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Sorrento, accommodations and what to see

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The town, in the province of Napoli, is situated on the north-west of the peninsula from which it takes its name and stretches on a high tufa terrace overlooking the sea from a height of 50 meters in lush greenery, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. It has always been an excellent tourist destination for its natural and artistic beauty, for its mild climate and traditions. It has often been the subject of legends and songs, such as the renowned melody “Torna a Surriento”, which has certainly contributed to its popularity in the world.
Originally colonised by the Greeks, dominated by the Romans (remains of a magnificent Roman villa can still be enjoyed), then a free ducal state, Sorrento developed during the XIX century all the traditional activities from agriculture to maritime trade and commerce and most of its tourism industry which nowadays represents so much of its economy. During the 19th century, it was a favourite winter residence of foreigners and became an elite tourist resort. During that era, most prestigious hotels were built and they hosted czars and queens, writers, philosophers and musicians. The only parts of the old Greek town remaining are some defensive walls since the Roman town was built over the Greek one following the same urban plain with walls of large stone blocks. There are many remains of Roman villas, as Villa of Pollio Felice and Villa of Agrippa Postumus. These walls stood to defend Sorrento through the Middle Ages. Rebuilding began in 1551 and was only completed in 1561 after the tragic Turkish invasion. The old town still shows the path of orthogonal streets of Roman origin, while to the mountain it is surrounded by sixteenth-century walls. Here you can find the Cathedral, rebuilt in the fifteenth century with a neo-Gothic facade, and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, with a remarkable fourteenth-century cloister, with Arabian style arches on pillars that are interwoven orthogonal. The “Correale Museum” contains important classic and Byzantine fragments of marble, collections of Greek and Roman artefacts, paintings of the Neapolitan school of the XVII century and Capodimonte porcelain. Sorrento’s most illustrious son is Torquato Tasso, author of “Gerusalemme liberata”, the famous epic poem. The main square of Sorrento is dedicated to this poet.

Sorrento: why so famous?

Sorrento is famous for the production of Limoncello, a digestive made from lemon rinds, alcohol-water and sugar, and for creating stunning cakes, as “Delizia al Limone”. Other agricultural production includes citrus fruit, tomatoes, wine, oil, walnuts and olives and cheese, as the fior di latte which is a stringy cheese, obtained through the fermentation of cow’s milk. Sorrento is also famous for its inlaid wood. This ancient technique is still used by the Sorrentine artisans giving life to fabulous works. Very moving and unique are the celebrations for the resurrection of Christ during the Easter period. These last a whole week and include the White Procession and the Black Procession characterized by a solemn and dramatic atmosphere. Sorrento is connected to Naples by the Circumvesuviana rail line. There are daily runs to Naples, to Pompei ruins and the Ercolano ruins. The town can also be reached by public bus-line of SITA bus on the Sorrento-Salerno line with runs to Positano, to Amalfi and Salerno. Ferry boats and hydrofoils provide services to Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia.

About Sorrento Peninsula

One of the most famous tourist destinations in the world is the Sorrento Peninsula. Thanks to its beauty and atmosphere, its welcoming people, its irregular and indented coast, the area have been visited by millions of visitors. The great painters of all times have always tried to reproduce the shades and graduations of its fantastic colours. The lemon, fruit and flower scents together with the fantastic views inebriate the visitor making him feel like in an earthly paradise.

An old legend tells that in ancient times sirens lived in the beautiful sea of Sorrento, thus accounting for the name of “Sirenland” given to the area. Visitors have always been enchanted by it like the mythical Ulysses by the melodies of the sirens. But what makes it so unique? The peninsula has always been known for its natural beauty, delightful climate, incredible surroundings and cultural value, so much to be inserted during the XIX century in the Grand Tour of most famous well off and noble descendants and artists as Byron, Keats, Scott, Dickens, Goethe, Wagner, Ibsen, Douglas and Nietzsche.
They made enthusiastic descriptions of the spellbound beauty and historical and social interest of Sorrento and the nearby places as Naples, Pompei, Capri, Ischia and the Amalfi Coast.

