Sightseeing in Sorrento
"So much to see, so little time." - Reviewed by Lisa
When a special place exists on earth, it goes without saying it comes with a following. Enjoying sightseeing in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast means preparing yourself to be joined by other like-minded beauty-seekers.
The main coast road is busy – buses, cars and cyclists are all out in force. It’s not unusual to experience traffic jams and very usual to experience a huge degree of frustration at trying to find a parking place. The area between Sorrento and Positano is less exposed as are the upper reaches of the coast like Furore. These areas are definitely less busy with surprising access to a more authentic, laid-back way of life.
Sightseeing in Sorrento
With so much to see and do in this beautiful area, please allow time to dedicate to the Italian art of people watching and just enjoying the lovely landscapes and the refreshing sea. Often the visitor is so determined to tick off all the items on their sightseeing list that they forget the daily joys of just absorbing the local culture, customs and surroundings.
Tripwix’s most noteworthy highlights for sightseeing in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast are:
Totally fascinating and absorbing, Pompeii is a vast archaeological site nestled at the foot of a volcano. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried under meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Today, the visitor can freely roam and explore the excavated, partially restored and preserved streets and see first-hand the houses, sporting arenas, baths and shops and easily imagine the daily lives of its long-ago inhabitants and their art, customs and trades.
This visit requires at least 1 full day. Please allow additional time for heavy traffic along the coast road and be sure to wear a sunhat.
Celebrated in ancient mythology, Capri has been a favourite of the jet set, the rich and famous and pleasure-seeking travellers for centuries and it’s easy to understand why. Heralded as the most stunning island in Italy and, without a doubt, the most glamorous and best known, Capri’s breathtaking landscapes and rocky caves as well as its glamorous hotels, chic boutiques and upscale dining all contribute to making the island it into a destination you won’t want to miss. Take a day trip and revel in this lovely Italian jewel.
The Blue Grotto and boat trips along the coast
No trip to this part of the world is complete without at least one day viewing the coast from the sea. Who doesn’t want to see all the magnificent facades of the cliff top villas, the patchwork of lemon groves, small swathes of vineyards, splashes of vibrant bougainvillaea whilst enjoying the sea breeze?
The lovely Mediterranean Sea was once believed to be the home of fabled Gods and mythical creatures but has evolved into a playground for the world’s elite.
With its stunning grottos and pretty marinas, a day on the marvellous Mediterranean will surely be full of cherished memories. Let the Tripwix team book you a private motor yacht complete with lunch and wine on board or we can suggest a local tour.
Positano, Amalfi and Ravello
All historical, chic and with their own identity – a day trip by car can include all three with time for visiting the shops, restaurants and lovely churches, cathedrals and monasteries. Or a full day could be devoted to each community. Let us know your preferences and we’ll set it up for you.
The well-trodden, well-photographed and documented coastline from Sorrento in the north to Vietri in the south is commonly mistaken as a beach destination. It does, in fact, offer a number of pebbly coves and a few sandy crescents in addition to a multitude of man-made docks/jetties and cliff fronts that have been etched out to create sunbathing platforms and lidos with ladders leading to the clear waters.
Unless you have access to a private deck, dock, platform or cliff-top garden, expect to share your small, seaside space with many others. Our suggestion is to enjoy the sun from the privacy of your villa garden and pool, experience those Mediterranean dips from the back of a private yacht or motorboat and spend time exploring the fascinating history and many antiquities, picturesque towns and villages the coast has to offer.
Restaurants and Food
The coast of Italy offers a plethora of restaurants from Michelin-starred (with 4 Michelin 2-star restaurants in the Sorrento area alone) to local pizza shops and trattorias. Fresh seafood is prevalent with flavours that may be more intense and precise than you may be used to. The food tastes the way it should – fresh, vital and healthy. Each village and town offers a myriad of choices to suit all pockets when enjoying sightseeing in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
Obvious local standouts are Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (a divine blend of tomato, mozzarella and basil), Ensalada Caprese, Pizza Neapolitan (remember Naples is just up the coast), Spaghetti Vongole as well as grilled fish and local seafood.
Remember Italians are accustomed to eating lunch. Many restaurants serve full lunches and some shops may close during lunch hour. Dinner is usually eaten late, with popular spots taking reservations until 10 and 11 p.m. Usually, there is no rush – the good food deserves full attention and meal times are leisurely.
One of the distinct pleasures of travelling in a wine-producing country (if, of course, you enjoy wine – as I do with great gusto!) is the incredible diversity of local wines specific to each individual area, often only produced in one specific village. The quality is usually surprisingly good – often with only a small production – and is incredibly reasonably priced.
Campania is no exception. Grape harvesting and wine production have taken place in its fertile soils since ancient times. From the rolling hillsides in the provinces of Benevento and Avellino to the steeply-terraced vineyards of the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Capri and Ischia to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, the wines of Campania are as varied as the landscape and all pair uncannily well with local dishes. The crisp whites are tantalizing when paired with the fresh seafood and the lighter reds are made for enjoying with the multitude of tomato-based specialties.
Here are my top 5 favourite wines to look out for: Aglianico, Falanghina, Piedirosso, Greco di Tufo and Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio (Christ’s Tears at Vesuvius) – an evocative name that comes with many local interpretations and even biblical references.
Sightseeing in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast is just one of the many experiences you can expect when you choose this area for your next getaway.