Sorrento: Travel, tourist and hotel guide
Sorrento is situated on a plain above the sea, overlooking the Bay of Naples. The view from Sorrento stretches back to the north, encompassing Vesuvius, the city of Naples, and the island of Ischia. The town is exceedingly popular with tourists, particularly the British - indeed, English appears at times to be Sorrento's first language. It has a pretty old town, a harbour with ferry departures to Capri, Amalfi and Naples, and is within easy reach of the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii,
Herculaneum and the city of Naples. There is some good walking in the peninsula, and plenty of restaurants and bars for the less energetic.
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Sorrento holiday information
The town of Sorrento is a veteran when it comes to dealing with tourism. Many tourists visit Sorrento in its own right, many more use the seaside town as a base for exploring the Naples area or the Amalfi Coast and Capri. Sorrento makes a good base, as it's well-connected by sea, road, bus and the Circumvesuviana metro train. The journey into Naples on the Circumvesuviana (which also stops at the ruins of Pompeii
and Herculaneum) is not especially comfortable, but many prefer
to stay away from the city of Naples, with its dubious reputation, and make daytrips into the city for sightseeing purposes.
Time passes pleasantly in Sorrento; there are, of course, hundreds of tourist shops, but also relaxed cafes and restaurants where you can sit at pavement tables and watch the world go by. The tourist focal point is Piazza Tasso, where tables and chairs crowd the central square which is built over a gorge. As you look out to sea, the old, more attractive part of town is on your left, and the station on your right.
The tourist information office is located just off Piazza San Antonino, in the old town. Take the Via dei Maio, the small road towards the sea, and the Tourist Office is on the right, through a gateway labelled 'Foreigners Club'. You can pick up free town maps, leaflets and timetables for local transport.
There aren't a great deal of actual 'sights' in the town, although there are plenty of panoramic views and pleasant spots. The fourteenth century Chiesa di San Francesco has a charming flowery cloister, and
a small garden next to the church offers a spot of tranquillity with splendid views across the Bay of Naples. South of Corso Italia there is a medieval cathedral, and more of the town's history can be seen at Museo Correale, near the station.
Note that there aren't many actual beaches in Sorrento; sea access is generally via wooden or stone bathing platforms at the foot of the cliffs.
As well as independent travellers, the
destination is also a popular one with tour operators and features in package holiday brochures. There are a very wide range of accommodation options in Sorrento, from luxury hotels above the sea to self-catering apartments ideal for families.
Sorrento Restaurant Experience
Gnocchi alla sorrentina (naturally) and lashings of seafood at the bustling and affordable Da Gigino (Via degli Archi, 13/15). Two floors and pavement tables in a quiet narrow street. A great lunch.
The town is used to the constant incursions of holidaying Brits, and you hear the English language everywhere. The locals know
their market; bars offer chips and hot dogs, and waiters coax tourists into cafes with promises of 'a nice cup of tea'. For the novice traveller, or the linguistically-cautious, Sorrento is reassuringly familiar and easy to deal with, while still oozing Italian charm.
Sorrento travel information
Get to Sorrento
Sorrento isn't on a main railway line, but it's still very accessible from other parts of Italy. The nearest airport is Naples Capodichino, and the most convenient mainline station to arrive at is Naples Stazione Centrale. Below the mainline railway station you will find the Circumvesuviana station. This is a metro service which runs from Naples to Sorrento, stopping at many smaller stations along
the way, including Pompeii and Herculaneum. It's not a particularly comfortable journey; it's a crowded commuter service with hard plastic seats. From Stazione Centrale to Sorrento the journey takes just over an hour. The trains run every half-hour, with a few gaps on Sundays and public holidays.
If you are travelling from Rome, there are frequent trains running to Naples, with journey length and price varying depending on what type of train you take (journeys generally take under 2 hours). More information about trains in Italy.
An efficient and economical alternative from Rome is to take a bus all the way to Sorrento. A company called Marozzi runs a service from Tiburtina Station in Rome to Sorrento, setting passengers down right by Piazza Tasso - ideal if you don't fancy changing trains or carrying your luggage around.