The Sorrento peninsula is nature! It boasts expanses of olive, orange and lemon groves and the protected marine area of Punta Campanella with its unforgettable spectacle under the water made possible by the services of several professional diving centres. For nature lovers there is plenty of walks and excursions to do and for those who want to keep fit several spa facilities.

The Sorrento Peninsula is music! The concerts of the Musical Summer Festival take place in Sorrento in a charming Franciscan cloister dating to the XIV century, whereas the classical concerts in Ravello (gulf of Salerno) take place on an incredible terrace on the sea. But also the traditional dances and the old Neapolitan songs like “Torna a Surriento” and “O’ sole Mio” capture the visitors.

The Sorrento Peninsula is tradition and folklore! Processions of the Hooded during the Easter Holy Week have been practised for centuries in the area. The fascinating live Nativity with over 300 actors on January the 6th, the Carnival in February, the Celebrating Hills in June, the incredible fireworks on 15th August in Positano (gulf of Salerno) and other popular traditions are held.

The Sorrento Peninsula is culture! Sorrento hosts two important museums. The Correale Museum exhibits precious artefacts from the Posillipo painting schools and porcelains from Capodimonte, Sevres and Sassonia. The Tarsia Lignea Museum-Workshop houses famous Sorrentine inlaid wood-works. Beautiful churches with their masterpieces are present in the historical centre of Sorrento as well as in all the area. You can’t miss the coral altar in Vico Equense and the XVI century main altar with insets of the mother of pearl, lapislazuli and malachite in Sant’Agata dei Due Golfi. It also hosts well-known events such as the International Film Festival, the antique books and prints fair and the review of the Italian Theatre in the magical scenario of an old tower, Torre Turbolo.

The Sorrento Peninsula is gastronomy! It has a very ancient cheese tradition, the gorgeous pizza, the tasty walnuts, the fresh fish, the delicious sweets and the splendid lemons that give us the inebriating flavours of the limoncello (a light alcoholic drink). The area boasts excellent restaurants, all offering a delicious cuisine

From Sorrento to Massa Lubrense, the Bay of Ieranto

An old legend says that sirens lived in a cave of the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, a place of pristine beauty located in front of the Faraglioni of Capri: the Bay of Ieranto.
This place (a natural protected area) is the pleasant and lonely Bay of Ieranto, whose name etymologically just seems to come from the Greek “Euros”, or sacred. The bay of Ieranto shows traces of civilization dating from the late Paleolithic, about 13,000 years ago. More recently, early in X century, it became a mining village for the extraction of lime.

In 1986 the area, which is part of the municipality of Massa Lubrense, was donated to the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) and covers 49 hectares… five miles of coastline!

You can admire Punta Campanella (which separates the Gulf of Naples and Salerno), the Amalfi Coast, Li Galli island and Capri.

Tourist information:

BAIA DI IERANTO
Protected Marine Area of Punta Campanella, Massa Lubrense (Napoli)
Telephone: +335 8410253 – +330 607282
www.fondoambiente.it

3 places to see close to Sorrento and Napoli

Here we propose 3 excursions you can plan very easily.

  • Queen Giovanna Baths / Bagni Regina Giovanna
    It is an archaeological site that is in Sorrento and is one of the favourite destinations for those who like to join excursions near Naples.
    Sorrento can be reached by a local train, by ferry or hydrofoil or by renting a car. In this place, you can admire the ruins of an ancient Roman villa, “Pollio Felice”, dating back to the I century a.c. The whole place owns its name to the legend according to which the Queen Giovanna D’Angiò spent her holidays in here, enjoying the view of Procida and Ischia islands. This place has been the setting for some scenes of the famous film “Pane Amore e …”, with Sophia Loren and Vittorio De Sica.
  • Fiord of Crapolla / Fiordo di Crapolla
    Another favourite destination for those who love plan excursions near Naples and that you can easily plan is on the Crapolla fiord. After reaching Massa Lubrense it is possible to reach on foot Torca location and then take a footpath that leads to panoramic points where you can admire all the islands of the coast and ancient Roman columns.
  • Mitigliano
    An excursion that you can consider to do is the Mitigliano bay. It is a place located between Punta Bacoli and Fossa Papa in the Sorrento area. The beach is characterized by crystal clear water. From there you can see the Gulf of Naples and the island of Capri. To reach Mitigliano you need to reach the small town of Termini, near Sorrento, and then take a footpath from Piazza Santa Croce for about 30 minutes. It is a recommended destination for those who love diving too.

