Italy

Sorrento

Sorrento

Once you have visited  Sorrento,  you will never forget the experience and will probably  want to return. Located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, beautiful Sorrento is approximately 30 miles south of Naples. You will find this fascinating town of 20,000  the ideal place to spend a few days and nights during your travel to the Amalfi Coast. Sitting high in the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples, Sorrento gives you captivating views of Naples and Mt Vesuvius.

Considered by many to be the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is the starting point for the famous Amalfi Drive, a winding and very narrow road that runs along the rocky cliffs from Sorrento to Amalfi. As you travel this treacherous stretch of road, be prepared to experience breathtaking views, as you overlook the alluring town of Positano, and other fishing villages and towns along its route. The Romans originally built the Amalfi Drive, carving it out of the sheer rocks and cliffs high above the Tyrhennian Sea. With photo opportunities around every bend, this remains one of the top travel destinations in Italy.

Sorrento is a very picturesque travel destination, safe and very easy to get around. You can easily walk all  around the center of Sorrento, although be prepared to go up and down hills, like most of Italy. Since the city’s streets comprise a series of hills,  walking around this town will easily provide your daily exercise.

Piazza Tasso is the heart of the city, and a great place to immerse yourself into the Italian culture. It is the type of place where you can spend time sitting at an outdoor café, relaxing, and appreciating the moment. Taste a gelato, browse the numerous shops, and converse with the locals. You will likely find no problems communicating, as many of the Italians speak English. They are used to giving directions to English-speaking tourists.

Be sure and take time to sample some limoncello, a refreshing drink made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water, and sugar. This area of Italy harvests very large lemons (limone) and Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello. You cannot leave without trying at least one glass.

If you are a shopping enthusiast, you will delight in the various boutiques and small shops on Via San Cesareo, the main shopping street in Sorrento. Discover specialty products from this area, especially the handcrafted inlaid wooden products known as Intarsia Sorrentina. These items include music boxes, jewelry boxes, cigar boxes, and even custom furniture.

There are many small family-run shops, where you can observe the artisan honing his craft, which is very labor-intensive and involves minimal automation. Originating in Sorrento, this noble Italian tradition has been handed down from generation to generation, since the 16th century.

Hand-painted ceramics are another popular buy, as Sorrento is not far from the town of Vietri, which has been famous since the Middle Ages for its colorful hand-painted ceramics pieces. Many of the shopkeepers in Sorrento feature these ceramics, and you will likely be able to negotiate the price, depending on your bargaining skills.

Sorrento has two marinas, both of which present great photo opportunities. Marina Piccola, the larger marina, is where ferries depart for the city of Naples, the Island of Capri, and sightseeing cruises along the Amalfi Coast. The smaller marina is Marina Grande and is where most of the fishing boats and smaller private boats dock. There is a small beach area here, and you will also find restaurants specializing in fresh seafood.

Other day trips from Sorrento include Pompeii, the ancient city and well-known tourist destination, as well as the beautiful island of Capri, with its magical Blue Grotto and winding road to the higher town of Anacapri.  Sorrento also provides easy train access to Pompeii, and ferryboats to Capri. You may want to check schedules and weather as the boats depend on both.

Sorrento remains a popular travel destination in Italy, attracting millions of visitors each year from all over the world.  You will leave with memories to last a lifetime.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/Campania/Sorrento

notes/southern/pk_amalfi.htm

http://italy-tourism.blogspot.com/2009/08/Sorrento-coastal-jewel-of-boot.html

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