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Sorrento in the Bay of Naples

Home > Sorrento > Day Trips | Food and Wine | Outdoor | Restaurants | Shopping
by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Published September 29th 2012
Return to Sorrento? I didn't want to leave
Singers may remind you to 'Torna a Surriento' or Return to Sorrento, and I finally retraced my steps after the best part of 30 years. Friends warned me that I would regret my decision and that this beautiful resort in the Bay of Naples has changed, but I'm thankful I didn't listen. This time I didn't arrive by air, but by ferry from Naples, just across the bay. When the sun is shining and the sky is a perfect shade of Mediterranean blue, there is no better way to approach Sorrento and to disembark in the picturesque harbour of Marina Piccola. Plus you get a sublime view as you look up at the cliffs and at the hotels perched above you, commanding the best vistas of the harbour and across to Mount Vesuvius.

Mount Vesuvius
Mount Vesuvius


Of course the only way is up and as we were too lazy to walk, the local minibus service is a perfect alternative.

We have stayed in the resort's premier hotel, the Excelsior Vittoria, but it's now beyond the reach of our pockets. The best I could do was to photograph it from below, and to take another snap of its entrance gates on the main Piazza Tasso.

Looking up at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
Looking up at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria


We were told that non-residents were not even allowed to enter the hotel. Such a shame as it commands the best panoramas of the area and guests from a previous age have included Enrico Caruso, and nineteenth-century European royalty.

Hotel Excelsior Vittoria
Hotel Excelsior Vittoria


With the few hours that were available we had to content ourselves with some shopping; it's a hard job, but a girl needs to buy her shoes and bags somewhere. Beyond that we just wandered and browsed the shops in the warren of old cobbled streets behind the main square, and naturally we had to stop for a bite to eat.

Back Streets of Sorrento
Back Streets of Sorrento


Italian mammas may be the best cooks in the eyes of their sons, but the rest of us have to settle for a humble trattoria. Bearing in mind where we were my choice for lunch was Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. What else?

Fruit and Chillis
Fruit and Chillis


It was such a glorious day that we didn't want to waste a single moment so spent the forty minutes of the return ferry trip standing on the open top deck trying to imbibe everything around us before returning to our cruise ship. I assure you it won't be another thirty years before I return to Sorrento.

Panorama of Marina Piccola
Panorama of Marina Piccola


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Why? Because it's one of the most beautiful places in Italy
When: Whenever the fancy takes you
Where: Sorrento
Cost: Free to wander
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