Sorrento is a beautiful town perched on a cliff high above the sea with views of Vesuvius and the islands in the Bay of Naples . Use this website to help you plan a visit to this elegant southern Italian resort and find your way to the best beaches and some lovely villages and towns along the Sorrentine peninsula that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seeing in the New Year in Sorrento

Piazza Tasso is Sorrento's traditional
gathering place at New Year

Corks will be popping and the bars will be busy as local residents and visitors see in 2012 in Sorrento.
Il Presidente della Repubblica, Giorgio Napolitano, will have delivered his Messaggio di Fine Anno -- end-of-year message -- from his official residence, the Palazzo del Quirinale, in Rome, shown on most of the Italian television channels at 20.30.
This will have been followed on Rai Uno by L’Anno Che Verrà, a live programme of pop and entertainment to see in the New Year.
New Year’s Eve is known as la Festa di San Silvestro in Italy when families and friends traditionally get together for a special dinner.
There are midnight fireworks displays in many city squares as well as at private parties. A custom that is still followed in some parts of Italy, particularly in the south, is throwing old, unwanted possessions out of the window to symbolise your readiness to accept the New Year.
In Sorrento, the main square, Piazza Tasso, is the traditional hub of festivities, where crowds celebrate into the early hours.
Buon Anno from Best of Sorrento.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Visit Naples to see street of the 'presepio'

A classic Italian presepio with Neopolitan figures 
During December churches in Sorrento have had their presepio (nativity scene) on display.
The tradition of recreating the birth of Jesus with a presepio (which literally means crib) dates back to the 13th century in Italy.  Many Italian families also have one in their home and you will see shops selling complete stable scenes, or the figures to make your own, in the weeks around Christmas.
An easy trip to make from Sorrento at any time of the year is to Naples, one of the most famous places for production of figures for the presepio. An entire street in the centro storico, Via San Gregorio Armeno, is lined with shops that sell figures and props for the presepio all year round.
Producers have now even branched out into making figures of celebrities, sportsmen and politicians to place in the presepio along with the traditional characters. So don’t be surprised if you see a Barack Obama or a Silvio Berlusconi among the shepherds.
You can travel to Naples from Sorrento either by train, which takes just over an hour, or take a 30-minute hydrofoil ride from the port in Sorrento. Via San Gregorio Armeno can be reached easily on foot from either the station or the port in Naples.
Language point
Presepio or presepe
You will see the words presepio and presepe used to refer to a nativity scene in Italy. The words literally mean ‘crib’.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Sorrento

Panettone is the traditional end to the
 Christmas feast

Christmas is very much a family feast in Sorrento , just as in the rest of Italy and many other parts of the world.
After la Vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve), when traditionally a fish meal is consumed and the adults go to midnight mass, Natale (Christmas Day) is a time for feasting.
While the children open their presents, the adults savour a glass of good Prosecco or uncork a special vintage bottle while they prepare the festive table.
Friends and relatives who drop in with presents or to exchange good wishes will be offered nuts, biscuits and torrone (nougat from Cremona in Lombardia).
Antipasti is likely to include Parma ham or bresaola (cured beef), served with preserved mushrooms, olives or pickled vegetables.
Stuffed pasta is usually served as a first course, either in the shape of ravioli or tortellini, which are said to have been offered as Christmas gifts to priests and monks during the 12th century.
For the main course, turkey or capon is likely to be served with potatoes and vegetables as side dishes.
The traditional end to the meal is almost always panettone, served warm accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine.
Panettone is said to have been concoted by a Milanese baker, Antonio (Toni), to impress his girlfriend at Christmas time in the 15th century. The result was so successful that ‘Pane de Toni’ has become a regular feature of the Christmas season all over Italy and now even abroad.
The feasting and family parties continue on 26 December, the festa di Santo Stefano (Boxing Day).
Buon Natale from Best of Sorrento and Buon Appetito e Salute.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sorrento celebrates start of Christmas

Sorrento's Piazza Tasso at Christmas
(image courtesy of

Banks and offices are closed today and there are special masses taking place in the churches as Sorrento celebrates the official beginning of Christmas.
Il giorno dell’immacolata concezione (the day of the immaculate conception) has been celebrated for centuries in Italy on 8 December.
It is an official festa (feast day) when the immaculate conception of Jesus is celebrated in the Christian calendar. It also marks the start of the Christmas season when the lights and trimmings go up, if they haven’t started to go up already.
Although the banks and public offices are closed, all the shops open as usual with many people not at work taking the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.
As in many other countries across the world, Christmas shopping actually starts much earlier than 8 December in Italy, with Christmas trees, lights and decorations going up during November.
Corso Italia, the main street that runs through Sorrento, has some of the top name shops and will be thronged with activity from now until Christmas Eve.
Buona Festa!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spectacular view from Villa Comunale

