Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Did you enjoy your stay in Sorrento Italy? (

JandaO Apr 26th, 2006 07:37 AM

Did you enjoy your stay in Sorrento Italy?
Last time I was in this area,1999, I stayed in Praiano. We visited Sorrento during a downpour,(lemons were literally rolling down the streets!)I just briefly saw the main piazza and went into one little store.
I vowed to stay in Sorrento on the next trip.
My sister and I will have a rental car and we want to stay in an apartment.Anyone have an tips or experiences?

Catbert Apr 26th, 2006 08:04 AM

I loved Sorrento. I've stayed there twice. I think I prefer it to some of the other towns on the Amalfi coast because it's a real town where real people live and work. Yes, there are tourists too. Also, it's the perfect location for visiting all of the other places around the AC.

jcasale Apr 26th, 2006 08:16 AM

I also loved Sorrento and would definitely go back there again. It was so easy to do all of the things we wanted to do from there - Pompeii, a driver for the Amalfi Coast, and a day trip out to Capri. Next time my husband wants to rent a car and drive the Amalfi Coast himself - Yikes! Actually the driving wasn't as bad as I had been told, but it was low season (late March). If you want a very nice dinner out, go to Vela Bianca at the Hotel Il Faro in the Marina Piccolo. They have a shuttle that picks people up from hotels in town - don't know if they would include an apartment, but they might. Otherwise the walk down isn't bad. I don't know how late the busses run. The other restaurant I liked was the Parrucchiano. Beautiful flowers and great food.

Pausanias Apr 26th, 2006 08:20 AM

Sounds like you've seen Sorrento at its best -- even the famous Running of the Lemons.

At its worst though, you'll be surrounded by scads of people on package tours searching for fish 'n' chips shops and complaining that the Italians don't really do a nice tea.

Plenty of people like it. I use it to change from the train to the bus.

Eloise Apr 26th, 2006 08:25 AM

I would agree with Pausanias. Sorrento has about five more British pubs than I like to see in an Italian town (none). And it is a mecca of the package tourist.

The food in Sorrento was also the worst I have ever eaten in Italy.

On the other hand, for easy access to Pompeii, etc., Sorrento is the best location.

Mimar Apr 26th, 2006 08:37 AM

It's a bit touristy but I like Sorrento. It's got a great location overlooking the Gulf of Naples and it's a pretty little town in itself. Plus it has excellent transportation links to Capri, Pompeii and Herculaneum, the Amalfi Coast.

I have seen some wonderful apartments for rent in the general area with terraces overlooking the sea, but, off the top of my head, I don't remember any in Sorrento itself. Check and its recommended agencies; it's excellent on Italy.

cw Apr 26th, 2006 08:46 AM

We spent a week in a rented villa about 1 mile above Sorrento. It was a perfect base for us to use while we explored.

True, the town does have some hotels that cater to tour groups, but we never really ran into big crowds in town, and we were there in early July.

One of the best things about Sorrento is the view. It can't be beat. Naples across the Bay, and Mt. Vesuvius in between, is just spectacular at all times of the day and night. i could (and did) sit for hours and take it in.


dekoder Apr 26th, 2006 08:55 AM

I really liked sorrento - we stayed in hotel del mare in marina grande, which made it feel like a smaller town. The hotel was an awesome value. The little public beach in marina grande even had each family's beach umbrella permanently in the sand, which was quaint. I spent a lot of time on the beach reading and buying beers from the little store, where the lady would open the bottle for me and after my 3rd, started walking them out to me like table service - hilarious.

PalQ Apr 26th, 2006 09:26 AM

Yes, very much, great base for Pompeii, Ercolo, Vesuvius, Capri, Ischia, Naples and Amalfi Coast. Not much in Sorrento to see but pleasant town with lots of folks milling about at night - lots of restaurants, caffes, etc.

Catbert Apr 26th, 2006 09:55 AM

The running of the lemons. :-D

Personally, I think Positano is much more touristy. Although it is gloriously beautiful and a must see, it feels like a town that is only there for tourists.

If you haven't been part of the fabulous Sorrento Passegiata on Sunday nights you haven't experienced Sorrento. Get off the tourist track and look around. There's a lot more than meets the eye. Also, Sorrento is the only place in Italy I've seen fireflies and the brilliant way the agriculturists grow grapes above orange trees. What a marvelous use of space.

buongiorno Apr 26th, 2006 10:06 AM

As for the worst food in Italy as Eloise suggests, I would say that maybe she didn't go to the right restaurants. While I've been to better restaurants in other places in Italy, the meals we had were very very good although we only ate at higher end spots in town.

