Sorrento in 3 Days

If you are touring Italy, you can't miss the opportunity to stroll around beautiful Sorrento. It has everything for you, so discover here what to do in its streets for three days. I guarantee you three days of harmony and total relaxation.

Sorrento in 3 Days

Sorrento | ©Nick Fewings

In the region of Campania lies a small but vibrant town known as Sorrento, very close to Naples. In Sorrento you will not stop seeing and doing things and the most important thing: you will not stop resting; Sorrento is the representation of la dolce far niente.

Without a doubt, Sorrento is the ideal place to stay, as this is a central point for tours to the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento or to go from here to Naples. The town is known for hosting beautiful expeditions to the island of Capri or to historical sites such as Herculaneum. Would you like to plan your itinerary with me? Here's a plan for you to spend three incredible days in Sorrento.

Day 1: Stroll through the center

Sorrento Cathedral| ©Mentnafunangann
Sorrento Cathedral| ©Mentnafunangann

Ciao, Sorrento! I know that any displacement within a travel itinerary is exhausting and even more so if you took a transfer from the Naples airport but once you are in Sorrento, you will see that it is a very friendly town and you won't need a car to get around. Everything is very centrally located and designed for comfortable walking.

Your first day will consist of getting to know the old town and visiting central sites such as Piazza Lauro, the Villa Comunale, the Cathedral of Sorrento, among other outdoor activities while enjoying a delicious ice cream or refreshing limoncello.

Start your day in Piazza Lauro

Let's start the tour at about 10 am, ending the morning, in one of the most colorful and traditional centers in all of Italy. Here it would be best to start in Piazza Lauro. This large and modern square, created in the mid 70's, is considered one of the two most important squares in Sorrento. It is located in the commercial area of the city, at the intersection of Corso Italia and the Circumvesuviana railroad station that I recommend you use to get there.

The square welcomes you with its beautiful palm trees and leafy trees to shelter you from the heat and the sun, especially if you stop at one of its beautiful cafes nearby. In fact, this is a perfect place to have breakfast. Here you can try a delicious sfogliatella frolla, a round fruit and ricotta cake, native only to the region. In addition, this square is an important starting point for different excursions throughout the area.

Book the best tours of Sorrento

Towards Corso Italia and the Cathedral of Sorrento

From Piazza Lauro enter Corso Italia, the heart of Sorrento, going down the south side of the square. Walk along Sorrento's main shopping destination as you marvel at the commercial diversity this beautiful street has to offer. This will be your transition area as you arrive at the magnificent Sorrento Cathedral.

Located about a five minute walk from where you left Corso Italia to the east, stands the Cathedral of Saints Philip and James. When you enter, a beautiful Roman Catholic church, built in the 10th century and rebuilt in Romanesque style in the 16th century, awaits you.

If you visit this cathedral, you will learn about a page of Italian history when the region was invaded by the Ottoman Empire in 1558, through the marble remains of the first cathedral from the 10th century. Once you finish this tour, I suggest you go to one of the restaurants in Corso Italia and taste a delicious limoncello for a snack or a main course for lunch.

Practical information

  • Location: Corso Italia, Via Santa Maria della Pietà, 44, 80067

  • Price: free

  • Hours: Monday to Monday from 8 am to 12:30 pm and from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

Book a gastronomic tour in Sorrento

Stroll through the old town

Old town| ©Alca55d
Old town| ©Alca55d

After the religious experience at the cathedral, return to Corso Italia and continue east until you reach Via Torquato Tasso. Congratulations! You have just started your tour of the Old Town.

I recommend walking up Tasso where you will see the facades of the noblemen's residences with a Catalan style architecture. Immediately after you will continue until you reach the corner of Via S. Cesario where you will walk along this busy pedestrian street. You will then turn right connecting with Via Luigi de Maio, an area known for its picturesque stores.

After walking a couple of streets you will connect with Piazza Sant'Antonino which is right next to the Basilica of San Antonino. Most likely you will want to visit the emblem of the city: the Basilica of San Antonino. It is an 11th century building where the tomb of San Antonino, patron saint of the town, rests.

