How to Enjoy Sorrento, on a Budget
Sorrento, Italy is a small city in southern Italy with about seventeen thousand residents. It overlooks the Bay of Naples and can be easily reached from either Naples or Pompeii. Naples, Capri, and Vesuvius can all be viewed from some parts of the city. The climate is Mediterranean with hot, dry summers, and cool, wet winters.
Although coming into its own as a tourist destination, it is best known for its lemon liqueur, limoncello. The quaint shops are often bustling with generous locals offering tasty samples of Limoncello, be sure to sample several along your way as each family holds their own unique generations-old recipe.
If you’d like to immerse yourself in the warm Italian culture, spend an afternoon touring narrow streets and alleyways where you’ll discover bright shops, quaint trattorias and historical buildings that will take your breath away.
The center of town is Piazza Tasso, which has a statue of the Italian poet of the same name in the corner. This makes a great starting point for wandering around this beautiful old city. The perfect meeting place, the Piazza is always abuzz with locals and tourists alike, lined with lemon trees and surrounded by lively restaurants and pubs.
Sorrento has some very nice museums, including the Correale of Terranova, which holds a lot of historical displays about the region as well as some of the fine inlaid wood that the area is known for. The museum is located in a former palace of one of the local counts.
For the woodcraft lover, there is also the Workshop of Wooden Tarisa. For a relaxing rest with a view, try out the gardens in Villa Comunale- Sorrento’s largest public park offering panoramic views atop a cliff, or visit the church of San Francesco nearby. In the summer a large music festival is held, the Sorrentine Summer Music Festival, which brings music and dance from all over Europe.
Despite being located on the sea, there isn’t much of a beach in Sorrento, but there is a small one at the Marina Piccola lido, which is below the Villa Comunale gardens. There are steps leading down to the beach or a lift is available.
There is also the Marina Grande about a mile away, west of the Piazza Tasso. Both beaches charge three euros for admission, and they tend to stay very crowded. To avoid the crowds, you will need to venture further out along the coast to Marino Puolo.
Getting Around Sorrento
Luckily for tourists, the public transportation system is easily accessible and fairly economical. Should you decide to rent a car, be aware that roads are often quite narrow and navigating the cliff side with oncoming traffic can be tricky at best.
Buses provide regular service about every 18-20 minutes over four routes.
- Line A: Capo – Piazza Tasso – S Agnello – Piano – Meta
- Line B: Marina Piccola – Piazzo Tasso – Train Station
- Line C: Marina Piccola – Piazzo Tasso – S Agnello
- Line D: Marina Grande: Piazza Tasso – Marina Grand
For water transport to the islands there are regular ferries, hydrofoils and jetboats that run between Sorrento, Naples, and Capri, as well as mini cruises along the Amalfi coastline. The closest large airport is Aeroporto Capodichino in Naples.
For a restful vacation among warm and friendly people, yet away from the larger tourist attractions in Italy, Sorrento is a hidden jewel on the coast.