Sorrento is one of the most popular destinations in the coastal region of Campania in Southern Italy, on the Sorrentine Peninsula, along the Amalfi Coast.
It has a beautiful location with breathtaking views of the Bay Of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.
Sorrento is also a great base to explore the Amalfi Coast, Capri island, Naples, theancient city of Pompeii, and Herculaneum.
If you are planning a trip to Sorrento and weren’t sure what to do, keep reading on to have a better understanding of the best things to do in Sorrento.
Table of Content
- Explore Old Town
- Piazza Tasso
- Corso Italia
- Marina Grande
- Marina Piccola
- Cloister of San Francesco
- Bagni della Regina Giovanna (Baths of Queen Giovanna)
- Cathedral of Sorrento (Duomo)
- Basilica of Sant’Antonino
- Villa Comunale
- Vallone dei Mulini
- Villa Fiorentino
- Sedil Dominova
- Correale di Terranova Museum
- Museo-Bottega della Tarsia Lignea
- Museo Archeologico (Archeological Museum)
- Have a day trip to Capri Island
- Day Trip to Pompeii or Herculeneum
- Visit a Lemon Farm
1. Explore Old Town
Sorrento’s Centro Storico, known as the historic center is packed with narrow cobblestone streets. It’s anchored by Piazza Tasso and Via Capo, between Corso Italia and the coastline.
The center is the junction of the alleys of Via Pietà, Via San Cesareo, Via Padre Reginaldo Giuliani and Via Tasso.
These vicoletti or laneways are full of boutiques, artisan workshops, local Italian restaurants, ancient monasteries, palaces.
It’s home to numerous religious landmarks including the Cathedral, the St. Antony Basilica, and the St. Francis Complex.
2. Piazza Tasso
Established in 1800, Piazza Tasso is the lively heart of Sorrento, a spacious meeting point of several roads. During day time, it has busy traffic with vehicles and horse-drawn carriages.
In the evening, it turns into a pleasant place for an evening stroll, known as passeggiata in Italian, for locals and visitors alike.
This Sorrento’s main piazza is named after Italy’s most famous poet, Torquato Tasso, who has big contributions to Sorrento during the 16th century.
You will find a statue of the poet on the square, also the statue of Sant’Antonio Abate, Sorrento’s patron saint.
There is also the beautiful Church del Carmine or the Santuario della Madonna del Carmine on the eastern corner of the square. Here, you will see medieval with the façade dating back to the Seventeen hundreds and the paintings of Onofrio Avellino.
Piazza Tasso was built above the gorge which was once home to a number of mills. Just behind the square is the Vallone dei Mulino, with its ancient wheat mills in the mountain’s gorge.
It’s surrounded by bars, hotels, restaurants. You can stop by for a coffee and do people-watch, or have dinner at one of its local restaurants for authentic Italian cuisine and local Sorrento dishes made from fresh and seasonal ingredients.
3. Corso Italia
Corso Italia is the main thoroughfare that runs the length of Sorrento. You’re likely to encounter it during any visit.
This downtown Sorrento shopping street is packed with high-end fashion boutiques, shoe stores, bars, cafes, and restaurants.
You can find local goods in Corso Italia at a cheaper price like leather belts, olive oil, souvenirs, inlaid wood products, and lemon products like candy, soap, limoncello.
Limoncello is a sweet lemon liqueur made from alcohol, water, sugar, and the freshest lemon.
The road is divided into three areas. If you arrive at Sorrento’s train station, you can walk to Piazza Tasso. This first area of the road is pedestrianized partly.
Piazza Tasso is the middle area of Corso Italia, and the section from Piazza Tasso toward Via San Cesareo that contains Sorrento Cathedral is the fully pedestrianized area.
If you haven’t settled down with your accommodation in Sorrento, I suggest reading this post on where to stay in Sorrento, to have a better understanding of the best areas in Sorrento.
4. Marina Grande
Port of Marina Grande, also known as Big Marina, is one of two main marinas in Sorrento along with Marina Piccola.
