Sorrento is situated on a plain above the sea, overlooking the Bay of Naples. The view from Sorrento stretches back to the north, encompassing Vesuvius, the city of Naples and the island of Ischia. It has a pretty old town, a harbour with ferry departures to Capri, Amalfi and Naples, and is within easy reach of the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Herculaneum and the city of Naples. There is some good walking in the peninsula and plenty of restaurants and bars. The tourist focal point is Piazza Tasso, where tables and chairs crowd the central square, which is built over a gorge. Please note that there aren’t any actual beaches in Sorrento; sea access is generally
via wooden or stone bathing platforms at the foot of the cliffs.
A couple of miles east of Sorrento, on Campania’s Sorrentine peninsula, the little town of Sant’Agnello occupies a delightful position. Sant’Agnello is a quieter alternative to staying in the centre of Sorrento to which it is connected by regular buses along Corso Italia from Piazza Tasso. It also has its own train station (just off Piazza Matteotti) linking it with Sorrento and via Pompeii and
This typically Italian resort has a maze of narrow streets, whitewashed houses, ancient walls that once guarded the town from the Romans and the beautiful domed Santa Maria church which offers a chance to view the world-famous carving of the Madonna and Child. Wander a little further and discover the romantic 10th century monastery perched above the town and admire its age-old frescoes and chapel. During the daytime, the main activities revolve around the beach, swimming and watersports. The long sandy shore gently shelves into the calm waters of the Bay of Salerno bordered by a tree lined promenade with a large fountain feature and crammed full of ice cream bars, pizzerias and bars. In the evenings, there are many authentic trattorias to enjoy traditional Italian cooking, with menus offering fresh seafood and steaks to pizza and pasta.
Amalfi sits in the ravine of the Valle dei Mulini. It is hard to grasp that pretty little Amalfi, with its sun-filled piazzas and small beach, was once a maritime superpower with a population of more than 70,000. For one thing, it’s not a big place – you can easily walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes. For another, there are very few historical buildings of note. The explanation is chilling
– most of the old city, and its populace, simply slid into the sea during an earthquake in 1343.