1. Take a walk to the port
It takes around an hour on the fastest services to get from Naples to Sorrento by train. You can easily connect from Rome to Naples by rail, which takes just over an hour, or from Salerno to Naples in just half an hour. Naples is the main gateway to Southern Italy, and it's easy to transfer to from Naples' central station to Sorrento. Once in town, make your way down to Sorrento's Marina Grande harbour and admire the luxurious yachts, before stopping for a coffee and doing some people watching.
2. Unearth ancient history
Italy is well known for its world-class historical sights, and Sorrento is no exception. The Georges Vallet Archaeological Museum of the Sorrentine Peninsula brings together treasures from around this fascinating region. The museum itself is housed in the grand neoclassical Villa Fondi, perched dramatically atop a cliff overlooking Naples Bay. What better place to get some pictures of the incredible scenery than here?
3. Tour the town's religious sights
Italy is also famous for its incredible concentration of beautiful churches, telling the story of the country’s transition from Roman paganism to Christianity. Sorrento Cathedral, or the Duomo di Sorrento, dates from as early as the 11th century. It was rebuilt in the 15th century in a gorgeous Romanesque style and is well worth a visit to see its architecture and interior paintings. The Basilica of St. Anthony Abbot is another 11th-century church in town. What's more, entrance to these sites is free.
4. Walk the town
Sorrento's centre is relatively small, with most points in town no more than a brief walk from Piazza Tasso – the main square. For a view of local life, put on some comfortable shoes and wander through its collection of streets, filled with artists’ workshops, cafes and family-run restaurants. The evening offers an added charm, as locals embark on their traditional strolls. Head to one of the many viewpoints in town, including the Villa Comunale park or Piazzetta Marinella, for expansive views of the bay, Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
5. Experience fantastic art and culture
Your Italian getaway wouldn't be complete without some beautiful art. The Correale Museum, owned by a family of nobles, is home to an extensive private collection of paintings, craftwork and artefacts. There's also a large garden and citrus grove surrounding the building, which provides stunning views from its upper levels. If you're visiting Sorrento during the summer months, don't miss the various musical performances that take place in and around the central area. The Sorrento Festival brings together a collection of traditional, jazz and classical concerts between July and September.
6. Make the most of the outdoors
Feeling more adventurous? Sorrento's various walking and hiking trails are a great way to explore the rugged terrain around town. There are trails for all abilities and fitness levels, filled with gorgeous views and plenty of villages where you can take a break. Many of these trails start from Sorrento's central area, continuing to various parts of the Sorrentine Peninsula. One of our favourites is the route to Sant'Agata sui due Golfi. You have the option to take a bus there to avoid the uphill hike to Sant'Agata, where you can enjoy some refreshment at one of its cafes before starting the picturesque downhill return to Sorrento.
7. Swim and sunbathe at the private beaches
If you're visiting Sorrento in summer, you can visit the small, exclusive beaches of both Marina Grande and Marina Piccola, and pay a small fee to make use of its golden sands and inviting waters. This is an ideal way to enjoy Sorrento in the summer months and offers a slice of the luxurious life that the Amalfi Coast is famous for. There are also nearby public beaches – ideal for family trips at the seaside – you can enjoy before heading back to town to savour Neapolitan pizza and local wines.
8. Try some local food
Speaking of food and drink, Sorrento is possibly one of the best places in Italy for traditional cuisine. Inspired by its neighbour, Naples, you'll find a wide range of local treats. These include gnocchi alla sorrentina, a delicious mozzarella and tomato pasta dish. Artichokes with tomatoes and cheese and pastiera tart cakes are popular snacks from Sorrento. A bottle of high-quality olive oil or Limoncello di Sorrento, a local lemon-based liqueur, makes for a superb gift to take back for your loved ones. Also look out for the gelaterias in town, selling delicious ice creams in a huge selection of flavours.
9. Take a guided tour
This is an excellent way to make sure you see all the best sights of Sorrento. Although it's a fairly compact town, there are many great attractions and itineraries to choose from. Official guided tours are easily found in town, and will expertly take you around the amazing churches, museums, and lesser-known sights that make up Sorrento. Multilingual local guides can also fill you in on interesting facts and various points of interest you might otherwise never learn about.
10. Charter a boat to Capri
This famed island just across the water from Sorrento is said to be the home of mermaids in local legends. Ariel could do worse than choosing this sun-kissed isle as her home, and it was a favourite retreat for Roman emperors over time. Head to the Marina Piccola in Sorrento, where boats depart approximately every 30 minutes through the day, with a crossing time of 25 minutes. Visit the beautiful Blue Grotto, and tour the magnificent Villa Jovis, built for Emperor Tiberius.
Close to the Southern Italian travel hub of Naples, Sorrento is a relaxed, chic destination on the Amalfi Coast. You'll enjoy your time within the city itself, touring its magnificent historical sights and indulging in delicious local foods. Heading out to nearby destinations such as Capri only adds to what's an unforgettable place to visit. So how do I get to Sorrento by train, you may ask? Simply take a Trenitalia or Italo train to Naples and once you get to Napoli Centrale, hop on a local Circumvesuviana train bound for Sorrento. On weekends, you can also use the FrecciaLink service operated by Trenitalia, which allows you to start your journey by train and continue by bus.