Looking across the harbour and Sorrento bay
One of the most stunning views of the bay of Naples can be seen from a terrace at the end of the pretty public gardens known as Villa Comunale in Sorrento.
This is a ‘must see’ spot for all keen photographers as the panoramic views take in the Naples coastline, Vesuvius, the island of Procida and Punta del Capo, a promontory of land further along the Sorrentine peninsula.
There is a telescope available if you want to get a close up of something that catches your eye. The vista will also provide a perfect backdrop for your holiday photographs.
The view towards Capo di Sorrento
To get to Villa Comunale leave Piazza Tasso by Via Luigi de Maio. Go through Piazza Sant’Antonino and along Via San Francesco to the Church of San Francesco. The entrance to the gardens is between the church and the neighbouring Hotel Tramontano.
Villa Comunale is the largest public garden in Sorrento and is laid out with flower beds and shaded by trees. There are busts of historian Bartolomeo Capasso and Sorrento-born magistrate and lawyer Francesco Saverio Gargiulo in the gardens and benches are provided so that you can sit and relax while you enjoy the view.
There is a beach directly below and during the day you will see the tiny figures of swimmers in the sea. You can walk down to either Marina Piccola or Marina Grande from here or stop for refreshments at the bar to the right of the gardens from where you can continue to enjoy the view.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Travel around Sorrento on local transport

You don’t have to hire a car to travel around Sorrento and the surrounding area as the transport services are excellent.
Linea A bus
A local bus service, operated by EAVBUS, serves Sorrento. Linea A (Line A) goes from Massa Lubrense, just outside Sorrento to the south-west, through Capo di Sorrento and the centre of Sorrento to Meta, at the north-eastern end of the Sorrento plain. 
Circular lines B & C link the main port (Marina Piccola) with Piazza Tasso in the centre of Sorrento and the railway station. Linea D links Sorrento with the smaller fishing port at Marina Grande and Linea E runs between the railway station and the Hilton Hotel.  
Another bus service (Autolinee Sita) connects Sorrento with places on the Sorrentine peninsula, including Massa Lubrense, Sant’Agata su due Golfi, Nerano, Marina della Lobra and Priora, as well as Positano and Amalfi. 
The Circumvesuviana railway runs trains back and forth between Sorrento and Naples every half an hour from early in the morning till just before midnight .
Trains call at Pompei and Ercolano, providing visitors with an easy way of seeing gli scavi -- the excavated remains of the towns destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. 
Hydrofoil at Marina Piccola
There are main line stations providing access to the more extensive rail services of the Trenitalia network at both Pompei and Naples.
A car ferry service runs between Sorrento and Capri and aliscafi (hydrofoils) go to Capri, Naples, Ischia, Procida, Positano and Amalfi.
Timetables for all the buses, trains and boats are printed at the back of Surrentum, the free monthly tourist magazine, which is available from the Tourist Office based at the Foreigners' Club in Via Luigi De Maio in the centre of Sorrento. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria has received many distinguished visitors

The entrance to the Excelsior Vittoria off Piazza Tasso
The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is a familiar landmark as you approach Sorrento from the sea.
You will see the three 19th century buildings that make up the hotel on top of the cliff above the port when you arrive by boat from Naples or the islands.
The Excelsior Vittoria is not only Sorrento’s most famous hotel, it has also achieved global recognition and is now part of the Leading Hotels of the World group.
From the entrance off Piazza Tasso, with its plaque recording the visit of tenor Enrico Caruso, a long driveway lined with orange trees leads to the entrance and reception area.
At the back of the hotel the terrace has panoramic views over the Bay of Naples and of Vesuvius across the water. Caruso was famously photographed in front of that view during his stay in 1921.
The hotel has welcomed many other distinguished visitors, including Richard Wagner, Marilyn Monroe and HRH the Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
The Excelsior Vittoria was opened by the Fiorentino family in 1834 and is still run by their descendents.
The décor of the hotel exudes 19th century elegance with ornately decorated ceilings and antique furniture.
There are extensive gardens, an outdoor pool and a private lift down to the port.
The Vittoria Restaurant, which overlooks the sea, serves a buffet breakfast and main meals.
There are 75 rooms and 21 themed suites. Suite Margaret, named after the Princess, has a bathroom furnished with red marble from Campania and an enamel bath with classic English taps. The suite has a 25 square metre terrace overlooking the sea.
Suite Caruso is furnished with the piano and writing desk used by the tenor during his stay. The suite inspired the song ‘Caruso’ to be written by Italian pop singer Lucio Dalla in the late 1980s when he was staying at the Excelsior Vittoria as a guest.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Look out for Vino Novello on sale in Sorrento

