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.



 Popular resort just a short walk from Sorrento

The small resort of Sant’Agnello, just outside Sorrento in the direction of Naples, is very popular with visitors. Many holidaymakers like to base themselves there and visit Sorrento during the day, returning to its peaceful atmosphere in the evenings.

You can reach Sant’Agnello from Sorrento by walking along Corso Italia, passing Piazza Lauro and Viale Nizza, until you reach Piazza Sant’Agnello. You will see the yellow-painted façade of the Chiesa Santi Prisco ed Agnello, dedicated to San Prisco, a fifth century bishop from Nocera in Campania, and Sant’Agnello, a sixth century monk from Naples, who is now the patron saint of the town.
Church dedicated to Sant'Agnello's patron saint

You can also reach Sant’Agnello by leaving Sorrento along Via Correale, passing the Museo Correale di Terranova, and turning right along Via Aniello Califano. You pass the Church of Santa Maria della Rotonda and then join Via Bernardino Rota. After you pass the Grand Hotel Cocumella you can descend to the beach of Marinella, where you can hire sun loungers and enjoy the beautiful view over the bay of Naples.

Sant’Agnello was made famous by the American novelist, Francis Marion Crawford, who was born in 1854 in Bagni di Lucca in Tuscany.

A prolific novelist, Crawford became known for the vividness of his characterisations and the realism of his settings, many of which were places he had visited in Italy.

He chose to settle in later life in Sant’Agnello, where he even had a street named after him, Corso Marion Crawford, which is another way to get down to the sea from Corso Italia.

In 1883 Crawford lived at the Hotel Cocumella in Sant’Agnello, the oldest hotel in the Sorrento area. He then bought a farmhouse nearby, from which he developed the Villa Crawford, an impressive clifftop residence that is easily identifiable from the sea.

Crawford died at the Villa Crawford after suffering a heart attack in 1909. The villa, which was donated to a religious order by his descendants, has since been refurbished as a guesthouse.

The Hotel Cocumella, where Crawford stayed during the 1880s, is in Via Cocumella, just off Corso Marion Crawford. Over the centuries it has welcomed writers such as Goethe, Mary Shelley and Hans Christian Anderson, along with many artists, statesmen and noblemen who visited it while they were on the Grand Tour.

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