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.


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.


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