Vino Novello

If you visit Sorrento during November you may see Italy ’s Vino Novello on sale in the shops and being served in bars and restaurants.
The light, fruity, new red wine is enjoyable to drink and would be a bargain buy to take home with you.
Vino Novello is similar in taste, body and colour to the French Beaujolais Nouveau, which is exported to a number of other countries after its release.
Like Beaujolais Nouveau, Italy’s new wine should be drunk quickly after the bottle is opened. Unopened bottles should be kept for only a few months.
Italy’s Vino Novello 2011 was launched on 6 November, ten days ahead of Beaujolais Nouveau and has gone on sale in many supermarkets, wine shops and bars.
A major area for production is the Veneto, with the merlot grape being the one most used by wine makers.
The Hotel Savoia in Via Fuorimura, Sorrento, is currently advertising a special dinner to be served in their restaurant, which will be accompanied by Montepulciano Novello.
So if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to taste an Italian Vino Novello while on holiday in Sorrento, make sure you appreciate it. Salute!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Don’t miss the Correale Museum

Il Museo Correale di Terranova
For an insight into traditional Sorrentine art and culture visit il Museo Correale di Terranova while staying in Sorrento.
Possibly the most beautiful museum in Italy, the Correale is housed in an historic villa in Via Correale, just off Corso Italia. It is surrounded by orange and lemon groves and has views over the Bay of Naples from its windows.
On display are important archaeological exhibits that illustrate Sorrento’s history, works by the leading Neapolitan painters and fine examples of Capodimonte porcelain.
There is a large collection of 19th century tarsie sorrentine -- Sorrentine inlaid wood items -- and an interesting library with manuscripts, early editions of Torquato Tasso’s works and his death mask.
The last descendants of the Correale family, Alfredo and Pompeo, counts of Terranova, gave the villa with its gardens and panoramic terrace to the people of Sorrento, providing the perfect showcase for this magnificent collection.
The Correale Museum is open every day except Tuesday from 9.30 to 1.30 pm at Via Correale 48 (telephone +39 081 871846).

Monday, October 31, 2011

Take a trip from Marina Piccola

The harbour at Marina Piccola

From Sorrento’s main port at Marina Piccola you can take a boat or aliscafo 
(hydrofoil) to the islands of Ischia, Capri and Procida. 
There is also a direct aliscafo to Naples and the Metro del Mare service from Sorrento to Positano, Amalfi and Salerno, which sails round Punta Campanella, the tip of the Sorrentine peninsula, and past a picturesque group of islands called Li Galli.
You can either take a local bus or taxi to the port or walk down from either Piazza Tasso or Piazza Sant’Antonino using the steps and the winding road.
Down at Marina Piccola there are restaurants, bars and shops and a central area where you can buy tickets for the different ferry services and check their timetables.
You will see small boats bringing passengers ashore from the cruise ships visiting Sorrento that are moored further out in the bay.
And you will notice that one area of the port is reserved to accommodate privately owned boats and fishing boats, which are still used to catch fish by traditional methods and provide an important source of employment in the area.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Taste fragrant Falanghina

A falanghina from the
 Cantina del Taburno

Take the opportunity to try Falanghina when you see it on wine lists in restaurants in Sorrento.
Light dry, fragrant Falanghina is a white wine that goes perfectly with fish and dishes made with mozzarella, such as insalata caprese.
It is made from grapes grown on the slopes of Vesuvius, along the Sorrentine peninsula or near the Amalfi coast and you don’t very often see it outside Campania, let alone in other countries.
Wine buffs described it as ‘piney’ and juicy’. Look out for producers such as Feudi San Gregorio from Avellino and Ocone from Benevent, who are considered to produce high quality wines.
The name falanghina is thought to derive from the latin word phalanga,  meaning stake or pole, in reference to the early Greek method of training vines to poles. This proves the wine has very ancient origins and was probably the forerunner of other Campanian white wines, such as Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino.
Falanghina is best drunk young and the more chilled the better. It is usually reasonably priced in restaurants and is the perfect accompaniment for the good seafood and fresh fish available on most menus or with local specialities such as gnocchi alla sorrentina, made with mozzarella and tomato.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Come back to Sorrento (Torna a Surriento)

The De Curtis statue
If the main square in Sorrento belongs to the poet Torquato Tasso, then the square outside the Circumvesuviana railway station is definitely the territory of Neapolitan poet and artist Giambattista de Curtis.
He is believed to have written the words for the song Torna a Surriento while on the terrace of the Imperial Hotel Tramontano in 1902 gazing out at the sea whose beauty he was praising.
Giambattista lived for weeks at a time in the hotel and painted frescoes and canvases for the owner, Guglielmo Tramontano, who was also Mayor of Sorrento.
One theory is that he was asked to write the song to mark the stay at the hotel of Italian prime minister Guiseppe Zanardelli. But another school of thought is that he had already written the words to accompany his brother Ernesto’s beautiful music a few years earlier.
There is a bust of Giambattista in front of the station with the inscription: To G Battista de Curtis author of the song Torna a Surriento. Placed by the commune 15 September 1982.
Giambattista wrote the verses in Neapolitan dialect and the English version that is sometimes performed is not an accurate translation.
One of Italy ’s most famous songs, Torna a Surriento has been performed and recorded in the original by such greats as Di Stefano and Pavarotti.
The opening lines are: Vide’o mare quant’e bello. Spira tanta sentimento Comme tu, a chi tiene mente Ca, scetato,’ o faje sunna.
My literal translation of this is: See how beautiful the sea is. It inspires so many feelings. Like you, and to he who thinks of you, makes dreams while awake.
But to many people the song has come to mean simply: Come back to Sorrento because of its beauty. And no one could argue with that.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Visit vibrant Via San Cesareo

Colourful stalls line
Via San Cesareo 
One of the most fascinating streets in Sorrento is Via San Cesareo, which is right in the centre just off Piazza Tasso.
Running parallel with the much wider Corso Italia, the street follows one of the lines of the ancient Greek and Roman town plan. It is narrow because it was designed to be shaded by the buildings along both sides to keep it as cool as possible during the height of the summer.

Crammed with shops, bars and restaurants, the ancient cobbled street leads to Via Tasso, providing an experience for all your senses with its exciting colours, aromas and sounds along the way.
As soon as you enter it from Piazza Tasso, you are met with bright colours, snatches of mandolin music, excited voices and frantic activity.
Luxury leather goods and jewellery shops display their stock along with the stalls of fresh fruit and vegetables close to the outside eating areas of bars and restaurants.
You will be dazzled by the strings of bright red chillis, colourful hand painted ceramics and fresh green vegetables and herbs on sale.
From one doorway you might experience the smell of new leather handbags, from another a whiff of Sorrento’s lemon perfumes and products and, from a restaurant, the occasional enticing aroma of tomato and garlic.
You’ll be able to taste ice cold limoncello in the liqueur shops, watch craftsmen making decorations in inlaid wood and be invited into the air conditioned bars and restaurants by waiters standing in the doorways calling out the names of the day’s special dishes.
You’ll hear snatches of Torna a Surriento as people open the musical boxes outside the inlaid wood shops, competing against the background hum of shoppers discussing their purchases, with the occasional melodic tone of an Italian shopkeeper soaring above, like a snatch of opera.
Card games and frescoes
in Sedile Dominova
Before you reach Via Tasso, look out for Sedile Dominova on the left hand side. The elegant 15th century open loggia on the corner of Via Giuliani was originally built as a meeting place for the nobility and is beautifully decorated with frescoes.
Watch the local men of today enjoying a quiet game of cards under the ornate cupola, seemingly oblivious to what is going on around them.   