How to get to Sorrento

Sorrento is the main town of the Sorrentine Peninsula and it has a landscape unique in the world that makes it one of the favourite tourists destinations. Sorrento is also the perfect place to stay if you want to visit the nearby areas since it is well linked thanks to buses, trains and ferries.

How to get to Sorrento from Naples

By train
The cheapest and fastest means of transport to reach Sorrento is by train.
From Piazza Garibaldi, Naples train station, departs a train called Circumvesuviana that links Naples with every town of the peninsula. There is a train every 30 minutes and the ticket price is about 3.50 Euros, that you can buy at the ticket office or at some newsagent in the station. The journey lasts one hour and the train might get quite crowded.

From the airport
Once you arrive at Napoli Capodichino going to Sorrento is very easy. There is a bus of the Currieri company (www.curreriviaggi.it), that takes you to the Sorrento train station in an hour (in good traffic condition). The stop is just outside the “arrivals” airport exit and costs 7 Euros .
Other options are a taxi or a transfer service that might cost 70-100 Euros.

By ferry
There are different ferries that link Naples, molo Beverello, to Sorrento, Marina Piccola. This service costs 12 Euros and takes 40 minutes, it’s more expensive than the train, but it’s more comfortable.
The port of Marina Piccola, situated in a small cove on the Sorrento Peninsula, is located a few steps from Piazza Tasso in Sorrento, hence it is very central.

By car
From Naples take the A3 to the Sorrentine Peninsula and take the exit at Castellammare di Stabia, you will arrive on the SS Sorrentine 145, which takes you to Sorrento along the entire coast crossing the main towns of the Peninsula: Seiano, Meta, Sant’Agnello and finally Sorrento. It should take one hour in good traffic condition.

How to get to Sorrento from Rome

There is a bus from the train station Tiburtina that in about 4 hours arrives at the Sorrento train station. It costs 19 Euros and you can buy the ticket at the train station, in travel agencies of Rome or online at the official website Marozzi (www2.marozzivt.it). The bus stops also at Sant’Agnello, Piano di Sorrento, Meta, Vico Equense and Castellammare.

How to get to Sorrento from Capri Ischia and Positano

From Ischia there is a ferry, it takes 1 hour and it costs about 20 Euros.

From Capri there are two options: Slow ferry- 14,80€- 30min; Ferry- 18,30€- 20min.

From Positano there is a bus of the Sita company that in about 50 minutes arrive at Sorrento. Tickets cost 3,40 Euros and can be found at tobacconists, newsagents and bars of the various towns of the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento has a kiosk at the Circumvesuviana station. You can not make the ticket on board.
www.sitasudtrasporti.it

 

Accommodations in Sorrento

 

Casale di Torca

Casale di Torca is a luxury house situated in Sant’Agata on the two Gulfs, a pleasant town between the Gulf of Sorrento and the Gulf of Amalfi: the Sorrento Coast and the Amalfi Coast are just at hand! Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, can be easily reached by car, by bus, by taxi. 

But you can also get to Pompei and Ercolano with their fascinating ruins as well as to the islands of Capri and Ischia! The Casale di Torca stands in a gorgeous position, surrounded by green areas and just in front of the sea! From the terrace you can enjoy an absolute quietness and a  stunning view at any time of the day and night, but you can also choose your relax in the Jacuzzi tub!

If you are planning to visit Naples and the South of Italy, Casale di Torca represents the perfect accommodation for your holiday in the places of “O’ Sole Mio”

Sorrento and its Peninsula, Positano and Amalfi are all quite near this splendid and luxury apartment situated in St. Agata on the two Gulfs. St. Agata is a very pleasant town between the gulf of Sorrento and the gulf of Amalfi.
The house is part of an old restored farm-house, surrounded by beautiful gardens and terraces, with an outside pizza-oven. The apartment is on two levels and there are large balconies from where you can enjoy an astonishing view of the sea painted with boats, ships and the typical “lamparas” at night.
The first floor has got three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large living-room,a well-equipped kitchen and a sunny,spacious balcany. On the second floor with its original attic ceiling there are two single beds, a bathroom and a balcony.
In addition to its gorgeous position and wonderful surroundings, the apartment is decorated with the colours and the materials typical of this sunny region and is completed with refined and  exquisite furnishings…

 

The main entrance to the house is through a tiny garden in which a luxury Jacuzzi hydro massage tub welcomes you!

Braight hand-made 18th century tiles of Sorrentinean floors enliven the stone walls and beautiful plants and lemon trees shade this open space.

The tub will give you an indulgent relaxing experience thanks to the swirling effect of the lukewarm water…

While using it or after it why not have a fresh drink or a herbal tea? No problem, inside the hall of the house which boasts a magnificent tiled floor decorated with a maiolica windrose you’ll find a minibar and a boiler! But you’ll also find plenty of colourful bathrobe in a large copper bowl.

So everything has been thought of and cared for to let you enjoy at most this part of the house too!

Casale di Torca is a really luxurious, excellent quality residence!

For more details you can visit www.casaleditorca.com

 

Casa di Gloria in Sorrento peninsula

Casa di Gloria is a nice rental apartment with an indipendent entrance located in Sant’Agata sui due golfi, on the Sorrento peninsula, that can accomodate up to 5 people. Carefully furnished with every comfort it is made up of a large living room with a kitchen area, a dining table, sofas and tv, a double bedroom with a panoramic balcony, a second bedroom facing the garden and a bathroom with a shower.
The apartment is surrounded by a large terrace opening on to a well cared garden, equipped for meals in the open and from which it is possible to admire the view of the Salerno gulf and the surrounding hills. On the terrace it is possible to relax drinking a coffee or reading a book and in the summer evenings to enjoy the pleasant fresh air of the garden with the twinkling lights of the fireflies.

At the guests’ disposal there are two parking spots. Although the house appears to be in the country, it is possible to walk to the center of Sant’Agata sui due golfi and to a well-stocked supermarket just in 5 minutes. From the center of Sant’agata it is possible to take buses for excursions to the nicest sites of the Amalfi and Sorrento peninsula.

 

 

List of Hotels in Sorrento

5 STAR HOTELS

 

Parco dei Principi

Via Rota 44 Phone number +39 081 8784644 Web-site www.royalgroup.it/parcodeiprincipi/it

This amazing hotel surrounded by a botanical park is just a couple km far from the centre. The rooms, designed by the famous Italian architect Gio Ponti, have spacious interiors with shades of blue that recall the Gulf of Naples’ sea that you can enjoy from the balcony of the hotel. Parco dei Principi offers several free services as a fitness centre and a shuttle bus, available upon request on a fixed schedule.

Bellevue Syrene

Piazza della Vittoria 5 Phone number +39 081 87 81 024 Web-site www.bellevue.it

Bellevue Syrene is a really central hotel where the classical architecture is combined with a modern interior design. From all of the rooms you can enjoy the panorama of the Gulf of Naples and the restaurants offer high quality food from the region.

