The beautiful Campania town of Sorrento has long provided artists with inspiration and visitors here often fall in love with the town’s charming red-roofed buildings interspersed with trees and flowering shrubs, all nestled on the side of the mountain. It is beautifully situated to give spectacular views of the Bay of Naples, brooding Mount Vesuvius and even the sunny island of Capri. Capri is just a short ride away by boat and is also definitely worth a visit – set aside a day to pop over and explore!
While it is tempting to simply rest and relax while you spend your Sorrento holidays in the famed Italian Riviera, there is just too much to see and do! Exploring Sorrento and the many attractions of its nearby surroundings is a wonderful and memorable way to see and enjoy this very beautiful part of the world.
One experience not to be missed, if possible, is a helicopter tour over Sorrento which takes in a unique perspective of Mount Vesuvius, the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum together with a good portion of the Amalfi Coast. If you have a good head for heights you will have a superb overview of the area and perhaps even take some breathtaking photographs to show off to friends and family when you get back home.
Nearly everyone in the world has seen the dramatic and tragic photographs of people and pets literally turned to stone in an instant in 79AD when Vesuvius erupted, sending tons of ash down onto the nearby towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The sites are amongst the most popular tourist destinations in the world and if you are in Sorrento it is certainly worth setting aside at least one day to explore them. Be prepared to walk around Pompeii as the ground leading up to the crater is quite rocky and uneven and don’t forget to take some snacks or a packed lunch along to avoid being over-charged at the only café on site! You will need at least three to four hours to thoroughly explore Pompeii, and a similar amount of time at Herculaneum, some sixteen kilometres to the North-West.
Pay attention to the mountain that stands sentinel over the bay, and be aware that it is somewhat overdue for another big eruption – and this time there are millions of people living in the shadow of the bay, not the mere thousands that there were two thousand years ago! It is possible to climb Mount Vesuvius, access to its slope is available via by public transport or private taxi. The taxi driver will agree to wait for you, while you toil up the side of the crater. If you are very lucky you will be rewarded with a superb panorama overlooking the bay and the countryside, but it is sometimes very hazy and murky. The steaming caldera below you will more than make up for all your labours, as well as provide those who have reached the crater with a unique photo opportunity.
There are many examples of fine architecture in Sorrento, from the town’s beautiful cathedral, which boasts doors from eleventh century Constantinople and a richly appointed interior, to the venerable building that houses the Museo Correale. The museum houses a veritable treasure trove of superb artworks, delicate Murano glassware and Sevres ceramics, Bohemia crystals and a collection of exquisite watches, all these apart from the many archaeological treasures that are on display.
Wander around the heart of Sorrento on the Piazza Tasso, named for one of its favorite sons, the poet Torquato Tasso. There is a fabulous baroque church on this central square, as well as easy access to the shopping area along the Via San Cesareo.
No matter whether you fly over it, walk through it, or simply sit and look at it, the coastal town of Sorrento is sure to leave you with fabulous, unforgettable memories, beautiful photographs and broadened horizons. Start planning your visit soon and come and see this attractive area with its unique historical sites and beautiful landmarks and local attractions in this part of the Neapolitan Riviera!