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.

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).