Tumbling down a cliffside in a palette of bright hues, Sorrento is a popular and long-standing resort town with a charming historic heart, atmospheric ruins and a bustling port. The town looks out over the Bay of Naples and is known for its high quality ceramics, lace and marquetry, and its delicious Sorrentine lemons. It's also a very convenient coastal base with easy access to major local destinations. You can drive or get a boat to Positano on the Amalfi Coast, a ferry or hydrofoil to Capri or set off to explore the ruins of Pompeii. Unfortunately, it does get extremely busy in the summer months.
Italy specialist Caroline
Sorrento makes a convenient base for exploring the Amalfi Coast. Its piazzas are great for morning coffee and people watching. Many properties sit on the cliff edge, with sweeping views over the Bay of Naples.
Things to see and do in Sorrento
Piazza Tasso and the old town
The heart of Sorrento is a warren of little streets flanked by numerous churches, beautifully restored 19th-century townhouses and palaces, and quaint trattorias. At its heart is Piazza Tasso, a hub of activity with many lively bars and restaurants lorded over by the elegant Palazzo Correale with its beautiful majolica courtyard. From here you can veer off and explore the narrow alleyways now lined with cafés and boutiques selling local produce, such as limoncello and linen clothing. Don't miss the 14th-century Church of San Francesco, one of Sorrento's most beautiful, with its tranquil cloister showcasing a variety of architectural styles.
Take a boat to Capri Island
The chic and wonderfully scenic island of Capri is just a 45 minute hydrofoil ride from Sorrento. A popular destination for celebrities, politicians and the wealthy for centuries, Capri is a decidedly glamorous spot and the best place to soak up the atmosphere is with a coffee or an ice cream under the clock tower on the bustling central square or Piazzetta. From here you can wander the narrow streets, enjoy some shopping in the designer boutiques, take in the spectacular views from the Augustus Gardens, go on a coastal hike, or simply sit and have a long lunch in the sunshine.
Uncover the archaeological wonders of Pompeii
The ancient Roman city of Pompeii, one of Italy’s most renowned attractions, is less than an hour’s drive from Sorrento. Devastated by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the entire city was covered in 6 m (19.6 feet) of ash, which perfectly preserved the buildings and their remarkable mosaics and frescoes. You can explore numerous grand houses with elaborate decorative details, the main forum with its civic buildings, as well as shops and public baths, all of which display extraordinary fragments of the daily life of those who were unfortunate enough to have lived here at the time.
The ruins in the Valley of the Mills
A short walk from Sorrento's Piazza Tasso, but a world away in atmosphere is the Valley of the Mills, a deep natural ravine blanketed in lush vegetation. Nestled at the bottom is the ruin of Sorrento’s old flour mill, a largely medieval structure, though some elements show the site was in use in Roman times. Standing on street level, you get a perfect view of this beautiful, otherworldly structure now completely overgrown with moss and ferns. The mill supplied flour to Naples until the early 20th century and looks even more magical at night when it is illuminated by spotlights.
Suggested itineraries featuring Sorrento
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Sorrento, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Amalfi Coast RegionView this tour
Amalfi Coast Region and TuscanyView this tour
Amalfi Coast Region and TuscanyView this tour
Amalfi Coast Region, Italian Lakes and TuscanyView this tour
Map of Sorrento
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Sorrento
- Capri 10 miles away
- Pompeii 11 miles away
- The Amalfi Coast 12 miles away
- Herculaneum 13 miles away
- Naples 16 miles away
- Ischia 24 miles away
- Matera 117 miles away
- Rome 132 miles away
- Puglia 144 miles away
- Alberobello 151 miles away
- Fasano 158 miles away
- Ostuni 169 miles away
- Palermo 182 miles away
- Orvieto 186 miles away
- Umbria 188 miles away
- Assisi 192 miles away
- Taormina 198 miles away
- Sicily 199 miles away
- Perugia 201 miles away
- Lecce 201 miles away
- Mount Etna 202 miles away
- Erice and Trapani 203 miles away
- Otranto 220 miles away
- Marsala 222 miles away
- Villa Romana del Casale 226 miles away
- Agrigento 234 miles away
- Siena 244 miles away
- Syracuse 251 miles away
- Ragusa, Modica & Noto 257 miles away
- San Gimignano 261 miles away
- Florence 270 miles away
- Ravenna 285 miles away
- Pisa 296 miles away
Photos of Sorrento
Accommodation choices for Sorrento
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Sorrento. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.