 

Grand Hotel La Favorita

Via Tasso 61 Phone number +390818782031 Web-site www.hotellafavorita.com

Set 5-minute walk away from the centre, this hotel has beautiful rooms with Vietri tiles and all the comfort. You can relax in the Grand Hotel La Favorita thanks to the outdoor pool, the high quality restaurant and the amazing “secret garden” full of the traditional fruits an flowers of the Sorrento coast

 

Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

Piazza Tasso, 34, Phone number +39 081 877 71 11 Web-site www.exvitt.it

Set in the main square of Sorrento this hotel has just celebrated 180 years of excellent hospitality and it boasts guests as Marilyn Monroe, Luciano Pavarotti, Sophia Loren. Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria offers several services as a gym, a spa and a stunning white marble swimming pool

 

 

4 STAR HOTELS

 

Grand Hotel Royal

Via Correale 42 Phone number +39 0818073434 Web-site www.royalsorrento.com

This central hotel offers a breathtaking view on the famous Gulf of Naples. The Grand Hotel Royal is classically decorated with Sorrentine wood furniture and offers an outdoor pool and private beach where you can enjoy the Sorrento’s sun. The restaurants offer a rich menu of international dishes but also traditional recipes from the famous Italian cuisine.

 

Hotel Antiche Mura

Via Fuorimura 7 Phone number +39 081 807 35 23 Web-site www.hotelantichemura.com

Really close to the central Tasso Square, Hotel Antiche mura’s rooms overlook not only on the outdoor pool with its solarium, but also on the famous and the ancient “Valley of the Mills” belong to the XVI century.

 

Grand Hotel Ambasciatori

Via Califano 18 Phone number +39 0818782025 Web-site www.ambasciatorisorrento.com

Enjoy the view of Gulf of Naples from the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori. This hotel has a marvellous swimming pool but also a private beach where you can relax swimming in the blue sea of Sorrento.

 

Hotel La Tonnarella

Via Capo 31 Phone number +39 081 878 11 53 Web site www.latonnarella.com

This hotel is perfect if you are looking for peace and quiet. Hotel la Tonnarella take place in a building located in one of the most scenic spots of Sorrento and it’s still maintaining the charm of antique furniture. There is also a private beach, a swimming pool and a restaurant with a delicious menu.

 

Hotel Plaza

Via Fuorimura N.3 Phone number +39 081 878 28 31 Web site www.plazasorrento.com

The Plaza is a modern hotel with beautiful and colourful rooms and is located in the centre of Sorrento. This hotel has a rooftop pool and an amazing Sky Bar.

 

Hotel Belair

Via Capo, 29 Phone number +39 081.807.16.22 Web site www.belair.it

With a breathtaking view this hotel has a swimming pool with a solarium. The restaurant has a daily menu and a menu a la carte and you can enjoy your dinner in the grand salon sea view or in the romantic terrace.

 

Imperial Hotel Tramontano

Via V. Veneto 1 Phone number +39 081 878 25 88 Web site www.hoteltramontano.it

This central hotel boasts a long history and several famous guests and the ancient building has a classic, sober and elegant style. Imperial Hotel Tramontano has an amazing view on the gulf of Naples and an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a charming garden.

 

Maison La Minervetta

Via Capo, 25 Phone number +39 081 877 4455 Web site www.laminervetta.com

This hotel offers rooms with a stunning view thanks for the massive windows overlooking the Gulf of Nalpes. With an interior design that recalls the colors of the sea, La Minervetta is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful Sorrento.

 

Hotel Bristol

Via Capo, 10 Phone number +39 081.878.45.22 Web site www.bristolsorrento.com

Located in one of the most enchanting corners of the coast the hotel offers a breathtaking view. Thanks to the restaurant of the Hotel Bristol you can enjoy the famous neapolitan cuisine. The hotel offers several services as a swimming pool, a sauna, a gym and minigolf.

 

Grand Hotel Riviera

Via Califano 22 Phone number +39 081 8072011 Web site www.hotelriviera.com

A wonderful hotel that can boasts a many famous guests. With two swimming pools characteristically designed in blue majolica mosaic, one for children and the other for adults, Grand Hotel Riviera offers also a private beach, a solarium and a jacuzzi.

 

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