Sorrento

Sorrento

Welcome to Sorrento

Sorrento lines the cliffs that look over the water to Naples and Mt Vesuvius. According to Greek legend, it was here that the Sirens, those mythical provocateurs of pure voice and dodgy intent, lurked, trying to lure Homer''s Ulysses and his men. Sorrento Boat Excursion - book here

Arrival
At least 12 SITA buses run daily between Sorrento and Amalfi, looping around Positano; more than 10 buses also run to Ravello. Buses leave from outside the Circumvesuviana train station. Trains run to/from Naples via Pompeii and Ercolano. Hydrofoils leave to/from Sorrento and to/from Naples. All depart from the port at Marina Piccola, where you can buy your tickets.

By Train:
Circumvesuviana trains run to/from Naples via Pompeii and Ercolano. From Naples trains can be caught to many destinations across Italy and Europe.

By Bus:
SITA buses serve the Amalfi Coast, Naples and Sant''Agata, leaving from outside the Circumvesuviana train station. Buy tickets at the station bar or from shops bearing the blue SITA sign. There are many buses each day between Sorrento and Amalfi, looping around Positano.

By Plane:
Naples Capodichino Airport offers connections to all Italian cities and major European destinations with traditional or low-cost airline companies. From the Arrival area of the Airport there is a daily bus service to Sorrento provided by Curreri. The nearest Intercontinental Airport is Rome''s Fiumicino, with the possibility of getting to Naples by air besides the train.

Boat Excursion Sorrento - book here

The History

Ancient Sorrentos foggy origins have Phoenician and Greek fingerprints scattered faintly around the crime scene right up to the first solid sandal prints which leave no doubts about a Roman stay. Throughout their time Sorrento''s reputation as a popular seaside resort increasing exponentially as villa after villa sprung up, elbow to elbow with lovely sea views. The only hiccup was the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, which caused plenty of damage in town, though not in comparison to Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabia, which were completely destroyed. The city, once named Surrentum after the often quoted story of the sexy sea sirens who would entice sailors to an early exit with their gyrations and enchanting songs, found itself slave to many masters long before more famous cities were even thought of. When Rome fell over the Goths moved in, followed by the Longobards, who spent a long time hanging around laying an ultimately unsuccessful siege to the well defended city. In 552 the Byzantines rolled through and made merry until a variety of local chest thumpers sent them packing and turned the area into a Dukedom, subject to Saracen raids and battles between whoever could raise an army and find someone to fight. The Normans under Ruggero stopped all that rot in 1133, binding the town''s fate to that of Naples and the greater area. Turkish pirates took their turn in 1158, looting the town after a naughty slave opened the front gates and let them in. The citizens by this time were well fed up with all the skulduggery and decided to throw up some nice big walls and keep a better eye on the slaves in the hope of keeping future plunderers outside the door. From then on into the 19th century Sorrento grew and grew as a holiday resort. It even started attracting well-to-do''s like Lord Byron and Goethe. Soon other chaps followed and the honour roll of those who have enjoyed the delights of Sorrento - John Keats, Walter Scott, Wagner and Nietzsche among them - would make any dinner party interesting.

Sorrento Excursion by boat- book here

Sorrento Coast is a wonderful coastline which can only be appreciated by sea you will discover places of interest and natural beauties such as: Regina Giovanna, Marina di Puolo, Marina Grande Sorrento, Massa Lubrense, Cala di Marciano, Cala di Mitigliano, Punta Campanella, Capitanoago connect all these towns of the points area, and is much quicker, exclusive, cheap and relaxing than the public transportation service.


