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Travel: Sorrento, Italy. Oct. 5th 2023

Updated: Jan 30

A continuation of a trip that started on Oct 3rd/2023

Napoli - Oct 3rd (part 1)

Capri - Oct 4th (part 2)

The curvy travel from Napoli to Sorrento along the gulf of Napoli, is only about an hour drive, However getting closer to Sorrento reveals a truly breathtaking scenery.


Since the gilded age of the Italian Grand Tour, the coastal town of Sorrento overlooking the Bay of Naples has been one of the most popular destinations in Italy, for its picturesquely soaring cliffs above the waters of the Mediterranean,

A vibrant old town chock-full of shops and restaurants, and a strategic position between Mount Vesuvius and the Amalfi Coast, earned the town its attractiveness.

A popular tourist destination, Sorrento has attracted a volume of tourists every year for over a century. The Amalfi Drive, connecting Sorrento and Amalfi, is one of most enchanting narrow road along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea,

This ancient city was probably connected to the Ausoni tribe, one of the most ancient ethnic groups in the area. In the pre-Roman age, Sorrento was influenced by the Greek civilization. In the mythology, according to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, Sorrento was founded by Liparus, son of Ausonus, who was king of the Ausoni and the son of Ulysses and Circe.

The Roman name for Sorrento was Surrentum. The position of Surrentum was very secure, protected by deep gorges.

From the 8th BC the area had the presence of a community of indigenous villages, which was a crossing point for Etruscan traffic The most important temples of Surrentum were those of Athena and of the Sirens 

Surrentum was famous in antiquity for its wine, its fish, and its red Campanian vases; The discovery of coins of Massilia, Gaul, and the Balearic Islands here indicates the extensive trade which it carried on.

Oranges and lemons which are now widely cultivated there were not yet introduced in Italy in antiquity,

No ruins are now preserved in the town itself, but there are many remains in the villa quarter to the east of the town on the road to Stabiae, of which traces still exist,

Famous people who visited Sorrento include: Lord Byron, Keats, Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen and Walter Scott 

The famous Soviet writer Maxim Gorky lived in Sorrento. in 19920.

And a long forgotten strange Jewish writer/journalist named Lev Nussimbaum (1905- 1942) who also wrote under the names Essad Bey and Kurban Said, found a refuge and died in poverty here. Lev Nussimbaum is best remembered by his love story book "Ali & Nino" (also made into a film) and the book tracing his life "The Orientalist" - a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a best-selling author in Nazi Germany.

The Hotel We Stayed in for 2 nights

Our stay at this Imperial historical hotel situated on a steep cliff above the Grand Beach, overlooking the Napoli gulf, was truly special.

Via Vittorio Ceneti.1

Just off the busy shopping streets of historic center

Who Stayed Here?

The Hotel's Beach

The Grand kids had fun swimming, for me the water was too cold

The beach chairs are not free, and are offered for a reduced rate to the hotel's guests.

The dark sandy beach strip stretches toward the Marina Grande a larger of Sorrento's two main marinas (Marina Piccola), and is one of the prettiest corners of Sorrento, almost a community in itself with its own shops,bars and a church (Chiesa di Sant'Anna). 

Great meal at this Sea Food

Restaurant Bagni Delfino

Via Marina Grande 216 Sorrento

+39 081 8782038

Strolling in Old Center

In between visiting the beach, and spectating the panoramic cliff-side overlook in the public Villa Comunale gardens., browsing the tiny boutiques and artisan shops lining the narrow lanes of the historic center, is a favorable activity.

There are a number of landmark, bustling main Piazza Tasso, historic churches like the Cathedral and Basilica di Sant'Antonino, palaces dating from the Middle Ages, and ancient city walls that were built to protect the center from marauders.

The arrangement of the modern streets preserves that of the ancient town, and the disposition of the walled paths which divide the plain to the east seems to date in like manner from Roman times.

The town is widely known for its small ceramics, lacework and marquetry (woodwork) shops Limoncello, a digestif made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar, is produced in Sorrento along with citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives

Maggi House -Luxury Apartment/Suites

Via p.r. Giuliani 56 Sorrento +39 081 807 1121 + 39 347 79 81 242

Opposite of the Hotel Imperial we stayed in, around the corner from the Villa Comunale municipal gardens, and right at the entrance lane to the historic center there is a more affordable recommended accommodation by UK Telegraph

Hidden Gem - Bagni Regina Giovanna

10 minutes drive from the Imperial hotel towards the north-west on the Capo di Sorrento is the so-called Bagni della Regina Giovanna, villa with baths, worth visiting, if you are in good shape to walk by food the lengthy trail, down to the blueish lagoon water below.

Joanna depicted by Anton Boys,

Bagni Regina Giovanna

The name refers to Queen Giovanna D'Angiò who lived in that spot in Sorrento between 1371 and 1435, the golden years of her reign.

It is said that the queen used to come here on vacation with her young lovers, spending time in the lagoon's water, away from prying eyes

View toward the Marina Grande

To be Continued...


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