As far as the town goes, I think it's a great base for exploring the Amalfi Coast. There's plenty of activity at night, shopping, etc. so that when you're done day tripping you can stay in Sorrento and enjoy an evening stroll. As an aside, we only go to Italy in the "shoulder" or off season and didn't experience any of the package tour set.

kbrennan Apr 26th, 2006 10:09 AM

We just returned from Sorrento. I was very pleased with our visit. We rented a car in Rome and stayed at a hotel that could accommodate the car easily. The Hotel Il Nido was far enough from town that we had quiet, peaceful nights - and a gorgeous view! They had a free shuttle bus to and from town. (Driving into town and finding a parking spot is brutal.)Dinners in the hotel restaurant were very reasonable and better than the restaurants we tried in town. Everyday was an experience - train to Naples, boat to Capri, car to Vesuvius and Herculaneum, and a breathtaking drive up the Amalfi Coast. What a beautiful part of Italy to visit!

Brian_in_Charlotte Apr 26th, 2006 10:39 AM

This posts is great, if a bit frustrating. We're thinking about going to the AC next year and haven't picked a base yet, though it will likely be Positano or Sorrento. I read the first 2 replies here and say, sounds like Sorrento's the place, but then read the next 2 and say, oops maybe Positano's better, then the next few put me back where I started.

Maybe this will help me. Is the comparison between Sorrento and Positano similar to the comparison between Monterroso and Vernazza? Santa Margarita Ligure and Portofino? Ghent and Brugges? Or another pair? Thanks.

JandaO Apr 26th, 2006 10:58 AM

I love all the replies. Your advice is truly priceless. I will be there in Oct. for 4 nights.

Dekoder/Catbert :)

Myer Apr 26th, 2006 02:16 PM

Another vote for Sorrento.

We've been there twice. Each time not only used it as a base but wandered the town and ate there in the evenings. We had no trouble finding pretty good restaurants.

If you seek out music boxes in your local city, you'll find they were probably made in Sorrento.

They are well known for inlaid wood. Prices are a fraction of those in Rome or the airport or back home.

Easy to get to Pompeii, Capri, A/C.

I'd stay there again.

L84SKY Apr 26th, 2006 02:35 PM

The one and only time I've taken a tour, we stopped in Sorrento. Because I didn't go anywhere else in the surrounding area except Pompeii it was great. I broke away from the tour group and enjoyed the town I remember having a nice meal in a restaurant but didn't write down the name.
Also, I bought some inlaid wood box and a tray there. They are very different and modern in feel than most of the inlaid wood products from the area. It was in a little shop towards the center of town.
I loved the whole area and will return someday to see more.

DeborahAnn Apr 26th, 2006 02:43 PM

We loved our stay in Sorrento the first week of November,2005 Tourists???never saw one ;;) I loved Sorrento, it was just perfect for us. I enjoyed being in the midst of students going to high school on the train to Pompeii and families taking their evening strolls.

Brian, yes, trying to decide where to stay on the AC was a tough decision. You have to determine what you most want to see and that will help you decide. For us, Sorrento was the right choice. Deborah

nytraveler Apr 26th, 2006 03:00 PM

We have stayed there a couple of times and love it since it has good access to whatever you want by either car (Pompeii, Naples, driving the drive) or ferry/hydrofoil (to Capri and down the coast).

Also, it's a cute town with lots of restaurants and plenty of cute shopping. BUT - we use a hotel right in the center of town with it's own parking, swimming pool, gardens, terraces overlooking the Bay of Naples and private access to the boat/ferry dock. I can imagine it might be more difficult if you're outside of town or have to find a place to put your car.

donnapg Apr 27th, 2006 05:08 AM

kbrennan - We were at Il Nido from April 15-17th. Loved the hotel and the restaurants as well.

Sorrento itself was a but crowded for my liking by the views were phenomenal!

Mimar Apr 27th, 2006 08:35 AM

Brian-in-Charlotte, I like your comparisons. Sorrento is like Como but with better connections, and Positano is like Bellagio. Do you know these towns? SML and Portofino works too.

Positano is on a very steep hill, and it's an expensive destination, expensive hotels, expensive shops.

As a rule, I like to stay in or next to a town, so as to be able to walk to a choice of restaurants after a day of sightseeing. (Remember dinner in Italy doesn't start until 8.) So the town has to be big enough to have several restaurants. For this reason, I wouldn't stay out in the countryside unless the place had very good food. It's tedious to have to find your way back in the dark. Also the driver can't have wine with dinner. (I'm assuming several nights in the same place.)

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:08 AM.