This former fishing village has shops, family-run seafood restaurants. It is a great place to enjoy seafood, and wine from Campania such as Falanghina or Biancolella.
There is also Chiesa di Sant’Anna, which was built in the seventeenth century. The feast of St.Anne day is celebrated on 26th July.
If you follow the via the ancient Greek port of Marina Grande, you will find the small village.
5. Marina Piccola
The east of Marina Piccola is the transport hub of Sorrento where you can take ferries and boat tours to Ischia and Capri, Naples, Salerno, Positano, Amalfi on the Amalfi coast.
To the west, you will find plenty of Sorrento Beach Clubs or beach establishments. It is wooden decking areas with sun-loungers, parasols, restaurants, and snack bars.
To reach it, you can walk down from the Villa Comunale park, or take the elevator.
6. Cloister of San Francesco
Located near Sant’Antonino square and the public gardens, the Cloister of San Francesco overlooks the Gulf of Naples.
It encompasses three main sections including the 7th-century Monastery, the 14th-century baroque style Church, and the Cloister.
The cloister hosts various events, concerts of classical music during summertime. Its courtyard is also a perfect romantic spot for weddings.
7. Bagni della Regina Giovanna (Baths of Queen Giovanna)
Bagni della Regina Giovanna is one of the most beautiful areas along the Sorrento Peninsula.
This beautiful swimming hole is surrounded by a rock arch. It is shallow and romantic for a swim.
Not only attract tourists for its natural beauty, but it’s also home to the first century BC Roman Villa, of the Roman noble Pollio Felice.
It’s named for Queen Joanna I of Naples who visited and loved the spot.
From the Capo di Sorrento, if you walk along a track for about 20 minutes, a staircase leads down to the pool. Be sure to bring water shoes to help walking on the rocks.
8. Cathedral of Sorrento (Duomo)
Located on Corso Italia, just a short walk from Piazza Tass, Sorrento Cathedral was originally built in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 15th century in Romanesque style.
The church is also known as the Cathedral of Saints Philip and James, which was dedicated to Saints Philip the Apostle and James the Just. it has been the seat of the Archbishop of Sorrento-Castellammare di Stabia since 1986.
The poet, the famous person of the town, Torquato Tasso was baptized in the church’s baptistery.
The three storeys cathedral bell tower has a clock. It is the red and yellow stone tower that can be seen from many spots in the old town, along the Via del Capo, the Via Nastro Verde, and the Sorrentine peninsula.
9. Basilica of Sant’Antonino
Located on the Piazza Sant’Antonino, the Basilica of Sant’Antonino was built in the 11th century with a mixture of Baroque and Romanesque styles.
The Church of Saint Antonino is an interesting church. It is a resting place of Saint Antonino, Patron Saint of the town of Sorrento.
10. Villa Comunale
Villa Comunale di Sorrento is a charming city square that overlooks Naples Bay with the Vesuvius in the background.
Visitors can relax in the park, especially during the hot summer days, and watch the ferries on the water on the Gulf of Naples below.
It’s located close to the Church and Cloisters of San Francesco and there is also the Sorrento Lift to Marina Piccola and Beach Clubs.
It was built on the Franciscan monks’ vegetable gardens between 1877 and 1879.
Villa Comunale boasts several art exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances.
11. Vallone dei Mulini
Located adjacent to Via Fuorimura, just behind Piazza Tasso, Vallone dei Mulini, also known as the Valley of Mills was originated about 35,000 years ago.
In this natural beauty, lies a group of ruins of mills that were abandoned in the 1940s. The name comes from the wheat-grinding mills that were built in the valley.
Sorrento initially contained three large valleys, two of them have disappeared and have made room for modern buildings, while the Vallone dei Mulini is still standing today.
There are two streams of water, the Casarlano-Cesarano, and Saint Antonino created gorges.
