For many tourists, the essence of travel is to get away from it all, which explains why beach and mountain getaways are popular destinations. Highly promoted packaged holiday hot spots are not really appealing, to say the least, because of their lack of "natural" attractions. But there's one place in Italy that shamelessly markets its tourism even if it only holds a few worthy sights under its belt. And yet, it's still high on every traveler's must-go places -- not because it has been widely advertised but because it holds a quaint and strangely irresistible charm all its own. Perhaps it is because popular legend has identified this as the place where the mythical sirens that lured sailors to their deaths once lived. Or perhaps it's because of the fact that its hillside location overlooks the Bay of Naples. Whatever it is, the age-old appeal remains, not dimmed in the least by mass tourism. Welcome to Sorrento.
There are many beautiful and quiet spaces in Sorrento. The Chiesa de San Francesco, with its distinct architectural styles is a great place to begin. Its gardens also provide excellent views of the Villa Comunale. The Villa Comunale Park also offers a magnificent vista of Mt. Vesuvius. The Duomo and the Cathedral are stunning structures that need to be explored on the inside in order to be admired. Of the museums in Sorrento, the Museo Corrale and the Museo Bottega della Tarsia Ligna top the list. If you fancy a swim, head to Bagni Regina Giovanna, a beach near town. You can also find the ruins of the Roman Villa Pollio Felix here. Other places that are picture-worthy are the Marina Piccola and the natural reserve of Puntacampanella.
Don't leave Sorrento without sampling the tasty pastiera or the aubergines parmigiana. There are numerous restaurants within the town center itself, particularly along Via Marina Grande, Via Marina Piccola and Via degli Aranci. There are also more dining choices to be found in Piazza Tasso. You can also find more restaurants in nearby Sant'Agnello.
The best souvenir of your trip should be a limoncello, a liquor made from the rind of lemons. Get yours from Limonoro in Via San Caesario where you can also see how it is made. Other places to get limoncello are the Distillerie Correale and the Sapori e Colori. Get inlaid wood at Gargiulo and Jannuzzi off Piazza Tasso or at the Notturno Intarsio. More conventional shopping can be had at the Sorrento Historical Center.
Via Capo 1
Take SS145 to Piazza Torquato Tasso
Via Sant'Antonino 12
Via San Nicola 56