Recently, my dream of going to Italy came true and it surpassed the already high expectations I had. As brilliant as they look, I didn’t spend my time away at the obvious choices of Rome or Milan (maybe next year), but instead stayed in the beautiful town of Sorrento, located about one hour away from the city of Naples. On the coast of southern Italy, Sorrento is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for plenty to explore; a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and some insanely good food you’ll never forget (trust me)!
Where to stay
Sorrento has a range of brilliant hotels where you will find yourself well accommodated. If you’re looking for the best of the best in terms of central location and luxurious facilities, Maison La Minervetta and Palazzo Marziale are both highly rated hotels. However, for those on a budget, there are plenty of Airbnbs in the centre, which can provide you with a great, welcoming place to stay, if you do your research. If you’re looking for somewhere more peaceful, slightly out of the centre, the neighbouring village of Meta has some beautiful hotels, such as the Panorama Palace. 20 minutes away from Sorrento’s centre, the Panorama has super friendly staff, the best hot chocolate and breakfasts as well as a sea view with its convenient beachside location.
Where to visit
There is so much to visit in and around Sorrento, so make the most of it! It is highly recommended to spend a day in the town centre. There, you can explore the local markets and stores (strongly recommended purchases are the locally produced biscuits and olive oil); you could take a walk around a beautiful orchard where lemons for locally produced limoncello are grown (on this walk, you may very well find a stall with free samples of limoncello, just saying) or you might decide to relax at the marina, where there is also a small beach. Another brilliant place to visit whilst staying in Sorrento is the island of Capri. 30 minutes away from Sorrento’s marina, whilst the ferry journey (and the island itself) are pretty expensive, it makes for an unforgettable day. Here, you will find the stunning ‘Blue Grotto’ and several historic attractions such as the ‘Villa Jovis’, ruins of an ancient roman palace. If you have the time, to make the most of your visit to Capri, many locals recommend taking a tour around the island, via boat, where you can hop on and off at the island’s various attractions as you please. Finally, a trip to Amalfi is a must: you can take a trip along the iconic Amalfi Coast for a return price of 8 euros, on a coach that regularly departs from Sorrento train station. Words cannot describe the scenes in Amalfi: simply put, it’s a beautiful, scenic place where you can also get the best gelato you’ll ever eat.
Where to eat
Regarding where to eat, you’re spoiled for choice in Sorrento! Not only are there a range of gelaterias for a quick snack, but countless restaurants with reasonably-priced, top quality Italian food. L’Antica Trattoria has wonderful service with low prices, yet the food is still of a high standard and arrives in sizeable portions (you can get a fresh and filling Margherita pizza for only 5 euros!); there is also no service charge here, which comes as a shock! Another notable restaurant is the Ristorante Pizzeria Tasso, which is particularly good if you’re celebrating a special occasion. Tasso is a bit more expensive, but the food is sublime and you won’t find a better pizza in Italy.
Travel tips: What to expect…
Here are a few pointers that may prove to be helpful: In Capri, at all restaurants, you are required to pay a hidden ‘Island tax’ on top of any service charge, which may mean your meal is more expensive than expected. The public transport in this area is insanely cheap- 2.40 euros for a return from Meta to Sorrento on the bus is not bad at all compared to what we’re used to! In most restaurants, you will receive complimentary bread on arrival- make the most of it, of course, but be careful that you aren’t too full before your starter even arrives.