6 Things to Do in Sorrento, Italy (And Around)
Italy’s vast coastline is littered with idyllic little towns and postcard-worthy resorts. This includes Sorrento, which is just a short train ride south of Naples. This small bustling town has earned a reputation as a hub to the Amalfi Coast’s best spots. Due to its size and accessibility, it’s better to base yourself here than in a tiny cliffside neighborhood with a population of 500. Find out the things to do in Sorrento (and around).
Things to do in Sorrento
1. Explore Sorrento’s original fishing village
With all the development and expansion taking place in the town center, it’s easy to forget that Sorrento started out as a quaint, unpretentious fishing village. You can get a small taste of this at Marina Grande. This small harbor is just a short walk out of town, and yet it seems to be miles away from the hustle and bustle that characterizes the rest of the town.
Insider tip: Marina Grande is an excellent spot to pick up fresh seafood. There are several restaurants and cafés which offer a view of fishermen bringing in their hauls.
2. Walk the streets
Sorrento is a small but vibrant little village, and at times it feels like an isolated ski resort. This is especially the case around the festive season, when a Christmas tree dominates the main circle and carols are piped throughout the streets. Take a walk along the main road and through the quiet streets and alleyways to soak up the atmosphere. There are also dozens of small stores selling a range of art, trinkets, and delicacies.
Insider tip: Many of the stores and restaurants on the main strip cater almost exclusively for tourists. You’ll need to walk the quieter alleyways or head a bit further to find better prices.
3. Soak up the views above the new harbor
Like its Amalfi Coast relatives just around the corner, Sorrento is also perched atop an impossibly high cliff. Take a walk from the town’s main center towards the ocean and the Marina Piccola. You’ll find the dramatic views opening up before you.
Insider tip: If you want to get down to the water’s edge, or to catch a ferry from the harbor, don’t walk the winding road. There’s a quaint old staircase close to the viewpoint that is quicker and much more enjoyable.
4. Sample authentic limoncello
Many regions of Italy claim that they created the very first bottle of limoncello, a lemon-flavored aperitif that’s perfect at the end of a long Italian dinner. While Sorrento’s claims to limoncello’s origins may be exaggerated, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t indulge in a glass or two of this celebrated liquor. Stores and restaurants stock it in abundance. There are few better places in the world to enjoy it than right here!
Insider tip: There are many places to sample limoncello or buy an entire bottle for the road. But for a special show of hospitality, head to Confetti e Agrumetti.
5. Take a thrilling bus ride along the Amalfi Coast
One of Sorrento’s biggest drawcards is its proximity to the Amalfi Coast. In fact, you can hop aboard a bus in the morning, experience the best of Amalfi and Positano in the afternoon, and be back in town in time for dinner. This not only gives you a whirlwind highlights package of the coastline, but it’ll also save you a lot of money compared to if you stay overnight in these destinations.
Buses leave regularly from just below the main train station. During summer months they fill up quickly, but you might have the entire bus to yourself in the off-season. If you’re after the best views, get a seat on the right of the bus on the outbound journey. Or, better yet, claim the seat at the very front.
Insider tip: Purchase a full day pass if you plan on getting off along the way, or returning to tick off more things to do in Sorrento. It’ll save you from having to purchase a new ticket at each destination.
6. Take a ferry to Capri
The island of Capri is world-famous, and it’s just a short 30-minute ferry ride away from Sorrento. While staying overnight on the island is an unbeatable experience, it’s also one that’s out of reach of many travelers given the constantly escalating prices. Fortunately, a day trip to this little haven is enough to satisfy most people. Several ferry companies operate from Sorrento’s harbor that can get you there and back with ease.
Insider tip: Take the slow ferry from Sorrento to Capri. It’ll save you about 20% of the full ticket price, and only takes an extra 10 minutes.
Sorrento is famous for its role as a gateway town to the best of the Amalfi Coast. But there’s a lot of things to do in Sorrento that makes it worthy of an extended visit. When you consider its easy access by rail, and its proximity to the likes of Naples, Pompeii, and even Rome, Sorrento should be an obvious fixture on your Eurail trip through Italy.