Sorrento makes an ideal base for excursions to some of Italy’s most fascinating archaeological sites.
With its mild climate and wonderful on the scenic Amalfi peninsula, Sorrento enjoys one of the Mediterranean’s longest tourist seasons. The popular resort is particularly appealing in the spring when temperatures are generally warm rather than hot and you can enjoy the profusion of Mediterranean flora including wisteria, mimosa, jasmine and vivid blue agapanthus.
Most visitors to Sorrento arrive by plane at Naples airport, about 50 kilometres to the north of Sorrento. From Naples airport it is possible to book seats on a shuttle bus to Sorrento or, for a cheaper option, take the Circumvesuviana railway from Naples Garibaldi Station to Sorrento. The town is perfect for visitors who enjoy exploring on foot. Via San Cesareo is the main street of the old town and is the place to go to enjoy the lively evening “passegiata”. The Villa Comunale Park is also well worth a visit. This charming park features exotic plants, vibrant seasonal flowers and large trees which provide shade from the strong Italian sun. It also affords beautiful panoramic views of the Bay of Naples. If you’re lucky and the weather is clear you might even see Mount Vesuvius.
For a little culture, visit the Museo Correale di Terranova which contains precious artefacts amassed by the counts of Terranova including paintings and furnishings. The views to Naples and Vesuvius from the upper floors are superb.
Whilst any stay in Sorrento must include some time for wandering along the busy streets of the town centre, perhaps enjoying a spot of window-shopping, it is also essential to take a few excursions to some of the most important Roman sites in Italy. Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum are known for their tragic fate when they were destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. Preserved in ash and mud for almost 1700 years, they both give a fascinating insight into life during the Roman Empire. It is even possible to sit on the walls of a former Roman bath and stand on the mosaic tiles of a former Roman living room. Both sites are very popular with tourists so a visit during the quieter months (when the weather is also more bearable) is strongly recommended.
It would also be a great shame to leave the Sorrento area without having seen the stunning Amalfi Coast. It is possible to take an excursion which includes the delightful coastal towns of Amalfi, Ravello and Positano. The views from the road which links the towns are quite amazing – if you can bear to look as the route can be quite challenging for those of a nervous disposition!
There are so many reasons for choosing Sorrento as a base for an Italian short break – and do make sure that you stay long enough to make the most of the area’s many attractions.