The Sorrentine Peninsula near Naples, Italy, is in my opinion one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. The scenery is breathtaking, the people are so friendly and the food is out of this world. (Plus, it seems like prices are relatively contained compared to, say, the French Riviera.) I’d like to meet one person who’s been there and hasn’t wanted to stay there forever!
Friday I took a little day trip over to the city of Sorrento. It is still early in the season, so many places have not opened up yet. On a positive note, going off season means the city isn’t overrun by tourists!
Here’s my list (in no particular order) of what you can’t miss while in Sorrento.
1. Go Shopping!
Souvenirs: Sorrento is the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs before you head back home. There are high-quality gifts like beautiful leather bags, inlaid wood art and hand-painted local ceramics if you’re looking for something classy. In the little side streets, you can expect to find some cheaper options like kitschy kitchen towels and lemon-themed everything.
Limoncello: One very important thing not to forget to buy is the best quality IGP Limoncello you can find! (IGP is guaranteed mark of quality that means you will be getting limoncello made from lemons from Sorrento!)
Clothes/Accessories: For those looking for Italian fashion, the best store I have found by far is called “Giala.” They are located right on Corso Italia and sell shoes, sunnies and purses. Most shoes are 30 euro or less and purses are 40, so you can really go to town there.
2. Admire Sorrento’s natural beauty!
This can take on a lot of meanings for different types of travelers. Simply sitting on the beach soaking up the sun doesn’t sound so bad, now does it? Adventure seekers can get a massive workout in by wandering the rocky hills, getting lost in lemon groves and finding undiscovered places to take a dip. Others can be merely content by sitting on a park bench or bar terrace and admiring the view. I can assure you that either way you won’t be disappointed.
3. Hit up the Museums and sites!
There aren’t a ton of museums in Sorrento, but you can definitely dedicate an entire day just to seeing sights of cultural significance.
While in Sorrento, I visited the MuseoBottega della Tarsialignea. This museum is dedicated to the intricate art of intarsio or marquetry. (Or in plain English: the art of inlaid wood. That’s easier, now isn’t it?) This craft is typical of Sorrento and the museum houses some mind blowing pieces of woodwork. It costs 8 euro to enter.
Another site of interest I saw was the Cloister of Saint Francis. This is a nice little courtyard near the Villa Comunale. It is free to visit and would be a great place to relax and read a book. Without a doubt, you will see the Sedil Dominova in the city center. Watch old men as they chat under beautiful fresco paintings like it’s nothing special.
There are so many foods that you can find only in Sorrento, so heed my advice and eat everything!!!!
First of all, we have all sorts of lemon products! Limoncello!!!!! You can go around the souvenir stores and most will let you try their wares. (Hehe.) Order a shot after your meals or whenever, really. Get yourselves some good quality stuff and enjoy it once you are back home. You’ll notice there are also other flavored versions like melon, pistachio and strawberry. Oh, and crema di limoncello. There is also the big, head sized lemons you will see in the markets and candies made with lemon. For pastry lovers, the delizia al limone is the perfect way to end a meal.
Walnuts are also a food typical of Sorrento. When you get them they are still fresh, unlike the versions we normally get in supermarkets. While not my personal favorite, it’s always nice to try something new.
While gelato can be found all over Italy, Sorrento is home to one of my favorite gelaterias. Ever. Primavera on Corso Italia will make your head spin with the variety of flavors and their funky interior. Go for a big cone and thank me later.
This list is nowhere near exhaustive. The seafood in Sorrento is incredibly fresh, the olive oil is fantastic, there are more cheeses than you can shake a stick at and great wines to drink. A good rule of thumb to remember is that calories don’t count in Sorrento.
So, there’s my top four list of things to do in Sorrento! I’ll probably be adding to this list in the near future or creating more specific posts as I go back and explore the city more and more. I really wanted to do a list only of things in or specific to Sorrento, instead of adding things like visit Capri.
For those who have visited Sorrento, what are your favorite things to do there?