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fly to Naples -- then onwards by road, rail or sea to Sorrento

Curreri Viaggi's Sorrento bus service
The nearest airport to Sorrento is the Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli, which is about 50 km to the north.
You can fly to Naples International Airport from Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester .
There are internal flights to Naples from Genova, Catania, Torino, Roma, Milano, Venice, Verona, Palermo and Trieste as well as flights from other European cities and further afield.
The airport has recently been refurbished and has smart shops, bars and restaurants spread over three floors.
You can travel from the airport to Sorrento by road, rail or sea.
A regular bus service is operated by Curreri Viaggi from outside Arrivals to the centre of Sorrento for €10 per person, the journey taking about an hour and a half. A pre-booked taxi for a small group will cost approximately €120.
Or you could take a taxi into the centre of Naples to the Circumvesuviana railway station at Porta Nolana or Piazza Garibaldi and board a local train, which will reach Sorrento in just over an hour.
If you would like to arrive by sea take a taxi to Molo Beverello in Naples from where there are regular ferries across the bay to Sorrento . The voyage will take about 45 minutes and you will arrive at Marina Piccola, from where you can either walk up into the centre of Sorrento or take a bus or taxi.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eat well in Sorrento

There are many delicious local specialities to try in Sorrento, which has a culinary tradition closely linked with cucina Napolitana (Neapolitan cooking).
gnocchi alla sorrentina
A typical local dish you will find among the pasta dishes served as a primo piatto (first course) is gnocchi alla sorrentina, little dumplings made from potato, egg and flour cooked in a rich tomato sauce with mozzarella and basil.
You will also see spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with small clams) and scialatielli ai frutti di mare (fresh pasta strips with shellfish).
Most restaurants serve freshly caught, local fish for the secondo piatto (main course). A typical dish from this coast is pezzogna all’acqua pazza, a delicious white fish cooked with tomato, garlic and parsley.
scialatielli ai frutti di mare
Among other fish dishes you will see are spigola (sea bass) cooked with lemon, marinated or fried anchovies and zuppa di cozze (fresh mussels cooked with tomato).
Of course, Sorrento is a good place to try an authentic pizza, a dish which was born in nearby Naples. The best known is Pizza Margherita (with tomato, mozzarella and basil) invented by a Neapolitan pizza cook, Raffaele Esposito, in honour of Queen Margherita, wife of Umberto 1, King of Italy.
A popular dessert is la delizia al limone (lemon cake covered in cream). Finish off with a small, ice cold glass of limoncello, the popular Sorrento liqueur, thought by Italians to be a good digestivo, aiding digestion.

Salute e Buon Appetito!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Sample Sorrentine specialities at VerdeMare restaurant

VerdeMare Ristorante
Just outside the centre of Sorrento, VerdeMare Ristorante Pizzeria serves authentic Sorrentine dishes for less than you might pay in the middle of town.
The restaurant is only five minutes by bus, car or taxi from the centre of Sorrento. Or you could walk to it in about half an hour along Corso Italia and Via del Capo in the direction of  Punta del Capo enjoying the view over Marina Grande and the sea along the way as you climb the hill.
You will find the VerdeMare on the left hand side at the junction of Via del Capo and Via Nastro Verde.
You can either dine on the terrace and watch motorists negotiate the tricky junction with a serene sea view in the distance, or inside the large, airy restaurant decorated with framed newspaper front pages commemorating famous events, such as landing on the moon and Italy winning the world cup.
The quality of the food more than makes up for the restaurant’s proximity to the main road and there is an extensive menu to choose from.
Among the antipasti, I would recommend gamberi e rucola (fresh prawns on a bed of rocket in a delicious lemon dressing) or alici marinati (marinated anchovies).
Among the pasta dishes look out for scialatielli (short, home made strips) with frutti di mare (seafood) or alla siciliana (with tomatoes, aubergines and cheese).
The restaurant’s speciality is spaghetti alla VerdeMare, with a rich tomato, vegetable and seafood sauce.
For main courses there is an good choice of fish, veal and steak dishes and an extensive pizze list.
A  two course meal for four, with vegetables, two bottles of wine and water came to €100.
Verdemare Ristorante Pizzeria is closed on Wednesdays. Tel: +39 081 8782589.
Salute e Buon Appetito!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Visit Marina Grande to eat freshly caught fish

Marina Grande is one of Sorrento’s two harbours but is not the main port for Sorrento.
Marina Grande