Sorrento Coast Attractions

Massa Lubrense
Massa Lubrense is an ideal place for a great holiday, more than 100 km of marked trails in the country side, country landscape, famous for its cuisine (7 restaurants in the top 20 of Campania, one of the best 3 in Italy), a coastline almost 20 miles long in the middle of the Protected Marine Area of Punta Campanella. The shores of Massa Lubrense are the closest to Capri (only 3 miles away) and you can reach Positano (13 miles), Amalfi (25 miles), Pompeii (21 miles), Ercolano (28 miles), Vesuvius (30 miles) and obviously Sorrento (3 miles) in less than one hour. Massa Lubrense is an extremely charming spot located in the heart of the Sorrentina Peninsula. Its still intact natural assets, age-old olive groves, a gentle climate and the intense azure sea have been fascinating travelers from all over the world for centuries. Wooded hills rise all around, crossed by ancient paths, and inlets, bays and coves, both gentle and wild. The weather is beautiful practically all year round: a characteristic that makes this area ideal for vacations in any season. During the year there are numerous fairs centered on typical gastronomical products and many religious events, evidence of a folk culture with very ancient roots. A stay in Massa means having all this within reach in addition to the possibility of visiting not to be missed tourist destinations such as Sorrento, which is a few minutes away, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Pompeii, Ercolano, Vesuvius and Naples. The park of the natural marine Reserve at Punta della Campanella: the enchanting promontory that divides the waters of the Gulf of Naples from those of the Gulf of Salerno. There are many paths to walk in the Park that wind throughout pristine nature to access archeological sites immersed in landscapes of unequal beauty. From Massa Lubrense you can continue along the coast and arrive at the headland of Punta Campanella or to choose the road that goes to the higher hamlets, where you can enjoy an incomparable panorama over both the gulfs of Naples and Salerno, as testified also by the name of the most importante village in the territory of Massa Lubrense: Sant''Agata sui Due Golfi (St. Agatha on Two Gulfs). It was a traditional summer resort for Neapolitan middle-class of the 19th century, for the fresh and healthy air that was enjoyable here thanks to the position exposed to all the winds. Book here - Massa Lubrense excursion
boat excursion Sorrento 1/2 day
Sorrento boat excursion full day

Regina Giovanna
On the outskirts of Sorrento walls, it is possible to rediscover historic memories; archaeological finds and the clear Bagni_of Regina Giovanna uncontaminated beauty that is a mysterious mythological earth legend. One of the places rich in magical stories and soaked with fascination of another time unlike any other is The Bagni of Regina Giovanna. From the head of Sorrento there is a narrow road with walls covered in ivy, go along the path in the shade of the of grapevines and orange trees you approach a slope which goes down towards the sea, reaching the baths of Queen Giovanna. The eyes of the visitor are presented with a spectacle of exceptional beauty: A large natural basin connected to the sea by a narrow fissure in the rocks. The space infront of the headland is occupied by the ruins of a majestic Roman Villa, built at the time of the Emperor Domiziano (81 / 96 AD) and belonged to Pollio Fellice. The spectacle offered is splendid and it is possible to see the entire coast from Punta Scutolo to the other Roman Villa at the top of Massa Lubrense. If you continue to look you can see La Solara, an expanse of cliffs kissed by the sun in a blue sea, an uncontaminated environment. It is possible to enjoy an unforgettable rest. On the cliffs that define the basin of Queen Giovanna, you can admire the ruins of the majestic roman construction, furnished with landing points, terraces and cisterns ascribed by the Latin poet Stazio and the historic Pollio Fellice. Adjacent to this villa is the outline of a natural swimming pool, which you approach through a natural arch. Ex Roman nymphaeum (Baths of Diana). According to the legend it was here that they frequently came away from indiscreet eyes. Giovanna II D Angio Durazzo, Hungarian by birth lived from 1371 to 1435, one of the most scandalous sovereigns to ever sit on the throne of Naples. These ruins are one of the most charming features of the Sorrento Peninsula, uncovered in 1624 by Giovanni Vinaccia, they are what remains of the splendid villa built by Pollio Fellice. A partially uncovered underground conduit links the annexe with the villa rising above. No other villa of this period has been described in such detail as this of Pollio Felice in Sorrento; which we can find in verses sung by Stazio. Like the other maritime Roman villas, the villa of Pollio Felice has a landing place by the sea. The fishermen brought up fish for the banquets and a nymphaeum, drawn from the sheet of internal water, communicating with the open sea through the fissure in the rocks. How grand were parts of this noble villa. The villa of Pollio Felice was immense with pavilions sunk into the gardens, thermal baths, rustic pavilions for the production of oil and wine. A deep cistern fed the fountains in the park through a siphon. The system Domus; the principle entrance to the villa was acomplex of monumental structures, long and sinuous steps permitted you to reach the various seashore landings. From the top of the villa there is a long passage above the rocks which passes a bathing place on the side of the cliffs outside the top of Sorrento, between these rocks it is possible to bathe in the clear crystal water. The sheet of water closes inthe arch of the Bagno della Regina Giovanna, and divides the point of the headland from the ground. A path winds round the sidewall of the natural basin and unites the extremities of the Punta del Capo di Sorrento, similar to an island, the territory. On the headland lie the ruins of the ancient Roman villa; the sea almost seems to watch. When the day declines in silence and the clouds are still in the sky, fix your eye on the small movement of a wave, you can imagine a Greek ship ploughing through the seas, gladdened by the song of the Sirens and a fissure of light reveals through the Roman lattice work the Angovin profile of Giovanna II D''Angio. The magic gone, leaving the intense perfume of the broom bush which colours the passage yellow and the gentle breaking of the waves on the cliffs. Book here - Regina Giovanna (Queen Jean''s) excursion
boat excursion Sorrento 1/2 day
Sorrento boat excursion full day

