Wedged on a ledge under the mountains and over the Mediterranean,spritzed by lemon and olive groves.Sorrento is an attractive resort of 20,000 resident and in summer,just as many tourists.It's as well-located for regional sightseeing as it is a fine place to stay and stroll.The Sorrentineshave gone out of their way to create a completely safe and relaxed place four tourists to come and spend money.As 90 percent of the town's economy is tourism,everyone seems to speak fluent English and work for the Chamber of commerce.
This gateway to the Amalfi Coast has an unspoiled old quarter,a lively shopping streetand a spectacular cliffside setting. Residents are proud of the many world -class romantics who've vacationed heresuch as famed tenor Enrico Caruso,who chose Sorrento as th eplace to spend his last weeks in 1921.
Sorrento itself has no world -class sights,but can easily give you a few pleasant hours..More important,Sorrento is a fine base for visiting Naples ( by boat or train );PompeiiHerculaneum,and Mount Vesuvius( by train,plus a bus for Vesuvius );the Amalfi Coast ( by bus );and the island of Capri ( by boat).All of these destinations are within and hour or so of Sorrento.Of the region's attractions,only Paestum's Greek temples are a little hard to reach from Sorrento,and even they can be seen in a long day.
Orientation to Sorrento
Downtown Sorrento is long and narrow.Piazza Tasso marks the town's center.The congested main drag.Corso Italia,runs parallel to the sea,passing 50 yards below the train station,trought Piazza Tasso,and then out toward the cape,where the road's name becomes Via Capo.Nearly everything mentioned here (except Meta beach and the hotels in Via Capo ) is within a 10 -minutewalk of the station.The town is perched on a cliff ( some hotels have elevator down to sunddecks on the water ); the best real beaches are a couple of miles away.Sorrento has two separate port areas:The Marina Piccola below Piazza Tasso,is a functional harbor with boats to mNaples and Capri,as well as cruise-ship tenders.( While the big cruise ships dock in Naples,smaller ships drop anchor at Sorrento.) The Marina Grande,below the other end of downtown,is alittle fishing villagewith recommended restaurants and more charm.
The helpful regional TI ( labeled Azienda di Soggiorno ) -located inside the Foreigners' Club hands out the free monthly Surrentum magazine,with a great city map and schedules of boats,buses,concerts,and festivals ( Mon-Fri 8:30 -19:00,Sat -Sun 9:00 -13:00 except closed Sun Oct -May; Via luigi de Maio 35
www.sorrentotourism.com tel. 081-807-4033 ,Nino ,Fabiola,and Peppe).If you arrive after the TI close,look for their useful handouts in the lobby of the Foreigners'Club ( open until midnight).
You'll also find several small "Info Points" conveniently located around town.These hand out map and Surrentum magazine,and can answer basic question.You'll find one just outside the vtrain station in the green cabose ( daily 10:00 -13:00 & 15:00 - 19:00 ); near Piazza Tasso at the corner of via Correale ( under the yellow church,daily 10:00 -13:00 & 16:00 -21:00 ) ;at Marina Piccoila where cruise ship tenders and boats from Naples arrive ( daily 9:00 -17:00,but closed Nov-March);and the Achille Lauro parking garage.
Arrival in Sorrento
By train or bus: Sorrento is the last stop on the Circumvesuviana train line.In front of the train station is the town's main bus stop,as well as taxis waiting to overcharge you ( E 15 minimum).All recommended hotels except those on Via Capo are within a 10 minute walk