Perched on a cliff along a beautiful stretch of blue coastline lies one of Italy’s most exclusive holiday resorts. Sorrento is made up of low valleys, high mountains and hillsides, with groves of colourful fruit to explore. Here, you can get a taste of traditional Italian life by heading to the restaurants for some authentic Campanian cuisine, look at ancient and medieval relics at the museums, and wander through the market streets of the historic town centre. Explore medieval churches, shop for handcrafted souvenirs, and dine on freshly-made pasta when you book your holidays in Sorrento with Thomas Cook.
Things to do
Visit the Museum Correale, an art museum housed in a magnificent 18th century villa, then head the 14th century Chiesa di San Francesco church. Take a break and have a coffee at one of the delightful cafes in the Piazza Tasso square, then set off to the Amalfi Coast, one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. Its stunning resorts, overlooked by mountains, have long been popular with celebrities, and unlike many other European seaside destinations, they have not been spoilt by modern developments.
Visit Positano, the most exclusive resort, and wander through its steep streets with elegant boutiques and romantic restaurants. See the town's Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, a 13th century church with an impressive 1920s dome, or take a ferry to the striking Greek ruins of Paestum if you're here in the summer. You could also visit the coastal town of Amalfi, best known for its 10th century cathedral, and great souvenir shops.
You can reach these resorts by bus or by car, although bear in mind that the road is windy and can be very busy during the peak of the summer holidays in Sorrento. The most luxurious, albeit more expensive, mode of transport is to do a boat excursion of Positano, Ravello, Praiano, Atrani, Minori and Maiori. If you're interested in venturing further afield, then visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii, which will take you at least a full day to explore but is certainly worth the time and effort!
Sorrento is not a traditional beach resort as there are only a handful of small manmade sandy shores, instead you’ll find wooden or stone bathing public platforms built over the sea. These are great for lounging in the sunshine and often have cafes in easy reach of the promenade. A lot of coastal hotels will have their own private platforms with a safe section of the sea to enjoy swimming in.
History and culture
It was the Greeks who first founded Sorrento in the 6th century BC and later became apart of the Roman Empire in the 4th century BC. Today Sorrento is a popular holiday resort etched into the cliff side with a maze of cobbled streets, traditional buildings and striking rocky landscapes. Down the narrow alleyways are quaint cafes, restaurants and shops that sell locally crafted goods such as jewellery, leather shoes and cloths. When visiting Sorrento you will see decorated murals, bell towers and remains of 16th century defence walls, as the city tried to create a better defence system against attacks from pirates.
Sorrento’s evening entertainment revolves around eating and socialising so you wont find many clubs in the area. There are, however, lots of great bars and restaurants that stay open late and often host shows such as live bands, cabaret and dance performances. Enjoy a fruity cocktail in the relaxed environment, or sit outdoors and enjoy the spectacular scenery, whilst sampling some authentic Italian food.