Sorrento is a popular tourist destination, and one of Italy’s most scenic coastal towns. We wanted to start our honeymoon in Italy in the southern region to see the sites in the area. Sorrento not only had gorgeous scenery, it was also a great home base for our day trips to the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Pompeii.
We stayed at Marina Piccola 73, which was a charming hotel that had amazing views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Our room even had a balcony that overlooked the water. We were literally steps from the beach, which unfortunately we never found the time to try. The hotel is family-owned, and is run by the sweetest women who were very helpful with restaurant reservations and setting up shuttle transportation to and from Naples, where we originally landed. The rooms were clean, the staff was friendly, and the cost wasn’t that expensive even in the height of summer. They provide breakfast daily which consists of different types of pastries, cured meat, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese! But since it was a little after noon when we arrived, we hurriedly went out after checking in to have our first taste of authentic Italian cuisine.
Piazza Torquato Tasso
We passed Piazza Torquato Tasso on the way to the restaurant. This is the central square in Sorrento, and is so full of energy. You can find tons of restaurants, cafes and bars in the area, many of which have outdoor seating during the summer for prime people-watching. While there, don’t forget to see the statue of Torquato Tasso, a 16th century Italian poet, for whom the square was named after.
We had lunch at Ristorante ‘o Parrucchiano La Favorita, which lived up to its high ratings on TripAdvisor and Yelp. It is the birthplace of cannelloni so of course we ordered some, and it did not disappoint. The staff was just the right mix of helpful-but-not-hovering, and the food was great! We were seated in a table amidst the beautiful gardens, and it was just the perfect first meal in Italy.
After lunch, it was finally time to try real bona fide Italian gelato. We (and by we, I mean I) had decided before our trip that we needed to eat as much gelato as possible during our vacation in Italy so I had looked up the best gelato in each city we were going to. Raki was highly recommended on the websites that I frequent, so off we went. There was a sizable crowd in their quaint little place when we got there, which is to be expected in every gelato place in Italy during the summer months. I am so glad we decided to stay in line because they really do have a good selection of flavors. Michael recommends their lemon and strawberry gelato, and I really liked their pistachio and coffee. Double yum!
Bastione di Parsano (Greek Walls)
We had originally planned to see the Greek Walls while we were in town. Unfortunately, they were difficult to find and since we were hard-pressed for time, we decided to skip them. If you’re interested, a part of the original wall fortified by the Greeks and strengthened by the Romans in the Middle Ages can be found below Porta Parsano Nuova.
Duomo di San Filippo e Giacomo, Basilica di Sant’Antonino, Chiesa de San Francesco
We had the opportunity to see some of the churches in town during the afternoon. The Duomo di San Filippo e Giacomo is also known as the Sorrento Cathedral, and is found in the middle of town next to its bell tower. In the Basilica di Sant’Antonino, do not miss the crypt which contains the tomb of Saint Antonino and votive offerings from seamen saved from shipwrecks. The monastery dedicated to St. Francis dates to the early 8th century with a beautiful late 13th-century cloister.
This is Sorrento’s largest public park, and sits on a cliff top with spectacular views of the Bay of Naples including Vesuvius, Naples, and Capri. You shouldn’t miss this, especially on clear summer days. At night, you can find artists here who are willing to draw or paint your image onto canvas for a pretty penny. There are (inexpensive) elevators located in the park which will take you down to the pier, where locals sunbathe and swim during hot summer days.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along this main road, and going into the many souvenir shops lining it. Every single store was selling a multitude of lemon products, from limoncello to lemon candy, from lemon soap to lemon pastries, not to mention clothing, kitchenware, and souvenirs with lemon designs. There were lemons everywhere! No wonder some call Sorrento the “land of lemons”.
We built up an appetite walking around town so we headed down to Marina Grande to have dinner. It is a small harbor and fishing port, and has one of the best sunset views in Sorrento. As dusk falls, the path gets a little dark and narrow, and it can be a little confusing to find your way. Hopefully, there will be locals or other tourists that you can ask for directions. As you go down the final staircase and see Marina Grande for the first time, the image of limestone cliffs and the colorful boats dotting the pier against the setting sun will take your breath away. It is picture perfect, and a must-see when you’re in town.
Ristorante Bagni Delfino
We had dinner reservations at Ristorante Bagni Delfino. This restaurant does not have a website, so I was unable to reserve a table online. Our hotel concierge was nice enough to call the restaurant and make a reservation on our behalf. During our trip, I found a number of restaurants that would only take reservations via phone. We were lucky the hotels we stayed in had very helpful front desk staff members. Even though tipping isn’t as popular in Europe, we made sure to always tip the housekeeping and the front desk staff, especially since everyone was always so nice and accommodating. Ristorante Bagni Delfino is located right on the water, and serves fresh seafood and delicious pasta dishes. It was Michael’s favorite restaurant of all the places we went to in Italy. We had a splendid dinner, during which we even saw jellyfish swimming in the water.
The sound of the water and the stunning views only added to the great atmosphere of Marina Grande, especially when street musicians started singing “That’s Amore!” accompanied by the sweet notes of their accordions.
When the stars make you drool just like pasta fagioli That’s amore! When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet You’re in love When you walk in a dream but you know you’re not dreaming Signore ‘Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli That’s amore!
Our day in Sorrento was nothing short of magical. What a wonderful start to our honeymoon!
Ristorante Il Buco We took a day trip to Capri on our second day in Italy. After we got back, we ate dinner at Il Buco which not only serves mouth-watering food but also provides excellent service and a romantic ambience. We had early dinner reservations (well, early for Italians anyway) so we had the place all to ourselves at first, which made it all the more special. We couldn’t have the “I Trust You” five-course tasting menu, since the hubs is a little picky about his food but what we did have was delizioso! Il Buco was a little difficult to find since it’s at the end of a small alley, so it’s easy to miss. If you’re ever in town though, make sure to try this place. You will not regret it.
Gelateria Primavera After dinner, we decided to try another one of Sorrento’s popular gelato spots because, why not. Gelateria Primavera is highly-recommended on many travel sites, and it did not disappoint. It has such a cool atmosphere (with pretty interesting wall decor), and the gelato was heavenly! Try it for some yummy after-dinner dessert.
With satisfied tummies and full hearts, we decided to head back to the hotel which meant walking along charming alleys and pathways filled with tourists and locals alike. Despite the crowd, people in Sorrento are always smiling and laughing. It is one of the best places to go to if you need to relax and unwind, and just be happy in the moment.
Other Sites in Sorrento: Palazzo Correale, Palazzo Veniero, Fifteenth Century House, Bishop’s Palace, Museobottega della Tarsialignea (Wood Inlay Museum), Museo Correale di Terreanova, Museo Archeologico della Penisola Sorrentina, Chiesa dei Servi di Maria, Sedile Dominova, house of Cornelia Tasso, Chiesa del Carmine, Church of Annunciation In case anyone wants it, we will be sharing our Sorrento itinerary below, including opening hours and admission fees to the various tourist sites as well as walking directions from one spot to the next. We would love to know if it helps you during your trip. HAPPY TRAVELS!
Itinerary PDF: The Traveling Route-Sorrento
Filter: Snapseed HDR Scape