From its scenic ocean views to its endearing streets lined with boutiques and gourmand delights, Sorrento is the ideal alternative to more crowded destinations such as Positano and Amalfi. Read on for our suggestions that are sure to make for a memorable getaway to this beloved, often-overlooked gem.
Where to Stay
Nestled within the heart of Sorrento, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria remains one of the most iconic hotels in Italy. This five-star luxury resort is perched on a cliff with awe-inspiring views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Elegant accommodations, a pristine pool and spa, and spaces adorned with captivating artwork further enhance the la dolce vita lifestyle embraced during any stay.
One of the most well-known hotels in Sorrento is the opulent Bellevue Syrene. Originally constructed in 1750 as a private residence, the property opened its doors to the public in 1820. Available for year-round bookings, guests will fawn over the picturesque painted frescoes and fishponds full of water lilies.
Where to Eat
Housed on an exclusive lower level of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Terrazza Bosquet boasts a split dining space, comprised of a terrace that overlooks the Bay of Naples for the warmer months and a polished indoor dining room for cooler evenings. Sorrentino Chef Antonino Montefusco’s menu showcases regional culinary traditions inspired by Italian culture. Each dish calls for the use of organic produce plucked from the hotel’s own gardens.
Situated directly atop Sorrento’s Marina Grande, this expansive seafood-centric spot proves to be a mainstay for discerning travelers and celebrities alike. The dishes are sourced daily from the sea just below and served with great care by the restaurant’s attentive waitstaff. Discover pure bliss amidst the light, salty sea breeze and a wide array of fish and mollusk dishes. Finish your meal with their famous “Delizia a Limone.”
In 1868, seminarian Antonio Ercolano learned the art of gastronomy while cooking in the local archbishop’s palace. Later, he transformed a vacant space housing a lemon grove on Sorrento’s main road into a convivial restaurant for his friends and former vocation of priesthood, which quickly earned him the nickname “o’Parrucchiano”––parish-priest in Neapolitan dialect. While this is undoubtedly a tourist attraction, the experience is greatly enjoyed by its Sorrentino neighbors.
Where to Drink
Located in the center of Sorrento, La Pergola Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria’s illustrious champagne bar. For decades, it has only been accessible to hotel guests, but it will be opening to the public in the spring of 2024, so all will be able to revel in the grandeur of indulgent evenings at La Pergola.
Where to Visit
Sorrento is revered all over the world for its fine arts of inlaid wood, embroideries, laces, and potteries. Since 1863, Gargiulo & Jannuzzi has produced and sold the richest laces and most refined wooden objects. Watch the craftsman at work, or take time to peruse each corner of the massive three-floor establishment. Those in search of some unique décor (and are willing to incur a hefty shipping cost) should shop their variety of game tables.
Shop the Local Boutiques
Both the “Old City” and “New City” of Sorrento offer shops helmed by local artisans, ranging from clothing boutiques to cosmetic storefronts. Find handcrafted garments made with natural materials emblazoned with colorful designs and patterns at Ferdinando Fusco. The namesake designer is a young trailblazer, often being whisked away to Fashion Week events all over the world. Those lucky enough may even earn a peek into his studio. Walk the streets like a true Sorrentino in a pair of Sandal Siniscalchi; as the trade skill of the whole family, three generations pack into their storefront all together to create leather and sequined sandals in real-time.
The charming and bustling little harbor of Marina Piccola is renowned for its vibrant Mediterranean ambiance, stunning seascapes, and its role as a hub for boat and ferry transportation to neighboring islands. With its lively cafés and easy access to the crystal-clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Marina Piccola serves as an enchanting setting for a leisurely afternoon.