Nestled in Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast is Sorrento, a picturesque cliff top settlement of around 17,000 people overlooking the bay of Naples. Long an attractive destination for Renaissance artists and sculptors, 14th century monasteries, churches, red roofed buildings and expansive piazzas can be found at almost every turn.
The port is the perfect starting point to explore the surrounding cities, including the Island of Capri, Naples and the lost city of Pompeii, one of Italy’s most famed tourist attractions. Sorrento itself is a hub of activity and enjoys an extensive selection of restaurants, cafes, shops and boutiques. The quintessential Italian cuisine is a major attraction for visitors, with authentic pizza, pasta, salads, wines and limoncello widely available.
While many cruise ships dock in Naples, those that make Sorrento a port of call tender passengers to the Marina Piccola piers, from which a walk uphill to the town centre is required.
Sorrento is approximately 37 kilometres from Pompeii, and around 58 kilometres from Naples. The port is located in the Bay of Naples along the Sorrentine Peninsula. This peninsula separates the Bay of Naples in the north from the Gulf of Salerno in the south, an area including the Amalfi Coast. Ships anchor offshore in the Bay of Naples, tendering passengers nearby to the Marina Piccola.
The Marina Piccola offers a number of facilities for those arriving to Sorrento by boat, including ferries travelling from Naples and Capri.
- Bus depot
- Pontoon sun bathing area and limited beach
- Restaurants and bars
- Currency exchange centre
- Taxi rank
- Souvenir shops.
There is a private beach area to the west of the boat harbour charging an entrance fee that includes deck chair and umbrella hire. The small beach near the sun bathing pontoon allows swimming in essentially the same water as the private beach.
How to Get Around
As the town centre sits 50 metres above sea level, there is a steep ascent from the waterfront and beach area that takes about 10 minutes when walking. To avoid the 200-step ascent, buses travel from outside the pier to Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso.
To reach Sorrento from the port, you can also pay €1 to take the lift, which is located west of the Marina near the private swimming beaches.
The Sorrento train station also runs a commuter train connecting Sorrento with Naples, with stops in Pompeii and Herculaneum. It’s a €3 fare to Pompeii, and about a 30 minute journey.
Travel times from the Marina
- It is a 1 hour and 8 minute journey to Naples Airport by car
- It is a 51 minute journey to Pompeii by car
- It is a 1 hour and 17 minute journey to Mount Vesuvius by car
- It is a 36 minute journey to Positano by car.
By bus from Sorrento:
- It is a 50 minute journey to Positano by bus
- It is a 1 hour and 15 minute journey to Praiano by bus.
- It is a 30-40 minute journey to Naples by hydrofoil
- It is a 20 minute journey to Capri by hydrofoil.
- Currency - Italy uses the Euro like the majority of mainland Europe. Denominations come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins and €1, and €2 coins. Bank notes in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations are also used. While €500, €200 & €100 are printed, most ATMs and stores will tender €50, €20, €10 and €5 bank notes.
- Time Zone - Sorrento operates on Central European Time (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Temperatures in Sorrento are typical of a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and mild winters. The average high in July is 29.3 degrees Celsius, and for January, 12.5 degrees Celsius.
- Pompeii - This ancient city, smothered by ash from Mount Vesuvius, needs to be seen to be believed. The Roman Empire town has been preserved almost as it was when it was buried in 79AD, with the majority since being excavated. Visitors will be able to step back in time walking the high streets and exploring the vast 163-acre site. Allow at least 3 hours to explore the area. Audio guides in multiple languages are available.
- Piazza Tasso – The town’s main square. Here, amongst the hustle and bustle of tourists and scooters, you can shop for limoncello, clothes, souvenirs and much more. The greenery of the square’s well-manicured foliage contrasts beautifully with the vibrantly coloured buildings. Off the square is Via San Cesareo, a narrow cobbled street that hosts a variety of shops selling items such as leather wares, olives, perfume, jewellery and ceramics.
- Sorrento Cathedral - Visit this Romanesque cathedral, first built in the 11th century and then rebuilt during the renaissance period. The 11th century doors, brought in from Constantinople, still remain.