The city sits high above the sea on an imposing tuff outcrop with deep gorges. The houses are immersed in luxuriant green and surrounded by groves of olive, lemon and orange trees. The whole is framed by the high reliefs of the Sorrentine Peninsula.
Sorrento is a tranquil place, to be enjoyed in all seasons for its mild climate, the perfume of its gardens and the panoramic terraces that give onto the sea. The town became famous in the 1800’s, but its history has much deeper roots. The name Surrentum is possibly tied to the legend of the siren and theories of a Phoenician foundation are entertained. What is certain is that in Roman times it was the favourite dwelling of the aristocracy. The town centre is piazza Tasso, which takes its name from the author of “Jerusalem Delivered”, born in Sorrento in 1544.
The Cathedral dates to the 15th century, and has seen many restructurings over the ages. The Choir is made of refined inlaid wood, a traditional craft the city excels in. The Correale di Terranova Museum houses the relics of the past in the 1600’s home of the Correali, “the most beautiful provincial museum of Italy”, according to Amedeo Maiuri. The archaeological section is important, with its famous Base of Augustus, as is the medieval section with marble works of the 10th and 11th century. The collection of furniture, porcelain and paintings is vast. The San Francesco Church is from the 1700’s, and from there you can get to the Villa Comunale, a public garden on the edge of a sheer cliff that offers spectacular views. From the Villa a paved road takes you to the Marina Piccola, which has numerous bathing establishments and a port from which the boats for Capri and Naples leave. The biggest beach is Marina Grande, traditional destination of Sorrentine strolls.