La dolce vita in Sorrento
If you can picture bountiful boughs bowed by lemons and peaceful piazzas overlooking the beautiful Bay of Naples, then Sorrento holidays are just around the corner.
This southern Italian icon has long been regarded as the essence of la dolce vita. It’s somewhere to sit and stare with a limoncello after enjoying a steaming bowlful of spaghetti alle vongole. If you’re feeling active, and downright fabulous, you can set sail to the island of Capri and indulge in a day rubbing shoulder pads with southern Italy’s glitterati. Alternatively, you can explore in the ancient excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum or delve into the deliciously dark backstreets of Naples.
Also, as the Amalfi Coast is just around the bend, it would be rude not to take a bus ride from Positano to Ravello just so you can say that you’ve seen one of Europe’s most scenic - and hair raising – stretches, and lived to tell the tale.
If Florence is Italy’s prettiest daughter, Naples is its dark and interesting older brother. This is a city that sings to the soul from the Piazza del Plebiscito and where around every corner you’ll find the original birthplace of the Margarita pizza. With an expansive history that stretches back to the early Greek sailors, and Caravaggio, to an exquisite arrangement of ecclesiastical architecture, including the San Francesco di Paola Basilica and the Cappella Sansevero, nothing compares to notorious Naples.
Organised bus tours or local trains can whisk you away from Sorrento to one of southern Italy’s historic highlights where time stands still on the streets of old Pompeii. This irrepressible archaeological site offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of everyday Romans that were unfortunate enough to be around at the time Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. This is one of the world’s greatest open-air museums and not to be missed if you’re on holiday in Sorrento.
Of course, it wasn’t only the world-famous Pompeii that was covered in the ash cloud caused by Vesuvius. The city of Herculaneum also suffered the same fate but was only discovered, quite by chance, around a hundred years after its better-known neighbour. Smaller than Pompeii but far wealthier, Herculaneum’s magnificent mosaics and uncovered artwork are all the more attractive thanks to far fewer crowds entering into the archaeological site’s gates.
If you’re hiring a car on your holiday in Sorrento, be sure to explore the twists and turns of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a real highlight for lovers of coastal scenery with lots of tiny little towns precariously placed overlooking the water’s edge. Alternatively, there’s a regular bus route that will also lead you from Sorrento and onwards to Amalfi. This allows you to stop off at resort towns, such as Positano and Ravello, and enjoy a limoncello or two before boarding the bus and heading back to base.
The flight time from the UK to Sorrento (Naples) usually takes around three hours.
GB passport holders don’t require a visa for visiting Sorrento unless they’re staying longer than 90 days. Visit GOV.UK for more advice about entry requirements to Italy or, alternatively, visit CIBT visas for more information.
Summers in Sorrento are simply sublime with lots of sunshine and sea breeze creating an abundance of overhanging lemons. However, be warned, it can get very busy during July and August. The best time to go is either side of summer when the weather’s not too hot and the locals are far less stressed.
Sorrento is just an hour ahead of the UK.
Italian is spoken in Sorrento. English is also widely spoken, especially in and around the restaurants and resorts close to the town centre.
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