Our guide to the best things to do in Sorrento lets you take in the coastal town’s traditional Italian architecture, idyllic views, and waterfront vibes. Known as one of Italy’s most beautiful coastal towns, Sorrento’s cliff-base marinas are lined with lovely restaurants that border the calm waters of the Bay of Naples. You’ll find a wealth of centuries-old basilicas and piazzas in the city centre, all interconnected by a network of narrow roads where cafés serve great coffee. 

    Many make Sorrento a starting point for discovering the Amalfi Coast, yet the city alone is worth a single trip. Some of the unique spots in town include a speciality inlaid wood museum and a theatre showcasing the vibrant tarantella folk dance. Read on to discover Sorrento’s best highlights for sightseeing, dining and entertainment. 

    What are the best things to do in Sorrento?


    Piazza Tasso

    Feel the coastal city’s relaxed vibe

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    As Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Torquato Tasso is where you can get a first impression of the city’s downtown scene. The square is small and lies at the junction of several main streets, with plenty of bars and cafes along the sidewalks. It’s usually bustling day and night with its steady flow of traffic and pedestrians. A notable landmark worth seeing is the baroque church of Santuario del Carmine, with the relaxing street-side patio of Bar del Carmine in the foyer – a great spot for a coffee and a bit of people watching.

    Location: Piazza Tasso, Corso Italia, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: 24 hours


    Corso Italia

    Sorrento’s main walking street has loads of quality souvenirs

    • Shoppers

    Head east from Piazza Tasso and you'll find Corso Italia, downtown Sorrento’s main shopping street. The neatly paved sidewalks are shaded by tall trees down this otherwise traffic-packed route. You’ll pass various shops at the base of tall historical 5-storey buildings, ranging from souvenir kiosks, mini supermarkets to designer boutiques (though the variety is limited compared to Italy’s fashion capitals such as Rome or Milan). Some of Sorrento’s favourite city hotels, such as the Hotel Sorrento City and Hotel Michelangelo, also share the length of this road. Be careful during the summertime as the street can get hectic with zipping scooters. 

    Location: Corso Italia, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: 24 hours


    Villa Comunale

    Take a selfie against Mount Vesuvius

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Take a detour off Piazza Tasso, northwards along Via Luigi de Maio and Via San Francesco, and you’ll eventually reach Sorrento’s scenic coastline. Among the best spots to visit here is Villa Comunale. It's a vast green and tree-shaded public space by the bay that’s adorned with sculptures and fountains. It's also where you can get sweeping seascapes with the silhouettes of Mount Vesuvius in the background. You can take the “beach lift” to the harbour area below the cliff for around €2. 

    Location: Via San Francesco, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 11 pm


    Inlaid Wood Museum

    Learn about a centuries-old woodworking artform

    • History
    • Unusual

    The grand 18th-century Palazzo Pomarici Santomasi houses Sorrento’s Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea (Wood Inlay Museum), where you can learn more about the city’s centuries-old woodworking artform. Its 4 floors showcase some of the greatest examples of intricate inlay craftsmanship, such as a wooden bed inlaid with nacre and a variety of antique pieces with bronze and silver Roman inlays. You can reach the museum in the city’s historic hub on Via San Nicola, around 7 minutes’ walk west from Piazza Tasso. Entrance is around €8 for adults.

    Location: Via San Nicola, 28, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +39 (0)81 877 1942


    photo by Schlanger (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    St. Anthony’s Basilica

    Admire the ceiling frescoes of one of Sorrento’s largest churches

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    As one of Sorrento’s lovely piazzas, Piazza Sant’Antonino is home to the basilica of the same name. The piazza’s a short walk north of Piazza Tasso along Via Luigi de Maio, but the traffic isn't as hectic. St. Anthony’s Basilica looks over the piazza with its unassuming façade. But step inside (access is free), and you’ll find a beautiful baroque interior with frescoes and various sculptures depicting St. Anthony’s legend of him rescuing of a child from a whale off the coast of Sorrento. 

    Location: Via San Maria Grazie, 6, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 12 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm

    Phone: +39 (0)81 877 1007


    photo by Elliott Brown (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Sedil Dominova

    A 15th-century meeting spot with frescoes

    Sedil Dominova is both a historical landmark and a cool place to dine. It's just a couple of minutes' walk from Piazza Tasso, along the narrow Via S. Cesareo - spot the only old structure near the end of the street. Its ceiling and walls are covered in well-preserved frescoes, and its beautiful cupola is slightly visible from the adjacent Bar Monalisa Ristorante. This was a meeting place among nobility, but is now a cool and casual gathering spot where local elders enjoy beer and card games. Pop into Ristorante 2000 next door for wines or limoncello, or head to Bar Monalisa for a scoop of gelato.

    Location: Via S. Cesareo, 70, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 12 am

    Phone: +39 (0)81 878 1351


    Church of St. Francis

    Discover one of Sorrento’s hidden gems

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    Chiostro di San Francesco (Church of St. Francis) is a short walk southwest from Piazza Sant’Antonino, and right next to Villa Comunale. The 14th-century church features baroque architecture, and its main highlight is a beautiful shaded cloister surrounded by colonnades, with flowering shrubs and ornamental trees. Besides offering tranquillity away from Sorrento’s downtown crowds, the cloister transforms into an art and exhibition space in the summer, with various historical and contemporary works of art on display within its porches and open spaces. Entry is free. 

    Location: Piazza Gargiulo, 8, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +39 (0)81 878 1269


    photo by Lisa LumleyBerthold Werner (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Sorrento’s Ancient Walls

    Climb up the old stone bastion at dusk for magical views

    • Families
    • History

    The Antiche Mura (Ancient Walls) of Sorrento are ruins of an old Roman defence system that used to surround the city. You can view parts of the stockades throughout the city centre, as part of the city’s groundworks. Some of the most notable remaining parts are on the southern side of the city, with the Bastion of Porsano as a great start (enter from Via Sersale, for free). Visit by day to enjoy the views from the top, or in the evenings for a mesmerising sight when it’s lit with subtle lighting.

    Location: Via degli Aranci, 18, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Hours vary

    Phone: +39 (0)339 8785 826


    photo by Mentnafunangann (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Marina Grande

    Dine with a view at Sorrento’s fishing village

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Luxury

    Sorrento has three marinas, a small one east of Villa Comunale and two at Marina Grande in the west. Sailboats and luxury yachts line the marina, while numerous cafes and restaurants dot the jetties with their uniform-coloured parasols. Choose a spot at the water edge with Vesuvius on the far horizon. PortaMarina Seafood is among the favourite spots here, using fresh daily catches from the sea. 

    Location: Via Marina Grande, 25, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Daily from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +39 (0)349 975 4761


    Teatro Tasso

    Enjoy O Sole Mio at Sorrento’s Theatre

    • Couples
    • History

    Teatro Tasso is Sorrento’s main theatre, right off Piazza Tasso in the city centre. It’s an ideal spot to spend the evening – you can reserve a dinner with a local band serenading you with Neapolitan songs such as Pavarotti’s familiar O Sole Mio, or watch the highlighted high-octane, 4-act dance show, that features the Sorrentino folkdance, tarantella, performed by skilled dancers in vivid costumes. Shows last slightly over an hour, and tickets are available from a booth within the piazza, from around €25.

    Location: Piazza Sant'Antonino, 25, Sorrento, Italy

    Open: Performances start between 7.30 pm and 9.30 pm

    Phone: +39 (0)81 807 5525

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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