Marina Grande Sorrento
In summer, there is nothing more pleasant than to wander through the Marina Grande fishing village; Borgo di Marina Grande especially if the path allows you to merge into this timeless world with its own pace and traditions. It seems almost to be a small universe of its own, not easily allowing itself to be touched by the often frenetic development animating nearby areas. Here life has its own rhythm, the strongly united community tenaciously anchored to its family principles and working and religious traditions; it loves the sea and lives in symbiosis with it, here time seems to move more slowly than anywhere else! This characteristic fishing village lies at the mouth of the valley which once closed, to the west, the old town; above, it was crossed by the Parsano bridge, where Via Minerva commenced and led to the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena located at Punta Campanella. A long series of stone steps of a mediaeval flavour links the old centre of Sorrento with Marina Grande. At the end of thesteps is the arch of the charming Marina Grande Gate, dated to the end of the XV century, the only means of access to the town from the sea. Time has covetously maintained most of the aspects of the old Greek gate and the walls that lines the path to the gate. Tradition relates that on 13 June 1558, the Turks entered and plundered the town of Sorrento by passing through the Marina Grande gate, opened in secret by a slave of the Correale family. After the Saracens left, the inhabitants constructed a solid town wall, and the gate was restored and incorporated into the wall. Walking along Via Marina Grande, we meet an old villa overlooking the sea, Villa Tritone, surrounded by a garden rich in extraordinary exotic plants. Constructed close to an old convent, it owes its fame apart from to its position and undeniable beauty, to a sojourn there by Benedetto Croce who, during the 1942 bombardments, found refuge in this small paradise and met many political characters here, such as Togliatti, De Nicola,King Umberto of Savoy and General Clark. A commemorative stone near the main entrance informs passers-by that Croce once stayed there. On reaching the end of the path, the eyes of the traveller are presented with an extraordinarily beautiful canvas, almost from times gone by: a tiny bay nestling a delightful and characteristic fishing village, a narrow beach and bathing establishments.This is Marina Grande. Here the beach is common ground, used for both work and free time for the entire community. Passing through, it is possible to meet the fishermen sitting in the shade of the boats hauled up to the beach, repairing by hand, their nets and telling stories, to the children and curious visitors, of fantastic adventures of the courageous seamen, stories handed down by their grandfathers in a longstanding oral tradition.On this beach, in an open air dockyard, the famous gozzi sorrentini were produced, wooden sailboats, easy to handle and reliable, created by real artists and maestros of wood craft, and adopted by fishermen across the entire gulf.At the heart of the Marina is the Church of Sant''Anna, patron saint of the village, constructed by the fishermen of the San Giovanni in Fontibus Brotherhood, at first dedicated to thesouls in purgatory and then to St. Anne. On the Sunday following 26 July, day dedicated to the saint the village is decorated in festive mood, the bay fills with boats and the sea is illuminated by highly colourful fireworks. Traditionally the festival had a pagan flavour, with fireworks from the sea and boats arriving in Marina Grande from nearby harbours, bringing typical products; the fiesta ended with music and dancing on the beach, continuing throughout the night. Nowadays Marina Grande covetouslypreserves the flavour of olden day traditions blending, in delightful union, with the sea breeze, tiny houses,traditional boats and charming small restaurants by the sea, fitting into the tissue of the harbour without modifying its original vocation as a fishing village. A step back in time, to discover the forgotten traditions and flavours, and to admire, relaxing on the sand, a sunset rich in sheer magic. Book here - Marina Grande Sorrento excursion
boat excursion Sorrento 1/2 day
Sorrento boat excursion full day

