SORRENTOIn a terrace-like setting atop a stunning cliffside with breathtaking views overlooking the Bay of Naples from Capri to Mount Vesuvius, Sorrento has been one of Italy’s most popular holiday destinations since ancient Roman times. With the glistening Mediterranean sea below and verdant hillsides covered in a patchwork of olive and lemon groves above, it has inspired writers, poets and painters for centuries, and was part of the Grand Tour. Extremely well connected, Sorrento is also the perfect base from which to explore the many wonders of the area, including the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Capri and Ischia, as well as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Naples.Cultural SitesAn attraction in and of itself, Sorrento’s charming historic centre, made up of a lovely grid of narrow cobblestone streets lined with shops, restaurants and cafés, is home to a number of fascinating venues, like the beautifully adorned Sedil Dominova, a 15th century Majolica-domed building with stunning trompe-l'oeil frescoes, once a posh meeting place for local nobility and now a favourite spot for locals to meet for coffee and a game of cards. Toward the seafront, the medieval Cloisters of San Francesco make a captivating setting for weddings, with a pretty courtyard garden framed by a portico of fine arches and pillars. Certainly worth a visit is the Museo Bottega, for an in-depth look at Sorrento’s rich tradition of inlaid woodwork, or marquetry. Just outside the heart of the historic centre, housed in a gorgeous villa, awaits the Correale Museum with a unique collection of Neapolitan paintings, Capodimonte porcelain and stunning inlaid wood. Other must-sees include the 15th century cathedral on Corso Italia, the main street of town, and Villa Pollio, the ruins of an ancient Roman seaside villa just outside of town in the area called Sorrento Capo.ShoppingSorrento and the neighbouring towns abound with boutiques offering souvenirs for every fancy and pocket. Most popular are the local specialty food and liqueur shops, but great buys can also be made in local craftsmanship including beautiful inlaid wood, colourful Vietri-style pottery, intricate Capodimonte porcelain, hand-woven lace, coral cameos, and even sandals made to order while you wait. Shops are generally open from 9:30am to 8:30pm with a long break for lunch between 1pm and 4:30pm. Many shops are closed on Sunday, especially in the winter months, and grocery stores are closed on Thursday afternoon. Open-air markets are fun to visit, and are held in Sorrento on Tuesday mornings and in nearby Sant’Agnello and Piano di Sorrento on Monday mornings.Dining OutSorrento’s cuisine is focused on the products grown and produced in the area, such as tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, and of course locally caught fresh seafood. Pizzerias abound, as do family-run trattorias where homemade gnocchi alla sorrentina (potato dumplings with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese) are proudly served. Catch-of-the-day fish is displayed on ice at the entrance of many local eateries, and the most demanding palates will even find a couple of Michelin-starred restaurants. For the sweet tooth, Sorrento offers a variety of ice cream shops where delicious gelati in an abundance of flavours are made fresh daily, as well as a number of pastry shops where local pastries, like the delizia al limone (lemon delight) are served. A sweet must-try here is caffé alla nocciola, a hazelnut-flavoured coffee offered in many cafés. Last but not least, no one should leave Sorrento without sampling its world-famous limoncello liqueur, made with the very lemons that paint the surrounding hillsides with splashes of yellow.Getting AroundThe historic centre of Sorrento is mostly limited to pedestrian traffic, so it’s best to explore on foot. Not far from the main square, toward the modern part of town, is the train station, or Stazione, which also acts as a hub for both local and regional buses. From here, the surrounding towns and
A cosy 3-star hotel in Sorrento, the Hotel Tourist is located along the main street of Torquato Tasso's hometown near the old town centre, the station and the tourist port.Its privileged location makes it a very good starting point to visit the historical, architectural and natural beauties of Sorrento, to do some shopping in the characteristic shops of the old town centre but also to visit Sorrento Coast, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum.The 40 rooms of the Hotel, displaced on 5 floors supplied by a lift, are furnished with taste and elegance: large and well-lit, they are equipped with any modern comfort to meet the needs of any kind of guest. The hotel has a well-equipped solarium, situated on the sixth floor, from where it is possible to admire a wonderful view.