This pretty southern Italian oceanfront town is famous for its ancient Roman buildings, gorgeous scenery and slow pace of life.
High on the cliffs above the Bay of Naples is Sorrento, a rustic resort town with amazing views. Centuries ago, Roman emperors, Italian nobles and artists flocked to the Campania province for its inspiring beauty. Today, its cobblestone streets, opulent villas, fishermen’s harbors, pleasant Mediterranean climate and citrus groves attract vacationers from all over the world.
Fly to Naples, which is less than an hour from Sorrento. Then make a scenic journey by car or train along the mountainous coastline as the last leg of the trip. Sorrento’s main sights are all within easy walking distance of its central square, Piazza Tasso. To get around even more quickly, hop on and off sightseeing buses.
Behind the piazza, look down into the Deep Valley of the Mills to see a spectacular sight: an ancient ruin partly overgrown by ferns. Visit the Chiesa di San Francesco or other Roman and medieval churches, and admire the frescoes in the Sedile Dominova, once a gathering place for noblemen. Shop for souvenirs in the narrow streets and see craftspeople work with wood, lace and leather just as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years.
On a sunny day, join local residents and savor a leisurely cappuccino on a terrace. Watch passersby and then find a good place for a refreshing swim. On the tip of the peninsula, dip in the glimmering natural pool called Baths of Queen Giovanna. Closer to Sorrento, you can sunbathe and swim in the town’s two harbors: Marina Grande and Marina Piccola.
The Sorrento coastline is mostly steep limestone cliffs, but you'll find a stretch of sandy beach at Marina di Puolo. Notice the olive and lemon groves along the trail to this fishing village. To sample various citrus-infused treats and to see how limoncello liqueur is made, visit the orchards of I Giardini di Cataldo.
At sunset, head to Sorrento’s Villa Comunale park to watch the sky change colors over the crater of the active volcano, Mount Vesuvius, in the distance.