Marina di Puolo
Marina di Puolo, is a delightful small fishing village with a population of about 150 people. A vibrant and alive, thanks to its marvellous and repaired position, that helps to feel it''s almost summer even when is not. The water, enlightened by the full day sun, looks even more crystalline and clear then ever. In those sunny days bars and restaurants are open and it''s easy to find someone to hang around with enjoying their friendly company, their stories and jokes made special by a glass of red or white local wine. Book here - Marina di Puolo excursion
boat excursion Sorrento 1/2 day
Sorrento boat excursion full day

Cala di Marciano
This is the successive beach after Marina del Cantone. Recommone is reachable by walk in 10 minuti from a path through a characteristic panoramic way from the beach of Cantone, along which you can admire a tower of coastguard build in XV Century. This area offers one of the most renowned restaurants of the coast. Book here - Cala di Marciano excursion
boat excursion Sorrento 1/2 day
Sorrento boat excursion full day

Cala di Mitigliano
At the Souter point of the Sorrentine Peninsula there is Cala di Mitigliano, between the gulf of Naples and the Salerno. This famous beaches of Massa Lubrense have been awarded in 2009, for their cleanliness, the (Bandiera blu d''Europa) Fee award, the most prestigious prize when it comes to quality of the waters, of the coast, security measures, environmental education and information.. Book here - Cala di Mitigliano
boat excursion Sorrento 1/2 day
Sorrento boat excursion full day

