Naples and Campania: Places to Explore

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Sorrento

Winding along a cliff above a small beach and two harbors, Sorrento is split in two by a narrow ravine formed by a former mountain stream. To the east, dozens of hotels line busy Via Correale along the cliff—many have "grand" included in their names, and some indeed still are. To the west, however, is the historic sector, which still enchants—it's a relatively flat area, with winding, stone-paved lanes bordered by balconied buildings, some joined by medieval stone arches. Every corner is another photo-op, the sound of strumming mandolins never far away. The central piazza is named after the poet Torquato Tasso, born here in 1544. This part of town is a delightful place to walk through, especially in the mild evenings, when people are out and about, and everything is open. Craftspeople are often at work in their stalls and shops and are happy to let you watch; in fact, that's the point. You will probably enjoy two or three of the most romantic hours in your life strolling about here. Along the way, be sure to stop in—whether for a drink or meal—at one of the town's unbelievably magical grand hotels, such as the Excelsior-Vittorio or the Bellevue-Syrene.

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