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.


Chiesa di San Francesco Sorrento

 Historic church in a stunning setting

The simple white façade of Chiesa di San Francesco next to Villa Comunale in Sorrento conceals an ancient church with a fascinating history. 

Sant’Antonino, the patron saint of Sorrento, founded a place of private worship there in the eighth century.
The old carved wooden entrance door. 

In the 14th century, Franciscan friars transformed it into a much bigger church and dedicated it to their founder, Saint Francis of Assisi.

The building, in Piazza San Francesco Saverio Gargiulo, was later renovated in the baroque style and embellished with stucco decorations.

The façade was updated in 1926 for the seventh centenary of the death of San Francesco but the beautifully carved 16th century wooden door was retained.

Inside, the church has a single aisle with three chapels on each side.

Among the treasures to be discovered are a wooden statue of San Francesco with Christ crucified, donated to the church by a local family in the XVII century, and a 1737 painting depicting San Francesco receiving the stigmata, by Antonio Gamba, a pupil of Francesco Solimena.

Some of the elements of the 14th century building were uncovered during later restoration work, such as two old frescos representing Sant’Antonio of Padua and San Giacomo.
The baroque interior of the church.

During the 14th century, municipal documents and the seal of the town, which was considered so valuable it was kept in a box that could be opened only with four different keys, were kept in the sacristy of the church.

Some ancient items were found during the 20th century restoration work and were given to the Correale Museum.

Next to the church is a campanile topped with an onion shaped dome and a door at the side of the church leads into the 14th century cloisters. These are considered to be one of Sorrento’s finest historic attractions and are often used for weddings and art exhibitions and concerts.

The cloisters are next to the Villa Comunale, gardens filled with trees and bougainvillea, well away from the main road and the traffic.

It is one of the most peaceful parts of Sorrento and the rectangular open area in the middle provides an ideal space for seating wedding guests or a concert audience.
The 14th century Cloisters of San Francesco.

The Villa Comunale has a terrace with a panoramic view over the bay of Naples making it a perfect backdrop for wedding photographs.

The cloisters are one of the oldest monuments in Sorrento that can still be visited today and represent a fusion of architectural styles as they feature two different types of arches.

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