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  • Wendy Byard

The Best Way To Visit Sorrento In 2024

Sorrento is the perfect location to base yourself when you visit the Amalfi Coast. It's not only a gateway to the Amalfi Coast dream but also a convenient and comfortable starting point for your adventure. This post is designed to ensure you have a hassle-free, enjoyable visit.

But first, let's delve into the enchanting world of Sorrento.

Lido in Sorrento

Perched on the majestic cliffs of the Sorrentine Peninsula, gazing over the sapphire waters of the Bay of Naples, lies the captivating town of Sorrento. With its rich history and the vibrant colours of the Mediterranean, Sorrento lures travellers with its unique charm and timeless beauty.

Venturing into Sorrento is like stepping back in time, where ancient legends blend seamlessly with modern-day marvels. With roots tracing back to the days of the Greeks and Romans, Sorrento has been a beacon of cultural significance for centuries. Its strategic location along the Sorrentine Peninsula made it a prized possession for various civilisations, each leaving behind traces of their legacy.

What to Do in Sorrento

Whether you're a history buff, a culinary enthusiast, or simply seeking to get out into nature, Sorrento has something for everyone.

  1. Explore the Historical Centre: Wander through the charming streets of Sorrento's historic centre, where cobblestone alleyways lead to hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Admire the intricate architecture of the Cathedral of Sorrento, dating back to the 15th century, and lose yourself in the bustling Piazza Tasso, the heart of the town.

  2. Savour the Flavours: Indulge your senses in Sorrento's culinary delights. From the iconic Limoncello, made from the region's renowned lemons, to delectable seafood dishes showcasing the freshest catch of the day, Sorrento's gastronomic scene is a feast for the palate.

  3. Bask in the awe-inspiring Natural Beauty: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that surround Sorrento. Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Marina Grande, where colourful fishing boats bob gently in the harbour, or embark on a boat tour to explore the rugged beauty of the Amalfi Coast. Let the beauty of nature inspire your journey.

  4. Discover Artisanal Treasures: Sorrento is famed for its artisanal craftsmanship, particularly its exquisite woodwork and intricate lace-making. Browse through the quaint shops and boutiques lining the streets, where you'll find unique souvenirs to cherish as mementoes of your journey.

Sorrento is a popular choice for many travellers due to its proximity to other popular locations. It serves as a gateway to nearby wonders such as the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the majestic Mount Vesuvius, the picturesque island of Capri, and the stunning resorts of Ravello and Amalfi. Getting around is easy with a well-connected public transportation system, making it convenient for you to explore nearby gems, such as .......

Captivating Capri: A Mediterranean Jewel of Unrivalled Beauty

Tucked away in the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea lies the picturesque island of Capri, a Mediterranean jewel that captivates the senses and stirs the soul. Renowned for its rugged coastline, crystalline waters, and lush landscapes, Capri is a haven of natural beauty and 

timeless elegance.

Capri by boat

Steeped in mythology and steeped in history, Capri has enchanted travellers for centuries with its timeless allure. Capri has long been a muse for the imagination, from the ancient Romans who sought refuge on its shores to the artists and intellectuals who found inspiration in its idyllic landscapes.

What to Do in Capri

  1. Marvel at Nature's Masterpieces: Explore the island's natural wonders, from the iconic Faraglioni rock formations rising majestically from the sea to the enchanting Blue Grotto, where sunlight creates a dazzling display of azure hues. Hike along scenic trails that offer panoramic views of the Mediterranean or simply relax on one of Capri's pristine beaches, surrounded by the beauty of nature.

  2. Discover Timeless Charm: Wander through the quaint streets of Capri Town and Anacapri, where pastel-coloured houses and charming boutiques beckon you to explore. Visit the historic Villa San Michele, once home to the renowned writer Axel Munthe, and immerse yourself in the island's rich cultural heritage.

  3. Indulge in Culinary Delights: Savor the flavours of Capri with its delectable cuisine inspired by the bounty of the sea and the richness of the land. Sample local specialities such as fresh seafood, handmade pasta, and the island's famous Caprese salad, accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine overlooking the Mediterranean.

  4. Embark on Seafaring Adventures: Take to the seas and explore Capri's coastline aboard a private yacht or traditional wooden boat. Cruise along the rugged cliffs, stopping to swim in secluded coves and snorkel in crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life.

In Capri, every moment is a celebration of la dolce vita. Whether you're admiring panoramic views from Mount Solaro or sipping Limoncello at a sun-drenched café, Capri invites you to experience the magic of island life in all its splendour.

You may also like Amalfi: A Coastal Gem of Timeless Elegance

Nestled along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, the town of Amalfi beckons travellers with its timeless elegance and coastal charm. With its dramatic cliffs, pastel-coloured houses, and shimmering sea views, Amalfi is a picture-perfect destination that captures the heart and soul of southern Italy.

Once a powerful maritime republic, Amalfi boasts a rich history woven into the fabric of its cobblestone streets and historic landmarks. From the iconic Cathedral of Saint Andrew, with its striking Byzantine architecture, to the ancient paper mills that once fueled the town's prosperity, Amalfi is a treasure trove of cultural heritage waiting to be discovered.

