Sorrento reflects, with its coastline, in the Gulf of Naples, fascinating tourists and visitors, attracted by breathtaking views and landscapes.
The town gives its name to the Sorrento Peninsula, a vast area that stretches from Vico Equense to Sorrento and which, thanks to its geographical shape, suspended between the green hills and the blue sea, has always been one of the great attractions of Southern Italy.
The Sorrento coast is one most popular destinations of the entire Campania region. It is also the ideal venue for Italian and foreign visitors wishing to plan excursions to Capri, Ischia, Pompeii, Positano, Amalfi, Herculaneum, Paestum and Vesuvius, places located no more than 50 kilometers away.
After having been a Phoenician colony, Sorrento became a port frequented by Greeks who traded with Naples and other southern cities. In fact the Greeks gave it its name "Syrenusion" or "Syreon" land of the mermaids, mythical creatures half woman and half fish, narrated by Homer in the Odissea, who with their songs bewitched sailors.
After the rule of the Oscans and Samnites, Sorrento was subjugated by the Romans. The Romans also, appreciated its beauty, enough to elect Sorrento, during the imperial age as a holiday resort for Patricians, as evidenced by the numerous remains of roman villas in the area.
Sorrento was the birthplace of the writer Torquato Tasso, and has always had a particular charm that has attracted poets and writers like: Goethe, Lamartine, Stendhal, De Bouchard, Byron, D'Annunzio, Ibsen, Douglas; Musicians like: Rossini, Liszt, Meldesshon, Wagner; Painters like: Pinelli, Fernet, Lindstrom; Photographers like: De Luca and the Alinari brothers and Directors like: De Sica, Mastronardo and Gallone.
Among the distinguished visitors passed through Sorrento are also: Enrico Caruso, Giacomo Casanova, Scipio Breislak, Marion Crawford, Charles Dickens, Helman Melvill, Friedtich Nietzsche and Axel Munthe.
In the Eighteenth century the coastal town was included in the destinations of the Grand Tour, trip that takes foreign intellectuals to the most significant Italian cities exploring the history, art and culture of the Bel Paese.
The monuments that aroused the most interest of these illustrious visitors, were Sedil Dominova, seat of the ancient nobility of Sorrento, the ancient city walls, still visible today, and the port of Marina Grande, the Deep Valley of the Mills, the Cathedral, the Basilica dedicated to the patron saint, Sant'Antonino, the convent of San Francesco with the adjoining cloister. Important works of art are kept in the Correale di Terranova Museum and the Museobottega Tarsialignea (inlaid woodwork museum).
DISTANCE FROM SORRENTO
To Rome: 257 km.
To Naples: 48 km.
INFORMATION AND USEFUL NUMBERS
Police: +39 0818074433
Taxi: +39 0818782204
Post Offices: Corso Italia 212, Via Capo 108
Tourist Office (Azienda Autonoma di Cura, Soggiorno e Turismo): Via L. De Maio 35, tel. +39 0818074033
Photo supplied by the Fondazione Sorrento and taken by Carlo Alfaro