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 San Paolo Sorrento

Sorrento’s Church of St Paul dates back to the ninth century

One of the most striking features of the Church of Saint Paul, in Via Tasso in the heart of Sorrento’s historic centre, is the carefully-preserved, majolica floor.

The Church has a single aisle
The designs featuring animals, leaves and flowers that were  painted on the terracotta tiles by artists from Naples in the 18th century are still visible to visitors today.

Documents show that the Church of St Paul already existed in the ninth century and it is known to have been sacked by the Turks during their invasion of Sorrento in 1558.

The Church used to be attached to the old convent of Benedictine nuns of St Paul, but this later became an educational institution.

The current façade was added in 1725 but it still remains incomplete at the top. The lower part is in Doric style with the entrance to the church encased by two columns. The top of the façade is simply painted with a central circular window and there is a tiled cupola and small bell tower.

Inside, the church is in the shape of a Latin cross with barrel vaults and it is decorated with 18th century paintings on the walls and ceiling.

The hand-painted 18th century
 majolica floor
There have been many alterations made over the centuries and after the earthquake of 1731 the church was restored in baroque style.

It still has the wooden boxes overlooking the congregation that the nuns would have sat in when attending services.

There are small chapels on both sides of the church. The one on the right has a door leading to the convent and the one on the left has an entrance to the vestry.

Above the main altar there is an 18th century painting depicting the conversion of Saint Paul of Tarsus, the apostle to whom the church is dedicated. The painting is flanked by statues of Santa Scolastica and San Benedetto.

The Church is in Via Tasso, which goes off Corso Italia, and is on the left hand side before you reach Piazza Vittoria.





Capodanno in Italy

Toasting the New Year the Italian way

New Year’s Day is called Capodanno in Italy, which literally means ‘head of the year’.

It is a public holiday and schools, Government offices, post offices and banks are closed.

After a late start following the New Year’s Eve festivities, many families will enjoy another traditional feast together. This year is obviously different, with the option of booking a restaurant for a big family meal off the agenda because of Covid-19 restrictions.

It is still possible to attend church services - another tradition before the festive meal - but anyone leaving their home under the current lockdown measures has to fill in a certificate before venturing out with police entitled to check their purpose is legitimate.  As well as going to places of worship, Italians can leave their homes only for essential shopping or to seek healthcare.

Italy is in what has been determined as 'red zone' restrictions, much like those imposed in March last year after the first outbreak of the virus. The measures will be eased for one day on 4 January, allowing non-essential shops to reopen, but are due to be re-imposed on 5 January ahead of another traditional celebration, the Feast of Epiphany.

Rai Uno traditionally broadcasts a New Year’s day concert live. This year it came from Teatro La Fenice, the famous opera house in Venice.