Sorrento is a beautiful town on the Amalfi Coast that’s less “touristy” and less crowded than nearby Positano. Known for its lemons, views, and shopping, Sorrento has something for everyone!
Now that this picturesque town is (hopefully) on your itinerary, here are the top things to do in Sorrento!
Swim in the Mediterranean Sea
The crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean are visible from almost everywhere in Sorrento. Please keep in mind, though, that the beaches in this part of Italy are usually qvery rocky. So be sure to bring good sandals or water shoes and something to sit on.
Snorkeling and diving are also popular ways to experience the Mediterranean in this part of Italy.
Take a Day Trip to Capri
Capri’s Blue Grotto, famous rock formations, and fascinating mythology make it a must-visit destination in Italy. And it’s really easy to get here from Sorrento.
Ferries to Capri depart from Sorrento’s Marina Piccola Port. You can reach the port by taking a shuttle bus or climbing down the stairs from Piazza Tasso.
In the summer, ferries depart from Sorrento about every 30 minutes, and the trip to Capri is about 25 minutes.
The ferry to Capri takes you past gorgeous stretches of the coast. So for the best views, sit on the left side of the boat going to Capri and the right side of the ship returning to Sorrento.
You can’t visit Sorrento without tasting its famous lemons and the delicious limoncello drink.
The Sorrento lemon is considered one of the best in the world. Lemon trees are one of the only things that can grow on the cliffs of Sorrento. You’ll also find that almost every home has lemon trees, even if it’s just a miniature tree in a pot on their terrace or stoop.
Limoncello is served just about anywhere that serves drinks in Sorrento. I hope it becomes your favorite drink like it is mine! Limoncello is one of the Best Food and Drinks To Try In Italy.
Take a Day Trip to Pompeii and/or Herculaneum
Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. These cities are two of the most important archaeological sites in the world because the towns were “frozen in time” by the eruption rather than being transformed by invaders or abandoned over time.
I recommend visiting both Pompeii and Herculaneum if you have the time. But if you can only visit one, I’d recommend Pompeii (sorry Herculaneum). Pompeii is the more iconic site, and there’s less of a chance that some of the ruins will be closed to visitors.
To get to Herculaneum or Pompeii from Sorrento, take the Circumvesuviana train, which runs between Sorrento and Naples. For Herculaneum, get off at the Ercolano stop, about 40 minutes from Sorrento. Once you exit the station, follow the main road for about 500 meters to the entrance to the Herculaneum archaeological site.
For Pompeii, get off the Circumvesuviana train at the Pompeii train station about 20 minutes from Sorrento. The entrance to the archaeological site is right across from the train station.
Enjoy the Views
Sorrento is a fantastic town for watching a sunset. My favorite spot in the evening was the Villa Communale Park, a large public park with plenty of benches to enjoy the views.
You could also splurge for a drink or food on a rooftop restaurant at one of the town’s hotels that have even better views.
But even during the day, you’ll have stunning views from almost everywhere in the town. Sorrento overlooks the Bay of Naples and is across from Mount Vesuvius. On clear days, you can even glimpse the islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida.
Shop in Old Sorrento
Sorrento is a great place to buy gifts for yourself and others. The main shopping streets are Corso Italia and Via San Cesareo. Sorrento is known for its sandals, intricate woodwork, hand-painted ceramics, and a variety of products made from lemons.
Old Sorrento is the original part of the town that has some great shopping. You’ll find vibrant shops, artisans, and traditional trattorias around every corner.
The narrow streets and alleys of Old Sorrento are also an excellent place just to wander and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful town.
Sail Along The Coast
Sorrento is beautiful up close, but it’s even more stunning from a distance. And the best views of the town are from the water. Sailing along the coastline is a fun and relaxing way to take in the beautiful scenery in this part of Italy.
You could combine a boat tour along the coast with a trip to Capri or Positano, and many boat tours include snorkeling or swimming. I’d recommend a boat ride that ends with watching the sunset from the water!
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