Best Things to Do in Sorrento
Sorrento, with its charming villas perched high on rugged cliffs looking down on sparkling blue water is a tourist dream. Get ready for plenty of photo opportunities because this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. In between photos you can enjoy some other fun things to do in this lovely seaside town.
1. Get a Gelato
Gelato in Italy is really something special and a great variety of flavors can often be found in most local gelaterias (ice cream parlors). Gelato is less sweet and typically less dense than American ice cream. Wander over to highly-rated Raki where the choice of interesting flavors go beyond even the typical -- and to Americans unusual, Italian flavors like sour cherry, cantaloupe, and rice - think bay leaf, honey, or fig. Of course, you can get the cioccolata (chocolate) but try crema (cream), gianduja (hazelnut and chocolate) or stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate shavings) if you prefer more classic Italian flavors.
2. Marina Grande
Take a walk down to the Marina Grande, a small and charming port that feels like getting away from it all. You can enjoy the harbor views or savor a meal at one of its quaint fish restaurants. Or, go swimming on the beach where you can also rent a sunbathing lounge at one of the nearby hotels. If you’re in the mood to relax, just watch the fishing boats drift by and take in the sunset. For the more adventurous, this is the place to book a 1-hour tour of the coast or set out for longer trips to the nearby islands.
3. People Watch with the Locals
Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, named for 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso, is lined with cafés and the perfect place for having a caffè (espresso) or spuntino (snack) or aperitivo (aperitif before lunch or dinner.) It’s what all the locals will be doing depending on the time of day. It’s a perfect place to sit back, relax and take in the beautiful square with its view of pastel-colored buildings, Baroque architecture, the elegant locals, or some very delicious fortification before exploring more of Sorrento’s charming scenery.
4. Museum Correale
A short walk away from Piazza Tasso is the Museum Correale. The museum is located in a luxurious villa surrounded by a citrus grove and a terrace with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples. Stroll the grounds or tour the museum to view the collection of 17th and 18th century paintings by Neapolitan painters as well as ceramics, glassware and crystal. The museum’s library houses works by the renowned 16th-century poet Torquato Tasso of the aforementioned piazza who was born in Sorrento.
5. When life gives you lemons, enjoy them!
If you happen to walk down Via San Cesareo, Sorrento’s main pedestrian street, you might be offered a sample of one of the Amalfi Coasts’ most delicious liqueurs, limoncello, or a creamy take on it called crema di limoncello. Don’t hesitate to try them. For other taste-tempting delights visit Limonoro, along with the limoncello you’ll find a variety of flavored liqueurs and products typical to the region including honey, olive oil and marmalade.
6. Church of Saint Francis (Chiesa di San Francesco)
Get away from the hustle and bustle of touring and take some time for quiet contemplation at the 14th-century Church of Saint Francis. Founded in the first half of the 8th century, it originally was a private chapel until Franciscan friars turned it into a church in the 1300's. View the frescos, the wooden statue of St. Francis and the variety of decorations spanning many different styles and time periods. Then, visit the tranquil cloister surrounded by bougainvillea, ornamental trees and other plants. To this day, Franciscan friars still call the cloister home.
7. Corso Italia
A leisurely stroll along Corso Italia, Sorrento’s main shopping thoroughfare, is perfect for window shopping -- or just plain old shopping if you’re in the market for quality shoes, clothing and handbags. Featuring local boutiques and famous high-end brands you’ll find many stylish options to choose from. Wander down the narrow side streets for “slightly off-the-beaten path” shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. In the evening, join the locals for an after-dinner passeggiata, to enjoy the quintessential Italian pleasure of seeing and being seen during your nightly constitutional.