Sorrento is a city of orange and lemon trees and boasts the most spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay Of Naples. It’s known as the land of Mermaids, mysteries, myths and legends where Ulysses was tormented by the Sirens sweetly singing.
As well as a beautiful holiday destination in its own right, Sorrento also has great transport links to Pompeii, Herculaneum and Naples; the Amalfi Coast, the Sorrento Peninsula and the Islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. In 1544 the poet, Torquato Tasso, was born in Sorrento and the main square in the centre of town, Piazza Tasso, was named after him.
The famous song, "Torna a Surriento", or (Come Back To Sorrento), was written here in 1902 by Ernesto De Curtis. His brother, Giambattista De Curtis, wrote the words. The Hotel Tramontano, on the cliff overlooking Marina Piccola, has a plaque on the wall where the song was allegedly written. It’s said that the enchanting views of Sorrento inspired him to write the song.
The Greeks founded Sorrento in the 6th century BC and called it “Surreo” which means to “flow together” and it may refer to the flow of the two ancient rivers. The Greeks laid the foundations of the city before the Romans built over it and called it “Surrentum.” It was occasionally known as “Sirrentum” which means, "Land of the Sirens". The term "Surriento" is still used to this day in Neapolitan dialect. The layout of the historic centre of Sorrento has not changed much since Roman times and it was united with the Kingdom of Italy in the year 1861.
No visit to Sorrento is complete without a meander around the Marina Grande. The marina is a working fishing village with a small coarse-pebble beach lined with swish restaurants and cafes. It has great sunsets and crimson streaks often adorn the sky as the sun goes down. The beguiling lap of the waves against the shore gives the marina a timeless rhythm as you tuck into delicious pasta, pizza, meat or fish dishes.
There are buses to the Marina Grande and three walking routes. You can walk down the old path between Hotel Bellevue Syrene and Hotel Continental. After about ten minutes, turn right at the bottom and go down the steps, walk through the 2500 year old Greek Gate and you are almost there. Or you can go down the staircase to the left of the hospital on the newly pedestrianised part of the Corso Italia and keep going straight ahead until you arrive at the Greek Gate. You can also walk down the bus route but it’s not as pleasant as the other two routes.
I hope you enjoy every minute of your Sorrento visit and if you want to see even more pictures of Sorrento, Ischia, the Amalfi Coast and the whole area click here to see my photo album on Flickr - see my profile for the link.
My name's Eddie Best. I'm from the North-East of England and a self-confessed Sorrentophile. After countless visits to Sorrento and the surrounding area I'm here to share my knowledge and insight to hopefully enrich your upcoming trip. You can also see my photos of Sorrento and the surrounding area on my Flickr page here.