What to see and do in Sorrento
The views of the Bay from Villa Communale are spectacular. It’s a little park/garden area with benches scattered about so you can sit, relax, enjoy the view and people watch.
Basilica di Sant’Antonino
Built in the 11th century, this is a small but pretty church dedicated to Sorrento’s patron saint, Saint Anthony the Abbot. Located in Piazza Sant’Antonino, it’s rather plain looking on the outside, but very pretty inside.
In the lower level crypt is the tomb of Sant’Antonino along with hundreds of silver votive offerings that are in the shape of whatever the person was asking for help with (legs, heart, hands, etc.). A very worthwhile visit.
Strolling along the streets
Don’t forget to pick one of the cafes located on Piazza Tasso (which becomes pedestrian-only in the evenings), grab a bit to eat or just sip a cappuccino, and just watch the world go by. Remember…Sorrento is all about the sweetness of doing nothing!
What to buy in Sorrento
Ladies, don’t miss out on your chance to get your very own custom-made pair of sandals! There are several shops around town where you can browse the hundreds of styles and colors, then choose the ones that are right for you – you even pick the heel height that you want. The owner will measure your feet, and in a couple of hours, you can come back and get your very own, (maybe) one-of-a-kind pair of Italian sandals.
You will find many beautiful items at A. Gargiulo & Jannuzzi, which is located right off Piazza Tasso. In business since 1863, this huge shop sells things like linens, jewelry and ceramics. But one of their main specialties is inlaid wood. You will find gorgeous, hand-made furniture, music boxes, jewelry boxes, etc.
But one of the really cool things is that you can watch the master craftsmen at work to see just how involved the whole process is and how they get from the plain pieces of wood to the detailed finished product. Definitely worth your time and you can walk away with a beautiful keepsake (or have it shipped home to you).
It would be madness to leave Sorrento without buying limoncello to bring home with you (and don’t forget to drink it liberally while you’re there). You will find bottles of all sizes in many of the stores, but my favorite is Limonoro, located on Via San Cesareo. At this bright and welcoming shop, they not only sell many different flavors and types of limoncello in beautiful bottles – but they also make it right on site.
The owners are friendly and they are generous with samples of their delicious product. Trust me…you won’t leave without a bottle or two (or more).
Where to eat in Sorrento
Open since 1930, this small restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating. I highly recommend sitting in the upstairs outdoor area – covered by a pergola of grape vines, you’ll feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a peaceful garden. Service is friendly and the fresh-made pasta will leave you wishing for more!
Neither the food nor the service is remarkable at this place. So why am I saying it’s one of our favorites?? Because its prime location right on Piazza Tasso makes it a wonderful place to go and have a drink or some gelato (or both) and people watch. On our second trip to Sorrento, we went here every night after dinner (except one) just to chill out and enjoy our surroundings before heading back to the hotel for the night.
Ristorante San Antonino
Trattoria Da Gigino
Open since 1965, this trattoria is not to be missed. The food, the atmosphere and the service are all top notch. The gnocchi verdi con gamberi (green gnocchi with shrimp) will knock your socks off. It’s located in the city center on Via degli Archi.
Where to stay in Sorrento
Il Nido Hotel
Hotel Antiche Mura
To me, Sorrento is magical. While it is absolutely the perfect place to hang your hat while you explore Italy to the north and south, it’s also a great place to enjoy on its own merit. I did indeed take the time to enjoy il dolce far niente on my visits…and lots of limoncello was involved!
How about you? Have you been to Sorrento? Did you enjoy it? In my next post, I’ll be covering the other places we visited while based in Sorrento: Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Capri.