Sorrento is a chic and elegant sea-side town with many shops, cafes and restaurants. The Corso Italia is the main street through Sorrento and one part of it is newly pedestrianised. This has led to the old bars and street-cafes spreading out with more tables and chairs outside creating a buzzing, family orientated nightlife. New restaurants and bars are springing up all over and some of them stay open until the early hours but there is never any noise or rowdiness in Sorrento whatsoever.
The Corso Italia is a very pleasant place for a stroll, or passeggiata, now that the traffic is gone along with the scream of motor scooters and bikes. Street entertainers often perform here and musicians, dancers, singers and human statues keep us all entertained for free. The locals often start their passeggiata in the early evening especially at weekends and usually wear their finest clothes while stopping for ice cream or a glass of wine along the way. Whole families including great grandparents, parents, children in prams and dogs on leads walk the walk around Sorrento. A couple of years ago, a local man stopped to talk to me with a freshly bought ice cream in his hand. He looked resplendent in his tight red trousers, immaculate tailored jacket with padded shoulders, plucked eyebrows, bling, designer sunglasses and his jet-black hair was slicked back with hair gel – he was 85 years old!
One renowned restaurant on the pedestrianised part of the Corso Italia is O’Parrucchiano. Almost everyone walks straight past the unimposing entrance without a second glance, and has no idea it exists, yet the staircase opens up into a beautiful and huge restaurant with tables in the garden which is full of lemon trees and flowers.
Wine can be very cheap in Sorrento especially in the supermarkets and you can expect to pay about €5 s for a glass of house wine in a café or bar. A favourite local wine is Lacryma Christi (Tears of Christ,) grown on the super-abundant slopes of Vesuvius. There are several variations of the old story but it’s said that when God was floating over Vesuvius on a cloud, he saw the spectacular views and wept tears of joy. The tears fertilised the ground to grow the grapes to make the delicious wine.
A favourite liqueur in Sorrento is Limoncello and you can buy locally produced bottles everywhere especially Via San Cesareo which is a narrow and mainly traffic-free street running parallel with the pedestrianised part of the Corso Italia. Limoncello flavoured chocolates are also incredibly popular along with ice cream or gelato. This area is known as the "old town" and sometimes affectionately called “The Drains” by tourists although not by the locals. It’s a warren of narrow alleys, packed with cafes and restaurants. It is well worth looking at some of the prices on the menu boards because most of them can be very reasonably priced. Of course, there are restaurants in Sorrento to suit every budget and some of them are Michelin starred, and some have spectacular sea views.
There are also clothes shops everywhere including superb leather goods, hand-made shoes and artisan workshops producing traditional inlaid wood and ceramics. Sorrento has it all!
Keep coming back to this website for more views, news, updates and advice about sizzling Sorrento.
To see my photos of Sorrento please see the link to my Flickr page at the end of my blog profile.
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.