Tickets are reasonably-priced, and can be bought at a kiosk by the bus station (this is outside Tiburtina station; cross the area where orange ATAC buses are parked and you find a smarter covered area for long-distance coaches.) Timetables vary according to season and day of the week; there is generally an early-morning service and an afternoon service at weekends. You should confirm in advance in person or by calling (+39)06 4424 9519. Journey time is approximately 3 hours, with one rest stop. The buses also stop at the Pompeii ruins, Castellamare and Vico Equense.
Rome - Sorrento Travel Experience
We had a very comfortable trip on a nearly-empty bus from Rome to Sorrento, leaving at 7am and arriving in Piazza Tasso just over three hours later.
An interesting journey through the hills of central Italy. We were moving on to the Amalfi side of the peninsula, but the handiness of the buses made us think that Sorrento could even be possible as a (long) day trip from the capital.
Get around Sorrento
There are internal buses for the Sorrento area, run by the Circumvesuviana company. There are four lines:
Linea A: Capo di Sorrento - Piazza Tasso - Sant'Agnello - Piano di Sorrento - Meta
Linea B: Piazza Tasso - Marina Piccola
Linea C: Sant'Agnello - Marina Piccola
Linea D: Piazza Tasso - Marina Grande
Tickets are available from bars and news kiosks; remember to validate them in the machine on the bus.
Ferry services run from Marina Piccola, and tickets can be bought at kiosks next to the port. Destinations include Naples, Capri, Ischia and Amalfi, but services are seasonal and subject to changes.
SITA run blue and green buses covering a wider area. Destinations include Positano, Amalfi, Massa Lubrense, Sant'Agata. Buses depart from the Circumvesuviana Station in Sorrento, and tickets can be bought at bars and news stands.
For Positano and Amalfi, buses run irregularly, approximately 40 minutes apart, although some gaps
are longer, and there are fewer services on a Sunday. Journey length for Positano is 35 minutes, and for Amalfi 1hr 35mins. Tickets cost around €1.20 for Positano, €2.20 for Amalfi.
> Full search of hotels in the Sorrento area.
> Advice about booking hotels in Italy.
Sorrento offers a wide range of lodging options, and you can choose a standard anywhere between budget and luxury. There are quite a few apartments on offer, which suits travellers who prefer
to self-cater. If you're staying for more than a few days, this may be an attractive option as you can stock up at one of the town's food stores instead of eating at restaurants every mealtime.
Here's our selection of Sorrento hotels and apartments to suit a range of tastes and budgets:
Selected Sorrento hotels
An attractive and friendly four-star hotel right in the heart of Sorrento, with a pool, ruins, and garden of lemon trees. The hotel has enthusiastic reviews from past guests.
> More information/make a booking (Booking.com)
> Compare prices (Venere)
Three-star hotel outside Sorrento, with fine views and a shuttle service into town. Both the family-run hotel and its restaurants are highly praised by guests.
> More information/make a booking (Venere)
Two-star family-run hotel close to Piazza Tasso with fifteen rooms. The location is convenient and prices are good value. Service is friendly and past guests actually praise the breakfast - which is most unusual for Italy.
> More information/make a booking (Booking.com)
> Compare prices (Venere)
> More hotels we've selected as being good places to stay
Area Vacanze, Piazza Tasso
Variety of holiday rental apartments in the heart of Sorrento. One-room apartment from €51 per night (Jun-Sept min. stay 7 nights).
> More information/make a booking
Guides to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast
Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Capri
This popular book, published by Sunflower Books, is probably the best specialist guidebook you'll find for the area. Especially good for walkers,
it includes recommended walks (and strolls) in the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento area, including practical information about public transport.
> Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Capri (Landscapes) (Amazon.co.uk)
Globetrotter Travel Pack: Naples and Sorrento
This pack includes a separate travel guide and map covering Naples as well as Sorrento. If you're planning to spend time in the city as well as on the coast, this could be a useful option.
Available online from Amazon - click here to buy it.