You can conclude your walk through the old town with an incredible evening in one of its seafood restaurants at Ristorante Zi Ntonio, on Via Luigi de Maio. You can enjoy a delicious pizza at Ristorante Pizzeria Sant'Antonino which is tucked away in an alley off Piazza San Antonino. If you want pasta with Mediterranean ingredients, then head to Fauno across Piazza Tasso.

Conclude your day with a gelato in Piazza Tasso

If you head south down Via Luigi de Maio you will reach Corso Italia. Here you can either stop in Piazza Tasso and take advantage of the route to stop at one of the ice cream parlors in the old town and buy a tasty lemon ice cream.

Well, yes. Nothing like concluding an overflowing and exciting day, resting your feet in the beautiful Piazza Tasso and eating an ice cream. You will surely think that there are many things you left out the moment you arrived at Piazza Tasso, but don't worry, the itinerary of the second day starts at this point. From the square you can take a bus to the bus stop closest to your hotel or you can walk if it is close to the center.

Traveller Tip

If you decide to go by car to Sorrento and if you do not want to waste time looking for parking in the city, check if your hotel reservation includes parking for your car.

2. Day History, art and culture on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea

Piazza Tasso| ©Berthold Werner
Piazza Tasso| ©Berthold Werner

After a stroll through the main streets where you could see three churches, on the second day you have a well-deserved rest. We start early in the morning where I will show you three historical sites: Piazza Tasso, the Museo Correale di Terranova and the Vallone dei Mulini.

All three are close to each other, making your visit enjoyable, as they allow you to reach each one on foot. It's the perfect excuse to continue exploring the streets of Sorrento. Before you know it you'll be swimming the warm beaches of Marina Grande and resting your body in the spa chairs.

Book a boat tour in Sorrento

We continue where we left off: in Piazza Tasso

Piazza Tasso is the soul of the city: from here no one gets lost and this is one of the meeting points for tours from Sorrento that take you to other nearby sites. In short, all roads lead to Piazza Tasso. The statue of St. Antoninus Abbot, patron saint of Sorrento, blesses your day with a good Italian coffee from the cafes that line the bustling Piazza Tasso.

The square you met the night before, sits atop a cliff. Now you have the opportunity, in daylight and accompanying the daily life of the Sorrentines to see the different historical aesthetics of the facades of the various buildings that surround the square. You can stop by the historic Bar Fauno and order a limoncello or the colorful souvenir store Fattoria Terranova.

The square is dominated by beautiful historic buildings such as the Palazzo Correale, which I will recommend you to visit. You can also go back to the baroque church of Santa Maria del Carmine that you met the night before and check out its beautiful exterior facade.

Share the city's affection for its Vallone dei Mulini

From the square, head towards the Vallone dei Mulini. Turn south on Via Caruso. From here you only have to walk two minutes south and you will find them less than 200 meters from the square. It is a small valley with a mill for grinding wheat that may date back to the 15th or 16th century. The fissure in the rock occurred about 35,000 years ago.

The origin of the valley is the result of the most violent eruption in the history of the volcanic caldera, the Phlegraean Fields. The erosion of the waters and the time polished this natural wonder where they engraved, little by little, the tuff base that was the natural channel of the waters of the sea that made the mill work. A natural remembrance of the native landscapes of Italy where you can take fantastic pictures.

History awaits you at the Correale Museum in Terranova

Correale Museum| ©Dave & Margie Hill
Correale Museum| ©Dave & Margie Hill

After seeing the impressive mill it is time to walk back to Piazza Tasso along Via Caruso and from here head towards the historic Museo Correale. When you are in the square walk east along Corso Italia and immediately cross over to the north, which will take you along Via Correale. The museum is at the end of this street across Via Capasso.

This is today the Museo Correale in Terranova, inaugurated in 1924, but formerly, this villa was known as the Palazzo Correale. It has 24 exhibition rooms integrated on four floors in the residential complex. The rooms are arranged according to a chronological layout where you will learn about the history of the Kingdom of Naples through its furniture and Capodimonte porcelain. The 17th century frescoes will tell you about the spirit of the Counter-Reformation period, which was at its height at the time.

The most impressive aspect of the facilities is that you will be able to access one of the most beautiful gardens in the city, and even in Italy, from the entrance hall. The tour can take about two or three hours, depending on the time you dedicate to the works, the facilities and the garden.

