Sorrento lying on a tufaceous terrace that slopes steeply down to the sea from a height of 150 feet protected to the rear by the rocky spurs of the Lattari mountains, and immersed in the lush vegetation typical of the northern part of the Sorrento peninsula, Sorrento is one of the best known and most popular resorts in Italy. In the 18th century it was romantically dubbed ‘Sorrento the kind’, because of its mild climate and the unrivalled beauty of its real name.The Latin Surrentum is associated with the myth of the sirens(inhabitants of these areas,according to legend),who sorely tempted even the valiant Ulysses with their sweet song. Like them, Sorrento, whosw irresistible, multi-faceted beauty has cast its spell for centuries, still bewitches all who set eyes on it. Its charm is unusual: it is a seaside town yet, because of its raised position, it has no promenade; it maintains the picturesque character of tha coastal towns, yet magnificent patrician villas are built there; it is bordered by crystal-clear waters and surrounded by enchanting gardens and citrus fruit groves, yet much of its beauty is to be found along the roads, stairways and passages cut into the rock which lead to the sea, in the houses with their typical local architecture, and in the monuments which testify to its long history.
The history of Sorrento is long indeed.Already inhabited in the Neolithic period, the town was probably built by the Teleboi, the ancient conqueros of Capri, and from that time on it became a desirable prey for all the populations who dominated the coastal areas at one time or another. Syracusans, Greeks and Samnites all played a part(for better or worse)in the town’s history. Then came the Romans, who instituted a period of great prosperity, with systematic town planning, the building of the city walls and a construction boom, aided by an influx of patrician families from the capital who, especially in the imperial age, spent their holidays in luxury homes built for them in Sorrento near the forum,the temples and public buildings. An enchanting place, but also a strategic town because of its location,it subsequently met the fate of many other coastal towns, overrun successively by Goths, Byzantines, Lombards, Saracen pirates, Normans and so on, until the Bourbons and the ‘rediscovery’ of Sorrento as an important destination on the 18th century gentleman’s Grand Tour, followed by the upheavals of the 19th century which led to the Unification of Italy.
In the town centre, Piazza Torquato Tasso, dedicated to the great poet who was born in Sorrento in 1544,is the classic starting point for a visit to the town.As well as the monument to Tasso, the Piazza contains the statue of S.Antonino,the town’s patron saint,and the attractive 18th century church of S. Maria del Carmine. The Cathedral,with the ruins of a Roman arch to its right, stands on the elegant, busy Corso Italia, the two branches of which separate here. The Cathedral, which has ancient origins, was rebuilt in the 15th century and subsequently altered on many occasions(for example, tha façade dates from 1924.From the square, through a picturesque alley, you can reach Marina Piccola port and the main sandy beaches called Marina Grande.Thanks to the nice and favourable position of the Village, it is possible to reach in a little time,many other places rich of archaeological interest.
Pretty Village of the Amalfi Coast, well-known throughout the world for its characteristic houses built on terraces sloping towards the sea and for its folkloristic fashion.
The most ancient of the four Maritime Republics, together with Pisa, Venice, and Genoa, famous for its ancient paper mills,for the cultivation of the typical ‘bread lemon’ and for its magnificent IX century Cathedral named after its patron Saint. Andrea.
Two of the most visited archaeological sites of the world, two towns that, a catastrophic event like the Vesuvius eruption in 79 A.D. made eternal.
POMPEI & ERCOLANO
It is doubtless, one of the most precious stones in the bay of Naples; already known during the times of the Roman emperor Tiberius, it is famous today for the richness and variety of its flora, for its crystal-clear waters, for the historic importance of its museums and for its typical alleys running through the island and creating an atmosphere of peace and quietness.