12. Villa Fiorentino
The neoclassical Villa Fiorentino is the headquarters of the Sorrento Foundation and a venue for high-quality temporary art exhibitions and concerts.
It shows works by Dalì, Picasso, and the Italian sculptor Pomodoro.
13. Sedil Dominova
Located on Via Cesareo in the city center, Sedil Dominova Sedil Dominova is one of the must-see attractions for tourists!
Sedil Dominova was built between 1319 and 1344. It was the seat of part of the Sorrento aristocracy where the nobility assembled to discuss issues.
It is the last surviving noble Seat in the whole Campania region.
14. Correale di Terranova Museum
Located within walking distance from Piazza Tasso, Correale di Terranova Museum, or the Museum Correale of Terranova of Sorrento was opened in May 1924. You can visit it for free.
The Museum has a wide range of porcelain, paintings, and furniture, partly belonging to the Correale family.
The museum has a total of 24 rooms, divided into 4 floors, with many pieces of furniture, eighteenth-century European pieces of porcelain, and majolicas from Naples.
Don’t forget to check out the garden full of orange and lemon trees. From its walkway, you can reach a Belvedere terrace that has a stunning view of the Gulf of Naples.
15. Museo-Bottega della Tarsia Lignea
If you shop around town, you will see many shops selling inlaid wood items. The Marquetry technique is exhibited within Museo-Bottega della Tarsia Lignea.
Located within 18th-century palazzo with its Pompeian Red façade, Wooden Marquetry Shop-Museum,
The museum has four different sections, one for the wooden marquetry from 1400 to 1800, the second one for the artistic techniques, the third for the themes, and the fourth area for selling objects and types of furniture.
16. Museo Archeologico (Archeological Museum)
Located in Villa Fondi, just a short distance from the city center, the Archaeological Museum of The Sorrento Peninsula is a good place to learn about the history of the region.
The museum is named after George Valle, an archeologist, and scholar. There are objects ranging from prehistoric to the Roman Period.
17. Have a day trip to Capri Island
You can easily catch the ferries from the Marina Piccola di Sorrent to go to Capri Island.
This Pearl of the Mediterranean is famous for its natural beauty, delicious cuisine, Caprisius gin, and world-class shopping on Via Camerelle.
Here you admire the natural beauties of the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) and Grotta Verde.
You can explore the famous public square Piazza Umberto 1 with its clock towers and many bars and restaurants. You can grab an espresso or an aperitivo cocktail and enjoy people-watching.
There are plenty of things to do around Marina Piccola, Gardens of Augustus, Punta Carena Lighthouse, Monte Solaro, Villa di Tiberio, Villa San Michele, Certosa di San Giacomo, Anacapri.
18. Day Trip to Pompeii or Herculeneum
To reach Herculaneum archaeological site from Sorrento, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from Sorrento to Naples (about 40 minutes) and get off at Ercolano.
After that follow the main road about 500 meters to the entrance to Herculaneum. Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Herculaneum was destroyed in AD 79.
To reach Pompeii from Sorrento, also take the Circumvesuviana train Sorrento to Naples (around 20 minutes). The Pompeii;‘s entrance is right across from the Circumvesuviana station.
Pompeii was destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago, its ruined Roman town very famous. You can also have stunning views of Mount Vesuvius.
Be sure to bring your hat, map, a bottle of water, sun cream, and good walking shoes!
19. Visit a Lemon Farm
Circuit fruits and lemon is abundant in Sorrento. One of the best things to do in Sorrento is to visit lemon groves, taste traditional limoncello, and cook authentic Amalfi dishes such as Gnocchi alla Sorrentina.
After visiting the Lemon Grove you will have a chance to taste freshly Limoncello from the farm.
The lemon grove at I Giardini di Cataldo has excellent limoncello and lemon jam.
You can check out the historic restaurant of O Parrucchiano La Favourita for the lemon grove dining experience.
That is my list of the best things to do and see in Sorrento! I hope you find something interesting for your next visit to this charming city near the Amalfi coast!