Punta Campanella
Punta Campanella in Massa Lubrense, the point farthest south of the Peninsula Sorrentinae overlooking the island of Capri Spring, with its profusion of scent and colour, has arrived; in the morning the sun rises earlier each day and in the evening it seems it doesn''t want to set. This is just the right Vista da Punta Campanella time to go for a lovely walk in the peace and quiet of nature, along one of our peninsula scenic itineraries of natural, historical and archaeological interest. Our walk begins in the square in Termini. To the right of the parish church, we take Via Campanella and, after about 400 metres, we reach a fork in the road; turning left takes us to Monte San Constanzo (another delightful spot), turning right we start the descent towards Punta Campanella. Following a road which on certain stretches seems to be carved into the rock, the landscape undergoes an extraordinary metamorphosis right before our eyes, making us forget the buildings, streets and heavy traffic of the town. Noise gradually fades into silence and the voice of nature to the left is the white rock of the mountain with its typical vegetation, to the right the sea, the small bays and inlets glimpsed through the rocks. Until we reach the cove of Mitigliano we see typical Mediterranean flora; near Campanella, however, there is an amazing change: the vegetation turns into less luxuriant flora, with an abundance of wild olive trees, myrtle, juniper, rosemary, everlasting, samphire and sea lavender, which seem to grow out of the rock; they are shaped by their exposure to sea breezes, modelled into unusual forms. It is here that the herring gull breeds, and in this area you may catch sight of peregrine falcons or kestrels. Reaching the very end of Punta Campanella, in a wild isolated point we can spot the remains of a 16th century tower, built where once there was a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. Over the centuries, either for cult purposes or to control access to the gulf, this tip of the Sorrento Peninsula, known as the Ateneo Promontory, has been the site of temples and trading stations, defence works and patrician villas. Arriving at the tower, on both sides we can see two ways down to the sea: the more modern path on the right is still easy to follow, whereas the older path to the left is unsafe. At the end of this long descent, protected by a rock stack, we can just spot a vast hollow, known as the Sirens cave, and here the sea, reflecting the sun rays, creates a thousand hues that change from one moment to the next. The scene it offers us is amazing in front of us there is Capri, so close that it seems you could almost reach out and touch it; behind is the bare and rugged Monte San Costanzo, and then the small bay of Ieranto. It is all incredibly beautiful, and if we are lucky enough to stay until evening, we can admire a display of fiery magnificence: the sun setting behind Capri, creating a magical exhibition of light, shade and reflections which even the greatest artist might not be able to capture on canvas. Now it is time to head back, all uphill so it takes more than an hour to return to the square in Termini. But the spectacle we have enjoyed makes the journey less tiring. It was certainly worth defending this untainted environment by its inclusion in a marine reserve, created to safeguard this area rich in history, culture, marine environments unique in the world, an unadulterated expression of geological events, Mediterranean ecology and astonishing scenery. Near Torre di Fossa Papa we find olive trees with splendid dry stone walls and coloniesof the rare plant, (Lithodora Rosmarinifolia), similar to rosemary, which grows naturally only on the Sorrento Peninsula and in Sicily. We have almost reached Termini, and it is worth a last backward glance to fix this splendid picture in our minds: Capri, the sea, the white rock, the call of the seagulls and the melodic voices of the Sirens inviting us to return.


Sorrento culture

Correale Museum
The nicest Italian Small Museum. Opens thanks to the generosity of Alfredo Correale count of Terranova and his brother Pompeo: two brothers last descendants of the ancient family refined collectors that lived in the second half of the XIX century that wanted to give this institution the task of perpetuating the history of their family by keeping and valorising the extraordinary artistic patrimony put together duringcenturies. The most precious works of art came from the many Correale houses in Naples and Sorrento and were collected in the “Villa alla Rota” that became the home of the museum in 1924. On the ground floor in the first room, there is the tribute to the Correale family with the portraits of the founders and the family tree. Next to it, a tiny chapel with a precious 1800 miniature altar, the next room houses the historical Sorrento inlaid works of the XIX century and the archaeological and medieval sections with important finds that document the ancient origins of the historical centre of Sorrento and of some of the surrounding areas. In the hall, you may admire the large stairway with a balustrade in inlaid piperno that leads to the first floor of the historic palace. Wandering through these rooms the visitors are transported in a journey in time. You may admire paintings from the 17th and 18th century from the Neapolitan school with subjects from the religion and the history. Very rare and unusual is the painting of the game of (Biribisso). The game table, in the refined paining of Francesco Celebrano, is divided into 70 numbered boxes that are decorated with gold ramages, that represent miniature masks of the comedy of the art, animals and fruit. In the sumptuous white and gold lounge rich in consoles and mirrors there are the portraits of the most important predecessors. The next lounge contains many mirrors and the collection of Flemish painters between XVI and XVIII century. Precious furniture and rare oriental porcelains spread all over the rooms, recreating the warm and suggestive atmosphere of an aristocratic home. On the second floor there are various sections: amongst beautiful consoles with shelves in rare stone and tortoise shell, you can admire fine paintings of the XVII and XVIII century and above all paintings from the famous school of Posillipo that portray images of southern Italy. Many works from A.S. Pitloo, T. Duclère, G. Gigante, F. Palizzi and many more. Distributed in the halls one can admire table clocks and pocket watches, glass from Murano Bohemia crystals, fans, silver, nativity scenes, or everyday utensils. The home is made alive, as to feel the presence of the ancient owners. The important porcelain collection that is on show on the last floor of the museum, explains the strong will of the European royal families to finance in the XVIII century the beginning of the first porcelain factories in Europe: the Correale family preferred collecting the most refined items from Meissen, Sevres, Bow, Wien and of course Capodimonte. The Correale di Terranova museum has been defined the (most beautiful provincial museum of Italy) for its incomparable natural surrounding and above all for the variety and richness of the works of art that it offers and that for centuries have belonged to the family. Amongst the paintings there are some works of art attributed to Artemisia Gentileschi, Giovanni Lanfranco, Battistello Caracciolo, Francecso de Mura, Francesco Solimena, Anton Van Dyck, JanVan Kassel, Andrea Belvedere. The Foundation also houses a library that has a very rich collection of books and an important collection of drawings by Teodor Duclère and Anton Sminch Pitloo, at present non included in the visit, but sometimes part of temporary expositions. The beautiful view that accompanies the visitor through the windows of the Villa overlooking the bay of Sorrento is only an anticipation of that offered by the breathtaking view from the terrace that can be reached after a short walk through the lovely gardens of the Museum amongst beautiful old trees.
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The Valley Of The Mills
The southeast side of the valley of the mills surrounds the tufa stone block forming what is now the historic centre of Sorrento. The characteristic split in the rock, which cuts deeplyacross the tufa platform, was created by the biggest volcanic eruption to hit the Mediterranean, between 35,000 and 37,000 years ago. The limestone basin between Punta Scutolo and Capo di Sorrento became filled with debris. The water running through the valleys, obstructed by erupted material, opened up a new route towards the sea, progressively carving through the tufa stone cliff. The mouths of the valleys became the preferred sites for settlements. The prehistoric cave of the Conca (Nicollucci Grotto) on the rising slope of the valley of Marina Grande, and the Aeneolithic settlement of the Gaudo civilisation in Piano di Sorrento, are two valid examples. The valley of the mills is cut through by two streams: Casarlano Cesarano and Sant’Antonino. Their modest supply of water has produced very narrow gorges which widen only where two flows meet, creating a vast area at the foot of Villa La Rupe. The name Vallone dei Mulini comes from the flourmill which remained operational until the beginning of the last century. Next to it was a sawmill, which supplied cuts of any thickness to the Sorrento cabinetmakers. There was also a public washhousefor the local women. When the construction of Piazzo Tasso (starting in 1866) isolated the mill area was from the sea, the resulting increase in the level of damp made thearea impossible to live in, and so it was gradually abandoned. Today we can access what remains of the valley along the old ramps cut into the rock, enteringthrough a gulley near the Stragazzi car park and, wearing waders, stroll along the wild valley floor, looking at the ruins. If you want to save your energy, you can simply admire the valley from via Fuorimura, starting behind Piazza Tasso. boat excursions sorrentoReserve here

Palazzo Veniero
Palazzo Veniero represents an important heritage from the Arab-Byzantine period, not only for the town of Sorrento, but also for Southern Italian art history. This important monument, in fact, along with Salerno Cathedral, the monastic Patirion of Rossano Calabro, and tambour of the church of San Giovanni a Mare in Gaeta, are the only evidence of an artistic heritage linked to the history and events of a specific period in Southern Italy. Unfortunately, over the centuries this important ancient monument of Sorrento was obscured by a series of alterations that eliminated almost everything - its architectural lines, its grey and yellow decoration in tufa and the majolica pateras, changing the natural compositional continuity that justified its protection by the Italian Cultural Heritage Inspectorate.The windows, an important feature of the building, had been walled up, and various additions had altered its entire appearance. In the first few months of 2008 this historic, symbolic monument was restored to its former plendour In accordance with the express wishes of the Gargiulo family, especially Don Ciccio (Priora-Li Simoni), with exceptional speed and hardwork directed with the proficiency and renowned professionalism of a local architect, Pasinetti, and supervised by the Fine Arts Commission. After painstaking historical research the large arched windows, three on each floor, were restored to their original colours, as were the tufa fascias and tondos with central majolica pateras. The illegally-built balconywas removed, the tufa decoration of a succession of lozenges framing the windows is once again resplendent and the zigzag frieze around the central window has been restored. A building in the historic centre of Sorrento that had become unrecognisable has therefore disappeared, and in its place in Via Pietà tourists can now admire Palazzo Veniero as it once was, which after its restoration can again compete with other local monuments.
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Tasso Square
The Piazza Tasso acts as a sort of informal gateway to the old town of Sorrento. As you enter from the Corso Italia which leads here from the station, you leave behind the modern shops and are surrounded by a wealth of beautiful buildings, many in the Italian variant of Art Nouveau known as Stil Liberty. The square is a buzz of activity, with constant traffic and people weaving among it, cafés lively with conversation, street artists, tourist groups and carriages drawn by plumed horses. In the centre of it all stands the marble statue of Torquato Tasso, after whom the square is named, created by sculptor Giovanni Carli in 1870. The great poet was born in Sorrento in 1544 and died in Rome in 1595, just before he was to be crowned poet laureate. At the north eastern side of the square is the Chiesa di Maria del Carmine, with a wonderful Rococo facade of gleaming white-and-yellow stucco. It looked particularly lovely in the late afternoon light, as we walked back through the square on our way to the station. It is in this square that you can catch the little tourist train which will take you to the Marina Grande.
boat trips from Sorrento Reserve here

Roman Villa Remains
From Capo di Sorrento, which can be reached by bus, there is a narrow road, at the Romans Villa beginning of which there is a church on the right with a beautiful floor in majolica from the 1700’s. Along this road, shaded by olive and orange trees, its walls covered with ivy, we walk down ramps towards the sea. Finally we arrive at the baths of Queen Giovanna Durazzo, famous among the local people for her amorous adventures: here a large lagoon appears, connected to the sea by a narrow opening in the rocks. All the area around the summit of the headland is occupied by the remains of a large Roman villa, thought to be that of Pollio Felice constructed during the times of the Emperor Domitian (81-96a.D.) and praised in the Latin poem (The Wilds). The scene presented here is splendid, taking in the view from Scutolo point as far as the other Roman villa at the Cape of Massa. Going down further we can reach the Solara, a space of rock consumed by the sun, where an unblemished backdrop and a deep blue sea help us enjoy an unforgettable break.
Sorrento excursions by seaReserve here

The Cathedral
In Romanic style it dates back to the 15th century; the side door is from the same period (1474) but in Renaissance style. Amongst other things the church houses paintings by artists from the Neapolitan school of the 1700s, an archbishop’s throne in fine marble (1573) and wooden marquetry work of Sorrentine craftsmen from the beginning of the 19th century. Works of art made always using the marquetary technique can be admired inside, such as the pictures of the Stations of the Cross or the wooden panels of the main and side entrance. These are all works of recent young masters of art of marquetary. A depressed Neapolitan arch with Durazzesque Catalan patterns that was used from the end of the 1300s all through the 1400s.
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House of Tasso
On the right hand side of the road which leads from the F. S. Gargiulo Square to the Vittoria Square is the entrance to the Imperial Tramontano which incorporates two rooms left from the house where Torquato Tasso, author of Jerusalem Liberated, was born in 1544.
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House of Cornelia Tasso
At number 11 Via S. Nicola is the Fasulo House once the Sersale House (noteworthy, the ashlars work portico and pretty little balcony). Cornelia Tasso, Torquato’s sister and Marzio Sersale’s wife lived here, and continued to do so after she was widowed with her sons Antonino and Alessandro. In July 1577 Torquato escaped from the castle of Ferrara and embarked at Gaeta to present himself here disguised as the poet’s messenger later revealing his true identity. He stayed with his sister until December, and then left for Rome. In the entrance hall is a vault decorated with stems, military trophies and inscriptions from 1615 in memory of the poet.
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Church of St. Mary of Carmelo
Reconstructed at the end of the 15th century, on the remains of a previous ancient Church dedicated to the sacred Sorrentine Martyrs, the Church of Carmine has only a single nave. At the far end there is an ancient impression of Mary, the Madonna, which is a copy of the Dark skinned Virgin of the Church dedicated to the same Saint in Naples. One can admire paintings of reputable artists of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as two artistic gilded wooden bone containers of Saints which date back to the 16th century.
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The Old Walls
The only part of the Greek defensive wall still remaining is under the road at the Porta Parsano Nuova (new Parsano Gate) and can be viewed from close to the same place. Another ruin of the Greek wall other than that of the Marina Grande Gate and very limited in size is the small tract (just over three metres) of the western end located in Via Sopra Le Mura. The Roman town was built over the Greek one following the same urban plan with walls of large isonomic blocks. These walls stood to defend Sorrento through the Middle Ages. Rebuilding began in 1551 and was only completed in 1561 after the tragic Turkish invasion.
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Porta Seat Dominova
Amongst the best preserved of Sorrento antique monuments despite age and neglect, Sedil Dominova can be admired in its entirety thanks also to its recent restoration. Walking along Via S. Cesareo a pleasant shopping street with numerous boutiques, the Dominova Seat stands out, its massive size testifying to its glorious past. Located in the little square called (Schizzariello) a name deriving from the spray of a fountain located there until the last century, the Dominova Seat is now the headquarters of a secular organisation called the Mutual Aid Society, one of the oldest in Italy. Under the Anjous, Sorrento, like the other towns of the kingdom of Naples, was administered by nobles appointed by the King. The Sorrentine nobles were divided in two seats, that of the “Porta” thus named because it was erected next to the town’s main gate (Porta), and that of the (Dominova), perhaps due to its more recent construction (Dominova, in Latin, new house). The Porta Seat was rebuilt in the XVI century at the corner of the Tasso Square where Via S. Cesareo now begins. Its emblem was a door with three keys on a gold background. When the noble’s seats were abolished it became first a prison and later headquarters of the city’s militia. It is now a private club. Although the ancient construction has undergone continual changes, the side facing Via S.Cesareo hasrecently been brought to light. The Dominova Seat, on the other hand, can still be admired in its integrity, the last remaining example in the Campania Region. Constructed in the 14th century, it is formed by two trachytetufo arches and two marble balustrades. The two other walls are frescoed with columns figures and ornaments. The dome is made up of yellow and green majolica roof tiles as are the domes of several other Sorrentine churches. Coats of arms of the antique noble families belonging to the seat are represented. The seat’s coat-of-arms was a passing she-wolf on a gold background. In the small innerhall the nobles gathered in secret reunions.
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Church and Cloister of St. Francis
The monastery origin dates from the first half of the 7th century. The cloister architecture presents crossed arches in tufo on two sides of the portico, expressing the style of the late 1300s and substituted on the other two sides by round arches on octagonal pilasters. Various elements of pillage are present as in the three corner columns reutilized functionally after being taken from pagan temples. Next to the convent is the church of St Francis which dates to the 16th century. Inside, in the first of the three chapels on the right a wooden statue depicting the saint with Christ on the cross can be admired. It was donated by the Vulcano family in the 17th century.

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