Sorrento is a small but perfectly formed town in the picturesque Campania region of Italy. Set above the bay of Naples, it's perfectly situated, near to the grungy city of Naples, the beatific island of Capri, and the fascinating ruins at Pompeii.
Set above the Bay of Naples, the town offers stunning views across the sea to the island of Capri and over to Mount Vesuvius on the other side of the bay.
The majority of Sorrento hostels make the most of the town's hilltop location, with rooms and terraces generally offering stunning views out over the bay. From many of these you can see Mount Vesuvius looming in the distance.
The Perfect Place to Take a Stroll
Unlike its busier neighbors of Naples and Pompeii, Sorrento remains fairly untouched by tourism. There's a charming old-world, seaside resort atmosphere that prevails here, making for great promenading opportunities.
In fact, exploring Sorrento on foot proves by far the best way to get around the town. While the seafront is admittedly bustling, the excellent Villa Comunale Gardens offer a chance to take in the sea air, gaze upon some exotic plants, and not see too many people.
The gardens are also a great spot for a quiet picnic away from the sun. Many visitors hit Sorrento's markets early in the morning, stock up on local produce, and then head to the gardens come midday to relax after a morning's sightseeing.
A street market takes place each Tuesday in Sorrento where vendors sell everything from food produce to arts, crafts and clothes. The market is popular with locals, meaning that wise stallholders can spot tourists from a distance. As such, it's an idea to brush up on your Italian and join in the bartering.
Visitors interested in learning more about the art of the region could visit the Museum Correale, which showcases an exhibition of decorative art made in Campania between the 15th and 18th centuries.
It is tempting to follow the crowds and head to Capri for a day trip. However a less touristic option would be to take the hydrofoil to Positano. This small port sits in a private enclave of the Almalfi Coast, and allows visitors to wander the winding cobbled streets and join locals for lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants.
From Sorrento hostels it is also easy to reach the tiny volcanic island of Ischia. Another draw can be the town of Almalfi, which sits on its self-named coastline as one of the most attractive settlements visitors will witness in this part of Europe.
The town of Pompeii, on the other hand, offers a wholly different touristic experience. This settlement is how it was almost 2000 years ago, having been preserved by the destructive lava of the now dormant Mount Vesuvius. Most Sorrento hostels can offer advice on how to reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site.