The beautiful Amalfi coast

What to Do in Amalfi

  1. Explore Historic Landmarks: Stroll through the historic centre of Amalfi, where medieval alleyways lead to hidden squares and centuries-old churches. Visit the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, with its impressive bronze doors and stunning mosaic façade, and explore the Cloister of Paradise, a tranquil oasis of greenery and ancient beauty.

  2. Savour Local Flavors: Indulge your taste buds in the flavours of Amalfi with its delectable cuisine and world-renowned Limoncello. Sample freshly caught seafood at waterfront trattorias, savour traditional dishes such as scialatielli ai frutti di mare (fresh pasta with seafood) and treat yourself to a taste of lemon-infused gelato as you wander along the promenade.

  3. Discover Hidden Gems: Venture beyond the town centre to discover hidden gems tucked away along the Amalfi Coast. Explore the charming fishing villages of Atrani and Conca dei Marini, or hike along the scenic Path of the Gods for panoramic views of the coastline and the shimmering waters below.

  4. Relax on Sun-Kissed Beaches: Unwind on the sun-kissed beaches of Amalfi, where golden sands meet the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Whether you prefer to bask in the sun, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or indulge in water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding, Amalfi offers the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.

  5. Experience Local Traditions: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Amalfi with its colourful festivals and time-honoured traditions. From religious processions and folk music concerts to artisanal markets showcasing local crafts, there's always something happening in Amalfi to delight and inspire.

Or perhaps 

Ravello: A Hilltop Retreat of Tranquility and Beauty

Perched high above the glittering waters of the Amalfi Coast, the hilltop town of Ravello is a sanctuary of tranquillity and beauty. With its panoramic views, lush gardens, and timeless elegance, Ravello has long been a haven for artists, writers, and travellers seeking inspiration and solace amidst the splendour of the Italian countryside.

The beauty of Ravello

With roots dating back to the 5th century, Ravello has a rich history reflected in its charming streets and historic landmarks. Once a thriving medieval hub of commerce and culture, Ravello was renowned for its silk production and flourishing trade with the East. Today, the town's ancient palaces, churches, and villas offer a glimpse into its storied past.

What to Do in Ravello

  1. Marvel at Spectacular Gardens: Explore Ravello's exquisite gardens, where vibrant blooms and lush greenery create a paradise of serenity and beauty. Visit the iconic Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo, with their manicured terraces, fragrant citrus groves, and breathtaking views of the coastline below.

  2. Attend Cultural Events: Immerse yourself in Ravello's vibrant cultural scene with its renowned music festivals, art exhibitions, and literary events. From classical concerts in historic churches to open-air performances in scenic piazzas, Ravello offers a wealth of cultural experiences to delight and inspire.

  3. Savour Culinary Delights: Indulge in the flavours of the Amalfi Coast with Ravello's exquisite cuisine and fine wines. Sample traditional dishes such as sfusato lemons, local cheeses, and freshly caught seafood, paired with a glass of regional wine enjoyed al fresco with panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

  4. Explore Historic Landmarks: Wander through Ravello's historic centre, where medieval alleyways lead to hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Visit the Duomo di Ravello, with its striking marble facade and ornate bronze doors, and explore the ancient ruins of the Villa Episcopale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  5. Hike Scenic Trails: Embark on a scenic hike along the trails that crisscross the hillsides surrounding Ravello. Follow ancient pathways lined with olive groves and vineyards and enjoy panoramic views of the coastline and the rugged cliffs of the Amalfi Coast.

So, we've covered some of the delights of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, and now it's time for some facts that will help you arrange your own journey.

Getting to Sorrento from Rome and Naples

A lot depends on what kind of traveller you are, how many cases you travel with, and how many people are in your party.

If you travel in the summer, are on a tight deadline, have lots of luggage, or are in a large group, I suggest taking a private transfer. Read on about taking the train to find out why.

The train from Rome to Naples is a breeze. Don't hesitate to take it fast, efficient and with lots of space. However, the experience from Naples to Sorrento is a little different.

The Circumvesuviana train is, in many places, a single track. That means trains must wait for each other to pass, making them later and later towards the end of the day.  

The other thing to note is that the carriages are old, and while quaint, they're also uncomfortable and lack space for any bags. And the last thing...which for me is the deal breaker, is the crowds. If you alight or board at the head stations (Naples or Sorrento), you have a good chance of getting a seat; however, after that, your chances are pretty slim at peak times. There's also a chance you will need help to squeeze onboard. If you suffer from claustrophobia or fainting due to heat....take a transfer. Remember that this train is also used by people taking day trips to Pompeii, which means it is always busy.

Yes , there is a tourist alternative, the Campania Express, but these trains run on the same line, so they are also affected by the delays. They have more space (marginally) with some space for luggage, but it can still be standing room only much of the time.

Having said that, if you're travelling with light luggage, are on a budget, or have all the time in the world, then the experience is may also get free entertainment onboard. I won't spoil that for you; I'll let it be a surprise. I've included links to both the Campania Express and the EAV trains below (I'd suggest downloading the app and booking tickets there to save queuing at the ticket offices)

In next week's post, I'll talk about how to get the best out of a trip to Pompeii and Herculaneum, but for now, if you'd like ideas of the best way to visit Sorrento and the resorts of Amalfi, Ravello and the Island of Capri here are a few links.

Campania Express - Train times and booking

Circumvesuviana -Train times and booking via the app


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