Confusingly, it is Marina Piccola -- literally, small marina -- where the big boats dock and hydrofoils from Naples, Ischia, Capri, Positano and Amalfi arrive and depart.
Marina Grande has the feel of a small fishing village that has remained unspoilt over the years and is well worth a visit as there are plenty of restaurants that serve fresh fish.
Walk down along Via Marina Grande, which starts from Piazza della Vittoria and winds down to the shore past some traditional, old Sorrento houses.
When you reach the beach you will be greeted by the sight of brightly painted bathing huts along a platform over the sea and lines of small fishing boats and pleasure boats on the beach.
You may even see fishermen among them mending their nets as fishing by traditional methods is still an important part of Sorrento’s economy.
There are also a few shops and bars at Marina Grande but, despite receiving many visitors, there is a homely atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else because the same families have lived there for generations.
If you are replete with good food and wine you might prefer to take the bus back up the steep road to Sorrento afterwards. It leaves from a stop on the road by the beach in the middle of the sea front every half an hour. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What to see in Sorrento

In the historic centre of Sorrento there is a wealth of beautiful architecture illustrating the fascinating history of the town, which was inhabited by Greeks and then Romans, who called it Surrentum, a name derived from the myth of the Sirens who tried to tempt Ulysses.
There are still remnants of the Greek defensive walls to be seen at Porta Parsano Nuova and in Via Sopra Le Mura.
The Greek Gate
You will see a real gem of Greek architecture as you walk down to the fishing village of Marina Grande along Via Marina Grande. You will pass under the original fourth century BC Greek Gate, a round arched gateway built from square cut blocks of stone. It blends perfectly with the walls on either side of it and the traditional fishermen’s houses. When you emerge from the passageway into the sunshine you will have a stunning view of the sea and the beach of Marina Grande.
Marina Grande
Sedile Dominova
The Romans built over the old Greek town but followed the same plan and their solid stone walls continued to defend Sorrento for centuries. These were rebuilt in the 16th century to protect Sorrento against Turkish invasions. If you walk along Via degli Aranci you can appreciate the scale of them. Turn down Via Sersale, where you can look round, free of charge, the recently renovated bastion of Parsano, part of the ancient walls. At the end of Via Sersale cross Corso Italia and turn down Via Tasso and then into Via Fuoro. Walk along in the direction of Via Sopra Le Mura and you will come to Sedile Dominova, an elegant 15th century loggia, originally built as a meeting place for the nobility to discuss important public affairs and sumptuously decorated with frescoes. It is now a popular meeting place for local men and some serious card games take place beneath the green and yellow majolica tiled cupola.
Make your way back to Corso Italia to see Sorrento’s Duomo, which dates back to the 11th century but was rebuilt in the 15th century. The choir in the apse provides an elegant example of the decorative inlaid woodwork that is a Sorrentine tradition.
A short walk from Piazza Tasso along Via Luigi de Maio will take you to Piazza Sant’Antonino named after Sorrento ’s patron saint. The square has a statue of Sant’Antonino Abate and is home to Basilica Sant’Antonino, parts of which date back to the 11th century. In the sacristry is a beautiful example of a presepe (crib) with 17th century figures made by Neapolitan sculptors.
Piazza Tasso
You can walk from the square down to Marina Piccola, from where boats and hydrofoils depart to Naples, Ischia, Capri, Positano and Amalfi.
Or, you could walk to Via San Francesco and the Villa Communale (public gardens), where there are benches to rest on while you admire the views of the bay and the promontory you can see that is known as Punta del Capo. Before you leave the gardens, take a look inside the Chiesa di San Francesco and the pretty Chiostro (cloisters), parts of which date back to the 14th century, and which is nowadays a popular venue for weddings.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Piazza Tasso named after famous Sorrento poet

Torquato Tasso's statue
Piazza Tasso is the hub of Sorrento, in the middle of the main shopping street, Corso Italia, and looking over Marina Piccola, Sorrento’s port.
Surrounded by bars and restaurants, the square has stops for the local buses and a taxi rank. It is also the resting place for the horses that pull carriages that can be hired for sightseeing.
The piazza is named after Torquato Tasso, regarded as the greatest Italian poet of the Renaissance, who was born in Sorrento on 11 March, 1544. He is commemorated with a large marble statue in the square, the work of Gennaro Cali in 1870.
Tasso’s most famous work is his epic poem Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Liberated) in which he gives an imaginative version of the battles between Christians and Muslims at the end of the first crusade during the siege of Jerusalem .
The house where he was born is a few streets away from Piazza Tasso in Via Vittorio Veneto and now forms part of the Imperial Hotel Tramontano, where the words of the beautiful song Torna a Surriento were composed on the terrace by the poet Giambattista De Curtis.
Piazza Tasso