Practical information

  • Location: Via Correale, 50, 80067, Sorrento

  • Price: Tickets to the Museo Correale in Terranova range from 3-8 euros.

  • Hours: from Monday to Saturday the opening hours are between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. I suggest you buy your tickets before 12:00 h so that you can at least enjoy the museum for the remaining two hours. It is closed on Sundays.

Have a proper lunch at the marvelous Marina Grande

Okay, I've shown you three historical sites; now it's time to enjoy the beach. From the museum walk to Lauro Park, a small sanctuary next to Piazza Lauro and walk down the park until you reach Corso Italia. From here it is best to take the bus lines D-E, EAV, SITA that will take you directly to Marina Grande. The cost of the trip does not exceed 1.5 € on public transport.

You already deserve a good lunch with its subsequent limoncello for digestion, in the amazing restaurants, Trattoria da Emilia Porta Marina that offer incredible seafood dishes and also Il Monazzero di Teresina where you can eat some pizzas with fresh Sorrento tomato.

Spend the afternoon in the beautiful Marina Grande burg of Sorrento

Marina Grande is a picturesque fishing community. The fish, seafood and tomatoes will accompany you with a refreshing wine along the shores that blend the vivid colors of the buildings with the placid turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, from where you can take the beautiful boat tours to the most beautiful beaches and coasts of Italy from Sorrento.

Spend your afternoon here while taking a beach nap with your loved ones, toasting a glass of wine on the shores of the Mediterranean; the sea embracing you with its aroma and its waves thundering in your ears. This is one of the best activities you can do in Sorrento with the kids.

Traveller Tip

Sorrento is characterized by its unevenness. If you get very tired or have mobility problems and can't go up or down stairs, the city has public elevators available at a cost of no more than 2 €.

End your day by celebrating in the locals of Piazza Lauro

Still energized? Adjacent to Piazza Lauro are the places where you can go and dance to the rhythm of the music that is fashionable in the country or in the region. The area is quite safe. I am sure you will love the parties and the nightlife of Sorrento. In this case, my recommendation is to go to Fauno Notte Club, the most traditional and historic nightclub in Sorrento that can welcome you all night long.

After enjoying the beach, wash off the sea salt in one of the public showers on the beaches and head to your hotel if you want to change clothes or take a nice shower. Bus lines D-E, EAV and SITA will take you directly to Plaza Lauro.

The area contrasts with the old city as the architecture here is more modern and the stores are more contemporary than the familiar brands. You can dine here and sample the risottos or Mediterranean casseroles sold in the restaurants near the square.

3. Day Conclude your trip in Sorrento among convents and museums

Piazza Gargiulo| ©Elliott Brown
Piazza Gargiulo| ©Elliott Brown

When your third day dawns you can have breakfast and then head out to Piazza Gargiulo. From there you will go to three more sites that the city has to offer: the Convent of San Francesco, the church of San Francesco, the Leonardo Da Vinci museum and I suggest you finish with a unique sunset at the Villa Comunale, adjacent to the convent.

These sites are close to each other and easy to reach on foot. In addition, from the Villa Comunale you can walk down to Sorrento's harbor and Marina Piccola to say goodbye with a last meal on the shores of Sorrento.

Start at Piazza Gargiulo

Piazza San Francesco Saverio Gargiulo is among the most energetic places in town for the peace conveyed through its fountain. Again your starting point is Piazza Tasso where you will walk up Via Sant'Antonino, adjacent to the square you already knew. From Tasso to the convent is a five minute walk as they are 300 meters from each other.

The square is named after San Francesco Saverio Gargiulo (1840-1922), a famous jurist and philosopher of the area. This space is taken as a reference point for many concerts or exhibitions held throughout the year in Sorrento. I tell you that you will appreciate the peace of this place and you will want to just stop time to enjoy the everyday city of the locals. The square is just meters from the beautiful Church and Cloister of San Francesco.

Revel in the silence and peace of the Cloister of San Francesco

Cloister of San Francesco| ©Alejandro
Cloister of San Francesco| ©Alejandro

The Cloister of St. Francis of Assisi is one of the oldest monuments in Sorrento. Across Piazza Gargiulo you will find the building that houses three institutions: the cloister, the church of San Francesco and the Leonardo Da Vinci museum. This dynamic architectural structure dating back to the 14th century is unique in its design.

