We spent four nights in Sorrento and had a wonderful time. Nonetheless, Lonely Planet’s description of Sorrento was pretty accurate: “A resort town in a beautiful area, summer sees Sorrento overcrowded with middle-aged, middle-class, middle-brow tourists and the trinket shops that cater to them.”
On the up side – the views from Sorrento are amazing, looking out across the water to Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
It’s fun walking through the town a couple of times, but it is 100% full of tourist restaurants and trinket / souvenir shops.
The beach at the bottom of the cliff next to the port is great, we hired a sun lounge on one of the decks that have been built out into the water, and had a great day swimming in the uncrowded water, eating fresh king prawns and salad for lunch, and relaxing in the sunshine.
Our B&B (Sweet Home Rosalba) was absolutely perfect, we spent a lot of time on our little balcony, petting the pony, and chatting to the owner’s mother. It’s a family run business that is really convenient, affordable and just lovely.
We hired a scooter for a day, and set out for the Amalfi Coast. My goodness, it was breathtaking.
We’ve honestly never said “wow” more times in one day. I can’t even describe how beautiful the coastline is, and photos do not do it justice. Everyone should see the Amalfi Coast.
We had a beautiful day, and drove from Sorrento to Salerno, then came back and had lunch in Ravello – stopping in to buy limoncello (an Italian liqueur made out of lemons) and lemon jam made by the Ravello nuns.The views from Ravello of the Amalfi Coast below are incredible.
We also spent half a day at Pompeii on a tour, and although I’ve been once before, it was just as incredible this time around. An entire ancient city that you can wander around and hear stories of how they lived.
We saw some mansions and houses with the remnants of incredible frescoes on the walls, take-away joints, the city brothel, the expansive baths, and temples.
The wide streets have footpaths, roads for the horse and carts, and stepping stones for pedestrians to cross the road – our tour guide called them the zebra crossings!
It’s amazing to look at the roads and see grooves where the wheels of the carts have worn down the stone – that sort of thing blows my mind, that a couple of thousand years later we can walk over the exact same stones.
We also saw the famous plaster casts of people (and a dog) who died, and they are very sad to look at, but I really preferred wandering the streets and imagining what life was like. It’s pretty incredible.
All in all, we recommend Sorrento as a great, affordable base to explore the Amalfi Coast. Although, next time we might try and find somewhere in Maiori or Minori. Both nice looking towns along the coast. If you have money to burn, then Positano would be an amazing place to stay, so long as you don’t mind walking, as the whole town winds around and around the cliff.
Sunset in Sorrento
We ate at home a couple of nights, and Dan cooked a delicious pasta we named Dan’s spaghetti alla limone, using the gigantic lemons that are growing everywhere in the region!
Dan’s spaghetti alla limone
Cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain. Add olive oil and stir. In a pan, add olive oil, finely chopped onion, torn pancetta and sliced zucchini. Cook on high heat until the onion is caramelised and the zucchini is coloured. Add the zest and juice from half a lemon. Season to taste. Add more lemon and/or olive oil if required. Put the spaghetti back into the pan and mix. Serve topped with parmigiano reggiano shavings, and enjoy!