In truth, I opted to spend five nights in Sorrento out of convenience: it’s a handy springboard from which to visit the Amalfi Coast’s many attractions, with Positano, Pompeii, and Capri all easy day trips from town (likewise for Naples, a chaotic city I did not quite have the time – or, if we’re being honest, the fortitude – to tackle this go-round). Over the course of my time in Sorrento, however, a funny thing started to happen. I came to realize that while I was enjoying my ventures out of town, I was perhaps happiest in Sorrento itself.
Sorrento snuck up on me. It’s a classic resort town, to be sure, and I am certainly not one for lounging on a beach, but it has many charms beyond sunbathing. In fact, there was more than enough to keep me busy – and happy! – during what came to feel like a too-short five days there. Here are ten of my highlights from sunny Sorrento.
One: Colors, colors everywhere
I’m a sucker for color (see also: Burano and Rue Crémieux), so I loved Sorrento immediately for how vibrant it was. From vividly colored buildings to fresh, bright produce, the town was full of gorgeous color. I adored it.
Two: Fun shopping
I’m never much for shopping, but I actually sort of enjoyed it in Sorrento. The town’s tiny streets are crowded with shops galore, each chuck full of fun, funky, and colorful products. I didn’t buy much at all, but it was neat to browse – there was just so much to see!
Three: Blue skies and blue seas
Sorrento is perched on the sea (it’s basically the gateway to the Amalfi Coast), and it is gorgeous. I was constantly in awe of the pure, rich blues of sea and sky.
Four: Lovely lemon groves
On my last night in Sorrento, I walked away from the center of town – gelato in hand, of course – to the lemon grove. This pretty, peaceful spot was the perfect place for an evening stroll.
Five: Hell, lemon EVERYTHING
Not only does Sorrento have a lemon grove, but the entire town is mad for lemons. It is the product in Sorrento, and it pops up everywhere, from shop shelves to restaurant menus. If you want something – anything – lemon-themed, Sorrento is your place.
Six: Gelato galore
It’s no secret that I love gelato. In Sorrento, there were more than a few options to satisfy my cravings. At Raki, I had my first gelato in Sorrento, and given the town’s lemon-mania, I figured a lemon and vanilla was only right:
From Gelateria David, I tried the Profumi di Sorrento, which my guidebook dubbed “an explosive sorbet of mixed fruits.” It was pretty damn good.
And at Momi, I ordered the Nutella and biscotti combination. This didn’t even taste like Nutella gelato – it tasted like a heaping scoop of straight-up Nutella. I couldn’t even finish it!
Seven: Stunning sunsets
I went to the Amalfi Coast with high expectations of being wowed – and the area definitely lived up to it. Every place, from Positano to Ravello, was gorgeous, and Sorrento too provided more than its share of beauty, particularly when it came to sunsets. I couldn’t get enough.
Eight: Charming little lanes
I’m a big fan of just poking around a place and finding cute little nooks and hidden side streets. Sorrento had plenty of these; I particularly loved all the tiny lanes lined with colorful flag banners.
Nine: Delicious dining options
I’m not going to claim that Sorrento is the gourmet capital of Italy or anything (it’s not) (hello, Bologna!), but I did eat well there. I went to Trattoria Gigino a few times for pizza; it was a reliable, tasty option.
At Inn Bufalito, I had an awesome mozzarella di bufala starter:
At Trattoria da Emilia, I ordered a fresh, delicious plate of calamari:
And at Trattoria Antica, I had my fanciest meal in Sorrento. My zucchini flower starter was super tasty, as was my lemon shrimp pasta main.
Ten: Gorgeous cloisters
Along with the lemon grove, the cloisters at St. Francis Church were my favorite peaceful spot in Sorrento. I’m mildly obsessed with pretty cloisters (see: Belem and New York, to name a few), so this was right up my alley. Just lovely.
My vacations tend to be pretty go, go, go, but I love places like Sorrento that force me to slow down, savor, and enjoy. I’d love to go back and spend another week in paradise – and I’m sure I will one day, hopefully soon.