down through the caves or use the elevator to get to the seaside.
#5 Evenings: English Inn
After dinner time, there are plenty of pubs, open bars, and cocktail bars to explore all around the city center and along the cliffs. There are literally great spots on every meter. I loved the most the English Inn, as I found there the American friends I met a few days before at Villa Comunale, and we had the most amazing Sorrentine night ever! The English Inn is very popular for those travelers in their 20s and early 30s. At the back of the pub, there is a huge open garden with a dance floor and DJ over the weekensd. Super choice for a warm night out in Sorrento!
# Where to stay in Sorrento?
There were two places I’ve stayed while I was in Sorrento, and I loved them both. The first place, the Il Roseto, was a more peaceful, more elegant place, that’s more family-oriented as well. It’s a bit far from the city center, about 20 min walk, but if you want to relax and have your peace while enjoying an Aperol Spritz near the pool, this place is for you!
Il Roseto – Sorrento
Oh, and I almost forgot… Their poolside bar is super, the food is amazing. The best Caprese Salad I ever had with local mozzarella and tomatoes from the garden. The breakfast spot in the garden, under lemon and bergamot trees, was an even more incredible experience!
The second one was the Hotel Tourist, which I picked last minute. It was about 5 minutes away from the center, which was very convenient after a night out, and it had a small pool as well. It’s a place with a higher capacity, more touristy, but great for a lower budget if you want something close to the center.
Any thoughts, tips or questions?