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.


Henrik Ibsen’s inspirational time in Sorrento

Famous playwright entered his Golden Age while living in resort

The Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen spent many years living in Sorrento
The Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen
spent many years living in Sorrento
Disenchanted with his native Norway, the playwright Henrik Ibsen took himself and his family into self-imposed exile in 1864 and settled in the beautiful resort of Sorrento.

Ibsen has since become the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare and was one of the most influential playwrights of his time.

He started out working as a theatre director as well as writing plays, but he felt under-appreciated and was in serious financial difficulties when he left Norway to go to live in Sorrento.

His 1865 play, Brand, brought him the critical claim he sought, along with financial reward. His next play, Peer Gynt, written in Sorrento and published in 1867, was also a success and Edvard Grieg composed incidental music and songs for it, which are still performed today.

Success made Ibsen more confident and he began to introduce more of his own beliefs and judgements into his writing, entering what is often considered his Golden Age as a playwright. Ibsen was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, 1903 and 1904.

He stayed in Italy for four years before going to Dresden in Germany, seldom returning to Norway for 27 years.

The plaque commemorating Ibsen's stay is just next to the hotel's elegant bridge across Via Vittorio Veneto
The plaque commemorating Ibsen's stay is just next
to the hotel's elegant bridge across Via Vittorio Veneto
The Imperial Hotel Tramontano in Via Vittorio Veneto in Sorrento record on their website that Ibsen stayed at the hotel in 1881 for six months, as he was still enchanted with the resort, and, inspired by the beautiful views of the Bay of Naples, he wrote his 1881 play, Ghosts, (Gli spettri) while in residence there.

Sorrento have commemorated the visits of the famous playwright to their resort with a small park named after him in the historic centre.  Next to the Roman archway in Via Antonino Sersale, the Parco Henrik Ibsen has been described by visitors as providing quiet respite from the busy streets of Sorrento, with a children’s play area, bar and restaurant.

There is a plaque, recording Ibsen’s 1881 stay in Sorrento, on an exterior wall of the Imperial Hotel Tramontano in the elegant Piazza Vittoria.

The Imperial Hotel Tramontano, in part of which, in 1544, the Renaissance poet, Torquato Tasso was born, has since welcomed many famous writers, artists and musicians, who have been inspired by its stunning setting.


1 comment:

  1. He was a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time. According to Trending Buzz his major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts.