Piazza Tasso

This main square in Sorrento is a great place for people-watching, admiring Baroque architecture and learning about the local history.

Piazza Tasso is Sorrento’s main square. You will more than likely visit this large open space ringed by restaurants, pavement cafés and pastel buildings more than once during your visit to the resort town.

By day, Piazza Tasso is a busy traffic artery where cars and mopeds weave around pedestrians on their way to work or school. Visitors consult their guidebooks and hop on and off sightseeing buses. A small white tourist train also leaves from here. For a few euros it takes you on a 30-minute round trip through the old town and down to Marina Piccola. The pre-recorded audio commentary is in English and several other languages.

Back on the square, take a closer look at some of its statues. Find the image of Torquato Tasso, the square’s namesake, in one corner. The Sorrento-born Renaissance poet from the 1500s was highly praised for centuries. At the center of the square stands the sculpture of St. Anthony, the patron saint of the city.

The cobblestone streets and narrow lanes that lead out of the square include Via San Cesareo, the town’s main shopping street, a good place to find souvenirs. To rest your feet, take a seat in one of the bars in and near the square and enjoy a steaming espresso or refreshing gelato. Read about local history and watch passersby go about their business.

Constructed in 1866, Piazza Tasso is surrounded by historic buildings. Visit the Baroque Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, an attractive building with a white-and-yellow stucco facade. After you’ve walked down its nave and studied the frescos, stained glass windows, and dome, wander across the road to the line of flag poles and look down. Piazza Tasso is built over a deep gorge that runs through the town’s center; from here you can see the gaping chasm.

Come back to Piazza Tasso at night, when vehicle access is restricted and the central hub becomes one of the town’s most popular places for the traditional Mediterranean pastime of an easygoing evening stroll.

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