The cloister was built on the remains of a 7th century monastery. Inside you will find archaeological excavations where you can see remnants of pagan temples in the Baroque style of the 14th century. In the courtyard lies an ancient and beautiful tree with an oblique trunk where the frame of the numerous weddings that take place inside the cloister rests.

The church next to the monastery is embellished with a garden of flowering shrubs and ornamental trees. In summer, the cloister welcomes art in its spaces and becomes an exhibition gallery. Admission is free of charge.

Practical information about the monastery

  • Location: Via S. Francesco, 12, 80067

  • Price: free

  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The art and history of the Quattrocento await you at the Italian Pride Museum

Two steps from the church is the entrance to the Italian Pride Museum where Leonardo da Vinci is the protagonist. In the museum you can learn about the life and work of the enigmatic artist in an exhibition that alternates physical objects with virtual rooms that condense the historical narratives behind the myth and legend of Da Vinci.

But it is not only Da Vinci that this museum is all about, different excursions and events have been organized here about other great Italian figures. Admission to the museum costs less than 10 €, but there are discounts for children under 12 and totally free if the youngest are under six years old.

Practical information

  • Location: Via S. Francesco, 12, 80067

  • Price: the entrance fee is around 10 €.

  • Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Lunch at the Villa Comunale and visit the archaeological museum

The Villa Comunale of Sorrento is the best place to admire the sunset of Sorrento. It is located on the same street as the square and cloister of San Francesco. Ideally, you can refresh yourself in the baths offered by this site, enjoy lunch and a sweet treat with a good coffee while resting in its gardens at La Villa Restaurant & Bar, a panoramic restaurant with the best views of Sorrento.

When you are there, you will realize that the villa stands on the gardens of the Franciscan friars, where it was built in the years 1877 and 1879. It is described as a small park that hosts the best views of the sea and has beautiful walks among gardens and olive trees dating back centuries.

In addition to this, inside you will also have the chance to visit the George Vallet Archaeological Museum that has incredible finds from the excavations that have been carried out in Sorrento along with a valuable mosaic depicting a nymphaeum. This museum even resembles the Archaeological Museum of Naples.

Finish your day on the shores of Marina Piccola

You already knew the previous day Marina Grande, now you will know the small one: Marina Piccola. From the Villa you can go down to Marina Piccola for less than 2 euros by an efficient and comfortable elevator and if you want to save those euros then you can opt for the free stairs.

I suggest you go down to Marina Piccola when the beautiful sunset has passed at the Villa Comunale and have dinner after contemplating the wonderful scenery of the Amalfi Coast where you can see how travelers return from their water tours of this beautiful place.

Book a tour of the Amalfi Coast from Sorrento

Rent a car or rely on buses?

Scootering around Sorrento| ©Elliott Brown
Scootering around Sorrento| ©Elliott Brown

Will you need to rent a car in Sorrento? Well... no. Sorrento has an efficient public transportation system that includes elevators to get you around the city. Now, if you want to plan an excursion to nearby towns and you are wondering how to visit Pompeii on your own, then using a car is the best way to get there.

But Sorrento also has tours to Pompeii that you can take quickly and economically to those unmissable destinations in Italy, without needing a car. What is the most important limitation when owning a car? Undoubtedly, parking. In high season, Sorrento gets crowded and it can be a headache to get a free spot inside. Not to mention the costs of private parking that can reach up to 10 € per hour.

What to pack for your visit to Sorrento

Packing your suitcase| ©Craig Adderley
Packing your suitcase| ©Craig Adderley

In summer the temperatures in Sorrento are extremely hot, because they easily exceed 30 °C For this reason, I advise you to invest in a good sunscreen. Hydrate yourself as much as you can and always carry a bottle of water in your backpack. This will also be necessary if you go in winter, but accompanied by a coat. The winters in Sorrento are not that cold, but you will still need to bring at least a sweater and go somewhat covered.

Be sure to bring good sneakers to walk along the ancient cobblestone streets of the city and if you want, combine them with a hat or a fashionable cap. Sorrento is synonymous with constant walking and it is possible to take tours that will help you not to get so tired, but you still need to be comfortable at all times.